Where to Eat in San Juan, La Union: Top Restaurants and Cafes

Published on
June 14, 2024

San Juan, La Union is a paradise not just for surfers but also for food enthusiasts. This coastal town is bursting with culinary delights, offering a rich tapestry of flavors that reflect both local traditions and international influences. From beachside shacks to stylish cafes, here are some must-try dining experiences in San Juan, La Union.

1. Fatwave Surf Resort’s Beachfront Café

Start your culinary journey right here at Fatwave Surf Resort’s Beachfront Café. Since opening in 2014, our family-run resort has been serving guests a delightful mix of Filipino and international cuisine. Our beachfront café is the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood like our famous grilled tuna, which is marinated to perfection and cooked over an open flame. The shrimp sinigang, a traditional sour soup, is another favorite, providing a tangy and savory experience that’s perfect after a day of surfing. Don’t forget to try our halo-halo, a popular Filipino dessert made with crushed ice, sweetened fruits, and evaporated milk.

2. Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel

Just a short walk from our resort, Flotsam and Jetsam is more than just a hostel; it’s a culinary hotspot. The laid-back, artistic vibe makes it a favorite among travelers. Their menu is a delightful blend of comfort food and Filipino dishes. The Ilocos Norte Bagnet, crispy deep-fried pork belly, is a must-try, served with traditional dipping sauces and steamed rice. The hostel’s pizzas and pastas, infused with local ingredients, are also highly recommended, making it a great spot for a casual dinner with friends.

3. El Union Coffee

For coffee lovers, El Union Coffee is an unmissable destination. This café has earned a reputation for its excellent brews and welcoming atmosphere. Their cold brew coffee is particularly popular, offering a smooth, rich flavor that’s perfect for the warm tropical climate. Another favorite is their horchata, a sweet rice milk drink that pairs wonderfully with their grilled cheese sandwich or freshly baked banana bread. The cozy ambiance and friendly staff make it a perfect spot to relax and unwind.

4. Mad Monkeys

If you’re craving a good burger, Mad Monkeys is the place to be. This quirky eatery serves some of the best burgers in town, with the Mad Burger being the star of the menu. Juicy, well-seasoned beef patties, fresh vegetables, and special sauces are all packed into perfectly toasted buns. Vegetarian options are also available, and their selection of craft beers makes for an ideal accompaniment to your meal. It’s a great spot to enjoy a hearty meal with friends.

5. Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop & Viewing Deck

A culinary hub in itself, the Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop & Viewing Deck offers a variety of dining options. Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese, Italian, or Filipino food, this multi-restaurant complex has something for everyone. Surf Shack is particularly popular, known for its relaxed vibe and delicious seafood dishes like shrimp tacos and crispy calamari. Nak Nak Ramen House offers hearty bowls of ramen, perfect for those looking for comfort food, while Amare La Cucina serves wood-fired pizzas that are simply irresistible.

6. Olas Banditos

Olas Banditos brings the flavors of Mexico to San Juan. This vibrant cantina offers a menu full of Mexican staples such as tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Their fish tacos are a standout, featuring fresh, locally sourced fish topped with tangy salsa and creamy sauce. The ambiance is lively, making it a great place to enjoy a meal with friends while sipping on a margarita or cold cerveza.

7. Tagpuan sa San Juan

For a taste of authentic Filipino street food, head to Tagpuan sa San Juan. This local favorite offers a range of rice bowls that are both affordable and delicious. The tapa rice bowl, featuring marinated beef, and the longganisa rice bowl, with savory Filipino sausage, are among the top picks. The casual setting and hearty meals make it a great spot for a quick bite or a relaxed meal.

8. Gefseis Greek Grill

Experience a slice of the Mediterranean at Gefseis Greek Grill. This restaurant brings authentic Greek flavors to San Juan, offering dishes like gyros, souvlaki, and moussaka. The ingredients are fresh, and the flavors are true to Greek culinary traditions. The restaurant’s casual yet elegant atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for both lunch and dinner, providing a delightful escape to the Aegean Sea right in the heart of San Juan.

9. Seawadeeka

Seawadeeka offers a delicious journey through Thai cuisine. This popular restaurant serves a wide array of Thai dishes, from the spicy and aromatic tom yum soup to the rich and creamy green curry. The pad thai, with its perfect balance of sweet, sour, and savory flavors, is a crowd favorite. The beachfront location and relaxed atmosphere add to the overall dining experience, making it a must-visit for Thai food lovers.

10. Clean Beach

For health-conscious diners, Clean Beach offers nutritious and delicious options. This café focuses on serving fresh, healthy food, including smoothie bowls, salads, and wraps. Their smoothie bowls, such as the “Green Dream” or “Berry Bliss,” are not only visually appealing but also packed with vitamins and nutrients. The café’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices also makes it a popular choice among environmentally conscious travelers.


San Juan, La Union, is a culinary haven offering a diverse array of dining experiences. From local Filipino fare to international cuisines, the town’s vibrant food scene caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re enjoying a hearty meal at Fatwave Surf Resort’s Beachfront Café, savoring the flavors of Mexico at Olas Banditos, or indulging in Greek delicacies at Gefseis Greek Grill, your taste buds are in for a treat. So come, explore the culinary delights of San Juan, and let your gastronomic adventure begin.