Many of my friends ask me for advice about where to eat in Baguio. The thing is, Baguio isn’t really a place of proud delicacies. Juxtaposed with Pampanga or Cebu, this city’s cuisine will pale in comparison. The strawberries, ube jam, and coffee beans? They all hail from Baguio’s neighbouring towns. So, what makes Baguio City food so special?
Here’s a little insider information: Baguio has really affordable food. It’s a university town — the food establishments need to thrive, and they do so by offering student-friendly meals. On top of that, Baguio is also a melting pot of cultures; thus, you’ll find a wide variety of authentic cuisine in the city. Be it Cordilleran, Ilocano, American, Chinese, or Korean meals, everything tastes delightfully real.
Along with the booming tourism, capitalism has thrived in Baguio City. You’ll find restaurant after restaurant along the streets of the city. As a traveller, you might get quite overwhelmed with the bizarre number of restaurants and fast-food chains. To help you decide where to eat in Baguio, I’ve come up with a list of eateries every traveller will definitely enjoy.
Where to eat in Baguio: a taste of the classics
1. Jack’s Restaurant
Among the Cordilleran community, Jack’s Restaurant is famous for serving its classic Jack’s Rice. A rice meal with pork chop and chicken, a topping of fried egg, and chop suey sides, the dish was originally created as a customised order for a regular diner. It eventually grew renowned enough that it became a menu staple and is now a local favourite.
Tip: On a tight budget? For ₱125, one serving of Jack’s Rice can make up for two meals. My mother and aunt used to divide a serving between themselves when they were in college; I would have half of the dish packed for take-out.
Laperal Building, Session Road, Baguio City
2nd floor Baguio Center Mall, Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City
2. Cathy’s Fastfood
Rainy days in Baguio call for a visit to Cathy’s Fastfood. A microcosm of the City of Pines, this unassuming Chinese restaurant caters to the diverse bunch of Baguio locals: happy families, drunk students, and cowboys, all feasting over a piping hot bowl of hototay soup (plus a bucket of Pale Pilsen).
Address: 24 Diego Silang Street, Baguio City
3. Luisa’s Cafe
Luisa’s Cafe best represents old-school Baguio. Although not as popular as the new eateries in the city, this cafe has endured years of change. And today, it continues to be the go-to restaurant of the local press. (Rumour has it that even Nick Joaquin used to travel all the way to Baguio to dine here and write.)
If you want to have quiet time in this cafe, you can dine on the second floor and wait for your order to come up through the dumb waiter. By the entrance, you can buy a copy of Baguio Midland Courier, the city paper, perfect while you’re sipping your brewed coffee with balikutsa.
Address: 53 Session Road, Baguio City
4. Rose Cafe
When you’re choosing where to eat in Baguio with your friends, Rose Cafe might not be the best option for you. This hole-in-the-wall eatery is only small enough for a person to enter, eat, and then exit. Is it worth a try? Definitely. Take in the culture, be kind to the servers, and enjoy the warmth of your pancit guisado.
Address: 35 Diego Silang Street, Baguio City
5. Balajadia Kitchenette
While it doesn’t don the most appetising name, Slaughter Compound is a culinary treasure trove. Here, you will find Balajadia Kitchenette, an artless carinderia offering the best meat dishes in Baguio. Most of their recipes make use of Cordilleran or Ilocano cooking styles and ingredients.
Balajadia Kitchenette’s best-sellers include bulalo, papaitan, sinampalukan, inihaw na liempo, and sinanglaw. But if you’re an adventurous foodie, you must try its Soup No. 5, an exotic dish made from a bull’s penis. You can take my word for it: It’s actually delicious.
Address: Slaughterhouse Compound, Barangay Sto. Niño, Baguio City
6. 50’s Diner
If you want a taste of the classics, but prefer American over Chinese cuisine, head over to 50’s Diner. It offers a long list of Western dishes, from sandwiches and burgers to ice cream shakes and cocktails to fully loaded specials and heavy breakfast meals. It also has budget-friendly meals that are undeniably filling, and for less than ₱200, you can have a plate overflowing with protein, carbs, and veggies. Bonus points go to its retro interiors, complete with checkered tile floors, maraschino red couches and bar stools, as well as roller-skating waiters.
Address: 166 Military Cutoff Road, Baguio City
7. Cafe by the Ruins
A relentless reminder of what Baguio once was, Cafe by the Ruins articulates the city’s rich history. After the Pearl Harbour bombing in 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army immediately attacked Baguio. Cafe by the Ruins was then a residence of Benguet’s first governor, Canadian journalist H.P. Whitmarsh. In 1944, the Japanese destroyed his home; after the war, Teodoro Arvisu purchased the ramshackle building, and in 1988, his granddaughter opened Cafe by the Ruins.
The Cafe by the Ruins of today retains its melancholic aura, with stone walls and dusky interiors, with only rays of sunlight seeping through. But the restaurant has turned this into a romantic environment where local art now thrives, luring visitors with its heartwarming home-cooked fare.
