As repeat visitors to Sagada, we at Happyfoodies were both overjoyed and saddened during our recent visit. Saddened because a) Misty Lodge’s restaurant is closed as Chef Bogan is attending to her mommy duties in Manila, b) Masferre Restaurant has taken off our favorite Kamatis Bagoong at Lechon Kawali in favor of a menu more oriented towards foreign guests. But on a bright note, we chanced upon a new, welcome addition to the eateries lining the town’s main street: Sagada Brew. It was actually the recommendation of Wanda, our kind hostess at Rock Inn Farm, to try out the new place (talk about very friendly competition). It was also a blessing to come on an off-peak season where a lot of eating places are closed for repairs, which helped directed our feet to this shop.
Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant has many draws. For the tired of feet, it’s just a few steps from the municipio. For the photography- and culturally-inclined, the dining area is literally a feast for the eyes with Eduardo Masferre’s works on display. For the hungry diner, the restaurant has been a staple among Sagada repeat visitors because the food is predictable — in a good way. It’s rare that either of your Happyfoodies have ventured to Sagada without at least eating a meal here and this most recent visit is no different. The homey interiors of mostly wood material always makes dining a real pleasure.
The perpetual nip in the air is simply made for good eating.
One of the finer pleasures of Sagada is gustatory in nature. Everything — the weather, the elevation, the views — seem to inspire indulgence. Dunno but there’s something about hieing off to the boondocks that make even the mundane special, like ordinary coffee or instant noodles become a treat especially after a hike.
Perhaps, by stroke of serendipity, Happyfoodies found accommodation in the town outskirts some 1.5 kilometers from the sentro. Meaning yes, we’re away from where most of the eating places are but by luck, very, very close to Misty Lodge and Cafe. Our host, Derick, of Yabami Lodge recommended it as we were looking for somewhere closer to eat apart from Rock Inn’s Bodega Cafe some 350 meters away. Smoked out from the Panag-apoy rites, we decided to drop by at dinner time as the cafe was on our way home anyway. So, did we like the food? Well, we came back a second and third time during our three days in Sagada. It was that good.
We came to Sagada on a weekday to explore the foodscape as much as the landscape. The weather, as always, was conducive not only for hiking but also for good eating. In the limited time we stayed, we found either newer places or newer offerings from the old reliables. Here we share some of our favorites.
Much has been written about Sagada and its natural wonders that attract trekkers, spelunkers and other adventurous spirits. But to the foodie, Sagada is more than that. there’s another side to this so-called Shangri-la of the north, a more flavorful one that will appeal to the adventurous foodie. We traveled over 400 kilometers to food trip there and there’s something about the highlands – its nippy, crisp clean air, peace and quiet, and of course, the awesome scenery – that makes eating so much more enjoyable. It could also be the elevation that takes eating to a new high. Here, we give a sampler of the many food offerings out there.