A haven for surfers to chill and listen to some bands and electronic music play. Surf Shack is inspired by the stoked lifestyle as evidenced from the many surfboards adorning the walls. Surfing photos in action and portraits almost filling up one side of the wall. Surf Shack is also home to local cocktails, craft beers and fusion pizza.
With a witty play of words on the Filipino term kubo, Cube-O Grill (pronounce as kub-o) is a native style, open-air restaurant mostly made mostly of beautiful hardwood materials. The restaurant serves Filipino cuisine. Their staple Cube-O Salo-salo platter has grilled goodies, beer food, vegetables and three kinds of rice (garlic anchovy, java and plain rice). A set meal best served to a group of friends and family coming from an exhilarating surf session or coming back from a trek at Tangadan Falls in La Union.
There’s a reason to be mad about Mad Monkeys in La Union — this small street corner stall sells only one dish – burgers! But boy, are they so good at it. Cue the funky jazz tunes, have a cold beer in hand and chomp on their Classic Burger (Php 180). In between the burger buns are one-inch thick and juicy 180gm burger patties laced with melted cheese and smothered in beer sauce. Owner, Mateo, an avid traveler, got inspired by the Mad Monkey’s hostel in Cambodia and decided to bring its chill backpacker vibe to La Union. He originally came here to surf but fell in love with the place, eventually setting up shop in 2015 and overseeing operations since then.
I have a friend who’s known as the “Sound Check Guy”. He’s musically inclined and decided to live in La Union for good, finding he felt more at home there. He worked as a barista for a small coffee shop for a while and that’s where I first heard about El Union Coffee. This small cafe ran by Kiddo and Sly sources locally grown coffee beans from around La Union. Their signature blend became a hit among the locals and tourists alike. The cafe quickly outgrew its original site and had to move to a new location along the MacArthur National Highway.
“A meeting place”, if you’re wondering what “Tagpuan” means in English. Tagpuan sa San Juan, the humble street corner eatery with a couple of tables and crates as chairs serves cheap comfort eats from kansi, goto to tapa and more. We weren’t actually looking for a meal that morning since we had breakfast but was delighted they serve real brewed coffee. Yes, not the instant 3-in-1 kind we had earlier. Even with the sweltering heat, I savor the warmth of a quality brew. I’ll take it any day warm or cool. But what made is visit this unpretentious eatery is not only for the food but their unique movement for the La Union community.