Cavite was the site of many important events in Filipinos’ past that are associated with the Philippine revolution. Known for its rich history, the province is the birthplace of some Filipino heroes including General Emilio Aguinaldo.
Cavite has a lot more to offer than historical importance—and one such area where it excels in is its local dishes and delicacies. Apart from its popular, comforting Bulalo, the province teems with culinary treasures waiting to be discovered.
If you’re looking to go on a food hunt of your own, here are a couple of stops that we recommend adding to your itineraries:
Bagnet Samgyupsal, Himagsikan Wings, and Baked Bulalo Kaldereta
Siglo Modern Filipino Restaurant
3500 Calamba Road, Sungay East, Tagaytay
Have you ever heard of a Samgyupsal-inspired Filipino dish? Siglo Modern Filipino Restaurant in Tagaytay serves Bagnet Samgyupsal (Php 320), a South Korean take on a local favorite.
A plate includes crispy pork belly slices, homemade kimchi, garlic, thin cuts of carrots and cucumber, and atcharang labanos (pickled radish), stimulating your palate with sweet, spicy, and sour flavors. To get yourself started, take a leaf of green lettuce in one hand, put a slice of crispy pork belly in the middle of the veggie, and add atcharang labanos and kimchi on top.
Another dish to try is the Himagsikan Chicken (Php 300), their version of Buffalo Wings. Siglo prepares the dish by deep-frying unbreaded chicken wings that are glazed in honey, then pairing that with a bagoong (fermented anchovies)-and-labuyo (wild chili)-infused tabasco sauce.
Don’t forget to add Baked Bulalo Kaldereta (Php 550) when you dine in. The popular Filipino dish is prepared by baking beef cubes in tomato sauce and liver paste and adding the usual mix of diced potatoes, bell peppers, and carrots. The restaurant boasts of its creamy and thick texture and savory beef cubes that melt in your mouth.
Most of the ingredients used to serve their food items are locally grown. For instance, they use Talinum leaves to replace Pechay. This is also their way to make the restaurant sustainable while helping local farmers.
Each dish ranges from Php 200 to Php 400. So if you wish to visit the place with your family of four, the ideal budget is around Php 1,500.
- Opening hours: 7 am to 9 pm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/siglomodernfilipinoPH/?ref=page_internal
- Website: https://www.siglomodernfilipino.com/
- Contact number: +63943 131 6625
Sizzling Bulalo, Pinakbet na Kanin, and Special Puto Bumbong
Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay
Not far from Siglo Modern Filipino restaurant is Balay Dako (big house), a popular dining place that allows you to feast on sumptuous food while taking a view of Taal Volcano.
First to try on their menu is the Sizzling Bulalo (Php 1,260), braised beef smothered in a mushroom demi-glace sauce, which is served on a sizzling cast iron plate. According to Chef Nilo Roz, the man behind Balay Dako’s food, customers would always ask for their third refill of the sauce.
Another food item worth trying is their Pinakbet na Kanin at Lechon Kawali (Php 1,400) The dish has rice cooked with homemade bagoong. This is complemented with stewed vegetables and pork. Their lechon kawali (deep-fried pork) is boiled for several hours before frying, giving it a crispy skin.
What makes their lechon kawali so special is how they prepare the meat. They brine the pork in three days with peppercorns, bay leaf, chili, and oranges, to give you that flavorful aftertaste that will make you want more.
It will be best to end your dining experience with their Special Puto Bumbong or steamed purple sticky rice (Php 120), which Balay Dako prepares traditionally. Chef Nilo uses bamboo tubes to steam purple rice before topping it with butter and grated coconut. They also add cheese to create this sumptuous Filipino dessert, while the muscovado (partially refined cane sugar) provides additional sweetness and a toffee-like taste.
You can also choose other sweets like Classic Halo-Halo (Php 250), a well-known Filipino dessert of preserved red beans, sweet purple yam, sweetened plantains, créme caramel, dried rice crisps, jackfruit topped with shaved ice, and evaporated milk.
Their dishes range from Php 355 to around Php 1,500. So make sure to bring your loved ones because each Balay Dako dish can serve up to three persons.
- Opening hours: 7 am to 9 pm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balaydakotagaytay/
- Website: https://antoniosrestaurant.ph/balay-dako/
- Contact number: +63923 726 6290
Afternoon Coffee, Pasta, and Burgers
11 Kapitan Sayas St. Sabutan, Silang
For afternoon coffees and tête-à-têtes, you can go to Cafe Agapita in Silang. It first opened last December 2019, and quickly went viral online because of the food and Instagramable interiors.
This cafe has a selection of classic cuppas: Espresso (Php 50), Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Caramel Latte, and White Chocolate Mocha. If you are avoiding java, you can try their Chai Tea Latte, Chocolate, and White Chocolate drinks. Each drink is around Php 130.
