Filipino Food: 11 Delicious Things to Eat in the Philippines

by | Jun 11, 2016 | Food, Philippines

Ah, Filipino food… before we entered this beautiful country, we were warned by many that we may not enjoy the food here. To be honest, we didn’t have the best experience in the beginning but we definitely had some memorable eating experiences as we tried more things.

This is one of our rare food related posts because we suck at food photography. When the food finally arrives in front of us, we always jump on it witghout even remembering to click photos. If food photography interests you, you may want to check out post with recommendations of the best cameras for clicking good food photos.

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)

A lot of travel guides for Philippines mentioned that Pork Adobo is the most popular dish in the Philippines so of course we had to try. San and I hated it 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.

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
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