Liliw, Laguna: Arabela Restaurant & An On-Foot Side Trip To The “Tsinelas Capital”

Steak in Arabela Restaurant Liliw Laguna

Slabs of meat on a sky high price, pastas having fancy Italian names, small slices of cake sitting on a large white plate, and all other extravagant dishes on a fine dining restaurant’s menu are, most of the time, not found on a cheap person’s food budget list who would rather prefer to eat on a roadside turo turo carinderias. But in the country’s “Tsinelas Capital” (slippers) is a restaurant who made both end meets. Indulging on steaks, pizza and pasta, sweet treats, etc. have never been this cheap in Liliw, Laguna’s Arabela Camello’s Bakehaus & Coffee Shop.

On the way back to Los Baños from an overnight camping trip in Real, our journey deviated from the National Highway towards the quaint town of Liliw which is situated at the foot of Mount Banahaw. Our big-bodied van crawls its way through Liliw’s narrow streets to have dinner in Arabela.

Arabela Restaurant Liliw LagunaBasement restaurant Arabela, named after Camello’s daughters Ara and Bela.

St. John The Baptist Church of Liliw LagunaFacade of St. John The Baptist Church of Liliw made of red bricks.

St. John the baptist church liliw lagunaLiliw Church’s belfry.

Tables were filled with visitors, mass-goers, and locals of Liliw,  fortunately, we were on top of the waiting list. While waiting, Tracy and I wandered around town. Passing by old houses and old houses turned into footwear shops, we reached one of my favorite church’s among the number of old religious structures in Laguna, the St. John The Baptist Church. This baroque-inspired architecture made from red bricks gives a distinct characteristic to the church.

Backtracking to Arabela we passed by the Gat Tayaw Street, named after the town’s founder,  where a number of shops and  stores go “toe to toe” in the footwear selling business. Hence, the town’s primary trade is celebrated through the annual Gat Tayaw Tsinelas Festival.

Footwear stores all over town sell different designs of slippers, shoes, and sandals that would definitely suit each ones diversity in style. In addition, shops have various types of footwear fit for all kinds of occasions. Prices start from as low as P40.00 or “3 for P100.00” and up depending on the footwear style and type.

shoe stores in gat tayaw street liliw lagunaSandals showcased by a store in Gat Tayaw Street.

biggest slippers in liliw lagunaLarge sandal made from original materials.

Slippers store in liliw lagunaFootwear shops along Gat Tayaw Street.

A popular footwear factory and merchandiser in Liliw.

Bobby and Tonet Camello’s brainchild Arabela is a full service restaurant offering a variety of delightful dishes that will please food lovers. Among the multi-course meals on the menu, Arabela is known for its pizzas and pastas so we had thin-crusted Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza and a cheesy Baked Macaroni for pasta (I was suppose to get a Lasagna, unfortunately, it was not available). I love steaks therefore a mouthwatering T-Bone Steak served with Mashed Potatoes and Buttered Vegetables would be for the main course since good quality steaks have never been so cheap. After a short while, every dish were served and I’m about to grub on palatable dishes.

Aside from pizza, pasta and steaks, Arabela also takes pride in its best seller, Bread Pudding, and cakes that will tickle the taste buds of a sweet tooth. I was suppose to get a cheesecake, unfortunately, it was reserved (I was planning to order it after my meals but I think I should’ve ordered earlier and get it after my main course).

Pizza in arabela restaurant liliw lagunaBacon Cheeseburger Pizza (P295.00 good for 4 persons)

Baked mac in arabela restaurant liliw lagunaBaked Macaroni (P90.00)

steak in arabela restaurant in liliw lagunaT-Bone Steak with Mashed Potato and Mixed Vegetables (P270.00)

dining at arabela restaurant in lagunaArabela’s interiors.

arabela restaurant in laguna
The three story house at the corner of Rizal Street.

At the corner of Rizal Street in Liliw’s town proper is Arabela which is an old three-story ancestral house. The basement is turned into a low-ceiling restaurant painted in earth colors with beautiful paintings hanging by the wall and stained glass lamps illuminate your table. The dining experience is made better with the accompaniment of relaxing lounge music.

It was my second time in Arabela and it never failed to delight me with their food. I’d love to come back and try new dishes among the many in their menu list of house specialties, soups, salad, tacos, more steaks, cakes, and coffee. So if you happen to drop by Liliw, take a dining detour in Arabela. Don’t forget to visit their Spanish colonial era  church. Support the local industry by purchasing a footwear from the many shops in town.


Now, here are some fast facts that may help you on the trip:

1. Commuting to Liliw, Laguna from Manila: Take Sta. Cruz, Laguna bound buses like DLTBCo., HM Transport, or JAM Transit and get off at Pagsawitan in Sta. Cruz or ask the conductor to drop you off where you can take a jeep to Liliw.

2. Driving To Liliw, Laguna: If you’re coming from the western part of NCR, take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Calamba, Los Baños, Calauan, San Pablo City, Nagcarlan, and finally Liliw. On the other hand, if you’re coming from the Rizal and Marikina area, the Manila East Road connecting Rizal and Laguna is the best route.

