The secret’s out.
UPDATE: See the Top 10 Most Loved Restaurants in Tagaytay this month!
Tagaytay is home to a number of popular restaurants but, no, this isn’t that kind of list. We love discovering hole-in-the-walls, shady restaurants in alleyways, and quiet cafes with no signs that go unnoticed.
There’s more to Tagaytay than the popular restaurants we all know and love. If you’re willing to go to the dark (not really) side of the city, here are 20 hidden restaurants in Tagaytay you need to try at least once. Don’t forget to add these restaurants to your ‘Must Try’ lists on the Booky app, so you never miss a bite!
Qiwellness Living – Aguinaldo Highway
Qiwellness Living is an Asian fusion teahouse, a bathhouse, and spa destination. It is inspired by centuries-old architecture, cuisine, and healing practices of China, combined with modern design, culinary techniques, and advances in wellness. The tea house offers a la carte menu as well as a ‘yin & yang’ degustation menu that changes with the season and would require an advanced reservation of 48-hours.
The Red Bus Mobile Diner – Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway
The Red Bus Mobile Diner is a cool and hip American food truck diner serving off-the-grill gourmet burgers, burritos, fajitas and milkshakes from a classic 1970 VW Kombi. You can find it at the One Destination Hotel along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway.
The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms – Aguinaldo Highway
Gourmet Farms Inc. is in the agricultural business focused on organic farming of fresh local produce and beans then putting it out into the market. Inside the big farm/estate is The Dining Room where visitors can enjoy their organic menu using ingredients from the fields. They also sell leafy greens, delectable dips and sauces, as well as trademark coffee blends.
Nurture Wellness Village – Pulong Sagingan
A pioneer in the Philippine spa industry, Nurture Wellness Village (formerly known as Nurture Spa) is a DOT-accredited resort and wellness retreat house for ‘ecotherapy’ or healing by and through nature. The customer experience is enhanced by its Filipino-themed décors, spa treatments, and cuisine, you can even pick fresh herbs and greens from their garden if you desire. Walk-ins and day tour packages are available. It is also most famous for its Glamping (glamorous camping) program.
Nanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako – Mayors Drive
Nanay Cirilas is a cafe serving all-day Filipino and English breakfasts, a full list of appetizers, house specialties, signature dishes and desserts. Nanay Cirilas’ Kapeng Barako, which started way back 1955, is not to be missed. Supported by Nanay Cirilas’ daughter-in-law, they were both able to fulfill their dreams of opening a cafe. They are open Friday-Sunday only, strictly by reservation with pre-orders.
Milagros Private Kitchen – Maglabe Drive
Milagros Private Kitchen hosts intimate gatherings and offers a unique and private outdoor dining experience in the comfort of a secluded venue. The menu is personalized and highlights Filipino dishes created with family recipes from Malabon. It also sells bottled gourmet and homemade products. Milagros can accommodate around 16 people and requires a 3-5 days advanced reservation.
Balinsasayaw – Aguinaldo Highway
Balinsasayaw is a bed and breakfast as well as a restaurant serving traditional Filipino dishes and boodles in al fresco huts with overlooking view of Taal. Balinsasayaw is actually Tagalog for a swiftlet, a bird native to El Nido, Palawan and is most famous for producing saliva that makes bird’s nest soup.
Don Limone Grill – Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway
Don Limone is a tucked-away Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that serves ‘fine food and spirits and great cheesecakes‘. A shared passion for Mediterranean and Italian flavors between husband and wife, Allen and Betty Tadayon, brought forth bestselling dishes like the Hummus en Fuego, Steamed Mussels Puttanesca, and Chicken Espetada (skewered chicken). Moreover, Allen, being a native New Yorker, had to include cheesecakes–more than 8 unique variants of them. Don Limone used to be part of the BF Homes community.
Buffy’s – Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road
Buffy’s is a dessert cafe and pasalubong shop selling 100% all-natural, fresh, creamy and healthy carabao’s milk and other dairy products including ice cream, yogurt, cheese and pastillas.
Concha’s Garden Cafe – Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road
Concha’s Garden Cafe is a lifelong dream of owner Gemma Escueta-Sembrano, who has always been passionate about baking and cooking. After convincing three friends to invest in her restaurant, she set out to make her dream come true. Set inside Mother Earth Gardens beside Petron gas station, Concha’s serves home-cooked Filipino dishes and it is named after Gemma’s grandmother, whom she learned cooking from.
