As you travel abroad, there are many countries and destinations that are known for unique and even peculiar things. For instance, when I mention a leaning tower, you know instantly that I’m referring to Pisa; water-way streets will make you think of Venice, and a Great Wall will instantly take you to China.
That also holds true in the Philippines, where unbelievable island hopping (Palawan), relaxing and partying on the beach (Boracay), or swimming with whale sharks (Cebu Island) all are notable.
But there’s another point of interest that’s fast gaining a reputation, but not for its zip line, white sand beaches, or scuba diving: Bacolod. The main city on the green, lush island of Negros, Bacolod is also the defacto capital of the Philippines “Sugar Bowl,” the principal region for sugar cane production, which was a hugely important (and profitable) crop historically.
In fact, the sugar cane trade was so lucrative during the 18th and 19th century during Spanish colonial rule that Bacolod became a burgeoning city of political and geographical importance. Two hundred years or so later, it’s still characterized by its vast sugar cane plantations and growing.
But with some of the world’s best cane in its backyard, the culinary scene in Bacolod has evolved accordingly. These days, the city is known for its vibrant restaurant, café, and especially dessert scene, and no place typifies that more than what I call The Cake Triangle.
Unlike the Bermuda Triangle, only svelte waistlines disappear or meet a mysterious fate in The Cake Triangle. In the center of an otherwise nondescript commercial area in the city center, the ‘Triangle consists of three iconic shops that have long had a glowing reputation with Bacolod residents and visitors.
This modern building houses an equally cosmopolitan cake shop, all fresh and hand-made on premises. Sure, you may have to wait a little and it will be hard to get a table during peak hours, but it will be well worth it. Try their Frozen Mango Royale, Warm Cupcake, White Chocolate Cheesecake with raspberry sauce, and, of course, their dark chocolate cake.
(Chocolate cake is a cornerstone of any cake shop here, and a measuring stick for its reputation.)
Felicia’s Pastry Shop
Right next to the luxurious L’Fisher Hotel, Felicia’s is small but bustles all day long with travelers who want to hang out over some great coffee and amazing baked goods. Their café latte is one of my favorites in the Philippines, and I can personally attest to the fact that their upright banana cream pie with crumble crust is insanely good. They’re also known for their macaroons and the caramel volcano, and their hot chocolate is Bacolod-famous!
Bacolod Cupcake Café
If you’re a sweets lover, you’re going to lose your mind at the Bacolod Cupcake Café, with creations so unique, colorful, and inventive that they’re as photogenic as they are tasty! In fact, other than The Ruins, photos of food and cakes are #1 on Instagram for Bacolod! They have plenty of other snacks and comfort food and nice couches to chill on, but the dazzling array of cupcakes is really the draw here!
These are three of literally scores of mouth-watering cafes and pastry shops in Bacolod, and you can even join an organized Grub Crawl and try them all! The best part is that these three cake shops, and the many more in Bacolod, are still very affordable and have excellent service and standards, as they have to stay ahead of their competition!