Trying Out Baguio’s Spellbinding Cafe by the Ruins

Cafe by the Ruins, Baguio – Looking for Baguio eating places might not be that hard, but finding one that serves good food with an amazing view is not. So, here I am sharing why trying out Cafe by Ruins is a must, especially if you haven’t yet. 

When I hear Baguio, Cafe by the Ruins always appears in my head. 

It always reminds me of the famous indie film called “That Thing Called Tadhana.” And while the movie premiered a long time ago (2014), people have been coming back to Baguio to experience “that thing.” 

Sadly, a fire destroyed the famous al fresco dining in Baguio in April 2017. 

A year after the devastating event, Cafe by the Ruins reopened with a more vibrant and an inviting cafe than ever. The floral glass panels look pleasing to whoever dines on the 2nd floor, giving people a more relaxing vibe. 

During our stay, we also dined at Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna and Choco-late de Batirol. Do add them to your Baguio itinerary too!

Cafe by the Ruins History

Contrary to its name, Cafe by the Ruins wasn’t built on the ruins of the Baguio earthquake that happened in 1990. In fact, the Baguio cafe was made from the ruins of the Garden Theatre that was built in 1912. 

In 1988, 12 Baguio artists decided to open a cafe, and soon, artists, writers, poets, and performers started gathering at the Baguio eatery. 

In 2017, a fire struck the 2nd floor of the cafe, which forced the owner to shut the famous Baguio City restaurant. And even though the owner initially said they have no plans of reopening, in June 2018, they opened the cafe Baguio is proud of.

Cafe by the Ruins Baguio Menu

There’s a lot to see on the Cafe by the Ruins menu, and even though it’s not considered one of Baguio cheap eats, we decided to try it out anyway. 

Prawns in a Blanket

The first food that arrived was the Prawns in a Blanket. And by the looks of it, you can immediately feel its crispness because of the well-fried outer “blanket.” Included on the plate is a sweet and slightly tangy sauce that compliments the fried prawns in a blanket well. 

However, pairing it with the restaurant’s vinegar is also a great hit! Just take note that these blanketed shrimps have a bit of a spice in flavor. So, you might be cautious when giving it to young children.


Followed by the prawns in a blanket is a classic homey dish called Ukoy. 

If you’re familiar with traditional Filipino dishes, then, you must know what’s inside an Ukoy. While spelling and name may differ in other provinces, most of the time, Ukoys are fritters with shrimps, bean sprouts, and julienned vegetables. 

These fried shrimp and veggies come with vinegar on the side to wash away the grease – although the Ukoy this time aren’t that oily at all!

Carabao Kesong Puti

Lots of greens and sprouts on top of cucumber and tomato slices, along with fried breaded kesong puti are best enjoyed with the vinaigrette dressing. Cafe by the Ruins Carabao Kesong Puti can easily become anyone’s favorite because of the mix of different flavors on one plate. 

What I love about it is that the breaded kesong puti adds a ton of flavor to the healthy greens (and oranges) but it’s guilt-free as it contains less cholesterol than its other counterparts. If you want a healthy meal, try it out during your visit!

Tia Olympia’s Fresh Lumpia

Vegetarians would surely fall in love with Tia Olympia’s Fresh Lumpia. Fresh lumpia wrapper with lots of julienned vegetables and tofu, a combination of healthy carbs and protein, will surely make you feel satisfied and full. 

Topped with a generous serving of sweet sauce and ground peanuts, it’s one not to miss especially if you miss eating a dose of healthy yet good food!

Baguio Bagnet

Crispy and juicy – that’s how best to describe Cafe by the Ruins’ Baguio Bagnet. 

Chunky pieces of crispy bagnet sit on top of mountain rice is one of Cafe by the Ruins’ pride. And since it’s of the locals’ favorites, we couldn’t let it pass. Make sure to include it in your orders if you want something crispy and filling. 

Tita Susie’s Crispy Tapa

Isn’t it obvious how we love food with a crunch? 

Tita Susie’s Crispy Tapa, no it’s not pata even though we read it like that many times, is made of tapa flakes that are fried to perfection. And while the crispy flakes add flavor to the usual tapa we have, I prefer the classic tapa – but maybe that’s just me. 

But if you’re adventurous, it’s nice to try something new once in a while. 

Tann’s Burger

Tann’s Burger patty may look a bit dry but it’s not how it seems. 

Heavily seasoned with herbs, the beef burger patty makes you feel like you’re in a garden full of nice smelling herbs. It’s a surprise that my son loved it, and he ate more than half!

The best part of Tann’s Burger is that the bun was made from potatoes so it’s more fluffy and bouncier than your average burger buns. Add to that, there are sweet potato chips included in the plate, so you get more than what you ordered. 

If these Cafe by the Ruins photos don’t make you drool, and you want to try out others, then  head to the next part for more Baguio eats recommendations. 

Baguio City Places to Eat

The cool Baguio weather is very inviting and makes you want to eat something good and warm, so here are some of the Baguio restaurants with view (or not), but I assure you your tummy will be happy when dine there!

Hill Station

Famous for its delightful view and very homey feel, Hill Station is a Baguio restaurant you should visit if you want to have a relaxing lunch or dinner. It serves delicious Filipino dishes that bring you back to your childhood. 

🏞️Hill Station, Upper Session Road, Baguio

Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna

We’re never a fan of Greek dishes, or maybe because we were afraid to try, but Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna made us change our minds. Because, not only did we enjoy our lunch before we headed back home, but the food was also fairly priced. 

Learn more about my Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna review, here

Choco-late de Batirol

Who doesn’t love chocolates? 

When you visit Choco-late de Batirol, make sure to order a cup of hot chocolate because that’s their specialty. Then add some bibingka or palabok to pair with your chocolate drink and you’re good to go!

Here’s my review during our visit.

Cafe by the Ruins Location

The Cafe by the Ruins location in Baguio is at 25 Shuntug Road, Benguet. The Cafe by the Ruins to Burnham Park is just a 2-minute drive, so you can easily burn off the calories you ate at the Baguio Meadow (the resto’s former name). 

Cafe by the Ruins Review Conclusion

Baguio City is a place to go if you want to have a relaxing weekend or holiday. Because it has cooler weather compared to the city where we live in, we love going back to unwind and to remove all the stresses our everyday lives bring. 

And part of the relaxation involves eating good food. Thankfully, many Baguio City places to go have great views. Even though Cafe by the Ruins is in the middle of the city, the view from the second floor helped to relax me in many ways. 

Not only that, but the classic comforting food Cafe by the Ruins offers is something you can look back to when you want to just sit back and have a great time. 

Have you been to Cafe by the Ruins Baguio? What are your favorites on their menu?

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