Address: 25 Shuntug Road, Baguio City
8. Choco-late de Batirol
Choco-late de Batirol has long been on the list of quickest answers to where to eat in Baguio. Almost every family visiting the city craves this cafe’s chocolate brew, traditionally prepared using batirol. Aside from hot chocolate, Choco-late de Batirol also specialises in breakfast meals, like tocino kalabaw and longanisa Vigan, and merienda dishes, like bibingka and suman — obviously, all served with a warm and earthy cup of cacao.
Address: Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio City
Where to eat in Baguio: for the artsy foodies
9. Ili-Likha Artist Village
Ili-Likha Artist Village is literally a masterpiece, crafted by none other than Eric de Guia, the National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts also known as Kidlat Tahimik. It almost resembles a food park; only Ililikha is built with recycled wood and bottles, art elements, and Ifugao artefacts.
As its name implies, the tree-clad establishment is actually a community of artists and foodies. Since different food kiosks sit in the area, you can order various dishes here, from craft burgers and pasta, to kesong puti pandesal and balbacua.
Address: Assumption Road, Baguio City
10. Oh My Gulay
Along Session Road, Kidlat Tahimik owns another eclectic restaurant: Oh My Gulay, which regularly surprises its guests with its landscape. Tucked on the fifth floor of the La Azotea building, the vegetarian restaurant is shrouded in foliage — there’s even a koi pond in the middle of it all.
Oh My Gulay’s menu contains fascinating dishes mostly named after Filipino heroes. Try out Heneral Luna’s Punyetang Shitake, made with mushrooms, bechamel sauce, and cheddar cheese; Pancit Gulay Ni Pepe, a bowl of egg noodles with tofu and vegetables; or Lapu-Lapu Lumpia, tofu rolls with a bed of mixed greens, honey mustard, and Asian dressing.
Address: 5th floor, La Azotea Building, Session Road, Baguio City
11. Arca’s Yard
A photogenic, rustic chalet awaits travellers at Tiptop, Ambuklao Road. An amalgamation of coffee, culture, and art, Arca’s Yard stands as a cafe, library, and museum all at once; hence, its name stands for “Activities & Renaissance for Culture & Arts”. Its menu ranges from pasta and salads, to protein-filled meals like lamb chops, rib-eye steak, and arroz ala cubana.
Address: 777 Tiptop, Ambuklao Rd, Baguio City
12. Canto Bogchi Joint
From a quaint food joint in Engineer’s Hill, to a local favourite at Ketchup Community, Canto (named after its original spot, diyan lang sa kanto) has evolved into a tourist spot on Kisad Road, and for a good reason: It offers reasonably priced Western food, most remarkable is its Lomo Ribs, which you can order as either a half or whole slab, with a choice of either mashed potatoes or brown rice.
As Canto has garnered more fans through the years, its most recent building welcomes bigger numbers of guests, with its luminous interiors, high ceilings, and breathable spaces surrounded by plants.
Address: 25 Kisad Road, Baguio City
Chaya, which means“teahouse” in Japanese, serves authentic Japanese cuisine — from sushi and sashimi, to noodles and rice bowls. Owned by a Filipino-Japanese couple, the restaurant boasts genuine culinary tradition, with most of its recipes rooted in heirloom techniques. Not to be missed is the Cream Anmitsu, a home churned matcha ice cream, served with sweetened red monggo, jelly, fruits, whipped cream, and black sugar syrup.
Burrowed in a modest cottage, Chaya frequently welcomes a number of guests, which often leads it to full capacity. To secure a spot, make sure to call them for reservations beforehand.
Address: 72 Legarda Rd, Baguio City
14. Seollem Cafe
Pine trees, cool weather, and soft lights surround Seollem Cafe, which looks even more aesthetic indoors. The Korean-inspired dessert and coffee shop wears white curved spaces, birch furniture, drop lights, and hanging plants — the perfect look as it plays K-pop music all day.
All this said, Seollem Cafe isn’t just your typical pa-aesthetic coffee shop. Its selection of Korean food and drinks makes it a must-visit. Depending on what type of meal you prefer, you can have Korean fried chicken, street toast, rice bowls, tteokbokki, croffles, or bingsu snow ice to go with your drinks. So don’t miss Seollem Cafe, and ready yourself for the ultimate pang-main-character-ng-K-drama vibes you can get — at least, in the Philippines.
Address: 74 Del Nacia Apartments, Camp 7, Baguio City
15. Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna
Can’t get enough of Mediterranean dishes? Head over to Baguio’s first authentic Greek restaurant, Lemon and Olives. Chef Takis, who hails from Athens, heads the kitchen to offer only bona fide Greek dishes.
Don’t miss its pastitsio, which is basically a Greek version of lasagna, packed with spiced meat and cheesy béchamel sauce. If you want to explore its different flavours, I recommend ordering the poikilia — basically a platter of various appetisers.
Aside from its impressive menu, Lemon and Olives also boasts an impeccable view of the city’s mountains and pine trees.
Address: 26 Outlook Drive, Baguio City
16. Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop
Craving for something sweet?
Even those repulsed by desserts will have their heads turned at Vizco’s; I say this as someone who previously disliked cakes, but instantly fell in love with the Vizco’s strawberry shortcake.
