Late Lunch on a Foggy Afternoon at Arca’s Yard

Tucked away in the aptly-named Tiptop, Arca’s Yard offers a cafe experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s quite the journey getting there, especially compared to other, more convenient spots near the city center, but it’s well worth it once you arrive. If you’re looking for a quiet place where you can enjoy a meal and a hot drink surrounded by art, Arca’s Yard is the place to go.

We visited Arca’s Yard on a rainy, foggy afternoon, driving carefully up Ambulkao Road. You can also reach the place by taxi or ride sharing service, or by catching a jeep to Tiptop. The terminal is located behind Baguio Center Mall.

Like a handful of locally owned Baguio establishments, Arca’s Yard is a residential home that was converted into a cafe. They have plenty of seating (but you should still practice physical distancing, of course) and offer a wide range of food and drinks. We ordered their 10″ vegetarian pizza (Php250). Loaded up with cheese, bell peppers, olives, pineapple chunks, mushroom slices, and my favorite touch, some zucchini slices, it’s deceptively heavy. However, that did not stop me from inhaling three pieces.

Arca’s also has a selection of heartier fare for anyone coming in craving breakfast food or just looking for rice, as Filipinos often do. Their longganisa comes with three sausage links, a fried egg, white rice topped with some crunchy garlic, and chopped tomatoes and onions on the side, garnished with parsley. It’s a satisfying alternative to your usual cafe meals – and it doesn’t have to be breakfast time to order it. Good food isn’t season- or time-bound, after all.

But the dish I looked forward to the most after about two years away from the cafe was the camote pie. At Php95 a slice, you get a thick, delicious layer of sweet potato filling on a graham cracker crust, topped with more graham cracker and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Despite not having visited Arca’s for so long, it was still fresh in my memory, and it tasted as good as I remembered. I’m not alone in this obsession, as many locals, out-of-town visitors, and bloggers from all over the country cite this as a personal favorite as well, and keep on coming back for more. Even if you’re short on time and you can order just one thing when you go to Arca’s Yard, make it the camote pie.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to drinks here. We opted for a rootbeer float and their famous Arca’s Cloud Tea. The Cloud Tea is mixed with cream and wild honey – the perfect companion for a chilly afternoon. Mix it well before enjoying it, but be sure to take a photo or two first. They put extra effort in to make it pretty.

Arca’s Yard is not just a cafe. It’s also a gallery and a mini library. It’s a great place to hang out when you’re taking things slow on a day off, whether you’re getting in some me-time or catching up with family and friends. Take in the relaxed ambiance while you chill and don’t rush finishing your food and drinks.

If the weather is good, or if you simply prefer to play it safe and dine al fresco to allow for better air circulation, they have a few cozy spots for outdoor seating. On days with clearer skies, you can fully appreciate the view of the greenery and the soft Baguio breeze.

We couldn’t see much when we went because of the dense fog, but it’s an Instagram-worthy cafe no matter the weather. If you do choose to sit outside on a cold day, don’t forget to bring a jacket, and maybe a scarf, too. The roof will protect you from the rainfall, but not from the wind.

Arca’s Yard is located at #777 Ambuklao Road. They are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. They offer dine-in and take-out services. Dine-in customers must comply with contact tracing measures and wear a face mask to enter.

For more information, you can find them on Facebook or contact them via mobile at 0929-325-1868 or landline at (074) 442-9706.

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