Filipino Food: 11 Delicious Things to Eat in the Philippines

Filipino Food: 11 Delicious Things to Eat in the Philippines

Ah, Filipino food… before we entered this beautiful country, we were warned by many that we may not enjoy the food here. We didn’t have the best experience in the beginning but we definitely had some memorable eating experiences as we tried more things. Simplicity is the key in Filipino food and we love how they put vinegar and soy sauce to a good use. Not just local delicacies but its interesting how they put their own spin to international food. So get ready to salivate and check out these 11 delicious things that we ate the Philippines which will make you want to try Filipino food:

01 | Pork Adobo

Best Filipino Food - Pork Adobo - (Slow Cooked Braised Soy Vinegar Pork Belly Pot at Tambayan Gastrobar)

Best Filipino Food – Pork Adobo – (Slow Cooked Braised Soy Vinegar Pork Belly Pot at Tambayan Gastrobar)

San and I hated Pork Adobo at almost every restaurant because it was too oily and chewy. However, we were lucky that we got to experience this famous Filipino delicacy in Manila’s Tambayan Gastrobar. We were invited for a meal and boy, we were impressed! Pork Adobo is their specialty and it’s called Slow Cooked Braised Soy Vinegar Pork Belly Pot in the menu. And what’s inside this pot? Juicy pork meat that was so tender that it melted in our mouths. As the name suggests, this pork was slow cooked in a pot with dark sauce and one full garlic. The result – succulent meat with gentle flavor in every layer. This meal was so good that we went back next day for lunch. This was the best thing that we ate in the Philippines.

02 | Cheese and Melon Ice cream

Cheese and melon ice cream at Alona Beach

Cheese and melon ice cream at Alona Beach

San has a weakness for ice creams and he orders one almost everywhere. He got this cone of cheese and melon ice cream when we were chilling on Alona beach. Much to his annoyance, I asked for one bite but I never returned his cone back. It was SOOO EFFING good! I never knew that cheese could taste so good as a desert ingredient. Oh and about San, well, he got himself a new one. We went back every day for this same ice cream while we were in Bohol.

03 | Simple village meal in Bohol

Simple Filipino Food in Panglao Island

Simple Filipino Food in Bohol – all this costed us less than 200 pesos

Perhaps our first “real” Filipino lunch, San and I couldn’t get over the variety. This roadside restaurant which was far from all tourist hubs in Bohol had a massive selection of curries, seafood and meats. We wanted to order almost everything here. The pink thing that you see in this picture was made from shrimp paste. The plate on its left contains squids. The plate next to fish is of fried eggplant. The steamed fish was only flavored with a little salt and vinegar. Simple and delicious flavors.

04 | BBQ – Everywhere

Filipino Food: Roadside Barbecued Meat in the Philippines

Filipino Food: Roadside Barbecued Meat in the Philippines

Filipinos surely know how to barbecue their meats! It’s funny how San and I had formed an aversion to meat for a few months before visiting the Philippines but we ate meat for every meal here. No matter which part of the Philippines we went, there was always a place (or a few) where we could find someone barbecuing meat on sticks. We even found it on our boat from Coron to Puerto Princesa. Pork, Chicken and some unrecognizable organs – whatever I ate was delicious. The best part – the sauces!

05 | Sting ray

Shredded Sting Ray

Shredded Sting Ray

This was our most delicious meal in Coron. This did not look like sting ray and could have been any other fish but we trust the restaurant staff. The sting ray was shredded and made in a curry way with a little bit of coconut and a hint of garlic with green chilies. It tasted heavenly with rice

06 | Halo Halo

Filipino Food: Halo-halo dessert

Filipino Food: Halo-halo dessert

Haluhalo or Halo-halo is perhaps the most famous Filipino dessert and is the perfect answer to a stressful day. This dessert is made by mixing everything delicious they can find around them – ice cream, milk, condensed milk, sweet beans, fruits, jelly fruit, cornflakes, etc. One distinct flavor that overpowered the Halo Halo I ate was of Ube. Ube is a local fruit and is also called purple yam. Its purple in color and the flavor is heavenly. This was at Tambayan Gastrobar of Manila.

07 | Seaweed Salad

Filipino Food - Seaweed Salad

Filipino Food – Seaweed Salad

To be honest, this was more interesting than delicious. We have eaten seaweed before but it was nothing like this. These little globes that you see, were full of some sort of gooey liquid. Kinda like gel. We ate this in a restaurant in Coron city.

08 | Clams in Cebu city

Filipino Food - Clam soup in Cebu city

Filipino Food – Clam soup in Cebu city

Bored of eating roadside food, San and I decided to visit a restaurant in Cebu city and we were definitely not disappointed. We ordered a big bowl of garlic clams and had a very good time eating it with salad and roasted pork belly.

09 | Pulled Pork Burger

Pulled Pork Burger in the Philippines

Pulled Pork Burger in the Philippines

Did I ever mention that Filipinos definitely know how to cook their meats? Well, their forte is Pork and if you love burgers, Philippines is the perfect place to indulge. This pulled pork burger was at Tambayan Gastrobar in Manila. Yes, the same restaurant where we ate Pork Adobo and Halo Halo. You definitely need to eat here. You must be thinking that pulled pork burger is not Filipino food so why is this included in the post? Well, because they put their own touches and made it special!

