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Creative interiors will make you go to these 10 destination resto-cafes

Text and photos by JOSEPH T. BAUTISTA

One of the joys of traveling around the Philippines is finding places where you can savor good food and, at the same time, be wowed by the place itself. Sometimes, these restaurants and cafes also double as art galleries or historical monuments, mostly to house the collections of the owner who wish to share the artworks, artifacts, and antiques with the public.

Serving food—really good food popular in their area—is just their way of inviting more visitors, but to make them stay longer, the interiors are an added attraction, as their place is the only one of its kind. Aside from a profitable food business, I’m sure that the owners are also happy to see people appreciating the interior design and posting photos on social media.

Here are 10 destination restaurants around the Philippines which one must visit. As you enjoy their food, look up the ceiling, check the artworks, observe how they creatively utilized wood and metal. The experience will not only satiate your hunger, it will also bring you a “filling” visual treat.

GAIA CAFÉ
(Sagada, Mountain Province)

Gaia

Made popular by the movie That Thing Called Tadhana, this coffeeshop is now on every tourist’s list of must-visit places in the highlands. It serves tasty vegetarian dishes and refreshing mountain coffee. Wood is a dominant element and gives off a rustic vibe, which complements the magnificent view of greens below and the blue above.

BALE DUTUNG
(Angeles City, Pampanga)

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Owned by Chef Claude Tayag and his wife Mary Anne, this restaurant inside Villa Gloria Subdivision showcases the best in Kapampangan cuisine. Lunch is by reservation only and usually takes hours as each dish must be savored at a leisurely pace. The place also has a gallery of works by various artists.

BAHAY NA BATO
(Luna, La Union)

Bahay na Bato

Located in Barangay Nalvo Norte, the house and all the structures inside the compound are made from stones and pebbles that are found along the beach of Luna. The house started as a resthouse of doctors Edison and Purita Chan-Noble in 2000. Today, it has a restaurant that serves Ilocano dishes.

BENCAB’S CAFÉ SABEL
(Baguio City)

BenCab

A Baguio attraction, a visit to this museum to see the works of National Artist Ben Cabrera is not complete without trying out the offerings at Café Sabel. Fresh vegetables and herbs from an organic farm are prepared daily to serve the museum crowd. Appreciate the artworks hanging on the walls while you enjoy your meal.

SITIO REMEDIOS
(Currimao, Ilocos Norte)

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This private resort village by the sea houses a typical Ilocano village from the past. Representative houses from the region were transported and rebuilt to remind visitors of a more genteel era. Its restaurant by the beach highlights native materials with its truly Filipino interiors. Enjoy generous servings of Ilocano dishes like pinakbet and bagnet.

SULYAP GALLERY CAFÉ
(San Pablo, Laguna)

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Located inside the Cocoland Compound, Sulyap Gallery houses the owner’s vast collection of antiques. Its café prides itself with “A Taste of the Past” menu that includes slow-cooked beef caldereta and nata con manga. The interiors of the café, including its furniture and design, are also a nod to the past.

CASA SAN MIGUEL
(San Antonio, Zambales)

Casa San Miguel

The Center for the Arts in San Antonio (CASA) is a project of violinist Coke Bolipata. Casa San Miguel trains the children of farmers and fisherfolk into young musicians who make up the Pundaquit Virtuosi. It has Backstage Café, which serves Italian and Spanish meals that make the long drive to Zambales truly worth it. At night, the golden
glow of lights adds elegance to the place’s idyllic ambience.

KALUI RESTAURANT
(Puerto Princesa, Palawan)

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One of Palawan’s most popular restaurants, KaLui makes dining enjoyable with its offerings of freshly cooked seafood. It also houses a gallery of works by local artists. Though its interior is mostly made of wood, elements such as colorful masks, flower painted walls, and artworks pop out in various corners to add an artsy vibe.

THE BAZAAR
(El Nido, Palawan)

The Bazaar

Located inside a compound at El Nido town, The Bazaar houses several galleries and boutiques. It is the best place to chill at night after a full day of island hopping. Its interiors are a mix of wood, stone, and nipa.

CASA RAP
(San Jose, Batangas)

CasaRap2

A“Slow food restaurant” that tests one’s patience is what Casa Rap is. But to the unhurried, it serves delicious Pinoy comfort food in an idyllic garden setting. Visitors can check the galleries, several gardens, and a prayer room while waiting for the meal to arrive.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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