Top 5 Best Food Spots in Surf Town: San Juan, La Union + BONUS CONTENT!!!

La Union has become one of the premier destinations in the Philippines for the past few months and even years for a couple of reasons:

First, to learn how to surf. It is in fact the Surfing Capital of the North and many tourists, foreigners at that, whom I’ve met here pointed this out as their number one reason for going (and staying for months!!!) in LU.

No doubt that this has become an easy go-to spot for a lot of millennials because it’s literally just a 5-hour bus trip away!

Second is, of course, to unwind, relax, and experience the vibe.

Elyu is known for having that millennial-boho-grammer-lifestyle that unlike any other beach trip you’ll go to, you’ll have to bring your A-game here in curating your outfit for the morning shoot, the afternoon surf, and your Flotsam nights!

This place warrants you to be a little extra, if you know what I mean. Do it for the gram!

But we’re not here to talk about surfing, nor the vibe… (YET)

Do check out my “Mother Blogpost” about Surf Town Elyu for Quick Links and Guides!
San Juan, La Union 101: Travel Guide and Itinerary Choices for Surf Town Elyu

snapseed-30
barefoot elyu with the gang

We’re here for the munchies!!!

Here are my Top 5 Picks of the BEST food spots in Surf Town Elyu!

Chow time!


Barefoot Elyu

Barefoot is what you would look for if you’d want bacon, eggs, and brioche for breakfast, or even lunch, and maybe dinner. (and maybe a tapsilog with a complete mix of veggies, and extra bacon, and another extra bacon). Man, I love breakfast food!

snapseed-8
shakshouka and toast with avocado photo courtesy of @angelciid (Instagram) 

I could never stress this enough. This place is hidden, underrated and very much under the radar. One of the main reasons why it’s a must try whenever you’re in town!

snapseed-7
full taglish and manong benny. photo courtesy of @angelciid (instagram)

Their prices are super reasonable and you can never go wrong with any order that you’ll get. I’ve tried pretty much every single dish and I can guarantee you,
EVERYTHING IS SAVORY!

Where: From the beach, enter Le Point Bar just after The Great Northwest PTSVD, before Flotsam. (see photo above)
MUST TRY: Shakshouka, Full Taglish, Manong Benny, Extra Bacon! (Pengeng bacon!!!)

NakNak

Visiting Surf Town and you’re on a tight budget? NakNak has you covered.

snapseed-9
peeping @ naknak’s rare moment na hindi puno! 

This family-ran business with food choices of anything and everything Filipino that you for a very reasonable, justifiable, and generous serving size would reel you back in every single time.

snapseed-11
chopsuey (served with rice), and beef sisig. malandi ko nga palang tropa @juswille na kinakawayan si ate (see next photo)

NakNak is the best option, if you ask me, for budget eats less than 100 php.

snapseed-10
menu with my malanding tropa @juswille (instagram) di pinatawad pati si ate 

Variety, check. Taste, check. Cheap, check. Three thumbs up! Luh.

Where: In front of Great Northwest PTSVD (El Union), on the other side of the road.
MUST TRY: Grilled Pork, Beef Sisig, Vegetable Curry.

TJ’s Grill

Head on to TJ’s Grill if you’re looking for sumptuous seafood off-the-grill! I will need better photos to justify this small but terribly good store!

snapseed-1
tuna poke with rice. i need better photos for this place. coming this weekend!

From grilled tuna, dorado, mahi-mahi, to classic pinoy grilled hits of liempo, hita ng manok; all served with veggies on the side!

This place is ran by local surfers (champions, too!) who are very hospitable and would actually share a story or two with you when you dine here!

img_3027
at TJ’s Grill pre-pub crawl! three groups of strangers turned into one group of friends. amazing things that happen when you’re at Circle with the legendary @thefartingshark (instagram)

This place, btw, also has 50php beers so you can pre-game while having dinner before you go to Flots! Convenient, huh!

