Whenever I find myself in Baguio, I make it a point to have a meal in this highland café across the street from Baguio City Hall. I used to think that the ruins were from the big 1991 earthquake that changed Baguio. Turned out that it used to be the pre-war residence of the governor of Benguet destroyed during WWII. You’ll hardly find any ruins today for as you enter, you immediately notice the cozy native and artsy ambience. Visitors may have a glimpse of its ruined past through the photos hanging on the walls.
Known for its organic cuisine, this café first opened its doors in 1988 originally meant to be a place to hangout among friends and artists but grew to be a bastion of the art community of Baguio and a favorite dining spot of both highlanders and lowlanders alike.
Last January, coming down from Sagada, we had a few hours in Baguio and where else did we tread? It was a nice lunch of Forest Stream Soup – a delicious gingery broth with sautéed shitake and watercress.
Tita Susie’s Crispy Tapa – something like crispy adobe in beef, served with mountain red rice.
A glass of Lassie with salt and pepper – different but lovely.
Ruins coffee – mountain coffee filtered with cardamon, topped with whipped cream, muscovado sugar stick and cinnamon powder – not the typical black (no cream, no sugar) coffee I that prefer, the cardamon piqued my fancy. No regrets as the cardamon gave it a nice twist.
Madeleines – originally from France, this cookies seems more like a cake, soft and dense.
And do not leave without trying some of their famous Camote bread which we partnered with Guava Jam and butter. Yum!
If you’re after ambience and organic dishes of the north, make sure to make your way to Café By the Ruins. Their menu changes regularly depending on what’s in season in that part of the cordillera, although they also keep their best sellers such as Longganisang Hubad and Pinikpikan.
Oh and to keep with the topic, I’m off to Baguio tomorrow, by the way, just to chill and maybe enjoy some of the festivities of Panagbenga. Have a nice weekend!
Useful details:Café By the Ruins 23 Chuntug, Baguio City Tel # 442-4010