Beside Ilog Maria, hidden beneath a canopy of trees, lies Casetta del Divino Zelo, a quaint Italian restaurant managed by Italian nuns under the Daughters of the Divine Zeal. Serving food for the heart and soul, visitors leave feeling giddy and well-rested, yet yearning for another bite.
The sisters cook and bake everything from scratch, offering the freshest ingredients cut and picked on the same day. Traditional and genuine Italian equipment, such as their brick oven, is also used to preserve the authenticity of the cuisine.
It is highly suggested to come in a group, order as many dishes as possible, and share them to fully invest in the experience. Some dishes are good for 2 to 3 people such as the lasagna (₱275) and the Spinach and Ricotta Pizza (₱250) but if you’re like me, you’d happily order seconds (or thirds). Or, order a place of Gnocchi (₱120) with a side of pasta and succeed in calming your appetite.
Never leave without trying their famous Tiramisu (₱95), thickly sliced and made with brewed dark coffee, a hint of liquor, sweet ladyfingers, and with a layer of mascarpone cheese. Savor every bite with a cup of Cacao Puro (₱35), then you’ve got yourself a meal.
Oftentimes, some desserts that aren’t available such as the Ciambella or Lemon Cake (₱25/slice) and a Crostata or an Italian baked pineapple-mango tart (₱50/small and ₱375/plate). If you don’t know when your next trip will be, why not take a chance and try it all? You won’t be able to taste the same thing anywhere else, truly.
Other leisure areas
Walk off that food belly by roaming around the small garden area or resting in the chapel that offers mass every first and third Sunday of the month at 9:00AM. Browse their souvenir shops that not just offer beautiful beaded rosaries and prayer books, but homemade delicacies such as chili sauce, olive oil (cheaper and purer than those sold in groceries), coffee, and adorable cafecito cups with a strainer so you too can brew your cup of freshly ground coffee at home.
Big fan of bread? You can buy their homemade loaves right at the counter, freshly made every day!
The restaurant earnings support the Tahanang Divino Zelo, a Mother and Child Care shelter for unwanted pregnancies so they can get a chance for a better and fuller life. Investing for a greater cause at the price of a good meal and pleasant company, what more could you ask for?
After your visit, why not take a peek at the Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm where you can buy freshly produced honey as presents (or for yourself).
How to get there (by private vehicle)
Step 1: From Makati, take the SLEX then turn right to the Carmona Exit.
Step 2: Take Governor’s Dr. to the Aguinaldo Highway.
Step 3: Take the dirt road before the Barangay Hall of Lalaan then ride straight ahead until you reach the restaurant. Look for the sign of Ilog Maria to indicate that it is the right path.
How to get there (by public vehicle)
Step 1: Take any bus going to Tagaytay (Erjohn Almark, Kersteen, etc.).
Step 2: Get off at the Aguinaldo Highway before the Barangay Hall of Lalaan.
Step 3: Look to the left and you’d see a dirt road walk straight ahead to reach the Casetta. Look for the sign of Ilog Maria to indicate that it is the right path.
- Business name: Casetta del Divino Zelo
- Address: 4118 Emilio Aguinaldo Hwy, Silang, Cavite
- Contact Number: +63 927 657 1458 / 046-686-0714
- Operating Hours: 10:00AM – 5:30PM (Wed, Sat, Sun)
- Facebook Page Link
- Google Maps Link