When you think of Rizal, the first things that come to mind are their wide variety of natural attractions and campsites in Tanay, affordable yet quality clothes in Taytay, or the unique art masterpieces in Antipolo, Binangonan, and Angono, to name a few.

With the province’s proximity to the 900-hectare Laguna de Bay, Rizal is also blessed with a bounty of freshwater catch and delicious dishes that you can enjoy.

If you plan on driving to Rizal to visit its top tourist spots, take time to expand your palate by visiting these Department of Tourism-recommended restaurants:

Pico de Pino Cafe & Restaurant
Barangay Cuyambay, Marikina-Infanta Highway, Tanay

Pico de Pino serves a variety of Filipino dishes from appetizers and soups to desserts. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Pico de Pino Cafe & Restaurant is perfect when in Rizal with your family. Upon entering, you’ll see the bright and inviting ambiance of the place. It’s best to get a table by the window for a picturesque view of the outdoors. The place also has an elevated al fresco dining set up so that you can feel the fresh and cold breeze of Tanay while enjoying your warm meal.

Outside the restaurant, they have an elevated al fresco dining set up. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Inihaw na Tilapia, Lechon Kawali, Kare-Kare, Adobong Kambing, and Papaitan are among the best this restaurant has to offer. Their warm, tangy dishes, such as Sinigang na Hipon and Sinampalukang Manok, are perfect for dinner, given Tanay’s usual cold weather at night.

They also serve cheesy and flavorful Beef Kaldereta that offers juiciness in every bite. They have Special Bulalo that will give you instant comfort as you taste its rich soup and tender meat. These dishes will make you feel right at home.

Head chef Melinda Javier-Valdez, the owner’s aunt, shared that their customers, including local celebrities, keep coming back for their Fresh Lumpia and Adobong Kambing.

Despite being relatively new, the place has already received recognition for its dishes. In 2020, Tripadvisor awarded Pico de Pino as the “Most Recommended Cafe in Tanay.”

Pico de Pino is located near nature campsites in Tanay. It is approximately 15 minutes away from Masungi Georeserve, Ten Cents to Leisure Camp, Nagpatong Rock Formation, and Fresno Agro-Forestry and Eco Tourist Campsite. You can rest and eat in the cafe after mountain climbing, biking, or trekking. Now, its menu has expanded to include pizza and coffee for breakfast or afternoon snacks.

Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery
11 Doña Justa Subd., Brgy. San Roque, Angono

Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery offers exotic dishes and freshwater seafood. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery was founded and designed by the late homegrown painter and sculptor Perdigon Vocalan. It is located in Angono, which is considered the “Art Capital of the Philippines.” What makes the dining experience unique is that you can marvel through his artworks and sculptures while waiting for your lunch or dinner to be served.

If you have an adventurous palate, you must try their exotic dishes such as Adobong Palaka (frog), which has a chicken-like texture, and Kamaro (crickets found in rice fields cooked in garlic and seasoning), which is fried giving that almost chicharon-like crunch. They also serve freshwater seafood such as Ginataang Alimasag, Kanduli, Burong Hito, and Pesang Dalag. Their Crispy Fried Itik (duck) also tastes like fried chicken but they made it more juicy and flavorful.

When dining with family and friends, you can try feasting on their Minaluto, a complete set meal consisting of steamed rice, mussels, prawn, crab, water spinach, pork adobo, tomato, and salted red egg, all placed in a woven tray.

What makes the dish enjoyable is the feeling of having options that you can get in one big tray, whether you like fried dishes, steamed vegetables, or seafood. You can pair these with Balaw-Balaw Pink Rice which is cooked with fermented shrimp and mussels that make the dish rich in flavor.

Owner Andrei Perdigon Vocalan shared that Minaluto was originally packed lunches of local farmers when lunchboxes didn’t exist. They would wrap their fish, rice, salted egg, and slices of tomato with a banana leaf.

The place is approximately 30 minutes away from Antipolo Cathedral, ideal for families who want to have a hearty lunch after church. The ideal budget for a family of five is Php 800 – Php 1200.

Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery
Sapang Buho Rd. Brgy. Dalig, Antipolo

Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery immerses you in Southeast Asian dishes such as Beef Rendang, Tom Kha, and Seafood Curry Soup. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Miss traveling to our neighboring countries? Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery will help you immerse yourself in Southeast Asian cuisine and ambiance without hopping on a plane.

Entering the restaurant makes you feel like you’re in a different place. You’ll see the eye-catching and familiar Southeast Asian tapestry hanging from the ceilings and the colorful interiors that will welcome you.

