Sometimes a meal tastes much better when it’s served in a restaurant with the right kind of ambiance. For some, that can mean dining al fresco or outside, for others it might mean music quietly playing in the background.
For art junkies, a restaurant with the perfect ambiance means enjoying meals amidst a visual feast of paintings and sculptures. My Pope recommends three places for a feast for your eyes—as well as your tummies.
Café Rizal at Pinto Art Gallery
Thought-provoking artworks and Instagram-worthy spots within a lush and sprawling compound of mission-style buildings aren’t the only come-ons at Café Rizal––a popular Antipolo destination founded by noted art patron and neurologist Joven Cuanang. This café within Pinto Art Gallery draws everyone––from families and friends to couples on a date––and consistently gets high marks for its pastas, pizzas, and refreshing drinks.
They don’t call it Café Rizal for nothing! The walls are adorned with paintings and drawings inspired by the national hero, interpreted in a myriad ways and mediums by local artists.
Gourmet Gypsy Art Café
Hankering for seafood laksa, elote Mexicano, chicken shish taouk, and spaghetti al nero—all in the same meal? You can get these and more at Gourmet Gypsy Art Café! In addition whipping up dishes she learned from her many travels, self-taught chef Waya Araos-Wijangco has vegetarian fare as well as keto dishes and condiments for those with specific dietary concerns.
Aside from delicious meals, Gourmet Gypsy Art Café also welcomes its guests with a cozy vibe courtesy of its wood furniture, home accessories, and art on display––which are actually for sale! The daughter of renowned wood sculptor Jerry Araos, Chef Waya also supports people with special needs and employs several of them in her restaurant.
Art Circle Café
An offshoot of the long-running successful family business Art Circle Gallery, the café, which Kitten Alcantara launched in 2014, serves comfort food courtesy of recipes from close family and friends. The restaurant is also a venue for art and culture activities like painting, literature, music, and dance.
All-day breakfast, rice meals, salads and soups, vegetarian dishes, pasta, snacks, pizza, quesadilla, sandwiches, and desserts make up the extensive menu at Art Circle Café. The piece de resistance, however, is the coffee—take your pick from Sagada and Barako to Benguet and Kalinga.