One place that never gets boring for my family is to go to Tagaytay on a weekend. Sure, traffic is horrendous for a place that’s supposed to be stress-free. But if you time your weekend vacation right, you could find yourself enjoying the Tagaytay you used to know. We have our go-to places for good comfort food, and amazing bread, and warm inns and hotels which always offer the best views of Taal Volcano. I am excited to share with you our favorites, and I hope it will give you some ideas what to check out next time you visit.
Bag of Beans / Charito by Bag of Beans
photo courtesy of phonebooky
We LOVE Bag of Beans because of its affordability, ambiance and good comfort food. It has become so popular that it has popped out like mushrooms everywhere in Tagaytay. Ubiquitous as it has become, we still consider it a nice place to grab good breakfast on the cheap(er). My family’s favorites include the Filipino breakfast meals such as tocino and beef tapa, as well as the shepherd’s pie. I on the other hand love their fluffy pancakes and good Amadeo coffee.
Meanwhile, Charito by Bag of Beans has a slightly different menu from the original Bag of Beans. They have more home-cooked Filipino food and some really good European cuisine that is good for sharing. Here, we never fail to order the Bangus ala Pobre and the Lechon Kawali. It’s a bit pricier than the normal Bag of Beans, but mostly because of the larger servings. This branch also has a killer view of the lake, as well as a nice garden and viewing deck. My son and I always end up spending some time enjoying both view and breeze on the swing below deck. There is no need to hurry here. Parking can be a problem during weekends though, so try to avoid coming in at the tail-end of lunch hour.
Bag of Beans (Main)
Address: 115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West,
Silang Junction South, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite
Hours: 6:30 am to 12 am (usually)
Phone: (046) 413 2723
Charito by Bag of Beans
150 Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika East, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway,
Hours: 6:30 am to 12 am (usually)
Phone: (046) 483 1279
photo courtesy of Antonio's Restaurants PH Website
Dining at Balay Dako needs some planning ahead because the line gets so long during the weekends. We actually prefer to eat here if we happen to be in the area during weekdays, because that’s the best time to ensure you get a seat. If visiting on a weekend, we always choose to have brunch here starting at 10:30am. They open at 6:30 am and offer buffet breakfast, but we like ordering from their ala carte menu because we already have our clear favorites. Being early for the lunch rush will also help you get a good seat with a view of the lake. Try choosing a place beside an open window for the best breezy experience. What we love ordering here is the Bulalo Soup which features 1-kilo of delicious Tagaytay beef deliciousness in slightly salty broth and fresh vegetables. Sure, there are lot’s of good bulalo places in Tagaytay, but the quality of the beef in Balay Dako is the best we have tasted so far. It’s expensive at Php 1,000++ per order, but this is good for at least 8 people to share. We also love their version of Bangus ala Pobre (better than Charito’s), Pinakbet and the Pancit ni Antonio. Dylan loves their garlic fried rice. We all order their home-made ice cream afterwards. Everytime we visit, my husband keeps talking to management to start selling their ice cream by pint, but I think the Antonio group would like to keep it hard-to-get. Try the ube ice cream and be amazed. :D
Address: Tagaytay - Nasugbu Hwy, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite
Phone: (046) 413 4866
photo courtesy of Lifestyle Inquirer
No longer quite the secret restaurant it used to be, I’m afraid. Back then, we can call as late as a Saturday morning and still get reservations approved for lunch that day. They even have time to send you the prix-fixe menu and ask you to choose which one each of the guests would prefer. These days though, it seems everyone wants a taste of their specialty menu and it’s harder to get slots. Reservations are absolutely required. The way it usually goes is that for a set price starting at Php 700/person, you could choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Our favorite apps are the Amalfi Prawns and the Tzatziki with Lettuce Chips. For entrees, we agree to order different viands because we always cannot choose amongst the Italian Porkchop, Beef Tenderloin Kebabs and the Spanish Chicken Casserole. And then finally, for dessert we almost always choose the Panacotta and the Grilled Oranges with Vanilla Ice Cream.
The whole restaurant’s concept is to take you on a Tuscany-inspired journey, starting from the menu offerings up to the ambiance and décor. This is actually nice for a romantic dinner with your partner, but we rarely go without our son. He would just pick off bits and pieces of stuff from our plates, and is just happy to look at the surrounding trees and flowers.
