BAGUIO: A Culinary Experience
There’s no other perfect place to celebrate a post 3rd year anniversary like the romantic “City of Pines”, Baguio! It is also known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” because of its cool climate, fresh, green and peaceful environment. From the foot of the Mountain Province in the northern part of the country, dwells a stunning mountainous terrain of Cordillera. The city is a six-hour drive away from Manila. Me and my Bok left the metropolis at midnight and took a bus bound for Manaoag for our thanksgiving visit after my Bok passed his dentistry licensure exam last year. And then from Manaoag, it took us another 3 hour travel by bus to Baguio and arrived there at nine in the morning. It was a long trip but it was all worth it!
Aside from the magnificent scenery and cool weather of the city especially during the holidays until January to February, Baguio is the best place to experience affordable dining at its best!
Little John’s Convenience Outpost
Our first Baguio meal was at Little John’s Convenience Outpost inside Camp John Hay located at the south eastern side of the city, a 5-minute drive from Upper Session Road-Loakan Road-South Drive rotunda.
Little John’s is a small food joint at the Mile-Hi Center right across the Camp John Hay Commissary (a commercial strip that offers duty free goods at reasonable prices). If you’re looking for a place with a picturesque backdrop while dining, Little John’s is the place to be! It gives you a view of a deserted hanging bridge amidst the tall evergreen pine trees of Camp John Hay.
What I like most of this place is their little art gallery which features various crayon-art works of kids who visited and ate at their place. The recycled papers they used are actually the placemats on the table where kids can creatively draw and color their artwork whilst waiting for their food to be served.
We sampled their baby back ribs Little John’s best-seller for only P145 coupled with a large hot bowl of clam chowder soup. And to complete the meal, we ordered a delightful chocolate fondue served with Baguio’s freshly picked strawberries, slices of bananas and cute little marshmallows! It was a satisfying meal all in all and that’s just the first…can’t wait for the next meal of the day!
Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop
After a visit at Bell Church and an afternoon stroll at Burnham Park, a brisk walk down Session Road serendipitously brought us to this cozy Italian resto-bake shop found only in Baguio known as Vizco’s. Its ambience is like that of Conti’s here in Manila where they also serve flavorful pasta dishes, pizzas, specialty dishes and pastries.
Vizco’s is very prominent in Baguio for their big cinnamon rolls and ensaymadas for only P33. It tastes even better than the cinnamon rolls you buy at Starbucks for about twice the price. I also read that their strawberry shortcake is a must-try!
My Bok hungrily examined their menu and decided to try Vizco’s Italian Gambazette. We also had their Waldorf Salad good enough for two served with Baguio’s bountiful fresh and crisp veggies, chopped apples, grapes celery and a variety of other ingredients in a light mayonnaise dressing. I was craving for fish that time so I chose their Salmon Fillet in Saffron Cream Sauce but had to ask the food server to replace the rice with mashed potato instead. It was a perfect choice! The salmon complimented the mashed potato and that was the creamiest and yummiest mashed potato I’ve ever tasted! A thick slice of the cheesiest and chocolatiest Oreo Cheesecake in Baguio ended our meal.
Tea House Restaurant
On our second day hunt for a place to spend our last meal in Baguio, Me and my Bok were both craving for bulalo (hot beef soup with vegetables enjoyed very much on a cold weather). The night before we thought we passed by a small eatery with the sign “bulalo” in front of its doorstep at Tea House along Session Road, a short walking distance from our hotel only to find out that it was actually “bilao” (a native woven plate usually used for noodles) written on their signage. Their specialty includes pancit bihon guisado, authentic Chinese soup, Korean dishes and specialty cakes.
For our starter, we had Hototay soup a chinese soup dish that has become a part of Filipino cuisine. It can be a complete and filling meal by itself, served with rich and flavorful meat stock and Baguio’s fresh vegetable produce garnishe with slivers of pork meat, pork liver, chicken gizzards, dumplings, mushrooms and vegetables in a clear broth garnished with raw eggs. Sounds exotic? It is!
Then for the main dish, my Bok indulged in a large plate of Mixed Seafoods with broccoli which really looks very appetizing! I went for their Korean barbecue which is sweet and a bit spicy and was plenty enough to share with my Bok.
After our last hearty meal, we headed to Baguio Central Market for our pasalubong shopping. I was surprised to see how tidy and organized their market is. It is the only public market in the Philippines which is considered as a tourist attraction. No trip is complete without a visit to Baguio’s showcase of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, handicraft, silver, peanut brittle, jams and even little souvenirs.
To sum it all up, our Baguio culinary experience was such an unforgettable one! The best city that offers affordable food combined with its panoramic scenery, cool weather and unique ambience. We will always be craving for it for the next couple of months or so!Litte John’s Convenience Outpost Mile Hi Center, Camp John Hay Vizco’s Restaurant and Cakeshop 5C Puso ng Baguio Building
Session Road, Baguio City
Tel. No. (074) 4467082 Tea House Restaurant 87 Session Road, Baguio City