June 17, 2016
It's been a while since we updated our list of 10 Most Awesome Restaurants in Baguio (even the list of Tripadvisor and other sites are outdated), so we revisited our old favorites and were surprised to discover new awesome restos in the "City of Pines". We asked prominent local foodies for suggestions and came up with a comprehensive list of go-to places.
Team Our Awesome Planet together with Donny "The Last Don" Elvina of the KTG visited and tried all the shortlisted Baguio restaurants in a span of 4 days. Each establishment was individually ranked from 1-10 and their food needed to be good--and we had to have tasted it for ourselves--to be included on the list.
(Note: I have to admit that the team who rated the restaurants is predominantly young, so there's a subjective millennial bias on the choice and ranking of the restaurants.)
Here are the top 10 Most Awesome Restaurants in Baguio for 2016...
1) FOGGY MOUNTAIN COOKHOUSE
FOGGY MOUNTAIN COOKHOUSE, a gem nestled in the nooks and crannies of Baguio, guarantees you the most intimate dining experience. As home to the tastiest Mediterranean dishes in the area, this reservation and pre-order only establishment is well worth your time and money.
Owner, Marianito “Chef Babes” Reyes, started this humble cookhouse during his retirement in the exporting business. His travels abroad have widened his culinary horizons, which he now shares through his love of cooking.
Having gone to many restaurants in the area, we can honestly say Foggy Mountain Cookhouse's honest, rustic food has stolen our hearts and stomachs.
FOGGY MOUNTAIN COOKHOUSE
172 St. Joseph Street, San Carlos Heights, Purok 24, Baguio City
Monday to Saturday: 11AM to 3PM | 6PM to 11PM
Closed on Sundays
Mobile: +63 916 767 4687 | +63 932 762 3639
Facebook: Foggy Mountain Cookhouse
2) CHEF'S HOME
CHEF'S HOME is one of our favorite restaurants in Baguio for its Southeast Asian specialties by Chef Alvin Emuang. Alvin, who is of Malaysian descent, was the former executive chef of Accor Group of Hotels in Thailand. He started off selling turo-turo dishes to taxi and jeepney drivers.
He was discovered after his food was photographed by Ompong Tan, a photographer based in Baguio, and spread on social media.
To taste the most authentic Southeast Asian cuisine in Baguio, Chef's Home should be your top choice!
CHEF'S HOME BAGUIO
Gina and Alvin Emuang's Food Place
13 Outlook Drive corner Romulo Drive, Baguio City
Mobile: +63 916 444-5756
Facebook: Chefs Home Baguio
Opening hours: 11.00am - 2.30pm and 6.00-8.30pm
3) CAFÉ BY THE RUINS DUA
CAFÉ BY THE RUINS DUA on Upper Session Road is the newest extension of the original establishment in front of the Baguio City Hall. While it still keeps many of the old favorites from the first branch, Dua’s menu is more dynamic and seasonal.
The restaurant’s reputation for great breakfasts is unintentional, says Feliz Perez, 2nd generation owner of Café by the Ruins Dua. She insists, however, their early operation hours and hearty servings may have contributed to this.
We loved the wholesome comfort food and delicious Ensaymadas. Start your mornings in Baguio right!
CAFÉ BY THE RUINS DUA
Upper Session Road, Baguio City
Operation hours: Daily - 7AM to 9PM
Telephone: +63 74 442 4010
Facebook: Cafe by the Ruins
4) AMARE LA CUCINA
AMARE LA CUCINA is a Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Baguio founded by a local, Edmark Bustos. The name means "to love a kitchen" in Italian. Edmark, who is no trained chef, shows this through his passion for cooking and experimentation. This drove him to open his own restaurant, which first started in his home until it became the go-to place for good pizza in Baguio. The name AMARE is also a deliberate combination of the Bustos siblings--Alvin, MARianne, and Edmark..
Not only does Amare have some of the tastiest Pizzas in Baguio, it also lets your experience the beauty of making them!
AMARE LE CUCINA
EGI Albergo Hotel, #1 Villamor Drive, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City
Mobile: +63 916 332 1522
Operating hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00am - 9:00pm, Sat-Sun: 11:00 am - 9:30 pm
CHAYA is our go-to place for Japanese food in Baguio. Owned by a Josef Moselina and his Japanese wife Sonoko Taguchi, the homey restaurant would make anyone skeptical to find delicious, authentic Japanese dishes being served in such a typical cottage home. This should be no surprise, however, as the wife's cooking experience comes from growing up in her grandma and aunt's restaurant in Japan.
