Places to Eat in Banaue
Banaue is famous for its wondrous hand-carved terraces and exceptionally kind-hearted locals, but even more than these two things, traditional food in the Ifugao province distinctly fuses heritage and culture.
What to eat in Banaue
The cuisine in Banaue is generally very good, with plenty of rice, local vegetables and meat combinations. Ingredients and spices that are used in the dishes are fresh, tasty and wholesome and the meals in general are excellent value for money.
Due to the Ifugao province being drenched in tradition and culture means that if travellers decide to embark on a culinary journey within Banaue they have the opportunity to be richly rewarded. With food being an integral aspect of heritage and tradition, travellers can delight in a variety of unique, local delicacies and native beverages.
The freshly brewed native coffee is hot, strong and the ideal way to begin a day of exploring the beautiful payo or rice terraces. Thankfully this delicious beverage seems to be served across the Ifugao province.
A sweet native, treat to try is binakle. These are delicious sticky-rice and sesame cakes wrapped in banana leaves and are excellent treats to pack in your backpack for an on-the-go, midmorning snack. Additionally with over 300 heirloom rice varieties being grown in the Philippines, leaving Banaue without trying their signature tinawon rice would be a pity.
In the same way that the native coffee is the perfect way to begin a day in Banaue, the ideal beverage to bring the day to a close, is over a generous cup of local rice wine after dinner. Ifugao rice wine can be found at most inns and restaurants in Banaue. This sweet drink is best shared with friends (new and old), over a delicious meal of pancit, whilst being entirely mesmerized and enchanted at the magic of the rice terraces.
General notes on restaurants
The large majority of accommodation options in Banaue have restaurants on site; offering travellers tasty, convenient dining options.
Being an early-to-rise town, the restaurants in Banaue usually close their doors at 9pm and travellers are advised to order well before then to avoid going to bed with growling stomachs.
Superb local dishes can be sampled at Banaue Homestay on Mountain Province Road, only 150m from the bus stop. Rice accompanies main dishes, ingredients are fresh and mango for dessert is included in the +- 150PHP meals. Banaue Homestay also offers International cuisine for those missing the comforts and familiarity of home.
Meals with a view
Dining on the edge of a balcony, high above the rice terraces, 7th Heaven’s Café not only offers great food but serves it with a complimentary breath-taking view from 8am to 8pm daily. Large portions of local, home-cooked food are the order of the day and the restaurant atmosphere is homey as a result of decorative wood carvings and native art.
Another affordable restaurant with superb scenery is People’s Inn. Only 15 meters from the Tourist Information Office one will find a variety of dishes, such as, rice, omelets, salad, pancit (local, Filipino noodles) as well as a full breakfast menu. The restaurant also offers free Wi-Fi, an internet café and a souvenir shop on site.
Native Village Inn located on Approach Road is a unique mountain lodge with gorgeous panoramic views. The cozy restaurant with an inviting fireplace serves delicious local and international cuisine. Slightly more expensive than most other restaurants in Banaue, this highly acclaimed restaurant exceeds all expectations. Extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus accompany the magnificent view and great service. Last orders for dinner are taken at 7pm.
Western and International Food
International food options are also available in Banaue, although a fair bit pricy than local fare. Local dishes as well as steak, chicken, fish, soup and pancakes are options if dining at Las Vegas Lodge. With ethnic art on display, live music, free Wi-Fi and great food, Las Vegas Lodge is a popular dining option for those traveling Banaue. Located on Isabela Boundary Road, this restaurant comes highly recommended for its affordability and flavoursome meals.