Places to Eat in Sagada
Food in Sagada is simple yet tasty. Although not as cheap as the rest of the Philippines, portions are mostly generous and very flavoursome. Fortunately, wanting to save money on food can easily be done in Sagada due to the majority of accommodations providing common kitchens for guests to whisk up a budget meal or two. Buying cheap, fresh ingredients as well as affordable cooked dishes is possible on Saturdays in Sagada thanks to the Local Weekend Market. This bustling market filled with delicious smells and tastes, is rich in local flair and flavour and is a wonderful place to sample local dishes at wallet-friendly prices.
Pinikpikan is a chicken dish that many locals are very proud of. It involves beating a live chicken to death with a stick. It is said that the bruising brings the animal’s blood to the surface and improves the flavour of the meat. While we are consistently very respectful of other cultures and traditions, this practice doesn’t sit comfortably with us for ethical reasons. This torture practice violates the Philippine Animal Welfare Act and it is up to each individual traveller to inform and educate themselves, and to then make their own minds.
Dishes to order is Sagada
Tastier, healthier and more attractive in Instagram photos is the native, red rice grown and traditionally picked in Sagada. Many eateries in Sagada use this rice variety and visitors can even purchase a bag from local stores to take home as an edible souvenir.
Sagada is also well-known and recognised for its homemade yoghurt and this tasty treat is offered in many of the cafes and restaurants in a variety of yoghurt dishes and fruit lassies. Sampling this town specialty is best done on the rustic balcony of the popular Yoghurt House. Only a short walk from the bus station and tourist centre, this cozy spot is ideal for popping by before or after a strenuous day of spelunking and hiking. In addition to their yoghurt, they also serve excellent pastas and scrumptious vegetarian food. Operating hours are from 7am until 8:30pm.
Orange picking at Rock Farm Inn is another fun way to frolic away the day and the renovated barn on site is now the homey and snug Bodega Café serving up massive portions of delicious Filipino food. After ordering, we highly recommend venturing into the pretty, 9-hectare, orange orchard and picking some of the citrus treats to take home at 50PHP per kilogram. Entrance fees into the orchard are PHP50 per person but included in this price is an all-you-can-eat citrus buffet. With the sun gently basking down on the groves of orange trees, the fresh air and fragrant blossoms, this is an idyllic setting to spend a mealtime. Address: Orange Drive, Rock Farm, Batalao, Sagada.
Needing to carbo-load before a demanding day of outdoor activities? Salt and Pepper Diner has you covered. Piping hot meals are lavishly laid onto plates from 6am until late and picnic baskets can even be ordered to accompany you on your hike. Wonderful Filipino specialities as well as vegetarian dishes are best savoured on the wooden veranda in this top-notch diner.
Do not let outward appearances deceive you, the famous Lemon Pie House is up there with the best of them. Ignore the shabby exterior of this fine restaurant, located en route to the caves, and take a seat inside. With funky artworks hanging from the wooden walls, cheerful chatter and the promise of the café’s speciality – lemon pie, it’ll be impossible to leave disappointed. This popular restaurant on South Road is well priced, has excellent coffee and a variety of scrumptious savoury meals.
Western and International Food
For creamy pastas, international cuisine, tasty Filipino dishes and a fine wine selection, be sure to head over to Log Cabin Restaurant and Bar on Besao Road. Regarded as the most popular eatery in Sagada, Log Cabin is recognized for its elegant interior and creative menu. Every Saturday night there is an all-you-can-eat buffet for around PHP400, cooked by the owner and chef, Chef Aklay. Be sure to make a reservation as walk-in customers are not always served.
Located in the centre of town, Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant is a unique place to eat and dine despite the somewhat slow service. Beautifully displayed on the dining area hall, hangs a stunning collection of photographs by the late photographer, Eduardo Masferre. The photographs consist largely of traditional Igorot people as well as the stunningly famous rice terraces. The inn makes their own bread and are popular for their sandwiches and Filipino meals.