For many Filipinos, Tagaytay is an easy choice for a quick getaway outside of the Philippines’ capital of Metro Manila. There, visitors can enjoy the city’s clean air, access to greenery, and the wealth of local establishments.
But for many tourists, the biggest highlight of a trip to Tagaytay has to do with feasting on local delicacies. Often made with the freshest ingredients—and meant to be savored against a beautiful backdrop—it’s no wonder that Tagaytay’s iconic dishes and food items steal the show.
What meals and desserts should you and your loved ones try on your next sojourn to Tagaytay? Prep for a road trip, check into one of the best hotels in Tagaytay, and embark on a leisurely food crawl that involves these eight items.
Warm Buko Pie
Whether you want to enjoy one immediately or get a box to take home, one of the first delicacies you should seek out is buko pie. Few things can convey the warmth and pleasantry of Tagaytay City quite like this pie, which is made with soft white young coconut meat that’s wrapped in a flaky golden-brown crust.
Be sure to check out famous bakeries like Collette’s, Loumar’s Café, and Amira’s Buko Tart Haus for your buko pie fix. While you’re at these places, don’t hesitate to pick up additional treats like hopia and fruit tarts, too.
Made with beef shank, beef bone marrow, and tenderly cooked vegetables like corn and cabbage, this hearty soup is said to hail from either Cavite or its southern neighbor Batangas. What’s indisputable, however, is that bulalo is an excellent accompaniment to Tagaytay’s crisp and cool weather.
Those who want to fill their bellies with freshly cooked bulalo can scout out establishments like Leslie’s, Balay Dako, Café Summit, or Josephine’s. Tucker in, and pass the rice!
Another quintessentially Filipino delicacy to enjoy in the heart of Tagaytay City is champorado, or porridge made with glutinous rice and rich dark chocolate.
If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, you might as well do it in a place like Tsokolateria Artisanal Café. Savor the deep and robust taste of Filipino cacao with a serving of champorado or hot tsokolate made with tablea.
Hearty Mushroom Burgers
One simple, affordable, and nostalgic treat that Tagaytay visitors can look forward to is a burger from the flagship Mushroomburger branch on Aguinaldo Highway. The patties are made partly with beef and partly with mushrooms grown on the establishment’s own farm. Grab one for a light meal or a substantial merienda, or take one out to tide you over after a night of drinks.
Delightful Angel Cookies
If you’re a Catholic, you may regularly consume the Body and Blood of Christ during Holy Mass. But do you ever wonder what happens to the hosts that aren’t consecrated during the celebration?
You’ll find a delectable answer at the Pink Sisters’ Convent in Barangay Maitim, where the nuns bake angel cookies out of unconsecrated whole wafers and wafer scraps mixed with flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Travelers of any denomination can enjoy these cookies, and all proceeds from the sales will go to the Pink Sisters’ charitable activities.
Freshly Harvested Honey and Honey Cider Vinegar
Only five minutes away from the Tagaytay Rotunda is the Ilog Maria Bee Farm, one of Cavite Province’s most famous sources of honey and organic bee products.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely want to buy a bottle of their best-selling honey. Pop the cap off the bottle and enjoy a taste of this pure, naturally-occurring sugar or add some of it to your favorite cool beverages. Want to make a quick and easy warm drink to sip on amidst Tagaytay’s cool and nippy weather? Just get a bottle of their honey cider vinegar and add a tablespoon of the mixture to a cup of hot water.
Speaking of freshly harvested products that can be found in Tagaytay City, take the opportunity to buy a ripe pineapple or two from one of Tagaytay’s ubiquitous roadside stops. It’s thought that the rich volcanic soil of the area yields pineapple crops that are incomparable to others in Luzon. Buy them freshly sliced and enjoy them on their own, with salt, or even with salty accompaniments like patis or bagoong.
A Good Cup of Joe
Lastly, before you make the trek home, grab a cup of coffee at one of Tagaytay’s scenic cafés and buy a stash of beans or grounds for your house. Some examples of locations that you can hit up for a great cup of java are Café Amadeo or Gourmet Farms. Choose from familiar brews like mountain-grown Arabica or the Philippines’ own Kapeng Barako.
Don’t miss out on these local specialties the next time you make your way to Tagaytay City. Which of these are you most excited to taste?