Admittedly, all of us have been itching to go out and travel because of the cabin fever we’ve all been experiencing because of the year-long quarantine in the country. And since restrictions have started to ease to boost the country’s economy and tourism, people are beginning to book their long-awaited vacations and flights.
One of the first places that many from the city would think of visiting is Batangas— more specifically, Laiya, a barangay in San Juan. It’s known for beautiful white beaches and affordable resorts that provide you with such a comfortable stay, you wouldn’t want to go back to Manila anymore. (Read: Batangas Dive Spots Reopening: Here’s What You Need To Know)
But aside from the restaurants and in-house food establishments in resorts, where else could you go to and eat delicious food in the area? My Pope Philippines lists some must-try restaurants when you visit Laiya!
Must-Try Restaurants in Batangas: Cafeño
Cafeño is an 1890 heritage house turned café in San Juan, Batangas. It was the home of Congressman Apolonio Marasigan and his wife Araceli Lecaroz back in the day, and was transformed into a café and restaurant in 2006. (Read: Get to know this local café that has indigenous farmers as its business partners)
The structure itself was improved but most of the old design was kept that make customers feel like they’ve been transported back to a couple of centuries ago. But it’s not just the ambiance and design that attracts customers to Cafeño— their barako kondensada is an enticer in itself!
Plus all their bread and pastries are made from organic ingredients from their own organic farm, ensuring that customers get the best and healthiest pastries out there. Locals are also able to sell their own products at Cafeño as the owners support local businesses as much as they can.
Must-Try Restaurants in Batangas: Bagong Tahanan
Bagong Tahanan is a fine dining restaurant in Laiya that boasts of its Filipino and Asian Fusion cuisine. Its ambiance is also a plus, as it provides diners with a traditional, homey feel with its wooden furniture and open-air areas. The architecture of the restaurant itself will take you back a couple of centuries with the bricks and woods of the exterior.
A must-try is the ginataang kungo, a gata dish that uses kungo— a kind of Batangas crab that is bigger than the talangka but smaller than the alimasag. The kungo can be found in the mangroves around the area which means you can’t have it anywhere else but Laiya!
Must-Try Restaurants in Batangas: Bulalohan sa Pipisik
If you’re looking for a hangover cure or just want to sip on some hot soup, Bulalohan sa Pipisik is your place to go. They serve steaming bowls of tender bulalo to their customers in nipa huts, allowing them to dine with fresh air. (Read: 3 Scenic Tagaytay Cafés You Should Visit Post-Pandemic)
But it’s not just the bulalo that makes Bulalohan sa Pipisik a must-try in San Juan, Batangas— the view is also a must-see! The location of the restaurant is on the shore of Pipisik Beach, so customers can actually dine while hearing waves crashing and watching the sun set and the skies turning a breathtaking shade of pink and purple. Now that’s definitely a good way to end the day!