“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring the soul to the recipe”Thomas Keller
Pampanga is known as the culinary capital of the Philippines.
As it is, there is little to no doubt that Kapampangan food remains one of the best there is in the country. That said, food tourism is quite popular in the area—so much so that a genuinely epicurean and gastronomic food adventure can be experienced by locals and visitors.
As there is an abundance of food and coffee places, it is inevitable for Kapampangan food trips to warrant an entirely separate trip of its own. However, while there are innumerable cafes, restaurants, and food hubs you could include in your itinerary during your visit, it is pretty understandable to only go for the best. After all, if you are driving all the way to this part of Luzon, you need to be assured that you get only the best out of your gas mileage in terms of food. So, what are the best Pampanga cafes?
Read on below to discover some of the best Kapampangan restaurants that is both a feast for your stomachs–and your eyes:
1.) Cafe Fleur
Regarded as one of the popular cafes in Pampanga, Cafe Fleur has become quite the landmark in the area. It was founded by celebrity Chef Sau del Rosario and is best known for its authentic Filipino dishes. What makes this cafe famous is that the chef is known to use only the freshest ingredients with a unique and unexpected twist to each dish.
Social media savvy individuals who are looking to curate a better Instagram feed will especially love the cafe’s ambiance as it combines classic charm with rustic Filipino elements. Dining at Cafe Fleur reminds you of family dining with your grandmother preparing her best dishes. Some of the cafe’s must-try dishes are the Kimchi Tapa Fried Rice with Fried Egg, Crispy Pancit Luglug, and Crispy Pork Kare-Kare. Also, do not forget to try their Kape Batirol, which has become the cafe’s hallmark beverage that made them a famous Kapampangan spot.
2.) Sky Garden Cafe and Resto
Korean food enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Pampanga has its own upscale Korean-inspired cafe, Sky Cafe. The restaurant occupies all three floors of the Eclat building, making it a prime area for instagrammable spots. Decorated with elegant and high-end furniture, the cafe is reminiscent of many K-drama scenes where the lead characters go on a date.
Needless to say, this article recommends dining on the roof deck. Alternatively, however, the restaurant also has an alfresco area primed for social media shots as it is peppered with various plants and fairy lights. Some of the cafe’s bestsellers are The Old Prawn with Spinach, Tomahawk Steak, and Salmon Steak. The restaurant also offers an array of desserts, including cheesecakes, Cafe Mocha, and iced chocolate.
3.) 1798 Lifestyle Studio
If you are a food enthusiast looking for a relaxing dining experience, you may want to try 1798 Lifestyle studio. Located in the lush greenery of Tibby’s farm, 1798 Lifestyle Studio offers visitors an experience like no other. As one of the aesthetic cafes in Pampanga, the restaurant undeniably provides a minimalist and effortless chic ambiance. With its relaxed vibe complemented by the verdant surroundings, individuals can look forward to updating their social media feed with scenic photos.
Apart from having an extensive menu, the cafe also offers affordable and delicious eats, including Chicken and Arugula Sandwich, Sardine Aglio Olio, Roasted Sesame Salad, and Tuna Pineapple Sandwich. If you have room for dessert, you may want to wrap up your meal with their Tres Leches Cake.
4.) En Croute Cafe
Located in Clark, En Croute Cafe is a quaint establishment that promises a curated experience and wonderfully delivers with its sophisticated interior and excellent food. Their menu is inspired by European aristocracy—a feat that makes diners feel like they are royalties themselves. Some of the menu items you should definitely try on your visit are Crab Roe Pasta, Salmon En Croute, Herbed Lemon Roasted Cornish Chicken, and for dessert, their Pecan Pie.
5.) Cioccolo Bistro and Cafe
Cioccolo Bistro and Cafe is nestled in an area far from the usual cafes and places people typically visit while in Pampanga. As a result, the cafe offers guests an alternative space where they can relax and enjoy super dessert selections. If you have a sweet tooth and a penchant for indulgent desserts, you are going to love this Kapampangan cafe.
So, if you wish to enjoy a bit of sun and be surrounded by Greek-inspired statues, Cioccolo Bistro and Cafe definitely merits a place on your list.