The restaurant serves Beef Rendang (Malay-inspired, slow-cooked beef in coconut milk and spices), Tom Kha (Thai-style soup), Street Seafood Platter, and Seafood Curry Soup. The curry soup will remind you of Laksa, but the dish is a bit creamier. It also has a tolerable spiciness so you could enjoy every sip.

The dining experience’s highlight is the Alagao (a mixture of basil, coconut, chili, green mango, and other spices on an Alagao leaf. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism), which has a mix of sour and spicy taste while giving your tongue a menthol-like feeling. Given its unusual way of preparation, this dish is one of the must-try food items in the place for a memorable visit.

For desserts, you can try the restaurant’s own Suman Itim (sticky black mountain rice topped with coconut cream and Adobong Kasuy) for only Php 120. This dessert is not too sweet and is light to eat, which makes it even more addicting to savor.

With a minimum budget of Php 600-900, you and your loved ones will be satisfied with what the place has to offer.

Founded by known Antipolo-based potter Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery offers handmade stoneware ceramics that you can bring home.  Ceramic products range from dinnerware, serving bowls, platters, and decorative pieces.

Bulawan Floating Restaurant
59 National Highway, Pililla

Bulawan Floating Restaurant serves grilled fishes like Kanduli, Dalag, Tilapia, and Hito. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

In Pililia, Bulawan Floating Restaurant is the best place to go for Inihaw na Dalag (mudfish), Hito (catfish), and Tilapia. You’ll taste the freshness of the seafood in every bite.

For appetizers, they serve Ampalaya Salad that is perfect for preparing your palate for the flavorful dishes afterward. It is topped with small shrimps to balance the bitter and salty tastes, giving you a flavor explosion. You can also pair it with their fried fishes like Kanduli (white catfish) or fried pork like Crispy Pata.

The restaurant looks floating as it is surrounded by a fish pond. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

They also have other seafood options such as Tuna, Crab, Squid, Mackerel, and Shrimp, as well as Pork and Chicken, which can be fried or served in soup, depending on your preference.

To make the dining experience complete, try the classic, Halo-Halo, Turon, or Leche Flan.

Each dish does not cost over Php 500 each, so budget will be the least of your worries!

The place is surrounded by a fish pond, hence the ‘floating’ restaurant theme. The serenity of the restaurant while dining with family makes the experience more exceptional.

If you are not in a hurry to dig in for lunch or dinner, you may also catch your own fish, and they will cook it for you!

Kaulayaw Cafe
23 Sumulong Hwy, Sta. Cruz, Antipolo

Kaulayaw is a place for an afternoon coffee break with its variety of coffee, tea, and sandwiches. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

For a perfect afternoon coffee break, Kaulayaw is the best place to visit. The cafe gives you a breathtaking sunset view of Rizal’s greenery and Manila’s skyline as you take a sip of your hot brew at their open balcony.

Kaulayaw Cafe is known for its local beans sourced from Benguet and Sagada. Some of their bestsellers are Kaulayaw Brewed Coffee, White Chocolate Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato.

You can pair these drinks with their must-try dishes such as Dalisay (Plain Cheese Tosti with Tomato Dip), Liwayway (Bacon and Egg Pancake Sandwich), or Padayon (Baguette with butter).

The restaurant also serves Gunita (Filipino Spaghetti), Paraluman (Carbonara) and Irog (Aglio e Olio), to name a few. Plus, you can try their locally brewed craft beers for around Php 150, which is cheaper than the usual drinks. An ideal budget for a visit is Php 400 per head.

Established in 2019, the restaurant was founded by a group of 20-year old friends who share the same love for coffee. The business started through online selling until it grew into an indoor cafe that can seat around 50-70 people. What makes it unique is it banners local beans to support farmers from the Mountain Province.

Aling Kika’s Food Products
102 Bonifacio Ave, Santo Domingo, Cainta

Before heading back to Manila, make sure to visit Aling Kika’s Food Product store for the best rice cake pasalubong. They offer their iconic Bibingka, Kalamay Ube, Kutsinta, and Sapin-sapin that are baked in a pugon (stone oven), giving a smoky flavor to their products. If you don’t know what to get, they offer packages of assorted rice cakes, which start at Php 335, so you can taste everything.

Benjamin “Batotoy” Legazpi-Cruz, Aling Kika’s son, has kept the original cooking processes, ingredients, and flavors to give its customers the taste that they keep coming back for.

You can be assured that they only give you fresh food. All of their products are cooked daily starting at four in the morning.

Dine in, safely! 

Restaurants in Rizal 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. The places set sanitary and contact tracing procedures such as registration at the reception and using alcohol to sanitize hands before entering the premises. To know more about Rizal, visit www.rizalprovince.ph/

Spend less time planning and consider these restaurants for your trips to Rizal. After all, one of the best parts about traveling is eating and trying different local dishes!

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.