Updated May 2016
For riders, cyclists and road trippers clocking in the miles, meals on the road often just consist of quick stops at fast food joints or meet-ups at gas station convenience stores before heading out. Most riders would be satisfied with cup noodles or hot coffee to warm up along the way. A few years ago, this was pretty much all there was along the Marilaque route (also known as Marcos Highway), the scenic twisting road traversing Marikina, Rizal, Laguna all the way to Infanta, Quezon.
During recent weekend rides, I noticed a lot of new places to eat and a lot of other establishments being built along the route. Below is a growing list of old favorites and new places where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view along Marilaque. Manila East Road (specially in towns overlooking Laguna de Bay) also has a lot of interesting dining places that makes it great for road trips.
MANG VIC’S BULALUHAN
Bikers swear by the bulalo in this no-frills roadside carinderia along Marcos Highway. Food is cheap and good enough (if you’re not a picky eater), with dishes like liempo and inihaw na manok aside from bulalo, papaitan and the usual carinderia fare. It’s a bit too near the metro for motorcyclists and those in cars for breakfast rides, but it’s a cheap pitstop for hungry cyclists who need to fuel up for the uphill ride ahead.
- Mang Vic’s Bulaluhan. Marcos Highway, Antipolo, Rizal
A garden restaurant that offers a pretty good selection of meals in a pleasant setting. Food is a bit pricier, but it’s one of the better restos along the route in terms of food quality and ambiance. They serve unlimited brewed coffee for the whole day. So you can stop for coffee in the morning, and then have another one on your way back for the price of one cup.
If you’re bringing up bicycles by car to other destinations along Sierra Madre, they have a spacious and secure parking lot where you can park before continuing by bike. This is also the nearest eating place if you’re visiting Palo Alto Falls.
- Park, Rest & Dine Coffee Shop and Restaurant. Sitio Corazon De Jesus, Pinugay, Baras, Rizal.
- Contact numbers: 09494151440 / 09393932530
- Facebook page: Park, Rest & Dine
A family-friendly resort with a nice view that’s popular with locals for picnics and swimming. They have a zipline, hanging bridge, rope bridge, and even a waterfall (Sto. Nino Waterfall) you can hike to from here. Most people bring their own food for picnics, but they have an in-house restaurant serving basic meals like corned beef and tapsilog. The view deck and weather here is always great, making it a pleasant pit stop. It’s one of the more popular resorts in the area, so it can get crowded on weekends. They now charge an entrance fee if you just want to take a look around, but there’s no entrance fee if you’re going to order food.
- The Sierra Madre Hotel & Resort. Km 58 Marcos Highway, Bgy. Mayagay, Tanay, Rizal.
- Contact numbers: 0908-7208234 (smart), 0917-3402360 (globe), 913-2001, 475-7320
- Facebook Page: The Sierra Madre Hotel & Resort
- Website: http://thesierramadre.biz/
PICO DE PINO CAFE & RESTAURANT *NEW*
Opened in February 2016, Pico de Pino is one of the newer restaurants along the highway in Tanay catering to bikers, riders and travelers. They have a spacious restaurant that can seat groups in the main building and a small parking area right along the restaurants. It’s hard to miss with the large white sign painted on stones.
An elevated portion leads to an outdoor seating area (still under construction as of April 2016) with an enclosed nipa-hut style cottage and some stone picnic tables under the trees where you can catch the breeze. They serve mostly Filipino fare, tapsilog, bulalo, rice meals, and desserts. They also have clean and well-maintained restrooms (non-customers are required to pay to use CR).
Pico de Pino Cafe & Restaurant. Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal.
- Contact numbers: 0917 524 5197
- Restaurant hours: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Facebook Page: Pico de Pino Cafe & Restaurant
CAMP CAFE RESTO BAR (TEN CENTS TO HEAVEN)
Camp Cafe Resto Bar is the in-house restaurant of Ten Cents to Heaven Leisure Park, a relatively new resort in Tanay, Rizal. Camp Cafe is a pretty big restaurant with a scenic view overlooking an obstacle course and ziplines ideal for team-building activites. They have infinity pools and very relaxing cabanas if you want to stay for the afternoon. Fish pool spas are in the works. They also claim to have the longest zipline in Luzon (1.2 km long). There’s a pretty good selection of Pinoy fare. However, most of the orders are good for 2-3 people, which is a downside if you’re on a solo ride. I had an order of lechon kawali (P150 is good for 2). The free WIFI is good and fast, which is rare for the area. Decent restrooms.