Where: Right past NakNak, gray gate (will post a photo for reference soon!)
MUST TRY: Grilled Tuna, Grilled Tuna with Mango, Grilled Tuna with Avocado

Tagpuan

This place is quite famous and most probably the most familiar from the picks I’ve listed so far!

snapseed-16
hole-in-the-wall. may megaphone na sila, guys. makinig naman kayo. lalo kung lasing na kayo, tinatawag na pangalan niyo. G

Tagpuan is a hole-in-the-wall (lol literally) post-walwal recovery food type of stop. After partying at Flots, or drinking wherever you chose to spend your night away, Tagpuan will be there waiting for you… up until 3AM. Munchiieeeesssss.

snapseed
BEEF PARES WITH KIMCHI COMBO. LEGIT AF.

Their Beef Pares mixed with their extra side of Kimchi is a weird mix I’ve learned from a blogger friend that really stuck to me!

Where: Look for the Big Yellow Circle of Mad Monkeys on the other side of the road, in front of 711.
MUST TRY: Beef Pares (add-on a Kimchi side!!!), Tapsilog, Combo 2.

I’ve heard that they have a new spot, Tagpuan sa Baybay, in The Surfer’s Point Deck! I’ll check it out this weekend and I’ll let you guys know about it, for sure! Yeew!

Sabong Fried Chicken

Inside the Great Northwest PTSVD is a fried chicken joint owned by a really cool and friendly surfer who is always-smiling, spreading good vibes, and dances really well esp during party nights! HAHA hello Sir Raffy!

snapseed-24
HONEY BAGOONG ALL-DAY

What makes this fried chicken joint extraordinary is their unique set of sauces, well-balanced glazes, and a generous serving size!

snapseed-12
best paired with beer, of course! tito vibes

If you’re not on a diet, or you’re just itching to get your fried chicken fix, head on to Sabong FC inside the Great Northwest because I’m dubbing this place as
La Union’s Jollibee Chickenjoy!”.

Where: Back end of the Great Northwest PTSVD
MUST TRY: Honey Bagoong with that toasted ensaladang talong and Karekare sauce! Oh, shit, Korean Soy plus that sauce I can’t even describe. (Shet, laway ko.)


Honorable Mentions:

Papa Bear– Also inside the Great Northwest PTSVD, they offer exceptional Pork Sambal and soft serve ice cream! Medyo pricey pero worth it.

Makai Bowls– Immediately above Sabong in the Great Northwest PTSVD, get your smoothie and chia bowl fix for a healthy breakfast/dessert! Chia tsaka surfer’s bowl!

LecheIce cream? Try their Baon, Kape at Yosi, and their funky Champorado with REAL tuyo! Sorry walang totoong yosing kasama yung isa.

Mamba’s KitchenTuna Burger! I can’t go to Elyu without getting this!!! Give it a shot!

Chu’s Diner– Owned by a classic LU surfer, they serve authentic and unparalleled Japanese food in the place! Also inside the Great Northwest PTSVD. Try out their poke bowl and their yakinikudon! Solid.

Mad Monkeys– Beer-cheese sauce Grilled Burgers! Weirdly good. 

Clean Beach CoHome of the Conyo people, dejk. Besides their great coffee, check out their sandwiches (>over their breakfast plates). They also have a nice, and non-crowded chill spot in front of their shop for sunset chillin’!

El Union– El Union is an obvious BEST PICK no matter what. Anything you get here is good! OG OG.


Just wanted to get this off my chest…

Disclaimer: These are the places that I like the LEAST, and the reasons why I don’t love them will be listed on the side. Note that this is not to hate on any store or anyone, but instead, if they ever get to read this, hope that they take it as constructive criticism so they could step up their game and strengthen their weaknesses! Peace!

snapseed-14
NOlas Bandit0s

Olas Banditos– This place has a nice interior, a roomy comfort room, with subpar food. Their serving size has decreased over time and I don’t think it’s worth the price they’re charging for. Meh.

Flotsam and Jetsam– Don’t get me wrong! I LOVE FLOTSAM for their nightlife and parties! But their food are just okay and I they aren’t really THAT special for the steep price tag. Baka mahirap lang ako. HAHAHA

Gefseis– According to my old timer friends who’ve been to Elyu years ago before it popped, this used to be a really good Greek resto with cheap and reasonable prices! Unfortunately, now it’s just the entire opposite: pricey, not-so-good tasting dishes, with unhappy servers and waiters. I hope they could turn the boat around.