Decades ago, when Vizco’s first opened, the restaurant only offered eight kinds of cakes; but even then, the strawberry shortcake attracted enough customers. Up to this day, the dish allures all the attention — enough to have started a new branch in Manila in the middle of the pandemic.
Porta Vaga Mall, Session Road, Baguio City
Ground Floor, SM Baguio, Baguio City
Fog Photo, Camp John Hay, Baguio City
17. Grumpy Joe
If you’re a burger enthusiast, you’ll surely enjoy Grumpy Joe’s food selection, which leans heavily on Western fare. It serves scrumptious burgers, its namesake dish a must-try with double patties, TLC, an egg, and fries on the side. You can’t miss its pizza, either — most variants oozing with cheese.
Compared to its original branch in Leonard Wood, Grumpy Joe (which currently sits in Gibraltar) now dons a more sophisticated, Scandinavian appeal. But, this aesthetic is certainly just a cherry on top of the heavenly meals this Baguio restaurant offers.
Address: 49 Gibraltar, Baguio City
Affordable Baguio restaurants for families and friends
18. Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant
Celebrating a graduation day? A birthday? Despedida? Reunion? In Baguio, every significant event must be held in Good Taste Restaurant. Its large orders are the epitome of sulit — with a budget of ₱1,500, you can feed a dozen of people with heavy meat and veggie meals, fried rice platters, and towers of juice.
Not sure what to order? The quintessential group meal would include a platter of buttered chicken (₱429 for eight pieces), beef with broccoli (₱284 for four pax), Lomi soup (₱294 for six pax), a plate of fried rice (₱289 for six pax), and a tower of blue lemonade (₱275 for three litres). As for dessert? I recommend ordering leche flan (₱155 for eight pax), but there are several other options for single servings.
Otek Street, Baguio City
8 Lapu-Lapu Street, Baguio City
Rajah Matanda Street, Baguio City (behind Center Mall)
19. Pizza Volante
Every time I visit Baguio, I make sure to drop by Volante. In fact, I have my go-to order (take a breath, because this is pretty heavy): four cheese pizza, mussels in red sauce with white wine pasta, brewed coffee (with one free refill), and chocolate vanilla affair.
In French, volante means “flying,” but in music, it denotes a movement with light rapidity. Volante’s logo, a pizza with wings, confirms its brand: It provides speedy deliveries — and, at present, a 24/7 service, too. While you must visit Volante for its pizza, you can also drop by for a round of dessert, any time after feasting at the night market. But if you prefer staying in and ordering affordable but healthy dishes, Volante also offers delectable meals below ₱100, complete with protein, rice, and veggies.
Session Theatre Building, Session Road, Baguio — Go here for the best-tasting food.
Ordonio Dr, Camp John Hay, Baguio — This branch has a tranquil view of the pine forest.
Wright Park, Romulo dr., Baguio — If you enjoy gigs, this branch sometimes has live bands performing.
20. Hodori’s The Last Bite
You can never go wrong with having samgyupsal in Baguio; those who disagree might’ve never stepped foot inside a Korean restaurant in the city.
With the high population of Korean students in Baguio, several restaurants serving authentic Korean fare spread across the area. While you can go for the ever-famous Korean Palace to eat barbecue while in hanboks, you can also visit Hodori instead — especially if you’re not keen on driving all the way to South Drive.
Hodori sits on Lower Mabini, just a few steps away from Session Road, making it one of the most accessible samgyupsal areas in Baguio. From 10.30am to 9pm daily, the restaurant is open for eat-all-you-can samgyupsal orders for just ₱350 per head.
Address: Lower Mabini Street, Baguio City
21. Yasuragi Japanese Restaurant
If you’re wondering where to eat in Baguio if you’re craving Japanese fare, Yasuragi must top your list. A fairly new restaurant in the city, it has already grown its fanbase for its myriad of fresh dishes, which are also among the most affordable of their kind. Case in point: Its salmon sashimi costs only ₱230 for 10 pieces.
Yasuragi also offers soups, noodles (udon, soba, ramen), makimono, bento meals, poke bowls, and donburis, among others. For bigger groups, you can opt for its set meals starting at ₱850.
Address: 27-A Sofia De Veyra Street, Quezon Hill, Baguio City
22. Habibi’s Grill
Every late February to early March, shawarma stalls adorn the whole course of Session Road for Session in Bloom, so much so that residents call it “shawarma in bloom.” But outside these months, Baguio still has restaurants that offer the smoky treat. Take, Habibi’s Grill, for instance: a restaurant on Bonifacio Street that serves Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Filipino cuisine. Its speciality? Definitely the doner kebab, aka shawarma.
Habibi’s Grill makes a great spot for solo meals, as its kebabs start at just ₱99. But if you decide to bring your friends or family, you can order bilao meals and platters of biryani rice, chicken al kabsah, and felafel, among others.
Address: Ground Floor, Cuesta Bldg. Bonifacio Street, Baguio City
Going on a food trip in Baguio will allow you to experience much more than a variety of flavours. If you choose where to eat in Baguio wisely, you’ll be taken into the fascinating culture of this melting pot in the north.