Photography by Beatrice Faicol
Many claim that the best Filipino food is made by one’s own mother. There’s little to dispute how delicious ulam can be when it comes from the loving hands of mama, so we agree with a few exceptions. A sense of place has to come into play and one of the most memorable settings for Filipino dining in the city is the legendary Café Juanita in Kapitolyo, right where Rockwell Primaries’ The Vantage is set to rise.
Since it first emerged at the corner of United Street and West Capitol Drive, Café Juanita has delighted patrons with its festive charms: the eclectic, ornate, and colorful interiors that resemble the home of an eccentric aunt. What more during the holidays, when the restaurant sets up its gleefully decorated Christmas tree and string lights that give the space the feel of Mardi Gras more than the nativity scene.
And then there’s the food—Filipino and Spanish classics (with some Southeast Asian staples thrown in) that would never be out of place in a Christmas dinner spread. Whether you’re looking for an alternate living room to celebrate the holidays at (they’re open) or somewhere to grab a quick potluck dish for a friend’s celebration, Café Juanita’s kitchen is as reliable as a mother’s touch.
Café Juanita is located at 19 W. Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City