Beach Bum Food ParkJust don’t. We ate here last December 2017, we were a group of 5 who ordered from 5 different stalls inside… and we were all disappointed on how mediocre, lackluster, and disproportionately pricey the food were! Sorry not sorry. Pero maganda lang yung design nung isang store may picture ako dun HAHA.

Halo Halo De Iloko– I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of this place. This is NOT in San Juan, this place can be found in San Fernando and it’s one of those restos that are “overhyped”. Their food are so-so, their halo-halo is not that good, they have a mid-to-high price tag, and it’s extremely hard to get in because of the queue lines. It’s just not worth it, guys. IMHO

snapseed-15
sometimes, it’s not worth riding the hypetrain

My Two Cents

Welcome again to the part of my blog where I give my biased, uncalled for, and unneeded opinions about life, love, and elyu. Yuck HAHAHA

If you’re still reading, thank you. HAHA. Joke lang. Read on!!

Turista Instagrammer Mode vs Andito-Ko-Para-Matuto-Magsurf Mode

img_3334
follow me on Instagram @charlesnicolei!!! I follow back hehe

If it’s your first time in Surf Town, and you want to get the best photos for your IG feed, stories, or blog, feel free to flip your cash and try out the famous spots such as the ones in the Great Northwest PTSVD, Flotsam, etc! Food is not so cheap in these stores if you’re on a tight budget, though! But who cares, do it for the gram! LMAO.

On the other hand, if you’re here to learn how to surf (which costs 400 per sesh per hour if you don’t have your own board and you need an instructor), I would advice that you eat in places like NakNak, or maximize the free breakfast in the place you’re gonna be staying in, or the most classic way, magbaon ka ng adobo na tatagal ng isang linggo tas kanin sa NakNak 10 pesos lang. Solve!

Unless of course you’re filthy rich, don’t mind this part of the blog. Palibre naman.

CLAYGO

CLEAN AS YOU EFFING GO.

Guys, please.

Clean up after you eat, drink, shit, or whatever you do in and around the vicinity. Your momma ain’t here to clean after you!

I’ll probably put this in each and every blogpost that I’ll put up about LU.

Project Curma

img_6021
photo courtesy of @projectcurma (instagram) last Oct 28, 2018 during the “Surf Break”

Fun Fact: Just this October 28th of 2018, during the weekend “Surf Break”, an Olive Ridley sea turtle came ashore to lay 101 eggs on our beloved LU shore! CURMA volunteers were able to safely perimeter the pawikan and transferred its nest to the CURMA hatchery for safe monitoring and release in the future. This sea turtle and her ancestors, according to CURMA, have long known San Juan, La Union as their home.

THIS IS A CONCRETE REMINDER FOR EACH AND EVERYONE OF US TO BE AWARE THAT WE ARE THE TRANSIENT CARETAKERS OF THE EARTH AND THAT WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN TRASH, LITTER, AND CRAP.

Please, people, don’t let La Union fall from its grace like what happened in Boracay.

Please please please double your efforts in maintaining the cleanliness of the beach, minimize the usage of single-use plastic, join forces with the Circle Hostel in forming eco-bricks, and try your best to preserve the ecosystem in every way you can!!!

Not just in LU… even in Baler, Zambales, Siargao, wherever you are. Please. CLAYGO.



Did I forget to put a spot that you think is worth going to?

Do you have any violent reactions, criticisms, or you just don’t agree with my top picks?

Leave a comment, or reply below! I’d love to discuss it with you!

Make sure you follow the blog, share it with your family, friends, and loved ones!

A LOT MORE ARE COMING, SO STAY TUNED!

Sea you!

Do check out my “Mother Blogpost” about Surf Town Elyu for Quick Links and Guides!
San Juan, La Union 101: Travel Guide and Itinerary Choices for Surf Town Elyu

At kung sobrang dami niyong oras, check niyo nadin yung other personal insights blogpost ko about Elyu! Yeeew!
Getting My Feet Wet: The First Ride (I’m Not Ashamed To Say That You Were My First)
Getting My Feet Wet: The First Wave

8 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Food Spots in Surf Town: San Juan, La Union + BONUS CONTENT!!!

    1. Hey, man! Thanks for the love! This list is something from my heart and the places din that I always go to for bites when I’m around! Preferences would be there but these are the best ones imo! Hey that’d be awesome! See you in the line up!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s