As tourists, we always want to see something new when we visit a place, something exciting, something that sets it apart. In this manner, Baguio City is always eager to oblige. Every year, old restaurants and dining places give way to new ones, thus constantly giving both the locals and tourists of Baguio something new to try and enjoy.
This 2018, why don’t you check out the new stores that recently opened in the Summer Capital of the Philippines? Maybe you’ll find enough reason to visit Baguio soon.
1. Ketchup Food Community’s restaurants
Ketchup Food Community used to be a haven for foodies and food lovers.
In 2017, the famed Ketchup Food Community (KFC) across Wright Park closed its door after more than 5 years of business. The community was made up of five home-grown restaurants and each was able to make a name for themselves by serving good food to their loyal patrons. Ketchup Food Community may have ceased to operate, but its legacy among its patrons is enough drive for the other restaurants to follow through and build a following all on their own.
After KFC closed, three out of the five original restaurants opened new branches in different parts of Baguio. The first to re-open was Canto Bogchi Joint, which is famous for its lomo ribs. Its new home is now along Kisad Road, near the Children’s Playground. Happy Tummy, the restaurant specializing in Thai cuisine, also opened a small branch along Upper Session Road, near Casa Vallejo and SM Baguio. In late 2017, it opened its newest branch in Porta Vaga Mall and it is also set to open its main branch near the Loakan airport. Meanwhile, Rumah Sate, the restaurant that bravely introduced Indo-Malay food to the city now has a bigger branch in front of Mansion House along Romulo Drive.
Crossroad Puzzle is an interesting concept café that features Filipino and American comfort food and, yes, lots and lots of board games on hand. Once you dive into the board game of your choice, it’s highly unlikely that you’d need to ask for the WiFi password. While playing a round of Monopoly with peers, you can enjoy burgers with fries, pastas, and other delicious comfort food.
Beware all Game of Thrones fans, because the place is also adorned with GoT-inspired decors. With its hip design and fun concept, the café is quickly becoming a favorite among Baguio’s young crowd and even large families looking to bond over board games and group meals. It is located along Rimando Road, Lower Brookside, on the 2nd floor of St. Michael’s Dormitory.
The colorful interiors of Sessions Hub Café bring out the youth in everyone.
Image: Sessions Hub Cafe Facebook Page
This newest café along Session Road has such a vibrant interior, it makes for a solid reason for you to notice it. Aside from serving sweet desserts, giant fruit shakes, and great brewed coffee, Sessions Hub Café also holds regular live events such as poetry reading and acoustic sessions that feature local talents. Usually, people come to the place for their best-selling Matcha Egg Pie, which is an egg pie flavored generously with matcha green tea.
Sessions Hub is just off Session Road, right next to Prime Hotel and across Skyworld Commercial Complex.
Kenzo, Baguio’s newest Korean/Japanese restaurant, is a quaint piece of Asian culture right up in the clouds.
Image: Kenzo Baguio Facebook Page
Kenzo Baguio is the newest addition to the city’s already brimming list of Korean and Japanese restaurants. It serves both Korean and Japanese dishes, such as ramen and ramyun (noodles in broth garnished with meat and vegetables), maki (sushi and raw vegetables wrapped in seaweed), and sushi. The house specialties are the Kenzo Ramen, which has a pork broth base, topped with pieces of pork belly, or chashu, and the Korean meat guksoo, a Korean noodle dish topped with shredded pork. The restaurant is located along Leonard Wood Road, near Teachers’ Camp.
5. Pastel Café
There are other ways of tasting the rainbow, and Pastel Cafe has all the suggestions.
Image: Pastel Café Facebook Page
If the interior of Pastel Café isn’t enough to catch your attention, then perhaps their food will. They’ve been quickly gaining patrons through their eccentric menu items and their colorful take on what is otherwise considered common and bland food choices. From colored burger buns to Spam strips to their extravagantly prepared “freak shakes,” this place is a feast for both the eyes and the mouth.
The place is located in between Baden Powell Inn and Andok’s along Governor Pack Road. This area is where most of the provincial bus stations are also found.
Coffee with a view, anyone?
Image: Figaro Coffee Company Baguio Cathedral Branch Facebook Page
Imagine finishing mass and going straight to Figaro to enjoy a cup of their famous brewed coffee and their equally famous pastries. What a Sunday morning that would be! Luckily, national coffee franchise Figaro opened its second branch in the City of Pines at the Baguio Cathedral Compound. This new store is breezier and much bigger than its predecessor in SM Baguio. Able to accommodate over 100 visitors, it is also said to be Figaro’s largest branch to date.
One of the many quotes found at the café. Don’t forget to credit these quotes!
Image: Figaro Coffee Company Baguio Cathedral Branch Facebook Page
Quoted Café is located at V Hotel along Legarda Road. Its main selling point is its wide assortment of quotes and sayings, thus its name. Donning a minimalist décor, the place also offers a staple café menu of sandwiches, pastas, frappes, and caffeinated beverages, as well as items from the hotel’s in-house restaurant, such as soups, appetizers, and full rice meals. When eating, take your time as you muse over the various quotes plastered around the store—some deep, some inspirational, some worthy to be the caption for your next Instagram post.
Burrito flavors are called “Assuming,” “Hoping,” “Choosy Kpa,” and “Demanding.”
Image: Appetit Facebook Page
Appetit is located at Assumption Road, near Saint Louis University and University of Baguio. Because of its proximity to schools, their pricing is competitive, so that students running on a limited budget can still enjoy themselves here. Their menu appeals to the young crowd because it echoes “hugot” lines, a widely popular phenomenon today. So if you’re looking for a place to fill not only your physical but your emotional hunger as well, you know where to go.
9. Jaime’s Family Feast
Jaime’s menu features dishes for sharing, for your weekend lunches with the family or after-work dinners with friends.
Image: Jaime’s Family Feast Facebook Page
The newest family-style restaurant in Baguio is Jaime’s Family Feast, located at M.H. Del Pilar Street corner Kisad Road. Their barbecued ribs are a worthy contender to Canto’s Lomo Ribs. Every dish has generous servings, which makes them perfect for sharing among family and friends. Aside from appealing to your enormous appetite, it also prides itself in roasting its own coffee beans, something a coffee buff will truly appreciate.
Times are changing, and you should keep up by visiting these new and exciting places that makes every trip to Baguio a memorable one, or else, you might find yourself feeling FOMO—the fear of missing out!
About Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan
Liezl is a freelance writer based in Baguio. With a background in Journalism, her love for the written word goes beyond news and feature writing, as she writes for several online lifestyle publications. Local culture, food, and travel are her favorite themes.
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