Unique Dining at Payag ni Enards

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We had to make a very long road trip to Jun’s home province over the weekend. It was a quick trip but I did not waste the chance to visit some places I have been curious about for a while now. One of them was Payag ni Enards — a native-inspired cafe in the middle of a rice field.

We left Davao quite early so when we entered Davao del Norte, we were hankering for coffee. I suggested that we take the detour to Dujali. Luckily, Jun obliged. The road was long but scenic and the kids enjoyed the ride.

Getting to Payag ni Enards

The restaurant is located in a remote area in Davao del Norte, right at the border between Carmen and Tagum City. Payag ni Enards is about an hour’s drive from downtown Davao City via the Asian Highway. Be on the lookout for Tuganay Elementary School and take a left. From there it’s a straight road to the cafe. Don’t worry, the road is cemented and you won’t miss the sign. It’s on the right side of the road.

Find a map here.

Unique Dining Experience

I was not expecting too much considering the location but I was pleasantly surprised. Payag ni Enards is literally in the middle of a rice field. We had to walk a wooden walkway constructed on a rice paddy to get to the restaurant. The hut has an open-air dining area with plenty of seating. Swings, bean bags, nests, and other wooden tables and chairs provide comfortable places to relax while looking out into the expanse of rice crops grown in every direction.

Most of us have had meals by the beach, in the mountains, and even among trees. But I must say that dining in the middle of a rice field is a unique experience that I would want to repeat, soon if possible. We arrived minutes before they opened but we were accommodated with big smiles and jolly greetings. We only had coffee since nobody was hungry yet. Breakfast will have to be consumed when we get back on the road.

Payag ni Enards’ Menu

This cafe’s menu is quite straightforward — classic Filipino dishes with an emphasis on Ilonggo fare. It’s the usual food you get in the provinces — hito (catfish), native chicken, kinilaw (tuna ceviche), and duck plus a few foreign-influenced dishes like empanadas, shawarma, nachos, and satay chicken. I will make sure to try their food on our next visit.

Their drinks menu is impressive and their coffee is really good. My barista sister tagged along and even she was impressed by their blend. We figured they were using premium beans because the coffee did not leave the usual sour aftertaste. I found the Hiligaynon names of their coffee amusing — Jun had the Kano (americano), Karla had Linti (latte), and I had iced Kape ni Enards (mocharamela).

They also offer alcoholic drinks and I can imagine the place hopping after sunset. What fun it must be to chill with friends in the middle of a rice field!

Great for Tourists

If you’re from outside of Davao Region, Payag ni Enards has a souvenir shop where you can buy treats, bags, trinkets, and other stuff to bring home. The cafe owners are very active in their community and make it a point to showcase local products like black and red rice, nuts, and crackers. We especially loved their lunga (slightly burnt hard-as-rock cookies sprinkled with sesame seeds).

Overall Impression

Payag ni Enards is a must-visit when going north or passing through Davao Del Norte on the way to other wonderful places like we were. They offer a nice breather from being on the road and the view does not hurt at all. Even little B enjoyed running around barefoot on the wooden floors and Adie tried to go up the (scary) view deck. She did not make it to the top; her fear of heights won.

I recommend visiting at opening hour so you can choose where you’ll sit and really get a feel of the place. Going on a weekday might also save you the trouble of dealing with crowds. I was told they can get really busy during weekends.

Have you visited Payag ni Enards or visiting soon? Let us know what you think of the place in the comments below. See you around!


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