Quiet Baguio Cafes for Introverts
Now that the peak of summer is over, you can head to Baguio without having to squeeze yourself through all the tourist crowds converging in the Summer Capital as if on a yearly pilgrimage. While the City of Pines can be known for crowded city restaurants with long lines over the din of hungry tourists, there still are some hidden gems you can hang out in for whenever you feel like introverting. Check out this quick list of quiet Baguio cafes, and feel free to discover more of your own!
First on the list of quiet Baguio cafes is a personal favorite. Tucked away in a peaceful corner of Ambuklao Road, Arca’s Yard is the perfect place to find some much-needed tranquillity amid the hum and roar of everyday life. Finding solace is easy in this mountainside escape, as even the entrance to the café itself is already partly hidden down the slope. This charming museum-slash-library-slash-café is a haven for introverts like me, who want nothing more than to get away from maddening crowds and even more maddening traffic and pollution conditions. Arca’s Yard is a hidden gem indeed.
Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/arcasyard
According to owner Ninja Sabado, ARCA stands for “Activities and Renaissance for Culture and the Arts”, which is quite fitting considering there are bul-ol (rice gods) exhibits as well as Ifugao paintings and Cordilleran photographs (if the local art scene is your thing, you can check out more amazing local products HERE). The rustic and artsy interiors are definitely all Instagram-worthy—something that won’t disappoint the solo traveller, the introvert bookworm, or the hopeless romantic. With its cozy interiors and the French-inspired padlocks of love at the front gate, it’s hard to pick a good seat, just because all the spots around the café are all-too-inviting. If you’re aiming for a good view with nothing but the feel of the soft breeze against your face, pick a small table by the balcony where you can really get some fresh air. It actually pays to just close your eyes, take deep breaths, and be totally in the moment for a bit.
To top it all off, there’s a mini-library upstairs where you can sink down on one of the comfy couches and pillows and bury yourself in a good book. Arca’s Yard may be a bit off the beaten track, but it’s the perfect sanctuary when you’re looking for some elusive peace of mind amid hushed conversation and a good cup of coffee.
FOTD Resto Cafe – Quezon Hill
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/Fotdrestocafe
“Food of the Day” café on Quezon Hill came across as a happy accident for me during a certain daytrip to the Summer Capital, but it’s still one of the best quiet Baguio cafes I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. I was waiting on a work-related thing and had to pass the time for a couple of hours, and thankfully, FOTD café stepped up. This laid-back café is nestled on the second floor of its establishment right in front of a busy commercial road, but that doesn’t keep it from providing peace and quiet to the weary traveller who happens to stumble upon it. The servers are completely nice too, which really adds to the charm of the place.
My spot at the corner booth overlooking the city down below was the perfect place for me to read my book in peace, and it’s a huge plus that my hot tea was served in an adorable pot that honestly made every sip taste better. FOTD serves pizza, pasta, and Asian cuisine favourites from home recipes of the owner, Cora Cu. The good Internet connection was also probably why there were a couple of customers working on their laptops at the time, so you can be sure to steer clear of any rowdy groups here.
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/EverythingNiceBaguio
If you’re thinking that there’s no possible way anything can be quiet at Baguio’s Ayala technohub in Camp John Hay, I beg to differ. Everything Nice is as charming as it is refreshing, as it offers a relaxing dining experience with its bright interiors and no-frills meals. It’s a cake shop and a café, but its rice meals are right on the money too. I personally enjoyed their hot cup of organic tarragon mint tea (because yes, tea is life). Calm, peaceful, and with bursts of pastel shades and lovely lights, Everything Nice also has a tiny garden extension to offer you the most secluded experience ever right at the heart of the bustling technohub.
* Bistro by Hill Station
This one is a little bonus at the technohub, because while I’ve been told that it can be quite a mess in there during the peak seasons, I was fortunate enough to happen upon the place when there weren’t a lot of customers around. It also helped that dinner was served smack-dab in the middle of Earth Hour, so with the lights dimmed and with nothing but the flickering of the candlelight on the table, everyone automatically spoke in hushed tones and soft whispers, making everything so much more peaceful. Introvert me was absolutely delighted.
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/cafeyagam/
Probably the best choice in this list of quiet Baguio cafes for coffee fanatics, Café Yagam boasts of native Cordillera delicacies and handpicked beans. You can take your pick of freshly roasted coffee according to your preference on roast, brew, and strength, so that you can truly enjoy aromatic Arabica coffee straight from the Cordillera Mountains. Add that to the homey atmosphere and the cozy spot near the fireplace and you get the perfect place to spend some “me” time with a warm cup in hand.
This list of quiet Baguio cafes is far from complete, but I’m constantly on the lookout to add more to this list for when I feel like introverting. If you’re travelling with kids, however, you can check out this list of kid-friendly places HERE. Now, what are your favourite secret Baguio spots? Sound off in the comments below!