Travel Guides: Where to Eat in La Union
Dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the North, the province of La Union is most famous for its surfing. Year after year, both experienced and newbie surfers flock the town of San Juan to ride its easy rolling waves. And just in case you haven’t noticed yet, #ELYU is also brimming with delicious eats left and right. So here’s a quick food guide on where to eat in La Union based on my first Lakbay Norte 9 experience. MANGAN!
Read more on Best things to do in La Union
WEL-KAMBAK Resto & Grill: (Sto. Tomas)
First on the list is a homegrown restaurant serving authentic Ilocono dishes. One thing I appreciate about this food stop is its proximity to the main highway. In fact, it was so accessible that I even saw it on my way home from a daytrip to Vigan last week, hehe.
The restaurant’s name is actually a play of words – Kam for “Kambing” (Goat) and “Baka” (cow). It was also my first time to try the local dish called Kinigtot. A dish originally from Pangasinan made with either goat or beef meat and innards quickly poured with boiling bile juice or “papait“.
I know it’s not the most appetising thought or sight (looked a little pale to be honest) but it had a tender albeit bitter after taste. Also part of our appetizing feast were all-time favorites like the Iloconao pinakbet (with white ampalaya), grilled Hito (catfish) and a piping hot pot of beef bulalo. Best paired with an ice cold glass of Locally Guava Juice! After eating, we were warmly welcomed by the Ms. Tina Antonio La Union Convention and Visitors Bureau (LUCVB). Thank you North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) for the awesome lunch!
Uvas Café (Lomboy Farms, Bauang)
Next stop on where to eat in La Union is a new swanky spot in Bauang called Uvas Café. Now for those who don’t know yet, the municipality of Bauang boasts of luscious wines and vineyards. One of the most famous ones being Lomboy Farms. Established in 1972, it is believed that Lomboy Farms is the pioneer vineyard in the whole of La Union. Today, aside from grape picking, guests at the farm can also sip wine and dine at the newly-opened UVAS Café.
For the afternoon, our hosts prepared a refreshing wine pairing feast for us Lakbay Norte 9 participants. We drank six (6) varieties of their wines, made from different fruit sources. One thing I loved most about the wines at Lomboy Farms is how they made the taste Pinoy-friendly. Instead of going for the bitter or dry route, Uvas Cafe’s wines were more on the sweet, fruity side.
The guapple and Rosa were being my favorites. Best paired with the crackers, cold cuts, nuts, and cheese they’ve prepared alongside. Uvas Cafe can also cater to private functions and serves other light meals as well. Plus points for the modern, cozy interiors too!
Halo-Halo at Ciano Umok Gallery Cafe (Bauang)
Where to eat in La Union for dessert, you say? I say go for a Halo-Halo in Ciano Umok Gallery Cafe. Located in a secluded hill 10 minutes from the main highway, Ciano Umok Gallery Cafe is an old ancestral house turned into a gallery. Here, one can appreciate art while tasting one of the best halo-halos in La Union.
Ciano Umok (meaning bird’s nest in Ilocano) is owned by local La Union artist Cesar Dumo. And while the structure was built way in the 1960s, its beauty and charm still shines through from every corner of the gallery cafe. I loved that Sir Cesar’s art was a brilliant mix of traditional, modern, and eclectic styles.
And as for their Halo-Halo? Uniquely phenomenal. For only Php 99.00 per glass, enjoy an extra creamy delight that will leave you craving for more. And if you have more time, do a side trip to the nearby Mt. Puraw to see a 360 degree view of La Union.
Travel Tip: Ciano Umok is a little uphill and the road is quite narrow. So best to take an SUV or park in the plaza and hire a tricycle instead.
Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa (San Juan)
Fancy a meal by the beach? Then come by Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa. It was a long, hot, tiring day 1 so I definitely ate a lot! We had squash soup, roast chicken (HTD Fave), baked macaroni, pork steak, breaded fish fillet, and steamed vegetables. Ahhh, nothing like having a celebratory meal with sand on your toes and the refreshing whiff of the ocean breeze!
After a quick check-in and refreshing at our accommodation (Sebay Surf Resort – which btw has good breakfast with a view), we went back for some night-cap bonfire. We bonded under the stars while drinking and roasting hotdogs and mallows.
Thank you Sir Adamor Dagang (La Union’s Provincial Information Officer) and Ms. Gay Gapaz of DOT-RI for the warm welcome on behalf of Gov. Pacoy Ortega and DOT Regional Director Jeff Ortega. Thank you DOT Region 1 for dinner!
Line Up Bistro LU at The Little Surfmaid Resort (San Juan)
Another must on where to eat in La Union is a new resto called Line Up Bistro LU. It’s located at one of the premier surf resorts in ELYU, the Little Surfmaid Resort. Although at the far end of the beach, I loved every dish served for us during lunch. We had classic Ilocano favorites like Bagnet, Pinakbet with Bagnet, Lemon Fish Steak with Lemon, Seafood Salpicao, and Crispy Pata!
Our meal was made even more delicious by the inviting view of the sea. As well as the sweet, refreshing taste of Locally’s Mango Juice! A good way to send us off on our ‘meat detox’ later that day at Lotus Valley Farm La Union. 🙂
RELATED: Top Things to Do in La Union
Lakbay Norte 9 is organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) in partnership with NLEX Corporation, Victory Liner Inc., La Union Convention and Visitors Bureau (LUCVB) and Pangasinan Vistors Bureau (PVB). Thank you DOT Region 1, PTT, Belo Sun Expert, Unilab (Myra-E), Klean Kanteen, Cafe Amazon, Victory Line, and Cafe Amazon for sponsoring this awesome trip!
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