- Camp Cafe Resto Bar. Sitio Mayagay II, Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
- Tel: no: 5063675, 0999-9770026
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.tencentstoheaven.com
A restaurant with a cheerful Pinoy fiesta theme and a great view of the mountains. It’s one of the newer restaurants on the Marilaque route, having opened in December 2013. They serve tapsilog meals, grilled combo meals, sandwiches, short orders & pulutan fare. They also sell some native souvenirs and trinkets.
Parking is secure and the price range isn’t bad. During a solo ride, I tried their Katerina’s Lusog Silog (crispy talong, salted egg with tomato, Shanghai Fried Rice, Tapa) with Brewed Coffee for P150. Other taspilog meals cost just P75. If you want to bring bicycles to other destinations in Marilaque like Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave, but don’t want to padjakoldaway, Cafe Katerina is a good place to park your cars.
- Cafe Katerina. Sitio Mayagay I. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal
- Tel. no: (63) 09266314215 / (63) 09499186388
- Facebook: Cafe Katerina
Paseo Rizal is one of the nicest restos along the route in terms of ambiance. There are lots of outdoor huts and gazebos set amidst pine trees and landscaped gardens. The main dining space is very artsy and has a Baguio vibe, with rustic details and a fireplace. You can enjoy live music while eating here.
They have a wide selection of food and snacks too, not just the basics. Paseo Rizal also has a branch in Morong, Rizal. Very clean and well-maintained restrooms. They also have a nice gallery and gift shop on the ground floor containing paintings and sculptures by Rizal artists.
- Paseo Rizal Mayagay, Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.
- Contact number: (02) 986 4679
- Facebook page: www.facebook.com/paseorizal
PRANJETTO HILLS GARDEN RESTAURANT
Pranjetto Hills is a mountain resort located in Sampaloc, Tanay, which has a nice view of Laguna Lake and the mountains of Sierra Madre. They run mainly a hotel and conference center, but they also have a roadside garden restaurant for walk-in guests.
You can enjoy the great view and cool breeze from the al fresco second floor. I haven’t really tried the food here beyond mami and goto though, but they serve mostly Pinoy food.
- Pranjetto Hills Resort. Sitio Mayagay, Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.
- Contact nos: +632 697 1785 / +63 2 630 5686, Telefax. +63 2 695 1332
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook Page: Pranjetto Hills Resort
- Website: http://www.pranjettohills.com/
MANG FRANK BULALOHAN SILOG
Across Pranjetto Hills is Mang Frank Bulalohan, a small eatery that serves bulalo, tapsilog and basic meals. You can tell this is a popular rider’s hangout because of rows of motorcycles parked outside especially during weekends, as well as the banners and stickers of different riding clubs decorating the place.
Good for a cup of coffee or hot milo for a quickie breakfast ride before heading back to Manila.
- Mang Frank’s Bulalohan. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal (right at the junction leading down to Tanay Adventure Camp)
- Facebook: Mang Frank Bulalohan
HEAVEN’S VALLEY CAFE / LITTLE BAGUIO CAFE
A small resto along the Marifanta route that serves basic meals. I haven’t eaten here yet, but we passed by it the last time we went to Jariel’s Peak. Looks like a nice place to stop in case you get caught in the fog or rain up in the mountains.
- Heaven’s Valley Cafe. 155 Marikina-Infanta Road, Barangay Cueva, Sta. Maria, Laguna
- Resto hours: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday to Sunday
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook page: Heaven’s Valley Cafe
Jariel’s Peak is a popular weekend spot for motorcycle riders based in Manila. They serve tapsilog meals, good coffee and hot chocolate, and some exotic fare like mountain snails. Great mountain view from here with lots of twisties to get there. It’s located along the Marifanta (Marikina-Infanta) highway, leading to Infanta, Quezon. There’s a waterfall nearby that you can hike to.
- Jariel’s Peak. Km. 94 Sitio Baguio, Barangay Magsaysay, 4336 Infanta, Quezon.
- Contact info: 09156521473/09189160228
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook page: Jariel’s Peak
Located a few meters past Jariel’s Peak, Marquez Bulalohan is another popular rider’s pitstop that serves affordable Bulalo, Gotong Batangas, tapsilog meals, carinderia food and some exotic fare. Too bad the Bulalo was sold out during our visit. There’s a scenic hill right across the road you can hike to for good photo ops.
- Marquez Bulalohan. KM. 94.3 New Little Baguio, Brgy. Magsaysay (Marikina to Infanta Road), 4336 Infanta, Quezon
- Contact info: 0923-6548704, 0921-4762363
- Facebook page: Marquez Bulalohan
Do you know of any other good places to eat along the route worth checking out? Please let me know in the comments section! 🙂