Café Laguna began as a labour of love for the Urbina family. Coming from a long line of cooks, Lita Urbina decided to share her culinary talents with everyone. She got the love for cooking from her mother who owned a restaurant in Cartimar, Pasay City. As a young girl, she remembered being exposed to the restaurant business and how it was managed.

 

With the help and encouragement of her family, Lita Urbina decided to open her own carenderia serving Filipino food with a distinctive taste incomparable to this day. Food was not only sumptuous, but enkindled memories of home-cooked meals shared with friends and family.

 

Café Laguna started with 10 tables in an apartment she was renting, and later on owned in Lahug. Mother’s Best was the moniker she gave the fast food, which served only Filipino dishes. Catering service menu includes European, American and other Asian dishes.

 

Cebuanos specially, love the “puto-bumbong” (sticky rice called “tapul” that is steamed and served with grated coconut and sugar.) Puto-bumbong has become the trademark of Café Laguna. Urbina’s rise to top of her chosen career in the food business is dramatically fast. After opening “Mother’s Best” in 1979, she renovated and expanded the area, transforming the carenderia into a “place of dining” in 1991. It became a hit in Cebu. The news spread life wildfire, “for great food, try Café Laguna”. And, sure enough, everyone went for a taste and came back for more.

 

Three years after, in 1994 she opened Café Laguna at the Ayala Center. In 1999, another Branch was opened, the Laguna Garden Café at the back of Ayala Center – a 2-storey building that looks more like the home of a Spanish Governor General than a restaurant. Urbina likes to “make hew own concoctions” in the kitchen. Some menus served at the Laguna Garden Café were her ideas, like dinuguang manok. Other recipes include sinigang na miso, sinigang sa bayabas, lumpiang sariwa, dinuguan at puto, palabok and puto-bumbong, crispy tadyang and pandan chicken.

 

Now, Café Laguna is a landmark for wholesome and delicious Filipino cuisine. From humble beginnings, the expertise of Lita Urbina and her staff have touched the lives of so many Cebuanos through the restaurant and its catering service. Proving, once and for all, that the best way to anyone’s heart is through delicious cooking.

 

She dreams of turning her restaurant into a “ Showcase of Filipino Cuisine ”. This does not mean the typical native concept of a nipa and bamboo, but rather how Filipino food was influenced by different cooking styles through the years,, and give Filipino foods the dignity and its right place in culinary map of the fine food in the Philippines.