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Here's Where to Try Authentic Cordilleran Food in Baguio

by Kim Meadows

One of the best things about traveling to new places? Trying out the authentic, local cuisine you won't find anywhere else.

IMAGE: Benjo Trinidad

The Cordilleran diet is rich in salty, savory meats and crisp vegetables. Immersion may be the ideal way to experience and understand another culture, but you don't necessarily have to trek the mountains in order to taste authentic Cordilleran food. In fact, you don't have to go any further than downtown Baguio!

1. Café Cueva, Ili-Likha Artist Village

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If you find yourself on Session Road and at a loss for where to have lunch, just make a right turn onto Assumption Road and head over to Ili-Likha Artist Village. You'll find authentic Cordilleran food at Café Cueva, as well as healthy options for those concerned about their cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Café Cueva gets its name from its original location in the village which made it look like it was inside a cave ("kuweba" in Filipino).

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As Filipinos, we love our rice, but you'd be surprised how some Filipino food goes quite well with the right kind of bread. Café Cueva's kiniing wrap is an excellent example. Kiniing is meat that has been salted and smoked often over eucalyptus wood. This process preserves the meat and gives is a distinctly strong flavor. The kiniing is served with vegetables in Italian ciabatta bread.

Café Cueva, Ili-Likha Artist Village
Assumption Road
2600 Baguio City
(02) 74 442 4880
Daily, 8AM - 8PM


2. Farmer's Daughter

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Culminate a trip to Tam-awan Village with a hearty meal at Farmer's Daughter. It's one of those places where you know offers truly Cordilleran. They do not serve fusion dishes, only honest-to-goodness, authentic Ibaloi fare. The restaurant is unapologetically traditional in the best way, thanks to the fresh ingredients and coconut shell bowls.

INSTAGRAM: twicecookedadobo

Don't be shy about asking questions before you order. There is a good variety of protein-rich dishes to try. Whatever meat viand you decide on, however, be sure to order pakpako salad on the side. This humble dish uses ferns instead of lettuce, as ferns are more readily available in many areas. It makes for a crunchy and refreshing side dish to balance out the strong flavors that usually come with Cordilleran meats.

Farmer's Daughter
Long Long Benguet Road
Awan Village Baguio 2601 Benguet
(02) 74 428 1253
Daily, 9AM - 8PM
tamawanvillage@gmail.com


3. Café Yagam

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Merienda is part of everyday Filipino life that we sometimes neglect when work gets hectic. Make it a point to slow down in the afternoon and enjoy it while you're in Baguio. Visit Café Yagam and sample their kiniwar and freshly brewed coffee, which is especially comforting in rainy weather.

INSTAGRAM: jhaddict

Many Filipino cuisines incorporate rice into desserts and snacks like suman, puto, kutsinta, and sapin-sapin, to name just a few. Kiniwar is the northern version of glutinous rice cake. They serve it hot with tagapulot (unrefined muscovado sugar) sauce and ladek. The top layer of ladek, which is also called latik, gives the indulgence in this dessert.

Café Yagam
25 J.Felipe Street
Lualhati, Baguio
2600 Benguet
(074) 442 3805
Daily, 11AM - 11PM


Planning a trip to Baguio? Get some inspiration from our Travel Guide for a list of things to See, Eat, and Do in Baguio! Check out our other exclusive partner resorts in Baguio.

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About Kim
Kim is the voice of the weekday show Krunch Time on 103.5 KLite FM. Born in California and raised in Baguio, she moved to Manila to get her master's degree in Women and Development Studies from UP Diliman. Watercolor, cooking, and video games are three things she is not particularly good at but enjoys nonetheless.

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