A province filled with rich and colorful history, Quezon, is located south of Manila. Along with this rich heritage, lies the flavorful taste of its delicious and surprising cuisine, the breathtaking views for sight-seeing and the hidden adventures that you can enjoy.
This travel guide will take you around the places to eat, sights to visit and, activities to experience in the wonderful province of Quezon.
Where to eat?
Quezon’s Best is a pasalubong centerlocated in the first-class municipality of Tiaong.
What better way to start/end your food adventure in Quezon but to visit a pasalubong center? Pasalubong centers carry the basic tastes and most iconic food of the area they are representing.
Quezon province’s version of a pasalubong center is named Quezon’s Best, carrying the best of best that Quezon has to offer.
In here, kalamay of different variety can be found in their most Quezon form. Cassava cakes, lady fingers, pastillas and even boat tarts are some of the best sellers of Quezon’s Best.
Don’t forget to grab a bunch of Longganisang Lucban, which, Quezon is famous for. It’s difficult to find an authentic Longganisang Lucban outside of Quezon.
Quezon’s Best also make their own coconut products, like the lambanog or the coconut vodka. This is because one of the main products of the province is coconut or niyog.
Aside from being a pasalubong center, Quezon’s Best also serves some dang good halo-halo that you should definitely try when you stop by to buy your pasalubong.
Another food hotspot located in Tiaong, Earthkeepers is a restaurant in the middle of a garden. It is found close to the Sunshine Farm Philippines – a famous tourist attraction in Quezon province.
But it’s not like your usual restaurant. Earthkeepers provides a relaxing and countryside ambience from the plants that surrountd it. The restaurant also makes sure to only use organic ingredients for the delicious food that they are serving their customers.
During our visit, we managed to have a little chitchat with the owner. She suggested for us to try Sinulbot – which is somewhat like sweetened banana, but on another cultural level.
In the past, kalamay was only traditionally served during Christmas. This is because of the tedious and long process of making it. Everyone in the family lines up and waits for their turn to eat kalamay. If you fail to eat kalamay for Christmas this year, you would have to wait for the next Christmas to roll around before you get the chance to eat it again.
This tradition is still respected as of today. That’s why instead of serving us kalamay, as it’s very hard to make, they served us Sinulbot instead.
Luisa and Daughter
Luisa and Daughter is a restaurant located in Lucena City, one of the most food-forward cities of Quezon.
This restaurant is the perfect restaurant to bring your friends and family, after attending mass together, or after a long journey. It supplements its friendly atmosphere with the reading materials that they provide you to read while waiting for your food.
While there, we were lucky enough to watch a cooking demo of a best seller dish of the restaurant – Binalibag sa Toyo na Pancit and Chami, a dish that is somewhat like pancit but much sweeter. We were even given the option to have the Chami sweet and spicy.
Chami is like a sweeter version of your traditional pancit, topped with chicharon (deep fried pork skins). It is considered as Lucena City’s signature traditional dish, that’s why it holds the identity and culture of the city.
Grandma’s Kitchen is another dining place in Lucena City. And it is the first garden glass-themed restaurant of the said city. It is located in the Ouans Farm resort.
This restaurant struck it for me. It matched the sophisticated ambience of the resort pretty well. It’s quiet, relaxed and classy – all the things someone would want while dining in a restaurant.
Grandma’s Kitchen has tastes that fit the name of the restaurant perfectly well. It is established by Lola Lucita Sarmiento, and her undying love for cooking for the people she loves.
The menu is made up of the common and traditional lutong-bahay recipes of the common Filipino household. Crispy fried chicken, sisig, cheese and chicken empanada, crispy kare-kare – you name it. We tried her malunggay scrambled eggs, tinapa, longanisa and more. It was a lovely breakfast
My experience here was very nice and pleasurable. The ambience and interior definitely elevated my dining experience.
Kamayan sa Palaisdaan
Kamayan sa Palaisdaan is located in the Kamayan sa Palaisdaan Hotel, in Tayabas City
This is one the very unique dining experiences that I had ever had. We had liempo, pinipit, susu sa gata and tilapia inside a nipa hut by a pond where you can fish. How great does that sound!