We're glad that the Chaya we've come to know and love still maintains its charm. The authentic Japanese dishes and the homey feel really make this place unique and memorable.
72 Legarda Road, Baguio City
Telephone: +(63 74) 424-4726
Mobile: +63 915 9054820
Facebook: Chaya Baguio
Operating Hours: 11.00 am - 9.00 pm, daily
MELT by Chef Michael Ferrer is an affordable steakhouse inside Ayala Technohub in Camp John Hay, Baguio. They use high-quality meat products imported from the US, Australia, and New Zealand, sourced from the chef's brother who happens to be the steak supplier in Baguio.
It's named Melt because the chef envisions the steaks to melt in your mouth. Aside from their steaks, you can also check out their deconstructed versions of classic Pinoy favorites--Calderetta, Kare-Kare, and Salpicao.
Melt didn't disappoint with their quality meats at a reasonable price. It's a nice, relaxing place to eat steak in the Camp John Hay area with your friends or family.
G/F Convergys 1 Bldg., Ayala Technohub, Camp John Hay, Baguio City
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 am - 10:00 am
7) BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY
The owner, local Christopher Ordas, began this passion for brewing beer in his own garage in Canada. He later expanded his knowledge by studying the German and West Coast styles of brewing in Munich, Prague, and San Diego. Their beer and food pairing menu brings another level of taste to beer lovers and converts who enjoy both.
Our Baguio experience was made complete thanks to good beer and food from BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY!
BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY
RKC Building, 120 Marcos Highway,
Km 4, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines
8) HILL STATION
Over the years, HILL STATION has established itself as one of the top restaurants in Baguio (via Trip Advisor). Awarded as one of Asia’s Finest Restaurants by the Miele Guide in 2011-2013, Hill Station is celebrated for its eclectic array of Asian and Continental cuisine.
Owner, Mitos Benitez-Yñiguez, is no stranger to the restaurant business. She got her culinary know-how from her mother, the brains behind the famous Mario’s of Baguio, and her travels around the world.
As an old favorite, Hill Station should still be one of your first stops in Baguio for its food born of history and travel experience.
Luneta Hill, Upper Session Rd., 2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7AM to 11PM
Telephone: +63 74 424-2734, 423-9100, 423-9558
Facebook: Hill Station
9) GOOD TASTE
When it comes to delicious, affordable food, Good Taste Restaurant & Café in Baguio has become a time-honored local favorite. This 24/7 establishment leans heavily towards Chinese cuisine, but western pastries like cupcakes and assorted bread are also available.
Good Taste Restaurant & Café is a must-visit in Baguio for any traveler, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Not only is this an economical choice, but the quality of food is unexpectedly decent for that price range. For less than 1,500, you can have a dinner for around 10 people.
GOOD TASTE RESTAURANT & CAFÉ
Carino St, Baguio, Luzon, Philippines
Operation Hours: 24/7
Telephone: +632 443-7959
Facebook: Good Taste Restaurant & Cafe
Given the long history of Filipinos with American Colonialists, it's no surprise that most locals have developed a taste for western food. COOKOUT is one such type of restaurant that embodies this--embracing the salt, grease, and fat of American comfort food that we’ve all, somehow, been programmed to enjoy.
Cookout started as a standalone grilling station along Baguio's Session Road among 3 friends--Russell Go, Melvin Perez, and JR de la Paz of Size Matters, another American comfort food joint in Pasig. The more their homemade sausages and burgers made stomachs happy, the more customers urged them to open a restaurant. Thus, Cookout by Size Matters was born as a collaboration between the 3 gentlemen. They essentially serve the very same sausages and patties as Size Matters, but with a menu unique only to Baguio.
Overall, Cookout is a nice place for a small group of friends to relax and enjoy some food. We loved the casual ambiance and general approachability of the establishment.
Not only did Team Our Awesome Planet gain a few pounds from their fun-filled trip to Baguio, they also gained a lot of experiences, new insights, and friends.
Here's to you also creating memories with your food-loving buddies in the chilly City of Pines weather of over great food and drinks. Cheers!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: All of our meals were courtesy of the restaurant owners, except for Good Taste, where we paid for our meal. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. We were not able to get a booking at Mama's Table by Chef Vicky Tinio Clemente because it was full, so we were not able to include it on this list.