On the whole, Tanay is one of Metro Manila’s neighbouring provinces that present an alternative lifestyle to the metropolitan’s seemingly perpetual hustle and bustle.
With just a little over an hour of travel from the capital of the Philippines, tourists, travellers and explorers can already expect to experience a myriad of delights in terms of intrepid exploits. While most people visit Tanay to experience the great outdoors through camping, the unassuming but charming Tanay town in Rizal province is often overlooked by tourists despite its proximity from Metro Manila. But if you gave this delightful little town of Tanay a chance, you might be surprised to discover its potential of being an epicurean destination.
Apart from having a wealth of natural attractions, Tanay is also known for its outdoor activities and opportunities for camping. In fact, bold travellers who are in pursuit of their next adventure can often be seen around Tanay doing outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, swimming or spelunking in the town’s famous featured cave. However, Tanay is not only a place for the fearlessly bold and adventurous travellers; it is a gastronomic haven of all sorts to food enthusiasts as well. Tanay is one of the Philippine provinces that have some of the best homegrown restaurants serving up food items that will certainly beguile your senses and delight your taste buds.
So, if you have been planning to visit the province any time soon, take your taste buds on a ride and never miss the chance to try the Tanay restaurants listed below:
BULAWAN FLOATING RESTAURANT
A feast for both your eyes and stomach; Bulawan Floating Restaurant is one of those unconventional eateries that go beyond just serving you your food. Situated in Pililla, the floating restaurant offers a unique and alternative dining experience for travellers visiting this side of Rizal. While it does not actually float on water, the restaurant somehow gives you that impression as it is primarily surrounded by fish ponds (catfish and tilapia). Patrons are also welcome to catch fish using a rod made of bamboo. And if they are lucky enough to get a bite, they can buy their catch and have it cooked and served to them as a meal– which altogether makes the dining experience unlike any other. The place mostly serves native food and a selection of fresh seafood. If you wish to dine in the restaurant, be sure to have enough cash with you as they do not accept credit cards.
Travellers returning from Daranak Falls might want to make a pit stop at Kata Café which is just located along the highway in Tanay Rizal. Apart from their delectable and mouth-watering affordable menu items, Kata Café is known for its cozy and inviting ambience that makes it an ideal stopover for travellers returning from their tours. As a Filipino casual dining restaurant specializing in native and Pinoy cuisine, some of the restaurant’s must-try food items are the sizzling grilled dishes that have group order variants. Those dining in groups will also enjoy the restaurant’s Bilao offers which include a variety of dishes at a significantly cheaper rate.
KAINAN SA TABING LAWA
Kainan Sa Tabing Lawa is one of those often overlooked ordinary and modest restaurants located by the side of the street. However, you should not be quick to pass judgment as the eatery just might surprise you. The restaurant is a big rustic cottage built of nipa and bamboo, and its interiors are certainly nothing to brag about with only ordinary chairs and tables. Oh, and there is no air conditioning too. However, what the restaurant lacks in its exterior and interior decors, it more than makes up for in its ambience.
The name itself literally translates to “An eatery beside the lake” which should already give you a hint of what is in store: A lake view of waterlilies and the towering landscape in the background. In this regard, most people would often stop for the view but stay for the food. Some of the restaurant’s best dishes are the buko chop suey and fried chicken which is said to have a moist and flavorful flesh underneath a crispy skin.
Just an hour and a half’s drive away from Manila, it is quite difficult to believe that you can have a glimpse of Baguio in the form of Paseo Rizal Mayagay in Tanay. To travellers who have a penchant for comfort food, serenity and nature, you have come to the perfect place. While the restaurant mostly serves typical Filipino meals such as bulalo, pancit, tapsilog and the like, it also has its fair share of sandwiches, nachos and drinks. However, it has been said that most people come here for the ambience and that everything else is just secondary—including the food. Dining is not your typical restaurant setting wherein everything is located in one or two-floor settings. This restaurant has stairs where you are welcome to have your pictures taken. Incidentally, the stairs lead to other cottages that come with an even greater expanse and view than the ones you have previously seen. In this regard, expect to have a bit of a difficulty in choosing which table to sit and stay. Apart from the picturesque surroundings, the place also showcases a collection of interesting art which ranges from the wooden sculptures peppered all over the restaurant to the paintings made by local artists. More than just a restaurant, Paseo Rizal also doubles as an arts venue and music bar for special gatherings.
Known as the little Italy of Rizal, Lutong Pugon is a beautiful but clandestine restaurant situated right next to the home and studio of local artist Jun Tiongco. For more precise directions, Lutong Pugon is located near the intersection of Tanay and Sampaloc before you get to Camp Capinpin and Regina RICA. While the place looks largely unassuming, the restaurant itself is a delight of all sorts. Once you make your way through the garden walkway, expect to be transported to a quaint but cosy restaurant with an artistic bohemian vibe. The restaurant primarily serves wood-fired pizza, pasta and a collection of mains. The name of the restaurant itself refers to food items cooked by an oven. If you came here for the full experience, do not leave without trying their speciality gourmet pizza made with ingredients sourced all the way from Italy.
MT. TARANGKA COFFEE SHOP
Also known as Cherry’s Store, Mt. Tarangka Coffee Shop is a rustic wooden sari-sari store and carinderia. While the coffee shop itself is nothing special, the addition of several thatch-roofed bamboo cottages overlooking the rolling hills in the expanse makes the place worthy of a stop. This no-frills coffee shop serves straightforward food items that are delicious and filling. The restaurant also has a gift shop where guests can pick up a treat or souvenir for people back at home.
Katerina is one of Tanay’s many restaurants that complement your dining experience with a scenic view. The café, like many of Tanay’s homegrown restaurants, serves Filipino dishes but what makes it stand out is its location. As it is situated atop a hill, the café affords a scenic overlook of Tanay, Rizal area all the way to Laguna de Bay making it one of the most idyllic locations for enjoying your afternoon cup of coffee. They have a wide selection of dishes available from breakfast to dinner, but their specialties are primarily the “silog” dishes which are best paired with coffee.
Tanay, indeed, has a wealth of homegrown restaurants that will certainly beguile travelers passing by. With a myriad of cafes, restaurants and eateries complemented by breathtaking and picturesque sights, visiting Tanay will certainly be worth your while After all, Tanay is a place where you stop for the sights but stay for the food.