LIST: Romantic restaurants in Sagada for your Valentine’s getaways
People often equate Sagada with adventurous activities like hiking, caving, or as a simple escape from the urban jungle. What they may be missing out on is its value as a romantic destination. In case you just want to take it easy, this lovely town in the Mountain Province offers a peaceful destination any time of the year, and a romantic haven for Valentine’s month because of the cooler climate and charming local restaurants.
Whether you’re planning a romantic couple getaway, traveling with friends or family, or embarking on a much-needed solo trip for self-love, here are some of the dreamiest restaurants to try in Sagada.
Gaia Cafe is a cozy community treehouse-inspired cafe that offers a view of Ambassing Valley on the way to Sumaguing Cave. The cafe, which was featured in the 2014 Filipino romantic comedy That Thing Called Tadhana, is a favorite dining destination among couples and tourists visiting Sagada. While Kiltepan Peak, another iconic location from the film, still remains closed to visitors as of February 2023, you can still recreate your sweet “Mace and Anthony” moments in the cafe. The cafe also serves as a craft shop for souvenirs and a mini-library, with a good selection of books and magazines guests can read for free. There’s also a working piano for the musically inclined.
Gaia Cafe serves local organic food made with all-natural ingredients (mostly vegetarian and vegan fare) and aims to have zero-waste operations. The cafe’s specialties include Adobong Tofu (P220), Pesto Pasta (P220), GAIA Camote Fries (P150), GAIA Sandwich (P150), along with desserts like Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies (P150) and Chocolate Chip Cookies (P150), and Brownie Ala Mode (P120). You could easily spend the whole morning or afternoon just reading or writing with a cup of Sagada Coffee, Mountain Tea, fruit shakes, or beer in this lovely spot.
Misty Lodge and Cafe
If you only have a couple of days to spare in Sagada, make sure to put Misty Lodge and Cafe high at the top of your must-dine list. This local favorite is a pleasant walk away from the town church in the main town proper. Misty Lodge and Cafe serves reasonably priced and quality pizzas, burgers, steaks, breakfast meals, yogurt, and refreshments. Pizza choices (which range in price from P425 to P440) include Quattro Formaggi, All-Meatza, Bacon Hawaiian, Margherita, and Pepperoni.
You can also enjoy fine dining with steaks for less than P500 and burgers (classic, cheeseburger, etc.) priced at P210 to P250 each. Homemade yogurt is priced at P95 per serving. Misty Lodge and Cafe also serves coffee, hot choco, tea, wine, and beer, in case you need an excuse to lounge around by their cozy fireplace or al fresco dining area longer.
Rock Inn and Cafe
Rock Inn and Cafe is another lovely dining spot in Sagada worth hunting down. The restaurant is located in Rock Inn, a lodging house with its own orange orchard, where you can go orange picking depending on the season. Since this is about 2.6 kilometers from the main town proper, it doesn’t get as crowded as the smaller restaurants on the main street. Cafe Bodega has a large enclosed restaurant for larger groups and families and a small al fresco dining section beside the garden area and gazebo with a fire pit.
Enjoy all-day breakfast favorites, Traditional Pinoy Classics, Omelettes, Farm Specials, and more, priced at P250 up. The restaurant also has a wide selection for their lunch and dinner menu with servings of fish, chicken, pork, beef, and vegetables usually good for 2-3 people, and an international beer selection.
Toast Ave. & Co.
In the mood for Seoul-searching for your brunch date? Established in December 2022, Toast Ave. & Co. is a newly opened aesthetic cafe that has a DIY Yogurt Bar (P90-P125 depending on toppings) and serves all-day breakfast (P220), Egg Drop Sandwiches (P130-P145), toast, waffles, and more.
The airy, well-designed space has swing seating on a small veranda and a second-floor loft area with low tables where guests can play tabletop games like sungka and cards. The modern and minimalist spot reminiscent of South Korean cafes is a contrast to the darker, more rustic cabin-like interiors of other Sagada cafes, and offers reasonably priced dishes. They also have a large tea selection and sell unique food products and other items.
Log Cabin is one of the most well-known restaurants in Sagada, established back in 1991. The smokehouse and restaurant is popularly known for its Saturday and special occasion buffets prepared by French Chef Aklay. However, the weekend buffet is strictly by reservation and can be very in demand among tourists, since the town just recently eased travel restrictions after years-long pandemic lockdowns.
In case your visit doesn’t fall on a weekend, you can still walk in at Log Cabin for lunch or dinner to try their other set menu specialties with mains like Roast Chicken or Roast Pork. Be sure to try their earthy Wild Mushroom Soup and freshly baked bread/pastries using local ingredients like Sagada Cookie Slabs and Sagada Stollen, which are sold every Thursday.
Clay House Wine Bar
Fancy some wine tasting in Sagada? Wine not? Enjoy sampling fruit wines from local winemaker Piitik Wines with a refreshing view at the Clay Haus Wine Bar. Clay Haus Wine Bar is an Honesty Wine Bar and tasting room where tourists can sample local fruit wines like Blueberry Wine, Bugnay, Tapuey, Persimmon, Traditional Rice Wine, and more for just P60 per glass.
You can also order bottles of wine for P150 each to drink at the bar or take home as souvenirs, along with packs of Single Origin coffee from “Kape’n di Umili ay iSagada” (Coffee of the Villagers of Sagada), from their flagship farm located along the Echo Valley of Sagada.
Sagada Cellar Door
For craft beer lovers, Sagada Cellar Door is one of the best local brewpubs in the Cordillera region that you can visit. The outdoor bar serves Cerveza Sagada, handcrafted beer that makes use of local ingredients like honey, Sagada orange zest, native heirloom rice, and more on tap, in an amazing location surrounded by pine trees. Nothing beats drinking beer by a bonfire at night.
For those without their own vehicles, getting to Sagada Cellar Door usually takes a be about a 20-minute walk (1.5 km) up from the main town proper, but trust me, this spot is definitely worth the effort. Look out for the junction in the road near Sagada Pottery. Guests can walk in from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (they close relatively early at 9:00 p.m.) for beer and sausages for a P250 consumable fee per person. Dinners here can also be arranged at least three days before your visit, and are strictly by reservation.
Tourists in Sagada are encouraged to walk around town since the streets are too narrow for cars to park in most places. But in case you’re not in the mood for a long walk every time you want to head out for a meal, you can now hire a Tricab, a new mode of transportation launched in Sagada this January 2023. This way, you can easily access most of the restaurants on the outskirts of town.
This article LIST: Romantic restaurants in Sagada for your Valentine’s getaways was originally published in PhilSTAR L!fe