Friday, December 20, 2013

Old School Vibe at Luisa's Café in Baguio

Where To Eat In Baguio City

Have you seen a dumbwaiter or have you even heard of it? I’ve seen it before but didn’t really know what it’s called. And my recent trip to Baguio got me reacquainted with this simple machine marvel. Luisa’s Café is one of those untouched structure along Session Road in Baguio City; an oblivious form of resistance to change that’s been going on in the city.

Stepping inside the café, we felt nostalgic. There’s this old vibe in it that is somehow reminiscent of my family’s traditional Sunday-after-church lunch on one of the Chinese restaurants in Muñoz, Quezon City. The sight, smell, feel, sound and even your sixth sense would definitely tell you that you’re being transported back in time. Well that is if you’re an 80’s baby like me.

Luisa Cafe Baguio City

Luisa Cafe Baguio City
old school vibe
The first level of the café was packed with hungry souls when we went inside; very understandable for it’s almost dinnertime. We hurriedly went upstairs and the ambience totally changed. 

Luisa Cafe Baguio City

Luisa Cafe Baguio City
the more relaxed second level
It revealed a more relaxed atmosphere with a huge group of middle-aged guys glugging on bottles of Pale Pilsens and smoking at liberty without anyone restricting them. Another guy was playing darts on the other side. Laughter burst everywhere as they merrily grabbed every opportunity to share their part on the conversation (which was generally in Ilocano). I immediately felt at home.

Luisa Cafe Baguio City
a view of Session Road
Luisa Cafe Baguio City

We almost forgot that we were starving. We grabbed their menu and asked the server of their specialties. She went on declaring that their noodles (mami) and siopaos are the bestsellers; she’s deadpan. We got some Chicken mami and Wanton mami (65 pesos each). We also had some asado and bola-bola siopaos (43 pesos each).

Luisa Cafe Baguio City Dumbwaiter
'yun pala 'yun!
We didn’t have to wait for so long before we get to see the dumbwaiter working (and the food as well). The grimacing server went to the dumbwaiter and pulled the rope that revealed our hot meals. It was so cool! Two rounds all in all.

Luisa Cafe Baguio City Dumbwaiter

Luisa Cafe Baguio City Dumbwaiter
straight faced
And then the reason why we were there in the first place – the food. The siopaos and the mamis were quite ok; nothing spectacular. But I tasted no msg or one of those granules seasoning for the soup’s broth. The chicken stock tasted legit.

Luisa Cafe Baguio City Chicken Mami
Chicken mami
Luisa Cafe Baguio City Wanton Mami
Wanton mami
Luisa Cafe Baguio City Asado Siopao
Asado siopao
Luisa Cafe Baguio City Bola Bola Siopao
Bola-bola siopao
That being said, I can't discount the fact that our total experience at Luisa’s was great. It brought back childhood memories without them even trying. I’ve been to some retro restaurants who really tried to bring back that vintage feel for the diners; and as they try harder, they fail. Luisa’s Café in Baguio City succeeded on this part, effortless, without the slightest indication of them trying. Me looking forward on my next visit at Luisa's.

Luisa's Café
53 Session Road, Baguio City
phone: +(6374) 442.2412 / +(6374) 442.9521

Restaurant Hours
10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Check Baguio accommodations here


  1. Thank you for posting about Baguio city and mga resto na okay puntahan. Napadali ang solo trip ko :)

    1. No problem z764536 (anhirap i-type ng username mo. hihi :)