3. Arabela is CLOSED ON MONDAYS EXCEPT HOLIDAYS. The restaurant gets quite filled most of the time so it would be advisable to make a reservation. Here are Arabela’s contact numbers and address:

503 Rizal Street, Liliw, Laguna.

Telephone numbers:
(049) 563 24 95
(049) 573 06 92

Cellphone numbers:
0917 204 14 47
0928 339 67 87

4. If you’re commuting to Arabela, ask the tricycle and jeepney drivers to drop you off at the restaurant.

5. Just to give you a rough estimate, I paid P550.00 for a 4-slice share with the Bacon Cheeseburger, Baked Ziti, Baked Macaroni, and a T-Bone Steak.  All of this for 2 people. Our entire group paid P2,300.00 for the meal of 6 persons.

6. To my knowledge, footwear cost from as low as P40.00 or 3 pairs for P100.00.

7. Like BIYAHERONG BARAT on Facebook.

8. More pictures in Biyaherong Barat Multiply and Facebook.

9. If you like this, you might want to see:

10. Enjoy and be safe on your trip.

Arabela Restaurant Liliw Laguna

31 thoughts on “Liliw, Laguna: Arabela Restaurant & An On-Foot Side Trip To The “Tsinelas Capital”

  1. Pingback: Surf, Skim & Swim in Real, Quezon « Biyaherong Barat

  2. I love travelling and food…ooops! dont forget that i am an addict shoe-shopper! Many thanks for this! Would be one of my first trip when i go home for a vacation in the phils!


    • Hi Doris,

      If you love traveling, food, and footwear, I’m sure you will love Liliw. I’m so excited for you. =)

      Happy travels. Thank you for dropping by my blog and readers would love to hear from your Liliw trip.

      Have a great day.

      • Thanks! I will be going to Liliw early May with my family and few relatives. I just want to know is it far from the St. John the Baptist Church? cuz that is on our top list before going to the shoes and foodies area…if you can give it to me using kilometers, it would surely be a huge assistance…


  3. Pingback: Sights, Sounds, and Stories of Laguna « Biyaherong Barat

  4. Magandang araw🙂
    Mayroong po bang mga bed&bfast or inn na mura para sa mga solo travelers sa paligid? Nabasa ko kasi sa ibang blogs na mga bandang 7pm nagsasara na ang mga shops dun at hanggang 6pm lang ang mga jeep mula Liliw hanggang Sta. Cruz.

    • Hello Andee,

      Ang pagkakaalam ko meron nga, Liliw Resort yata yung pangalan. But I haven’t tried, though. ‘Yung mga jeep, ‘di ko rin sigurado, parang ‘di ko pa nga yata nasusubukan umalis ng gabi sa Liliw. PERO kung walang bound for Sta. Cruz, meron ding papuntang San Pablo. San ka nga ba umuuwi? Kung Manila ka, you could take San Pablo tapos from there, tricycle ka papunta dun sa may 7-11 bus stop (malapit sa Puregold). 24 hours yung mga bus, yun sigurado ako.

      Advise ko pagkadating mo ng Liliw, tanong mo na din kung anong oras ang last trip.

  5. Kumain ako with my family last December and I was surprised na meron one great restaurant that serve great Italian food sa isang bayan ng Laguna. I’ve been in many countries pero sa Arabela lang ako nakakain ng real Italian food outside of Italy. Bumalik ako last Sept pero close pala every Monday kaya next time ulit pagnakauwi ulit sa bayan sinilangan, Santa Cruz.

    • Tama po kayo, Sir Noel. Sarap na sarap din po ako sa Arabela. Sa Sta. Cruz po pala kayo, ako naman tumira ng 4 na taon sa Santa Rosa nung college, kaya napamahal na din ako sa Laguna.

      Mukhang dami niyo na rin pong napuntahan na bansa. Pangarap ko rin po ‘yun balang araw.

      Nadala na rin po akong isang beses nung pumunta ako ng Liliw tapos closed yung Arabela kaya nakaugalian ko na po tumawag sa kanila tuwing pupunta ako dun.

      Thank you for dropping by, Biyaherong Barat, Sir Noel. Happy travels. =)

  6. Hi! Just want to ask if may kakilala ka na shoemaker sa Liliw? I’m planning for a field trip with my 8 students only. Hoping for a hands-on activity like making a simple footwear that will serve as souvenir as well, at a reasonable price syempre, willing to spend 3 or 4 hours there for that activity….definitely we’ll take our lunch at Arabela after a session of shoe making. Thanks! Your blog is so helpful.

    • Good morning Teacher Armi,

      Thank you po for visiting my blog. Unfortunately, wala po akong contact with shoemakers in Liliw. Badong’s, as to my knowledge, is among the popular in the area, maybe they could help you out. Sinearch ko po yung contact number, baka po makatulong, ‘di ko lang po sure kung tama ito.

      (049) 8529648

      That’s a very good idea for an educational field trip. I’m sure your students would love it and Arabela’s food. Don’t forget to drop by the Church. It’s beautiful also.

      So there you go, sana po nakatulong ako kahit konti. Enjoy and have a safe trip. =)

        • Oh really. Wow. I’m from De La Salle Canlubang batch. For 4 years, I used to live in Technopark, Santa Rosas, that’s why Laguna has always a special place in my heart.

          May you and the students have a great time on the field trip. =)

  7. Ah so sir mas patag pa po kesa tagaytay? Worried lang kasi ako dahil first time and ang dami nmin mbgat sa sasakyan.

  8. Arabela is God-sent. Food is great, yet not that pricey. Just a thought, a short drive from Liliw is Nagcarlan where you’ll find the Underground Cemetery. It’s awesome!

  9. hi po! if galing kami ng tanauan batangas, then magbus kami papuntang san pablo. what’s next po na sasakyan? :))

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