Chateau Hestia – J. Hernandez St.
Chateau Hestia brings forth a European dining experience in a country-style home surrounded with lush greens. It offers years of curated recipes from Austrian native, Johannes Zehethofer’s worldly travels. Just like the Greek goddess of the Hearth, Hestia, who made sure the fire of Olympus never died out, Chateau Hestia ensures that customer experience also never dies out.
Cafe Carmencita Fine Cuisine & Cakes – Aguinaldo Highway
Cafe Carmencita is a beautiful and homey cafe set in a residential home that serves ‘home-goodness dining and desserts’. The Filipino-Spanish fusion menu includes a number of hot and house specialty dishes, pasta, cakes and coffee. Mom’s Beef Stew and their Turtle Pie are must-try’s.
Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen – J. Hernandez St.
Bawai is a specialty restaurant serving authentic home-cooked Vietnamese food. Bestsellers include their fresh spring roll, their famous Pho Bo (beef noodles) and ca phe sua da or Vietnamese coffee. The restaurant name, Bawai, means grandmother in Vietnamese and is inspired by its owner Yong, who is fondly called Bawai. Bawai’s already have 2 branches in Manila and one in Nuvali, Solenad.
Rekados – Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road
Rekados serves Filipino dishes with touches of Spanish flavors. Its menu is extensive consisting of soups, appetizers, salads, mains and desserts, it even includes pasta and paella. Don’t forget to visit Gatas Station and Balai Pasalubong when you’re in the area.
Lime & Basil Restaurant – J. Rizal St.
Lime & Basil is a farm-to-table garden cafe offering authentic Thai cuisine from Tagaytay resident, Chef Sigrid Sarmiento. It is a casual and relaxed Asian dining experience where guests can tour and walk around the herb and vegetable gardens. There’s also a craft store inside called Laura’s Yard.
The Lake District – Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway
The Lake District is a new restaurant and drinking lounge built with urban-industrial interiors that complement the cool winds and picturesque view of Tagaytay. The kitchen offers modern Western cuisine by Chef Francis Tolentino, who also co-owns and heads the recently opened Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Cafe in BGC.
Marcia Adams’ – J.P. Rizal St.
Marcia Adams’ is a tucked-away Tuscany-inspired garden restaurant that serves Mediterranean dishes prepared by owner Marcia. It’s for casual lunches and romantic dinner dates. Reserve the sunset lounge for a majestic Tagaytay sunset view.
Reservations are required
JP Rizal St., Bgy. Sikat, Alfonso, Cavite, Tagaytay
+63 917 801-1456
Java Jazz Coffee Shop – Tagaytay-Calamba Road
Java Jazz Coffee is a bed & breakfast, a quaint cafe and art gallery. The cafe is most famous for its Kapeng Pinoy (native coffee), Tsokolate-Eh (thick hot chocolate) and homebaked breads and pastries. It is also known to feature local artists’ through Sining sa Sahig (literally ‘art on the floor’) and jazz music well beloved by the owners.
The Purple Owl – Gardenia Loop
The Purple Owl is an events place that customizes events through their design arm, the Hoot Designs. Whether it’s for a marriage proposal, wedding, family celebration, an anniversary or a ‘just-because’ movie night, The Purple Owl can make it happen. It is also a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner made from Mrs. Gee’s family heirloom recipes. A 3-day advanced booking is required.
Reservations are required
Gardenia Loop, Villa Pura, Tagaytay
Narra Hill Tagaytay – Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway
Narra Hill is a bed and breakfast, and an events venue perfect for a quick vacation, an out-of-city wedding and other special celebrations. They have 4 beautiful rooms available for booking strictly via Airbnb.
Reservations are required (via Airbnb)
Narra Hill, Laurel, Batangas
+63 917 523-3939 (B&B) / +63 917 811-3739 (Wedding & Events)
Got any secret go-to places in Tagaytay? Do share a tip or two in the comments section below, we’d love to discover new places. Keep tagging us on Instagram @bookyapp or hashtag #bookymanila to show us where you’re spending your cheat days.
UPDATE: See the Top 10 Most Loved Restaurants in Tagaytay this month (June 2016)!