Are you visiting Tabaco City and wondering where to eat? Then you’re in luck. We’d been to this quaint destination and went on a food trip for several days. Here are our recommended restaurants in Tabaco City.
1. Cafe Molave
Cafe Molave is one of our top picks among the restaurants in Tabaco City. It offers delicious food, it has a nice interior with earth tones, and it offers beautiful local merchandise as well!
The menu consists of European and Filipino food. Must-try’s include spanish sardines with sundried tomato pasta and breaded pork steak sandwich. For the drinks, they have refreshing cucumber juice or, if you prefer a hot drink, a mug of warm spiced mayon mocha.
For desserts, I recommend the german fruit cake (my favorite) and calamansi cheesecake with pili nut cookie crust.
Aside from dining, you can also buy one of their locally handcrafted bags and other products. These items are a source of pride for Tabaco City — they are beautiful and export quality.
Contact: Cafe Molave – Facebook
Opening hours: Daily – 10AM to 9PM
2. Singapo Lah Cafe
Singapo Lah Cafe is the first Singaporean restaurant in Albay. If you haven’t tried Singaporean dishes before, this is a good place to start. If you already have, then you’ll appreciate the authentic taste of their meals!
The cafe itself is small, with interesting murals about Singapore.
Some of their must-try dishes include kaya toast, nasi lemak and nasi burger, bak chor mee (a noodle dish served dry or with soup), salted-egg carbonara, and salted-egg or sambal fries. For the drinks, you can try teh tarik and various types of kopi.
To be honest, it’s difficult for me to choose favorites because I liked most of the items served on our visit. But if pressed, it would be nasi lemak (which is a classic dish you should definitely try at least once), kaya toast with kopi (which made me nostalgic of my stay in Malaysia, which has similar foods to Singapore), and sambal fries (delicious although spicier than most Filipinos prefer).
Contact: Singapo Lah – Facebook
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday – 7AM to 8PM
3. Ishiaya Garden Bistro
Ishiaya Garden Bistro is a Japanese restaurant located in the town center of Tabaco City.
It has a nice — and definitely Instagrammable — Japanese-inspired interior, with artistic paintings and a sakura tree. You can choose to eat in a chabudai and seat on a mat or select a traditional table setup with chairs for that complete Japanese experience.
Ishiaya Garden Bistro has an extensive menu consisting of Japanese and Filipino fusion cuisine. Must-try’s are their sushi plates, nayoka salad (their own version of pako salad), and fresh sashimi. In fact, they offered the best salmon sashimi I’ve had in a while.
For dessert, don’t miss out on their signature Ishiaya crepe ala mode, which comes with banana slices and is topped with ice cream.
Contact: Ishiaya Garden Bistro – Facebook
Opening hours: Daily – 11AM to 2PM and 5PM to 9PM (up to 10PM on weekends)
4. Ishiaya Grey’s Cafe
Ishiaya Grey’s Cafe is established by the same owners of Ishiaya Garden Bistro. This is a quaint two-story cafe that serves different types of drinks such as coffee, tea, and shakes.
I recommend the creamy snow cheese milk tea with popping pearls or blue lemonade with cucumber yogurt. For something hot, you can’t go wrong with either wasabi latte or signature latte.
For the food, don’t forget to try out at least one of their pasta dishes: carbonara, chicken pesto pasta, or adobo flakes. They also have nachos which comes with a delicious creamy sauce, a snack platter for finger food, and sandwiches for easy bites.
During our stay in Tabaco City, we tried a few cafes and in my opinion this is certainly one of the best. The food is delicious, prices are reasonable, and the space is cute although a bit cramped. As far as I know, this is the only place that serves wasabi latte, so don’t miss out the opportunity to order it on your visit.
Contact: Ishiaya Grey’s Cafe – Facebook
Blinkx is a newly opened Korean restaurant offering unlimited samgyupsal and shabu-shabu. It’s located on the rooftop of Hotel 808, which gives it a great ambiance and a good view of Mayon Volcano in the mornings. It’s also open air, so the smoke from grilling meat isn’t a problem.
Offerings in Blinkx include different types of pork, beef, and chicken for the samgyupsal grill. They also have a hotpot with beef and chicken soup where you can put in various types of wontons, dumplings, and tofu, as well as vegetables.
They also offer ready-made dishes such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and desserts such as kakanin and marshmallows.
With its great ambiance, good food, and reasonable rates (P299 on Mon-Thu and P499 on Fri-Sun), Blinkx is definitely one of the must-try restaurants in Tabaco City.
6. Amore Coffee Shop
Amore Coffee Shop is a small yet cozy coffee shop in Tayhi, Tabaco City.
One thing that you shouldn’t miss when visiting here is the laing pizza. Laing is a staple food in Bicol and it’s refreshing to see this used in a pastry rather than as a typical ulam. For the drinks, I recommend their irish coffee.
Contact: Amore Coffee Shop – Facebook
DJC serves typical rice meals, but what they’re really famous for is their halo-halo. Their halo-halo is topped with generous dollops of ube halaya, leche flan, and grated cheese. The cheese gives it a mix of sweet-salty flavor.
You can find DJC in the town center. There’s also a bigger branch in Tiwi.
Captivitea is a local cafe in Tabaco City, which offers various types of milk teas and coffees. Some of their best items include wintermelon milk tea (bestseller), kitkat milk tea, and orea strawberry rock salt cheese.
Captivitea is located at same building as Blinkx and the owners are the same. Hence, if you dine in at Blinkx, you can still order drinks from Captivitea and the staff will give it you. Isn’t that neat? (Samgyupsal x milk tea is the dream!)
Contact: Captivitea – Facebook
What other restaurants, cafes and food stalls would you recommend in Tabaco City? Let us know in the comments below!
What to read next:
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).