Over the past year, cozy mountain cafes and restaurants have popped up in the highlands of Consolacion, Cebu – specifically in the mountain barangays of Panoypoy and Garing – offering an alternative upland escape to Cebu Transcentral Highway (aka “Busay) for urban dwellers seeking cool air, greenery and scenic views.
These open-air establishments not only offer incredible views of the surrounding countryside and the metropolitan area’s skyline but also a safe, well-ventilated dining experience. Here’s are six recommended restaurants in the highlands of Consolacion that you should check out!
Driving Tip: if you’re coming from Cebu City by private car, there’s a nice mountain route to upland Consolacion via Barangay Pit-os. This is a shorter, more relaxing route compared to driving via the busy streets of Mandaue City and Consolacion.
Most sections of the mountain roads were completely paved, with a few still under construction. Entering Panoypoy requires crossing a small, shallow creek. Use Google Maps or Waze to navigate. Scroll down below to view location map with all the establishments pinned.
Standing along a road bend in Barangay Garing, this open-air cafe serves mostly Western comfort food like pizza, pasta and burgers. They also have all-day breakfast plates and pork sisig with egg, the quintessential beer companion. I especially enjoyed the Divine Burger Overload (₱120), since one can never go wrong with bacon! Their Carbonara (₱120) was also delicious. As for drinks, they offer espresso drinks and frappucinno (both coffee-based and non-coffee). The Java Chip Frappucino (₱130) was a standout with just the right amount of sweetness.
Located next to the stylish and exclusive Wooloo cottages (under the same management), this ridge-top cafe with outdoor seating serves Korean-inspired fare like Korean Soy Honey Chicken Wings (₱220) and Egg Drop Brioche Sandwiches (₱190). A few items on their menu incorporate Cebuano cuisine like the Lamaw Donburi (₱220), Nanda’s Humbacon Burger with Fries (₱190), and Pho-chero (₱230), a combination of Vietnamese pho and Cebuano pochero (similar to the Tagalog bulalo). The lamp-lit, al fresco layout with wooden tables, chairs, and swings make this establishment the most rustic among Consolacion’s mountain cafes. This establishment is located around 700 meters further up the road from Divine View RestoCafe.
Among the very first to open in Barangay Panoypoy, this small roadside restaurant has an eclectic menu. First and foremost, they serve Filipino rice meals with grilled viands like Tuna Panga with Rice (₱180) and Pork Belly with Rice (₱150). If you’re looking for finger food, they also have delicious snacks as well like Beef Nachos (₱120) and Shawarma Wrap (₱95). They have a lot of choices when it comes to drinks as well, including coffee, frappes, milktea, and shakes. One of the unique drinks are their Yakult drinks (₱120) the come in fruit flavors like blueberry, lychee, strawberry and green apple. From Panoypoy Heights, you can see the other cafes in the area.
Located at the mountaintop resort Highland Mango Ecofarm in Barangay Panoypoy, this terrace cafe perhaps has the highest elevation in Barangay Panoypoy but is also the farthest to reach. Its seclusion, however, guarantees that it sees less crowds, especially on busy weekends, if you’re looking to enjoy good food and views in peace and quiet. Their menu includes rice meals like their specialty Baby Back Ribs (₱280) and Fried Chicken (₱270). They also have some soup dishes like Bird’s Nest Soup (₱195), which was especially comforting to eat on a cool evening. They also have good selection of barista offerings that include hot and iced espresso drinks, ice-blended drinks, and hot teas. (Driver’s Warning: the access road to the farm resort is unpaved with some steep portions.)
Located near Panoypoy Heights, this open-air restaurant with overhanging terraces specializes in affordable Filipino food. They have a grill-as-you-order selection of meats like chicken thigh (₱90/pc), chicken wing (₱40/pc) or chorizo (₱20/pc). They also serve local soups like Balbacua (₱90) and Batchoy (₱60), as well as noodle dishes like Bam-i (₱120) and Canton (₱120). For merienda (snacks between meals), there are spring rolls like Lumpia Shanghai (₱10/pc) and Vegetable Lumpia (₱10/pc).
An overhanging al-fresco dining area linked by elevated walkways makes this mountain restaurant – also located in Barangay Panoypoy – unique from the other establishments. However, their food selection isn’t as extensive as the other cafes. Among the dishes available during our visit were Fried Chicken with French Fries (₱129), Biryani (₱179), Club House Sandwich with French Fries (₱99), Hamburger with Fries (₱139), Bacon with Cheese and French Fries (₱129) and Special Pancit Guisado (₱109).
How to Get There
The best way to get to the mountain barangays of Consolacion is by private car or motorcycle, via Consolacion town proper, if coming from the northern parts of the metropolis like Mandaue or Lapu-Lapu cities.
If coming from Cebu City, one can also reach the area from Barangay Pit-os, Cebu City to avoid the busy streets of Mandaue and Consolacion. Use Google Maps or Waze to navigate (Tip: Download an offline map so you can easily navigate even in areas with no data signal).
For public transportation, one can take any northbound bus or jeepney and alight at Fooda Saversmart Consolacion, where you can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi, approx. ₱100, 30 minutes) to take you to your restaurant of choice in Panoypoy or Garing.