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A Foodtripper’s Guide To La Union For Your Last Summer Hurrah

With the rains coming in more frequently this month, panicked summer lovers are scrambling to hold on to whatever thread of it is left. Luckily, even the rainy season offers a lot of sun and heat during the daytime to enjoy a short getaway to the nearby beaches to Manila.

You can take a day trip to La Union or “eLyU” in only 3.5 hours and have enough time to soak in the sun, sand, and lots of food and booze before rain touches the ground near late afternoons this time of the month. But if you want to make the most of it, stay until the night life picks up because LU may be laid back during the day, but at night it can turn into party central just like that.

 

Here are a few places you shouldn’t skip:

 

Flotsam and Jetsam

12500 MacArthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

This popular hotel has more to offer than just a few beds. It has a restaurant with lounge areas where you can enjoy a cold beer (or cocktails) and its famous F&J pizza. (If you want to taste their pizza, come after 3pm because they don’t serve it earlier than that.)

https://www.instagram.com/p/Be-oL8TFGE8/?taken-by=flotsamandjetsamhostel

 

Papa Bear

The Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop and Viewing Deck, Mac Arthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union


Serving up sumptuous Asian dishes, Papa Bear gives you the fix you need when those satay and sambal cravings kick in in the middle of your trip.

 

Chicken Satay

 

Sambal Pork

 

On weekends, you can avail of their soft serve ice cream specials on the 2nd floor!

 

Sabong Fried Chicken

The Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop and Viewing Deck, Mac Arthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

This joint serves only a handful of chicken varieties, but the flavoring of each are all you really look for in chicken. They have the ELYU original, honey bagoong, Korean soy, and chick n’ morty (spicy).

 

Elyu Original

 

Korean Soy

 

They offer a few sides to make your meal even more delectable, like charred creamed corn, handcut fries, sautéed okra, and eggplant salsa.

 

Great Gamble Seafood Shack

The Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop and Viewing Deck, Mac Arthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

What’s the point of being near the beach if not to indulge in some seafood to really get the vibe going? The Great Gamble offers a hefty sandwich to snack on while waiting for your turn to hit the waves.

 

Seafood Quarterpounder (scallops and crab on toasted brioche)

 

Makai Bowls

The Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop and Viewing Deck, Mac Arthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

Shakes are so last season. Get yourself a smoothie bowl instead! Head over to the 2nd floor of The Great Northwest and order a bowl or two from this hipster hangout to cool your palate.?

 

Surfer’s bowl (pineapple, melon, banana, papaya, beets, honey, coconut water)

 

Carille (banana, peanut butter, cacao, maca, honey, coconut milk)

 

Or if this looks too heavy for you, you can cool down with a popsicle instead!

 

Fudgesicle and Mango Beet Chia

 

Curious Creatures Craft Beer

The Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop and Viewing Deck, Mac Arthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

 

There are only a few places in La Union where you can spot craft beers and this place has a nice selection—not too many to get stumped what to choose, but just enough to round up the flavors you might be looking for.

 

Passion, Oatmeal Stout, Surftown

 

Surftown to go! This beer is made especially for La Union. You can’t get it anywhere else. But luckily for you, they’ve made it possible to bring home a taste of it.

 

Olas Banditos

National Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

What’s a beach hangout without some Mexican staples like nachos and quesadillas, washed down with good ol’ margaritas?

Nachos

 

Margarita

 

 

Clean Beach Coffee at Urbiz Garden

134 Beachfront, MacArthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

 

If you’re ending your day early, this chillout spot is the perfect place to hang until you’ve got to go. It has nice nooks to park your bum and look out onto the beach for some much-needed zoning out.

 

 

A slice of kalamansi pie and café latte are good light snacks to keep within reach while in your reverie.

 

Photos by Chris Clemente