It’s literally what the name of restaurant suggests – you can have a boodle fight by the side of the fish pond where fresh fish is thriving. I don’t think it gets any more unique or interactive than that.
The food was cooked deliciously. But our dining was made extra enjoyable by the singers and musicians who went near our hut to sing us some classic Filipino songs.
This restaurant has a variety of seafood like sinugno (a tilapia dish), ginataang suso and steamed alimango. If you’re looking for a place to eat seafood in Quezon, Kamayan sa Palaisdaan is the way to go.
If having a boodle fight and eating with your hands by the fish pond sounds tame to you, you can experience something more intense with Fisher walk.
Fisher lake is owned by the same owners of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, but this time, you can actually eat with your feet wet. You are allowed to eat literally on the pond and even have fish spa while you’re at it.
This is the higher-end version of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, where luxury and extravagance converge and meet the waters.
The concept of Fisher Lake reminds me of Villa Escudero, a restaurant-villa that allows you to have your food by their manmade falls. You can actually explore the falls while eating your lunch.
We’ve been dining in a pasalubong center, hotels and even by the middle of a fish pond. This is where it gets exciting – Air Summit, fine dining in an airplane.
Air Summit is located in Tayabas, Quezon, near Lucena City. In Air Summit, you can have the luxury of dining inside an airplane without actually flying.
The food is good and the simulating of an airline is also authentic, and doesn’t seem too tacky and obvious.
Overall, it’s good food and good dining atmosphere. Definitely a must-try for those of you quirky diners out there, looking to con your friends into thinking you’re flying when in all actuality, you’re dining in an airplane.
Where to visit?
From here on onward, the following places in this list will be places to go visit and sight-see here in Quezon.
Quezon Provincial Capitol Building
One of the art deco buildings in the country, the Quezon Provincial Capitol Building is definitely a must-visit when you go to Quezon.
This capitol building is located in Lucena city , and houses the rich history of Quezon province. It is surrounded by a green park and palm trees, that make you feel like you’re in Palm Springs, California.
The newly renovated capitol building is painted in complimenting colors that make it perfect for your social media feed. It’s a good place to learn about the history of the province, while at the same time, enjoy traditional architecture made modern.
Ouauns Farm House
While we recommended the Capitol Building as a place to visit, Ourans Farm House is a place where you can stay during your Quezon province adventures.
This farm house houses a small museum about the previous owner and his biography. He was a good general back in the days and served on a pretty good part of history.
There are many activities that you can enjoy in this farm house. These activities include swimming in the pool, the food at Gradma’s Kitchen, ziplining, wall climbing and glamping (which, we unfortunately did not experience as we had to proceed to our next travel agenda). Some of my friends that I was with even went for a night swimming.
Villa Escudero was established in the 1980s, originally as a coconut plantation. But it eventually turned into the plantation and resort that it is today.
The plantation-resort offers many activities that you can experience during your stay. From fishing, to swimming, to visiting a museum of Philippine antiquities, and even enjoying yourself at a manmade falls!
Villa Escudero is famed for its tranquil ambience, something that is perfect for a relaxation break from the city.
What to experience?
The following subsection will talk about the different activities that you can experience while in Quezon. Some of these may be cultural or related to the geography of the province.
The last activity on our Quezon province agenda is the tagay tradition.
This tradition is further promoted by the province’s tourism department which aims to welcome tourists by a “tanggero” with a shot of lambanog (a main product of the province).
Before chugging down the shot, make sure to shout, “Na’ay po!” which means “Here is the drink!” to which, the natives will answer, “Pakinabangan po!” which means to make good use of the drink.
The practice of tagayan is a major part of Filipino culture. But here in Quezon, it is taken to the next, more meaningful level.
Pahiyas Festival is a harvest festival celebrated in Lucban, Quezon during the month of May.
Pahiyas is derived from the word “payas” which means to decorate. Such a name is definitely fitting for this colorful festival where the goods and products are used to decorate the household.
During the festival, you can experience food trips, street dancing festival, religious activities like processions and even more food!
Those were the 12 things that you can do while in Quezon, which includes the food, places to visit and traditions to experience.
Check out our articles like this one for different provinces!