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New al fresco cafes and outdoor dining spots – Travel Up

I recently revisited my hometown Naga City in the Bicol Region for the first time since the pandemic started. Like other places impacted by the lack of tourism the past two years, there have been a lot of changes to the food scene.

Some of my favorite restaurants based in the main city proper (like Que Pasa and Ibalon Craft Brew) have closed. But there are also a lot of new open-air cafes, farm restaurants, resto bars, and grills in the area now known as “Uptown Naga” near the foothills of Mt. Isarog catering to bikers, road-trippers, and families who want to dine out safely during weekends.

In case you’re traveling to Naga City, here are just a few of the new restaurants with al fresco dining you might want to check out.

Arco Diez Cafe

Arco Diez Cafe is a neighborhood restaurant and cafe located at the foot of Mt. Isarog. Established in 2021 as a young and small startup, the outdoor dining spot specializes in homemade comfort food and specialty quality coffee. They serve both international and local coffee options including brews from Mt. Apo, Benguet, Bukidnon and Sagada.

Sample dishes served here include Beef Tapa, Boneless Bangus, Pork Longganisa, Chicken Katsu, Lechon Kawali Pork Belly and more. I ordered (and highly recommend) the Pan Grilled Chicken Masala which comes with garlic rice, egg, cucumber & tomato in Greek yogurt and the Iced Chocolate Latte.

The resto is located in a relaxing, refreshing and family-friendly environment. It’s a great spot for families and a bike-friendly pitstop for cyclist riding around the Isarog area.

  • Address: Zone 1, Km. 10, Pacol, Naga City, Philippines, 440
  • Facebook: Arco Diez Cafe

Café RoSa & Happy Beetle Farms

Café RoSa is a restaurant inside Happy Beetle Farms, a new agritourism destination in Naga City established in 2021. Born from pandemic restrictions, the farm resto offers a venue to enjoy meals with refreshing scenery.

The outdoor restaurant has a main open air dining area with tables, and several Kubo huts for those who want a more private setting. Aside from the great food, the farm also has lovely flower fields for photo ops.

The dishes and drinks here use ingredients directly from the Happy Beetle Farms, like lettuce, lemon, and berries. Some of the dishes we tried included Celosia Chips, Pili Celosia Penne, Chicken Kebab (highly recommended!), Beef Stroganoff, and Tapsilog. I recommend their Blue Tea with Ternate flowers and poppers.

  • Address: Zone 6, Carancang, Magarao
  • Facebook: Cafe Rosa

Lagwerta Restobar

Lagwerta Restobar is an al fresco restaurant located in Uptown Naga that serves traditional and modern Filipino fusion cuisine. They serve breakfast specials, silog combos, seafood, pizza, grilled specialties and more. The servings are good for 2-3 persons or even up to 4 persons.

Dishes we ordered included their Grilled Scallops, Sinigang na Salmon Belly, Nilasing na Hipon, Lechon Kawali, and Liempo. Lagwerta also has a bar serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Aside from the main dining area, there are a few kubos around the garden for groups, making it a nice spot to dine for family and friends. There was live music at night when we visited.

Mama Sarah’s Lettuce Garden

Mama Sarah’s Lettuce Garden started out as a lettuce farm before it evolved into a restaurant serving Lettuce Silog Meals, Lettuce Shakes and other freshly picked lettuce based dishes. The addition of salads are a healthy touch to the typical silog meals.

The main dining area is surrounded by herbs and plants and has a bike rack for customers. The restaurant is also open as a private events venue and does catering for groups.

BidiBidi Cafe (Cafe de Artes)

BidiBidi Cafe is a specialty art gallery and cafe in Baao that highlights local arts, crafts, and fashion. For those looking for unique souvenirs, this cheerful and vibrant cafe established in 2017 is worth a visit.

Owned and managed by artist Bernadette de los Santos, more popularly known as BidiBidi, the cafe is a great spot to buy unique items from the Bidibidi Enterprise like bags made out of upcycled scrap cloth and yarn, jackets featuring Baao embroidery, crocheted items, designer face masks, and more.

The cafe has scaled down its menu, but still serves a few dishes and snacks with a local flavor, including house specialties like Banana Blossom Spaghetti and Banana Blossom Burger for those who want to try it.

  • Address: San Nicolas, 4432 Baao, Camarines Sur
  • Facebook: BidiBidi Cafe

Green Earth Cafe

Green Earth Cafe is the first restaurant in the region to serve fully plant-based meals. Established in 2006, this rustic and homey restaurant serves all natural and organic food, vegetarian and vegan options.

Their healthy but flavorful offerings include pako salad, veggie burgers and Veggie Pad Thai. They also serve new vegan dishes like Tom Yam Soup, Thai Spring Rolls and Camote in Garlic Pesto Dip, as well as Vegan Combo meals.

  • Address: 3rd St., Villasorabella Subd., Concepcion Pequeña, Naga City
  • Facebook: Green Earth Cafe

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