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Tagaytay Food Trip : Rediscovering Southern Delights

It was Christmas Day when I got a text from Gail asking if I’ll be joining the food tour the day after Christmas. Since I didn’t have to go to work, I decided to join fellow food bloggers and Plurkers on our first out of town Plurk Fiesta called Plurk Lakbayan 08.

So why Tagaytay? Tagaytay is known for its cold climate and wide selection of restaurants that offer gourmet food for people with discerning palates and cultured tastes.

Tagaytay Picnic Grove 2
Tagaytay Picnic Grove

Tagaytay is also known for fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables thats why we love eating in most Tagaytay Restaurants. Fresh and quality ingredients are definitely each restaurant’s secret to a perfect plate which explains why their customers keep coming back.

Tagaytay Picnic Grove Cable Car
Tagaytay Picnic Grove Cable Car

Our group decided to leave Manila early to avoid traffic since Marc, Gail and Shantee live in Markina while Nina and I resides in the traffic belt, Quezon City and Manila. It’s Friday but thank God its still a holiday, we arrived at Tagaytay in less than an hour and a half. Tagaytay Picnic Grove is our first pit stop, Its pretty much the same since I last visited the place and the only new attraction added was the Cable Car which is a big hit for the kids visiting the tourist spot. It was almost 8am but it’s still cold and windy, good thing I brought my Columbia Beanie, given to us by Columbia when we visited Batanes last November 2008.

Tagaytay Picnic Grove
Picnic Grove Short Trek

Picnic grove is perfect for family outings since they offer a variety of recreational activity for everybody. There are several picnic cottages and pavilions for rent ranging from P150-P500 for each cottage. You can also try hiking on a 500 meters long eco-adventure trail overlooking the majestic Taal Volcano. Aside from pasalubong shopping, you can also explore the lush terrain and experience the adventure of horseback riding while enjoying the cold windy breeze.

Tagaytay Picnic Grove cottages
Picnic Grove Cottages

After a short trek with Gail’s celebrity dog Shantee, we headed to Starbucks at Summit Ridge along Aguinaldo Highway. This is where we started our food tour since our group arrived earlier than the rest. I ordered Bacon in Bagel with Egg and Cheese paired with my favorite holiday coffee “Toffee Nut Latte” while Nina ordered Hungarian Sausage, Egg and Cheese on Ciabatta Bread paired with Praline Mocha. It took a while before we got our order since the coffee shop was jammed packed or I guess the baristas are slow (LOL). After securing our place upstairs, Gail and Marc ordered their coffee while we enjoyed the cold breeze and the uber hot coffee while playing with Shantee.

Tagaytay Greek Taverna
Manos Greek Taverna

It was almost 11am when we got a text from Juned that the rest is already in Manos Greek Taverna for our lunch. I thought it was a small group, I was surprised to see more than two dozen plurkers and I’m glad I met some of my Plurk Idols personally hehe. Its amazing that no matter where you travel these days, there’s something new to discover and new to explore. I’ve been to Tagaytay several times already but I never tried eating in  Manos Greek Taverna, maybe the restaurants facade never attracted me but after trying their food, I can say that so far they probably served the best tasting Greek food I’ve ever tasted. We were subdivided into groups and of course my group mates are my best travel buddies with the addition of Sharlyne. We ordered Pita, tzatziki, grilled lamb and yogurt shake.

Tagaytay Bag of Beans
Bag of Beans

After our Greek lunch, we headed to Bag of Beans for another set of food trip. It was not my first time visiting Bag of Beans but it was my first time to try dining in their garden inspired restaurant. Everyone enjoyed different type of Pies and desserts while I just ordered my all time favorite Cinnamon roll paired with House Blend Kapeng Barako.

Tagaytay Vista Hotel
Taal Vista Hotel

Our next stop was in Taal Vista Hotel, this time not to pig out, we just enjoyed the cool breeze and the breath taking view of Taal Volcano from their view deck. Unfortunately Gail and Marc had to go back to the parking lot and sleep instead since Shantee – their lovable pet is not allowed to enter the hotel vicinity.

Taal Volcano

After almost an hour of just camwhoring and chatting with fellow plurkers, we headed to our last restaurant to visit in Tagaytay – Leslies. Your Tagaytay food trip will never be complete without enjoying a big bowl of Leslies famous Bulalo. We were not allowed to sit in the main dining area because Shantee is not allowed, Good thing we can stay in the Bamboo Huts which is near the view deck while the rest of the bloggers are in the main dining area. I promised my self that I will skip Bulalo but Gail, Marc and Nina ordered one so I had no choice but to enjoy it:) Leslies Bulalo is truly the best tasting Bulalo in Tagaytay and indeed satisfying but take it easy coz its also deadly.

Tagaytay Bag of Beans flowers
Bag of Beans

Our last and final stop was not in Tagaytay but in Santa Rosa Laguna, I know my stomach is full but I cant resist it since it was my first time dining at Kanin Club – the most reviewed Pinoy restaurant in town today. Kanin Club is located in front of the sister company Café Breton in Paseo de Sta. Rosa. Each serving is huge and good for sharing and what I liked most is their Crispy Dinuguan – it taste like Dinuguan but the pork is crispy.

Tagaytay Shantee Picnic Grove
Shantee – The Traveling Dog

True to its name, Kanin is the king of their menu – its not just delicious…. its Yummy! If you know how to differentiate it.. hehe I will definitely go back to try other dishes and desserts and the long wait is well worth it.

Kanin Club Kare Kare
Kare Kare in Kanin Club

Joining Food tours is one of the best ways to become familiar with the destination’s culture and unique character – so make sure to explore the destination’s culinary offerings and prepare to have your taste buds dazzled!  After all, every avid traveler wants to come away with a holiday experience that’s not only unique, but truly unforgettable.

Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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