Dine-out or Eat-in?
How to Really Cut Your Baguio Food Bill
Your food bill can add up to a big part of your vacation spending, especially if you are staying for a week, or if you are traveling in a large group. This is one reason to stay in a lodging establishment that allows you to do your own cooking. In deciding which is better for you -- dining out or eating in -- consider these then:
1. Preparing your own meals may be cheaper but can take up a lot of valuable vacation time -- and there's so much to see and do that your typical 3day/2night sojourn may not be enough to take everything in. 2. There are a lot of interesting and inexpensive restaurants in Baguio City to sample that you will not find anywhere else in the world and it would be a pity if you did not at least try some of them. So if you decide to cut down on your food expenses by doing your own cooking (that's what a lot Filipino families do when on vacation here, for, after all, this is THE place in the Philippines where vegetables are freshest, sweetest, crunchiest and CHEAPEST and purchasing them from the Baguio City Market can be such a joy), here are some tips to help cut down on your vacation spending.
1. Load up on grocery items.
Groceries cost the same here as anywhere else in the Philippines. Due to our resident population size and their spending habits, one cannot say that it is a tourist trap. In fact, tourist dollars go a long, long way in the City of Pines.
A popular grocery is the one at the SM City mall. So if you did not empty your pantry back home and bring everything with you on your trip, know that many of the same items are available here.
If you are staying on the northwestern side of town (near Naguilian
and Bokawkan Roads), the grocery stores near you are PureGold grocery at the CooYeeSan mall that is oh so cheap, and Holiday Supermart.
Specialty stores like Shop and Munch across Teachers Camp and Supreme Deli on Leonard Wood Road also very conveniently located \and have a good selection of sausages, cold cuts and cheeses.
Here Are Tips on How to Save on Meals
2. Visit the Baguio City Market.
It is in fact the third thing you should do upon arrival (the first would be refuel/ buy a map, the second, check-in into your hotel). Most folks go to the market on their last day to shop for cheap vegetables and souvenir items to bring home.
I suggest you go on your first and last day.
Have I mentioned that our public market is probably the cleanest in the country?
Have I told you that you can find everything that's fresh and ready to cook there?
3. Check out our bakeries.
There didn't used to be too many good bakeries here in the 1990s (something about the high altitude and lack of equipment and ingredients did not make it easy then), but now we have some really interesting ones that I can recommend:
- Swiss Made on on Session Road. I recommend their crusty rolls and "pandesal."
- Holiday Supermart has its own bakery with really good banana bread.
- Of course there's Cafe by the Ruin's take-out counter across City Hall that sells kamote (sweet potato) bread, among other baked goodies.
Here's my personal list of favorite restaurants that are exciting, consistently good and provide great service. Plus they are all easy on the budget, as most Baguio eateries are...
Barbecues and picnics are a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors. There's nothing more appetizing that eating out in the fresh air, plus it's a cheap way to have a great meal and entertain one's family and guests, too....
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