“Food brings people together on many different levels. It is the nourishment of the soul and body; it is truly love”– Giada De Laurentis.
Located up north, the province of Laguna is often associated with childhood memories of holiday vacations and summer weekend getaways spent with family.
It is no question that the province is known and well-loved for its many resorts. However, recent years have seen a burgeoning potential for Laguna’s food scene. That, complemented by its easier access from Metro Manila to the province, means that urban dwellers can spend or dedicate an entire day in Laguna without having to worry about staying the night. As a result, the province is becoming increasingly popular among food enthusiasts and food bloggers.
Today, Laguna has a slew of cafes, eateries, and restaurants that are definitely worth the trip. After all, no trip to this province is ever complete without filling your stomach with good food. From dining with a view and gallery cafes to heritage restaurants, this article has expertly curated a list of the best dining spots around the province that are definitely worth the trip and the visit.
1.) Del Mano’s (Santa Rosa)
Nuvali is a known pit stop for travelers heading to Laguna. Oftentimes, it is where they stop for food or restaurant searches. This means that other places, such as Santa Rosa, are vastly overlooked. However, travelers up north should not be quick to dismiss Santa Rosa as a potential dining spot. If you wish to explore your options and widen your scope, check out Del Mano’s. Tucked in a quiet subdivision near Enchanted Kingdom, Del Mano’s is a homegrown restaurant well-loved for its chicken wings, steaks, and other grilled specialties.
If you have a hankering for grilled food, this is the place to be.
2.) Chef Mau (Liliw)
Chef Mau is a beloved restaurant in Liliw, Laguna, that specializes in local comfort food and fusion dishes such as Pinoy Caesar salad made with adobo flakes and Thai Tilapia. Owing to its popularity with the locals, the restaurant has two branches. The original is a Bahay Kubo structure located in Barangay Bangkok, while the other is situated in the town center.
3.) Arabela (Liliw)
Another well-loved restaurant in Liliw, Laguna, is Arabela. In fact, the restaurant is a crowd favorite among locals, and favorites that it has become synonymous with Liliw when it comes to food. To get to the restaurant, you need to go to the heart of the old town. In there, you will be served plates generously filled with Italian staples perfect for filling your social media feeds. Indeed, this quaint and sophisticated Italian restaurant is the ideal spot for intimate date nights and for families to share a meal together.
4.) Ted’s Kitchen (Santa Cruz)
If you are looking for something a little more casual, head on over to Ted’s Kitchen. The restaurant is known for its excellent American food, such as steaks, burgers, and their beloved buffalo wings. As a result, it is lauded as the perfect hangout spot for a Western fare. The unassuming restaurant is styled after an American diner, but it is made cozier and more comfortable. So, if you are looking for an American meal, make a stop at Ted’s kitchen, and do not forget to sample their mouthwatering pastries and desserts as well.
5.) Aurora Filipino Cuisine (Santa Cruz)
Elevate your Filipino dining experience by having a meal at Aurora Filipino Cuisine. Housed in a century-old house, the restaurant highlights familiar Pinoy favorites that we have grown to love and local specialties unique to Santa Cruz as well. In this way, not only will diners be served Filipino food items that are expertly cooked, but they are offered a glimpse of the city’s local heritage through the restaurant’s various dishes as well. Ensaladang Santa Cruz (fern salad) and Inalamangang Baboy (crispy pork belly in shrimp paste) are just some of the things you should definitely try.
6.) Patis Tito Garden Cafe (San Pablo)
Another restaurant specializing in classic Filipino dishes is Patis Tito Garden Cafe. With the restaurant’s curated menu, you can get yourself reacquainted with your Philippine heritage through the food they serve, the nature surrounding you, and the art and general architecture of the restaurant. Apart from the famous garden cafe, the establishment also offers bed and breakfast services that will truly be an extraordinary experience that takes you back in time. Some of the must-try crowd favorites are Pinoy Pancit Canton, Tofu and Togue Spring Rolls, and Beef Steak Onions with Potatoes.
7.) Sulyap Gallery Cafe (San Pablo)
Another heritage restaurant that is definitely worth the visit is Sulyap Gallery Cafe in San Pablo City. Also, if you have a penchant for the arts, you should definitely include Sulyap Gallery in your itinerary. The charming cafe and restaurant are located in the same compound as two heritage homes filled with antiques and art pieces from centuries ago. To elevate the native ambiance, the menu primarily offers traditional Filipino dishes. However, there are a few choices of western dishes if you wish to try something else. Menu items that you should definitely try are the Gambas Alajillo, Beef Sirloin in Red Sauce, and Tulingan Pasta.