We took a dreamy day trip to Pandin Lake and were fortunate enough to fill up with good times and good grub at Cafe Lago. Honestly, if Pandin Lake didn’t work I would have been happy that we just got to spend an afternoon at Cafe Lago.
Some key elements that make up a perfect day trip are location (driving distance), scenery and food. We hit the friggin’ jack pot with Cafe Lago. Cafe Lago is nestled right next to Sampaloc Lake and with the open setting of the dining area, a constant breeze blows through. Lush green, stairs and a lake view all make up a pretty dreamy lunch setting. Plus, they have a really nice working bathroom with toilet paper and soap- huzzah!
I mean, come on! Are we feasting in The Garden of Eden? I loved the table cloths and bright chairs. The foliage as a roof above us, so inviting and peaceful. Through the windows we can feel and see Sampaloc Lake. The beef caldereta was absolutely amazing as the meat just fell of the bone and sauce was perfection. My Pinoy boy who stole Chanda’s fish right off her plate. The sweet chicken was insanely good. Reminded me of American Chinese food. The suman sa lihia was pretty much life changing. If I was a poet I would write my affection for it. The flan had a citrus undertone that was unique but still really good. Happily exploring the grounds. We were fortunate enough to meet Tony Marino, part of the brothers who own Cafe Lago. He was so kind and helpful. He shared his story of returning home to Laguna from New York to open Cafe Lago. He was so generous with sharing information about other treasures to explore and even arranged for one of his employees to lead us to Pandin Lake in a trike! Talk about generosity, he gets it! I am continually amazed with the beauty of this country and its people. Maraming Salamat Tony! It took a few extra minutes to find Cafe Lago but with the help of locals and this nice yellow sign, it stuck out. Sometimes photos don’t do the beauty justice but Sampaloc Lake really was so blue and crisp. We had the reoccurring conversation of wondering what other hidden gems are just two-three hours away that we don’t even know about. I hope this next year we find many many more!
Things to know:
- For a family of 7 the total bill was 1000php. Needless to say, the price was beyond fair.
- Cafe Lago is located on Dagatan Boulevard nestled right next to Sampolac Lake, NOT Pandin Lake. You still need to drive 15-20 more for Pandin Lake.
- Open from Mon-Fri 10 am – 9 pm; Sat-Sun 7 am – 9 pm
- Contact: 09175016694; email@example.com