Beach bums and wandering souls have continued to flock the shores of La Union for its free and easy vibe. Dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the North, this humble surf town has won the hearts of many with its beginner-friendly waves, glorious sunsets over the West Philippine Sea, and of course, its crazy rad parties! I call this place my very own San Junipero.
With Elyu-based establishments hosting booze-filled beach parties and music fests, post-weekend mornings have evolved and demanded more attention from food stops in the area. But don’t take this the wrong way — we’re talking about slightly hungover but chill conversations with friends and the locals. Next time you survived an Elyu night to remember, check out what these cool and friendly spots have to offer to cure your after-party blues.
Salad Stoke's Kani Mango Salad Bowl
If you’re looking for something light yet flavorful, Salad Stoke’s salad bowls should be your go-to. Their Kani Mango Salad Bowl, a balanced combination of fresh greens, crab meat, and ripe mango slices, has been avidly requested since day one. Their Arya Smoothie will also power up your sluggish mornings with its refreshing mix of fresh green apples, lemon, mint, and sisterly love. This up-and-coming salad bar in La Union promises their fellow #saladsluts an uncomplicated palate experience that is specially made to boost their health and brighten their mood: “We like to make people feel like Salad Stoke is their personal breakfast bar where only good and yummy things are available.”
Seabuds La Union's Banana Bowls and Pops
We’ve gone bananas for… bananas! This superfood is rich in potassium, so it’s perfect for replenishing the fluids you lost from being intoxicated. Good thing, Seabuds La Union has the perfect lineup of healthy and homemade snacks in Surftown. Located at the upper deck of San Juan Surf Resort, Seabuds extends a comfy space for those looking for some shade and a full view of the beach. Their Funky Monkey smoothie bowl is my personal favorite, a rich and chocolatey serving of banana smoothie garnished with cacao nibs, granola, and peanut butter. They continue to expand their menu and recently released their Frozen Banana Pops, which has instantly become a crowd favorite.
Makai Bowls' Smoothie Platter
Overlooking the Great Northwest area, Makai Bowls is a household name in La Union. Inspired by the homegrown smoothie bowl scene of Balinese and Hawaiian beaches, they aim to make healthy bowls that are not only visually appealing but also tasty. A great way to start a day after a boozy night-out is to have their Smoothie Platter, three smoothie flavors (Beach Break, Acai, and Surfer’s Smoothie Bowls) in one order which you can share with friends. The Beach Break Smoothie Bowl is their top hangover remedy, a fruity blend of bananas and coconut water packed with moringa and spirulina, best for nourishing the body with potassium and electrolytes. Despite its growing number of patrons, Makai Bowls guarantees that they always use fresh produce and feature seasonal fruits that make their menu extra special.
Clean Beach's Kombucha
Clean Beach is not your typical food spot. With a genuine heart for environmental awareness and sustainability, they opened in 2017 to “teach guests and fellow establishments about alternatives to single-use plastic and leaving a place better than when you first arrived.” But despite this seemingly serious air, their quaint space is charming and warm, serving quality comfort food and specialty drinks. Kombucha is at the front of the house when it comes to hangover remedies. This drink is a house special fizzy and fermented tea packed with probiotics made to provide an immunity boost for hungover beach bodies.
Papa Bear's Guilt-free Pork Dishes
La Union has a variety of options for your after-party cravings, and it does not discriminate even if you seem to be drooling over a heavy savory meal. Papa Bear takes great pride in serving their modern takes on Asian comfort food. For the alcohol-intoxicated souls, they offer delightful meals that will awaken your dysfunctional taste buds. Take their Vegan Kare Kare and Sambal Pork for example. With their special house-cured and smoked pork as the centerpiece, you’re able to enjoy a guilt-free version of these classic dishes, guaranteed to create an explosion of rich flavors in your mouth.
Barefoot Elyu's Brunch Offerings
Lacking the energy to catch the daybreak for specialty brekkies? Barefoot Elyu gets you! Serving brunch just when you need it, this small rustic corner in La Union is known to satisfy the food crawl of regulars and new customers alike. Manong Benny, their intriguing version of Eggs Benedict, is ideal to give your stomach a nudge. For those who crave for a full plate, Morning Beef is the way to go. This meal is their take on the classic Tapsilog, plated with eggplant, kangkong, diced tomatoes, and cucumbers on the side. They feature full breakfast meals, light snacks, and everything in between, promising a delectable dining experience by the beach.
We’ve surely learned to love this small town despite the long drives and extra hot summer days. To borrow Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel’s verbiage, we got the best of both worlds in this “elyu-minated” wonder. Whether you’re a lone soul or a pack of party-ready peeps, you will definitely find your place in Elyu—even the morning after.