10 | Calamansi (in salads, juices and rums)

Filipino Calamansi - Tanduay Rum with coke and Calamansi

Filipino Calamansi – Tanduay Rum with coke and Calamansi

Calamansi is a lemon like fruit which is available in the Philippines. Its darker and smaller than a typical lemon and the taste is a tad different. While in Palawan, I was hooked and I started my mornings with calamansi juice with honey.

11 | El Nido Salad

El Nido Salad - what's not to love about this?

El Nido Salad – what’s not to love about this?

Who wouldn’t love a salad which looked like that? This adorable plate of salad was prepared for us by our boat staff in El Nido in just a few minutes.

BONUS: Drinking in the Philippines

What do you do when you fill your stomach with so much food? You wash it with some good beer or rum! Yes we really enjoyed drinking in the Philippines and we recommend the below three:

12 & 13 | San Miguel Pale Pilsen beer and Red Horse beer


Drinking in the Philippines: San Miguel Pale Pilsen beer
Drinking in the Philippines: Red Horse beer on Alona beach

San Miguel is the perfect drink for a sunny beach day. Red horse is Philippines’ local brew and is stronger than San Miguel. I love how both these beers come in extra-large bottles. Look how happy San looks! He’s in paradise!

14 | Tanduay Rhum (rum)

Tanduay is also the local brew and is the perfect drink if you want something stronger than beer. On our first night here, we went to a Karaoke bar in Bohol where I got this free because of ladies night! This rum reminded us of Old Monk of India and we carried a bottle along in our backpacks wherever we went. It tastes the best with coke and calimansi.

If you think we put on a little weight after eating a lot of delicious Filipino food, you gotta check out our Instagram feed and let us know!

If you have visited or you live in the Philippines and you love Filipino food, I’d love to hear what your favorite is. Let me know in the comments.

You may also like:

El Nido or Coron? A comparison of Palawan’s top destinations

Panglao island of Bohol

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Filipino Food - Cheese and melon ice cream
Filipino Food - 11 Delicious Things we ate in the Philippines
Drinking in the Philippines - Tanduay Rum with coke and Calamansi

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

Goan Prawn Curry Recipe

Goan Prawn Curry Recipe

My first visit to Goa was in 2004 and little did I know that I would end up visiting it almost every year. Well, what can I say, there’s something about that place which keeps pulling me back. For me, Goa has given me a “first” for many experiences – my first beach destination, my first solo traveling experience and my first psychedelic trance culture (yes, back in 2004, Goa’s underground trance scene was so much better than what it is today) and not to mention – my first experience of eating FRESH SEAFOOD.

After many hit and trial sessions and watching multiple Youtube videos, I can proudly state that I can make a drool-worthy plate of Goan Prawn Curry. You can totally replace the prawns with fish and follow the same recipe.


Goan prawn curryIngredients

  • Fresh Prawn / Shrimp (deveined) – 500 gms (sliced)
  • Thick coconut milk – 400 ml
  • Chopped Onions – 2 medium
  • Chopped tomato – 2 small
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 spoons
  • Dry Red Chillies – 4
  • Kashmiri chili powder – 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Tamarind pulp
  • Curry leaves – 2 strings
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Musturd Oil or Vegetable Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mango – 2 slices (no need to look for raw)


  • Wash and soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water and keep aside.
  • Wash prawns or fish and put small cubes of two to three slices of mango pulp (if you can’t find mangoes, then put 2 spoons of vinegar), salt, turmeric and red chili powder. Make sure you mix everything with your hands while gently mashing the mango pulp. Keep this aside for 30-60 minutes.
  • Take a pan or a kadai, add mustard oil and let the oil heat up. I usually add one mustard seed to check the oil temperature. If it pops, then its perfect! Don’t let the oil get smokey, else you may end up burning your masala.
  • Add mustard seeds and make them pop so that they don’t leave a bitter taste. However, do not overdo this step else you will burn them.
  • Add dry red chilies and let them fry for a minute so that they leave a beautiful flavor.
  • Add onions and saute them for a few minutes till they turn golden brown.  During this process, add curry leaves as well. (I love the aroma after adding curry leaves, mmmm)
  • Add chopped tomatoes and saute.
  • While the tomatoes are cooking, add 2 spoons of ginger garlic paste and 2 chopped green chilies, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. The idea is to roast the tomatoes really well with the spices. The first few times I tried making this, I skipped tomatoes. However, after eating this at many places and seeing a beautiful yellow-ish orange color of the curry, I realized tomatoes add a lovely flavor to this, but you gotta roast them really well.
  • Add a little salt and a teaspoon of turmeric powder for a beautiful color and flavor. Stir and add warm tamarind water and some pulp (not too much).
  • Add the top layer of coconut milk and stir. I usually add coconut milk in parts to let it cook with everything else because it has it’s own oil.
  • Add the marinated prawns or fish and stir carefully so that you don’t damage them.
  • Add the remaining coconut milk and stir it occasionally for not curdling the coconut milk.
  • Allow the prawns to cook till the gravy becomes thick – usually they take around 3 minutes to cook on a high flame and do not taste nice then they are overcooked.
  • Put a few granules of sugar – be careful with sugar because if you add too much, it will not taste good.  Sugar brings up the flavor of coconut milk and you need to add around 6 granules only.
  • Taste – if it lacks flavor then add a little salt.  If it’s not tangy enough then squeeze a lemon wedge or add a little vinegar. Put the stove off and cover the pan and let it sit for a while.
  • Eat this with steamed rice or Malabari Parathas or tawa roti.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.  Let us know how it turned out!

Goan Prawn Curry

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