Sweet Tooth on Foot (S.T.O.F.): Baguio in a Mouthful – Baguio Part 1

This 3-part blog will give you a low down of the sweets and treats that one can find in the streets and markets of the beautiful city of Pines –  Baguio City.

Nestled within the Cordillera Mountain Range in Northern Luzon, this 1,400-meters-above-sea-level favorite place of mine welcomes each person with its cool breeze and warm people. Known for its climate, Baguio City is one of the place I like to go often. With cheap vegetables and bushels of strawberries, people from the metro crave for the fruit, the rest and the relaxation this province offers. One may have to do a lot of walking to go around especially like us whose accommodation is right along Harrison Road.

Aboard the bus and armed with our guide for a Baguio Food Trip, we excitedly started the trip with a 5-hour no stop-over bus ride to the “promise land”. There are a number of places and restaurants that Yummy Magazine suggested – from class restaurants to casual dining. And with that, our 4 nights, 5 days trip itinerary went full. Well, there is this real reason why we went up to Baguio. Not just for this crazy food trip but because I am to attend a conference that was held in the beautiful Baguio Country Club. Yes, it is for professional development and, I admit, resumé beautification.

I spent 2 days in the conference while my mom and brother scoured the city for transient houses for next year. And after the conference, time was mine. This is dedicated to sweet treats that one can find in Baguio’s restaurants, but I may be adding a few savory finds as well. But here’s a tip: take a long walk in Burnham Park to burn off those calories!

Burnham Park in all its beauty.

Strawberries are forever.
Much is said about how this dessert from Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop glorify Baguio’s fruit – the strawberry. Boasting a wide array of cakes and entrees, Yummy Magazine specifically noted Vizco’s Strawberry Shortcake, elegantly displayed in their display case. Of course, being featured in a notable food magazine, we made our way into the shop with high expectations. We each had our own slice of the elusive and beautifully plated strawberry shortcake, unwilling to share (P80/slice). I liked how they plated the dessert, the layers, the sauce and all however, I think we had our expectations raised too high although, it was not disappointing in my point of view. It was a moist strawberry chiffon cake, with a perfectly sweet strawberry cream filling, frosted with I think, the same filling topped with whipped cream and slices of strawberries. The tartness of the berries are perfect, as well as its sweetness. However, the thickness of the gelatin glaze (partnered with its absence of flavor), lowered its potential of being the best strawberry dessert in Baguio. My honest suggestion: change the glaze recipe or lessen the amount of gelatin and maybe enhance the gelatin’s flavor. Who knows, it might be a revelation after a few tweaks. Just my honest opinion for improvement. In general, here’s my take: I would gladly have another slice of the cake.

Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop
8GF Puso ng Baguio Bldg., Session Road, Baguio City

Not so Delightful.
Included in Yummy Magazine‘s best take-home treats from Baguio is Tea House‘s Chona’s Delight. To sum it up, it is a moist chocolate cake filled with some kind of condensed milk frosted with chocolate fudge and whipped cream flowers. It was a good thing that they bought a small one (P120) just to solve our craving for sugar. I don’t know if it is because I had baked better chocolate cakes or tasted better. But given that in Baguio, some ingredients are just too darn hard to source, one can get their chocolate fix from this place. Here’s my mom’s take: provincial.

Tea House Bakeshop and Restaurant
87 Session Road
Baguio City

 Thank God for the 1950’s and 1960’s.
We had our fair share of ascents and descents along Session Road. And every time, I am still amazed at how represented each cuisine is. The lucky thing that business people realized upon establishing businesses along Session Road is the foot traffic they get. Session Road is extremely used by the people. And with the constant walking, we stumbled upon this diner, hidden from the others. It’s called Jim’s Retro Diner. They serve hamburgers, pizza, fries and milkshakes. And because it was dinnertime when we strolled along Session Road, we took the chance to eat there. The servings are worth it! It was amazing! We ordered onion rings, they served us real onion rings. It was a great dining experience. And of course, being a sweet tooth, I did not pass on the chance to have a taste of their milkshake. We shared (yes, shared because we were so full)  a single order of strawberry milkshake. It was sad that they used water and ice to crush the strawberries with. I wished they used milk or vanilla ice cream to mix with the strawberries to achieve a more thick diner-like milkshake. But all in all, we had a wonderful, satisfying and filling dinner with an average meal (appetizer + pasta + burger) cost of P300 per person, courtesy of Jim’s Retro Diner. Make sure to look down to find this hidden satiety center.

Jim’s Retro Diner
108 La Azotea Bldg.,  Session Road
Baguio City

These three restaurant dessert finds can be seen just along Session Road. Let me know what you think about these! Have you tried it?

Part 2: Street Cravings and Market Munchies
Part 3: With Love, Baguio


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