“Where do we we eat?” Tired and famished from all the hiking and traveling, it’s a question we ourselves keep asking whenever we’re in Basco. This capital of Batanes, is usually the jump-off point for visitors exploring the Philippines’ northernmost province. Happyfoodies collates some noteworthy eating places to help out first-time or returning visitors.
For those who want to get a taste of authentic Ivatan dishes, Therese Coffee Shop is a good place to start. The ambiance is warm and inviting. The presentation of the dishes adds to the foods’ appetite appeal. The prices are modest – P70 to P120. Therese Coffee Shop also serves breakfasts at Valugan Bay and dinner by the Basco lighthouse by special arrangement. Being located close to the airport means you can have a leisurely breakfast before your flight takes off or right after you touch down. Must-taste: their Tadyang ng Baka (Cow Ribs) is perfectly grilled, with very tender meat. Their Houseblend Ivatan Tea is not of the commercial variety and a very good drink to go with your meal.
Therese Coffee Shop
Located along Contra Costa Street, just outside the airport • Contact numbers: 0916.1142632, 0921.4040567
The other restaurant to get your fix of Ivatan specialties from is Brandon’s Restaurant. It’s located beside the Brandon’s Lodge, looking like an Ivatan stonehouse from the outside. The interiors are pretty basic but the food is not. Besides Ivatan fare, Brandon’s also serves sandwiches and fruit shakes. Pricing is reasonable at P70-P150 per dish, serving size is usually good for sharing. By special arrangement, Brandon’s can also serve dinner by the Basco lighthouse. Opens very early at 7am for breakfast and closes at 11pm for late diners.
Located along National Road and Abad Street
Batanes has no fastfood establishment (thank God) but for a taste of familiar comfort food, drop by Casa Napoli. This Italian place serves really good, homemade pizzas and pasta dishes. Prices of pizzas start at P130 for regular (serves 1-2) and P210 for large (serves 3-4). Open from late afternoon to late evening.
Located along Abad Street • Contact numbers: 0917.5125345
SBDC Canteen is another long-time eating place. Like Shanedel’s, it doesn’t have a menu; the food on offer are based on available ingredients. The dishes are simple yet tasty, priced anywhere from P60-P100. The canteen also has a bakery where you can buy some cakes and other pastries. On some nights, SBDC also sells barbecued pork and chicken.
Located along National Road near the Rizal Park and plaza
One of the better known and long-time eating establishments in Basco, Shanedel’s boasts of a postcard-pretty view of the bay, cool chillout music, and home-cooked meals. There is no formal menu but Tita Del will gladly cook fresh catch or whatever you fancy from available ingredients. The prices are a bit higher than Therese or Brandon’s but the servings are good for sharing. Their sizzling dishes like dorado and dibang are highly-recommended. The laidback atmosphere is perfect for chilling out in the evenings.
Shanedel’s Inn and Restaurant
Located along National Road
If you’re craving for ice cream, you can get your fix at Carl’s Canteen. Carlo’s serves Creamline Ice Cream, brought over by air from Tuguegarao. They also serve cooked meals using whatever ingredients are available.
Located at Abad Street near the National Road
Note: All prices quoted are based on pricing as of time of writing.