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6 New Places to Visit in La Union Over the Long Weekend

Our favorite surftown is brimming with innovation inspired by their cool and casual lifestyle.
6 New Places to Visit in La Union Over the Long Weekend
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/tigreyoliviachocolate, makan.eliseos, makaphilippines
Our favorite surftown is brimming with innovation inspired by their cool and casual lifestyle.

Beyond lounging around, getting salty under the sun, and simply eating delicious food or sipping booze, La Union is promising as “the new place to be.” It’s really no surprise that the foot traffic spikes to high volumes as visitors from all walks of life, as well as from all over the globe, trot down this lane to get a glimpse of the daily life in La Union. The locals’ communal approach in gathering ideas and assembling them from scratch don’t go unnoticed, as now you are to discover the newest spots just right for you and your friends.

Masa by the Barefoot Bakers

Ili Norte, San Juan, La Union

In a friendly, quiet neighborhood is Masa, La Union’s haven of your next honest-to-goodness and nutritious merienda paired with a quality caffeine fix. Surftown’s newest hideout is one of the few places you can find handmade and unbleached bread in the entire Philippines. Joining in their advocacy to #StopBadBread, is Panaderya Toyo’s Richie Manapat who knows exactly how every serving pops out of the oven and straight to your stomach, the good way. When you do find yourself here during their #TasaSaMasa Saturdays, grab one or two of their custard-filled donuts called Berliners for a sugary treat, the Pitcha for a savory approach, and a glass of Spanish Latte. You’re welcome.

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Tigre Y Oliva

Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

The sweetest addition to Urbiztondo’s The Great Northwest Travel Stop and Viewing Deck is a charming dessert bar ready for your cheat days. As a local chocolate brand, this is the first of Tigre Y Oliva’s venture in elevating their pure cocoa products to new heights. Prepped fresh for every weekend, they offer premium ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-dipped macaroons, made-to-order cakes, among others. You’re sure to be a fan of their Champopo and Faux Twix as they lead the way for the full tasting experience of their chocolate. Before you end your trip, stop by and grab their bars of Talandang, Santa Maria, and Subasta as pasalubong.

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MAKAN at Eliseos

Ili Norte, San Juan, La Union

Constructed in the outskirts of San Juan’s hushed Ili Norte is beachside restaurant MAKAN, where founder EJ Lagman can be found in his vast kitchen. Playful in his approach towards gastronomic experiences, he displays no signs of slowing down. Of experimental multi-course meals, no dinner is ever the same and every seat is secured by strict reservation only. So make sure you tune in their Instagram to keep up with their menu updates.

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When you call dibs, you’ll be one of the lucky ones as they serve only a limited number of hungry people a night, depending on the occasion. Nonetheless, every meal by MAKAN is worth the splurge that doesn’t burn a hole through your pocket. Pop in a little bit earlier than your reservation to enjoy a sunset session from the view at their balcony.

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Buhay Gulay HQ

Lingsat, San Fernando, La Union

In the midst of skepticism surrounding veganism and vegetarianism, along with claims that it’s an “expensive and limiting lifestyle,” founder Julienne Posadas thought of Buhay Gulay. This food service upgrades the healthy diet with Filipino twists that are “equally as good or even taste better than the real thing,” but for only P100.

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Today with a varied selection of plant-based meals, among their dishes are the Beanuguan, Vegetable Kare-kare with Vegan Bagoong, Tofu Sisig, and the Mushroom Calamares. Every meal comes with homegrown red rice harvested in an unassuming farm found in San Fernando City, La Union. Now to cater to both loyal and new customers, is their newly-opened Buhay Gulay HQ.

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Maka Studio

Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

Jerik Robleza’s Maka Studio La Union champions design, silkscreen artistry, and the skate and surf culture, all in one space. But it’s more than just a shop featuring original merchandise. Maka contributes in community-building through workshops, participating in local events and environmental campaigns. If you want to learn more about Maka’s vision, doors are open ‘til late for cold beer, meaningful conversations, and quality company even on weeknights. Munchies? Persia House is conveniently situated right across the studio–perfect to satisfy your shawarma craving.

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Cutback Barbers

Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

Cutback Barbers is a creative space for hair professionals all over the world. Right in this little corner, founder (and El Union’s “barberista”) Chloe Samontanes has collaborated with the likes of Luis Laurenco of Macau’s 2LEGIT barbershop, and Deutsch jet-setting hairdresser Miex.

In spite of the fact that, in tradition, barbershops were known to be man caves exclusive for the male species, Cutback Barbers opens its doors to all genders. In the recent months, this has been where both locals and tourists take grooming and makeovers a notch higher, and it seems as if it’s going to stay this way for a very long time. Come by one of these Cutback Culture weekends hosted with El Union’s The Shrine of Satisfaction for music, dance, and a whole lot of good vibes. 

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