To go with your drinks, you can try their Agapita Bun (Php 250 for 6pcs). The bread is filled with Menudo (a tomato-based Filipino viand) using a recipe by Lola “Pitang” Agapita, the café’s namesake. According to co-owner and cook Gian Carlo Baranda, their grandma’s recipe is top secret so you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a try.
You can get a satisfying meal for Php 300 to Php 500. If you go with a friend, Php 1,000 will suffice for coffee and slices of cake or a solo plate of pasta.
The cafe also accepts deliveries within Silang, but those outside Cavite can order from third-party couriers.
- Opening hours: 11 am to 7 pm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CafeAgapita
- Contact number: +63917 258 6600
Pan de Troso, Quesillo, Original Pancit Pusit, and Caviteno Cheesecake
Asiong Caviteño Restaurant
Buenavista Ave, Silang
For dinner, go to Buenavista Drive and visit Asiong Caviteño Restaurant.
The place serves Filipino dishes that are influenced by Spanish cuisine. Historically, the Spaniards made their way to the coastal side of Cavite to deliver goods during the galleon trade. It’s also the reason why Caviteños speak Chavacano. (Read: How Asiong Caviteño Restaurant preserves the heirloom Spanish-influenced dishes in Cavite)
The restaurant, now owned by Sonny Lua, was built in the 1960s by his father and grandma, starting out as a small carinderia, or food stall. Now, it is among the most popular dining places in the province with multiple positive reviews from critics like Michelle ‘Micky’ Fenix, one of the most respected food writers in the country.
Start with their Pan de Troso (Php 160), which is similar to a baguette but with a hint of rosemary and garlic. It originated in Rosario during the 50s and is best partnered with Quesillo (Php 290), a homemade spread made of kesong puti (white cheese), olive oil, and herbs.
Follow it with Original Pancit Pusit (Php 380), one of their bestselling dishes. The noodles are cooked in squid flavor, giving it a black tinge, and topped with vegetables and chicharon (fried pork crackling).
You would have a lot of options to cleanse your palate, but we like their Caviteño Cheesecake (Php 120/slice) the best. Each layer is made with local ingredients such as Mendez’ Jacobina (cubical biscuits), Amadeo’s Kapeng Pahimis (an exclusive blend of finest Robusta, Arabica, Excelsa, and Liberica), Alfonso’s Tablea or pure ground roasted cacao beans, and General Trias’ Carabao’s Milk. For the toppings, they use Chocnut (a local candy bar as featured in Trese) from Imus.
Other food items to not miss are Sizzling Gambas Callos Caviteño, Calamares Fritos (fried squids), and Tamales de Cavite.
For pasalubong (treats/souvenirs), different cakes baked by the owner himself can be seen at one corner. There, you can find yourself looking at various pastries and spreads, including the Quesillo (kesong puti or white cheese in olive oil and herbs), which are placed in small jars.
Php 1,000 to Php 1,500 is good for about three people, and servings are generous.
- Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AsiongSilangCavite
- Contact number: +63918 565 2691
Classic Bulalo, Risotto, Pinaso, and wine
Girasol Bed and Breakfast
Aguinaldo (Tagaytay-Nasugbu) Highway, Alfonso
Looking for a dinner place to celebrate a special occasion? A visit to Girasol Bed and Breakfast might be in order. The restaurant, which opened November 2019, offers both continental and Filipino food.
The restaurant serves our Classic Bulalo (Php 980), but you can also order Oeuf en Cocotte (Php 385), a traditional French dish of oven-coddled eggs, eggplant, mushrooms, and tomato sauce.
Girasol also has Prawn Risotto (Php 495), which is infused with saffron cream sauce. Another recommendation is the Salmon Saffron (Php 690). The Salmon fillet is pan-fried and served with eggplant and comes in a delicate saffron cream sauce.
To cap the night’s celebration, try Girasol’s red and white wine. The restaurant has a cellar that houses a selection of Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. A glass costs around Php 300.
You can also check out other desserts like Tinutong (Php 125), a longtime Alfonso delicacy consisting of sticky rice in coconut milk with roasted munggo beans (mung beans). It is served with Jacobina crackers on the side.
If you’re too tired to drive back home, Girasol has rooms for you so you can rest until the next day. Their standard room costs Php 4,800 a night, but if you are feeling fancy, their premium Sunflower suite costs Php 9,600 a night. A maximum of four persons can stay.
- Opening hours: 7:30 am to 9 pm
- Website: http://girasoltagaytay.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/girasoltagaytay/
- Contact number: +63917 834 3469
Restaurants in Cavite are ready for local diners! Customers are required to wear a face mask and shield, practice social distancing, and regularly wash hands before dining in. These places have sanitary and contact tracing procedures such as registration and temperature check at the reception and using alcohol to sanitize hands before entering the premises. To know more about Cavite, visit https://cavite.gov.ph/home/.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.