CANTO is known for its delicious food, great atmosphere, big servings and great prices. Locals and visitors line up for hours to eat their famous Lomo Ribs. You can see CANTO’s floor to ceiling windows and gardens from Kisay Road.
The restaurant started off as small nine-seater eatery that served as a hangout spot for the local longboarding community. They then moved to the iconic Ketchup Food Community, a landmark which housed five restaurants and quickly became a hot spot especially for the hashtag foodie generation. Upon the saddened closing of the Ketchup Food Community, CANTO opened its own landmark and continued to satisfy its existing plus its growing clientele with their palatable menu. This year, CANTO has extended to open up the beautiful home nestled behind the restaurant as a bar/chill spot where you can eat some refined pulutan (food to accompany alcohol) and listen to tasty tunes.
Mynila speaks to owner Carlo Blanco about how a longboarders’ tambayan (hangout) evolved into a restaurant known for the best ribs in the Philippines, and how opening the CANTO bar area came from a longing for original CANTO vibe.
Tell us about the roots of Canto and how it grew?
We started at a tiny corner shop (that’s why it was called kanto/canto which means corner ) which sat nine people comfortably and had an open kitchen. We served our favorite grub, drinks and played music on the side. We got our break, if you allow us to say that, when we got invited to be part of a food community. A five restaurant food park named Ketchup.
The original nine seater CANTO was a hangout for the local longboarding community – photo by Carlo Blanco
Do you have a philosophy on serving great food?
We simply want to serve food that we also enjoy eating. It must be of good quality, hefty in size and affordable as well.
Roasted shrooms, asparagus, cherry tomatoes
Tell us about the newly opened Canto bar.
We were lucky enough to have customers that kept us busy at a restaurant but the collateral damage was that it almost robbed us of our life. We didn’t have enough time to spend with our family and friends. I’m hoping that the bar will do the trick and give us a place to enjoy time with family and friends again.
How important is it to support local produce and products?
Aside from improving local economy, we also get to know the people behind these products and thus, forging a better relationship with people from our community. It feels good to have that sense of bayanihan (cooperative endeavours with the community/spirit of communal unity) still present in our life.
Let’s talk about the new menu.
Four Cheese Pizza
About the menu, frankly, we’re still in the experimental stage. We might have a different menu every month just so we wont get bored cooking.
Tell us about being hands on with Canto
Being hands on shows how we cherish and nurture everything that we have.
Canto is located at 25 Kisad Rd, Baguio City
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