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We are always on the look out for first places to bring our balikbayan friends to eat in Tagaytay.

Sometimes, we would search TripAdvisor to cross-check recommendations. We were surprised to find that Nanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako is a highly rated private dining, local cuisine restaurant destination.

We were skeptical about the reviews but decided to book, pre-order and risk to dine first time with our guest.

Here’s what we think of Nanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako restaurant…


Mayor’s Drive, Tagaytay City
Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:00am-8:00pm
Mobile: +63 922 291-3869
Email: [email protected]
FacebookNanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako

(Note: STRICT RESERVATIONS & PRE-ORDER of food selection 6-24 hours prior to appointed time is required!)

First Things First

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We arrived late in Tagaytay (around 8pm) on a weekday, and they were gracious enough to extend the closing hours to 9pm for our group.

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Nanay Cirilas’ Menu: All-day Filipino Breakfast, Appetizers, Native Filipino Favorites, Grilled Ihaw-Ihaw | Pizza, Pasta, Salad, Desserts, Drinks

It’s just like eating in a Tagaytay home. That’s why they insist on reservations and pre-orders at least 6 hours before to allow them to market for ingredients and cook everything fresh based on your arrival time.

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The place is very homey and welcoming but nobody took the trouble to explain the whole concept or give us an account of the place.

I can understand that the place is very private and they respect the privacy of their guests but it would be nice if someone would do an official welcome and tell us about the story of Nanay Cirilas.

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Iced tea with Fresh Calamansi (60)

Not too sweet and actually refreshing specially after a long drive from Manila.

Nanay Cirilas’ Beef Bulalo in Broth (₱775). Serves 2-4pax. Tender-cooked beef bulalo/shank in broth and seasonal vegetables.

Tagaytay is famous for its bulalo and Nanay Cirilas’ version did not disappoint. We loved the depth of the beefy broth. (You can order extra soup.)

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Crisp-fried Lumpia Shanghai (8 pcs. – ₱380). Spring rolls stuffed with ground pork and carrots. Served with condiments of your choice!

This is a simple lumpia roll with meat and vegetables inside and best dipped in vinegar instead of ketchup.

It was gone in 60 seconds except for the mercy piece that no one wanted to get or else be accused of finishing the entire plate.

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Crisp-fried Tawilis (₱325). Serves 2-4 pax. These fish known as “Tawilis” are only found in Taal Lake, Batangas.

Unique Tagaytay fish that’s a popular local delicacy. It’s like a bigger version of tuyo, and most people would eat the entire body dipped in vinegar.

I never really get used to eating this but we would order this to have something different.

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Grilled Liempo (₱490). Pork belly known as “liempo” is grilled with your choice of condiments.

It was seasoned well and thinly sliced with a bit of a bone.

I resisted the temptation to get two immediately. It’s as good as it looks.

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Grilled Seafood (₱3,500).
Grilled tilapia, bangus/milkfish, 1 kilo of large shrimp & mixed veggies: eggplants, ampalaya, okra, etc. Includes Tomato Salad/Salsa, Salted eggs with your choice of condiments, 4 steamed rice & 4 Iced Tea with fresh calamansi (seasonal) or Pandan leaves.

This is the main highlight of the meal. Loved how it was presented with butterflied bangus, grilled tilapia and big sugpo with lots of veggies.

It would be hard to get this kind of presentation and quality of cooking from a commercialized Filipino restaurant.

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Ube Halaya (₱160) Serves 4-6 persons. A very native Filipino dessert made from ube or taro root.

One of the best we’ve tasted in a while—not too sweet and mixed well with a good consistency—exactly how we like our ube.

Native Filipino Turon (₱100/4 pcs or ₱65 for 1 pc topped with ice cream). Native bananas commonly called “Saba” are wrapped in spring roll wrappers and fried. 

The turon was just fine, and we could just have ended with the ube and maybe ice cream.

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OMGoodness CINNABUNS (₱75 each and ₱130 with coffee). These pastries are baked with cinnamon and rolled to show off its swirl, baked and topped with cream cheese frosting. Great with Nanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako.

Nothing great but it goes well with the Kapeng Barako. Too much carbo in one dessert.

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Raindrop Cake (₱100). Inspired by the traditional Mizu Shingen Mochi from Japan, this gelatine dessert that resembles a giant raindrop is light, delicate and refreshingly made to melt in your mouth.

Not your traditional Filipino dessert if you want something different to impress. I would skip it next time and just go for halo-halo.

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Nanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako/Barako Coffee (₱75). Bottomless/refillable.

So good, especially with the Tagaytay weather.

I wonder if you can specify to have it medium roasted and just drink it black with the dessert.

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Coffee Price List (per 500grams pack)

I’m proud of our Kapeng Barako, and I won’t be surprised to see these liberica beans getting more popular.

Final Thoughts

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Overall, I would recommend Nanay Cirilas’ specially if you are looking for a Filipino place to eat with your balikbayan friends.

I would often say that you’ve never tasted Filipino food unless you have tasted and eaten it in the house of a Filipino family. This is the closest to having an authentic Filipino meal.

I just wished the owners, the cook or somebody would take the time to talk to the guests, welcome them to the house and maybe share some stories about the place like when you visit someone in their home.

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Best to go with a big group or your family and friends so that you can get the seafood platter and still order the meat selections.

Make sure to have the Bulalo, Liempo, Grilled Seafood platter and Ube Halaya for dessert. We forgot to pre-order halo-halo, and if you don’t do so, they just can’t make it for you on the spot.

Despite the cool Tagaytay weather, they still offer options for air conditioning which helps during the summer season.

Budget about ₱800/head. The pricing is relatively expensive than the commercialized Filipino restaurant but this feels like home.


Mayor’s Drive, Tagaytay City
Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:00am-8:00pm
Mobile: +63 922 291-3869
Email: [email protected]
FacebookNanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako

(Note: STRICT RESERVATIONS & PRE-ORDER of food selection 6-24 hours prior to appointed time is required!)


Live an Awesome Life,

Disclosure: We paid for our meals.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. It’s really just like dining in a Tagaytay home located somewhere in the Mendez area. Waze can get you there. 

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