J.P.Rizal St, Brgy Sikat, Tagaytay, Luzon, Philippines
Hours: 11am -9pm
For reservations: +63 917 801 1456
photo courtesy of Appetizing Adventures website
Honestly, we have never dined for lunch or dinner here because we are great carnivores and cannot survive a vegetarian meal even for just 2 hours. But we often go out of the way to go here because we consider it the best panaderia in Tagaytay. I could inhale a pack of their chocolate muffins in under an hour, and they also have the best chives hopia. My husband likes their chocolate cake, and Dylan just opts for the plain (but heavy) pan de sal. They also have a good country store which sells soaps, essential oils and hand-made products.
Also, we come here to buy 2 or 3 salad packs costing Php90 each along with the Sonya’s Gardens secret salad dressing which you could buy for Php 300++ per bottle. I don’t know what is in that dressing, but it must be magic because it can make me eat salad and actually love it.
Note that Sonya’s has a bed and breakfast (which we would love to try another time as a family). My husband who has stayed there for a work outing said that if your group is large enough, you get to access a special menu (that has meat) for large groups only. He said he still dreams of the Beef Kare-Kare until now. If you have a chance, go for it! Edit: I saw recently that the meat menu is now available everyday! Happiness!
Announcement on their FB Page.
For reservations call 0917 532 9097 or visit their FB page.
photo from their FB page
Chateau Hestia is our favorite romantic restaurant back when my husband and I were just dating. It’s off the beaten track, rarely full, has lovely country ambiance, and delicious deli and European dishes. This was also before the time my sister moved to Switzerland and has become our purveyor of great sausages and cheese. I always get the sausage platter plus the onion soup. Appetizer pa lang yan ha? The Green Salad is also yummy, and as entrée I often order the Crusted Salmon or the Beef Stroganoff. My husband is loyal to either the Schnitzel or the Hestia Burger. They have artisanal gelato, and I die with each scoop of the Limoncello.
These days, we still love to go because the restaurant has green verdant grounds our son could safely run around in. Also a bed and breakfast, the whole place is all grass and tall canopies of trees. Then after our meal, we go to their country store and stack up on sausages (Best Bratwurst ever!!!!) and sometimes, cheese. I would go to Tagaytay for Chateau Hestia alone. I hope you also get to try it some time.
Address: J. Hernandez Stree, Cavite Purok 5, Brgy. Bukal, Silang, Cavite, Silang, Cavite
Hours: 9am to 10PM
Phone: 0929 711 3289
Veranda at Taal Vista Hotel
photo courtesy of Booking.com
Taal Vista is overrated as a hotel, but as a restaurant, I consider it to still have the best Kare-Kare in Tagaytay. We also have lots of memories here since this is my parent’s favorite place to hang out any given Sunday when the urge for a road trip hits them. My Daddy loves their coffee (still good until now), and my Mom will order a juice with an umbrella in it but not drink it because either my sister or I already did. Then we will run around the hilly grass and take turns with the binoculars at the viewing deck.
These days, I’m running after my son, who is still too young for the hilly side. Our secret playground is the flat grass-covered area behind the new wing. There is a path that leads to the Sky Ranch for hotel guests and it has a good fence that protects you from getting to near the ravine. It’s rarely used, and this is where I let my toddler roll around and gallop to his heart’s desire. Then of course, we go eat Kare-kare and Pinakbet at the Veranda. On weekends, there are Filipino dance performances to entertain the lunch or dinner crowd. They also have those sometimes annoying table singers who will go around to serenade you for a small tip. If we’re going to give a tip, then might as well request for a song my son will enjoy. Ergo, a cello, guitar and maracas ensemble of Baby Shark it is.
Address: Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite
Phone: (046) 413 1000
I am sure Tagaytay has a lot more hidden gems, and that is why we never get bored going back again and again. If you have your own favorites not on my list, I would love to hear it so we can try it next time. Seriously, hit me up.
On our next post, I will talk a bit on fun things you could do with the family in Tagaytay. Have a happy weekend!
Smell ya later,
Bee and Baby