Gastronomical Adventures: La Union Edition

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Last May, my friends and I headed to La Union to have our yearly vacation. This post has been sitting on my drafts for a long time, but unfortunately, I never got around to finishing it. And I’m really excited to finally post this and show you how we pigged out in La Union. *wink*
We got there during the Labor Union celebration, and unfortunately, the beach was barricaded for the party goers both day in and out. We were thinking of availing the tickets but decided against it because (1) the music was not enticing enough, (2) we’re not sure if it’s worth buying, and (3) we’re traveling on a budget and we would rather spend our money for something else rather than party. Our 3D2N stay was the bomb, but instead of surfing or dancing our asses off, we ended up eating (A LOT).


Unbeknown to many, La Union is actually a haven of good food. In fairness, we enjoyed everything that we ate during our stay without sacrificing our budget. Among all the places that we’ve visited, these three made the most impression to me: Halo halo de Iloko, Surf Shack, and Midway Grill. Aside from having delicious food, everything is so affordable, we’d definitely go back to these places in a heartbeat. Here’s a quick run through of what each place has to offer, plus photos of what we ate! Heh! 🙂
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net

Halo Halo De Iloko Balay

Zandueta St., San Fernando, La Union


If you’ve researched enough about food places in La Union, you might have come across the name from various posts online, or even television features. In fact, the place is pretty well known, a couple of notable celebrities have already paid a visit to this restaurant. The food is superb, affordable, and their signature halo halo is the bomb, I wouldn’t mind gulping down one of those any time.
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Sinampalukang Buknok (Php 395.00/Good for 2-3 people)

We paid a visit at around 2:30 PM and had to wait for around 15 minutes to get seated. The queue is relatively short, though, compared to the usual line if you go during peak hours. There are plenty of seats available, and the festive colors are definitely a pleasure in the eyes. Food is served after a good 15-20 minutes, since everything is cooked upon order.

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Kare Kare (Good for 2-3 people)
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Adobo (Good for 2-3 people)
We decided to order different dishes that would suffice for 2-3 persons and just share it with one another. This strategy cost us less, of course, and we were also able to maximize our stay by allowing ourselves to take a taste of each dish that may sound enticing to us.
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Buko Halo halo (Php 175.00)
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Fiesta Halo halo (Php 99.00)

And of course, the highlight of it all was their tasty halo-halo. True to its reputation, each halo halo was tasty and has enough sahog to actually make you feel full at the end of the day. It has a hefty ice cream on top, with leche flan, corn flakes, and ube. The usual kaong, nata, and munggo, among many others, are also present. The servings are generous, that Mark and I even shared with our Fiesta Halo halo.

Since there are 10 of us, the bill was split accordingly, and we ended up paying around 150 pesos per head, which includes the rice and the main dishes. The halo halo was in our own expense.
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Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net

Surf Shack

239 National Highway, San Juan, La Union


For our dinner on our second day, we ended up going to yet another famous place in La Union, Surf Shack. Located beside the highway, Surf Shack is THE place to be if you’re going to stay in San Juan. With the delicious grub that would satisfy the beach feels, it’s not surprising that the place is overflowing with people during meal time. We went to the place by 9:00 PM and the crowd is far from dying. Again, we have to wait for a good 15 – 20 minutes to be seated, but it’s okay, since we immensely enjoyed the food.
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
The squad minus Mark (oh the woes of being the photographer)

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
B-b-b-beer

This time, we decided to order three different pizzas for dinner. We had Ilocano Pizza, Tapa Pizza, and their Four Cheese Pizza. We had them cut in squares so we can part them equally. Cooking took a little longer than 20 minutes because of the queue, but then again, the food was delicious, it no longer mattered. Pizza is best paired with an ice cold beer, and they have a selection of craft and imported beers to choose from. Ahh, the life.

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Ilocano Pizza
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Tapa Pizza

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Four Cheese Pizza
Again, we split the bill and we ended up paying *drum roll please* Php 55.00 each for the pizza! On top of that was our drinks, but then again, that’s pretty minimal. It took 20 minutes for each pizza to arrive, and we actually devoured it within less than 5 minutes. Talk about hungry. Aside from great food they also offer relaxing jams, best enjoyed while filling in our tummies.
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Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net

Midway Grill Restaurant

National Highway, Brgy. Carlatan, San Fernando, La Union


If you feel like a nice American inspired meal, complete with a delicious baby back and mashed potatoes, then Midway Grill is the way to go. A few minutes from the Partas terminal, this place served us our last meal in La Union.
Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Beef Brisket Meal (Php 89.00)

Unlike the other restaurants that we’ve eaten, this was the only place where we ordered per person. It was still very affordable though, with prices ranging from Php 89 – Php 200, depending on your order. Php 300 would already serve you a decent full meal, with drinks, sides, and your main course.

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
THEM BABY BACK RIBS AT PHP 199.00 ONLY

I ordered their Baby Back Ribs and man it was one of the best ribs I’ve ever tasted! The meat was moist and tender inall the right places, with an A+ barbecue sauce, which just goes perfectly with the mashed potato. The potato and sides weren’t as tasty, but the ribs outshine it all. The serving is generous too, and I really really enjoyed this one. It has officially become one of the top places to get baby back… if only it wasn’t too far from me.

Good Food in La Union | www.jhanzey.net
Complete group photo, yaz!

All in all, our La Union food experience was definitely one of the best that we had. Here are other places that we wanted to try, but time is pretty limited for a visit. I shall return, though.
  • El Union Coffee (closed when we paid a visit)
  • Flotsam and Jetsam (under renovation when we went there)
  • Gefseis Greek Grill Restaurant
  • Urbiztondo Grill
  • Parmisano’s Art Cafe
  • Soul Cafe
There you have it! How about you? Have you ever been to La Union? What are your favorite food places in the area? Share it below and I would definitely check them out when I go back (because yes, I honestly think that the place deserves a second or third or fourth or many more visits). 🙂

52 thoughts on “Gastronomical Adventures: La Union Edition

  1. Ate why?! laging bad timing ko whenever I visit your blog. I think I can live with the Four Cheese Pizza and the Buko Halo. Happiness is what you get when you eat good food. Haha

    Lou | wander-soul.net

  2. Ate why?! laging bad timing ko whenever I visit your blog. I think I can live with the Four Cheese Pizza and the Buko Halo. Happiness is what you get when you eat good food. Haha

    Lou | wander-soul.net

  3. omg what is that ilocano pizza :O my parents are ilocano so im pretty familiar with the main foods,havent tasted a pizza tho. nakakaexcite to try. and yes for me pangasinan onwards to cagayan have great food! and sulit pa 🙂

  4. omg what is that ilocano pizza :O my parents are ilocano so im pretty familiar with the main foods,havent tasted a pizza tho. nakakaexcite to try. and yes for me pangasinan onwards to cagayan have great food! and sulit pa 🙂

  5. Still can't get over how cheap it is in the Philippines. I need to visit again, sooooon. I miss my family and the food :((

    All the food pictures look so delicious. I had a serious craving the other day, as well, so this isn't helping. Lol.

    I'm glad you had a good time!

  6. Still can't get over how cheap it is in the Philippines. I need to visit again, sooooon. I miss my family and the food :((

    All the food pictures look so delicious. I had a serious craving the other day, as well, so this isn't helping. Lol.

    I'm glad you had a good time!

  7. Will definitely try Surf Shack when we come back! That 4-cheese pizza!!!! 🙁 There were too many people the last time we went there. El Union's cupcakes were great and my friends loved their coffee! My favorite's Sea Nymph Surf Cafe which is along the beach. 🙂

  8. Will definitely try Surf Shack when we come back! That 4-cheese pizza!!!! 🙁 There were too many people the last time we went there. El Union's cupcakes were great and my friends loved their coffee! My favorite's Sea Nymph Surf Cafe which is along the beach. 🙂

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