Where to Eat in Iloilo City

Iloilo City is one of the known gastronomic haven in the Philippines where the cuisine culture is best represented by a fusion of traditional and modern way of cookery. Situated around the throwback downtown and the modern bustling part of the city are a number of establishments that serve both old and new favorites. A day or two in the city should present you a variety of food choices to guarantee a satisfying gastronomical experience. To help you plan your food trip, here are our some of the places I’ve tried dining in the city of love.

Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy

Do not be swayed by the Batchoy wars between Ted’s and Deco’s—both are reputable restaurants serving the Iloilo signature dish of La Paz Batchoy. But when it comes to “who came first” and “who still holds the crown of ‘all-time favorite La Paz Batchoy’” in Iloilo, it is hands down Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy. Hidden inside La Paz Market, this culinary icon of the city still retains its old-school vibe that existed since it first opened in the 1940’s, and the original recipe that makes downing a mega bowl of La Paz Batchoy a very pleasant food experience.

Madge Café

A stark contrast to the many hipster and Instagrammable cafes that has mushroomed today, Madge Café still presents that no-frills and stripped back café atmosphere—of faded floors and carinderia-type interiors all screaming of authenticity just like the coffee and sweet goodies it serves. Also, located inside La Paz Market, the original branch remains a local favorite and has become a must-visit for tourists exploring Iloilo city. Unpretentious and charming, this small coffee joint delivers a continuance of more than 50 years of institutional tradition serving great quality local coffee.

Samurai Tablahan

Where else can you order a plateful of Oysters starting from less than a hundred pesos? Cheap seafood that doesn’t suffer in quality and taste is what makes Samurai a popular food choice for both locals and tourists. They also serve pork and chicken barbecue that matches perfectly with their assorted baked scallops flavors. Samurai is located just across the road from Smallville complex.

Roberto’s Siopao

A siopao so big and delicious it elevates from a simple merienda to a meal in itself. A household name in Iloilo and synonym to ‘Siopao’ in one mere mention of its name is enough for anyone to salivate over a rich and tasty bun loaded with sumptuous fillings. Lucky diners can choose from the following: Regular Siopao (pork adobo and egg), Jumbo Siopao (chicken sausage, chicken or pork adobo and egg), King Siopao (ham, Chinese sausage, chicken and pork adobo and egg) and the Queen siopao (bacon, Chinese sausage, chicken and pork adobo and egg). Roberto’s is located along Basa Street right at the heart of Iloilo’s downtown and heritage district.

Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood

A perennial inclusion in the many ‘Where to Eat in Iloilo’ listicles, Tatoy’s continues to never disappoint. Serving a wide array of Filipino native dishes that includes native lechon manok, grilled scallops, steam pasayan, baked talaba, blue marlin, fish tail soup just to name a few, a meal here with the family or a group of friends should be included in any Iloilo city travel itinerary.

Brewery Gastropub

A joint serving the best local craft and imported beers better serve a mean set of dishes as well. Good for the rest of us, Brewery Gastropub didn’t miss out on this memo. Try out some local craft beer favorites such as Guimaras Gosse, Dinagyang Pale Alle, Boracay Blonde and pair it with their house signature dishes like; Rack of Skewers, Beer Can Chicken, Boneless Crispy Pata for a satisfying night of beer and food fest.


Iloilo-based lifestyle blogger Levy Amosin meanwhile, recommends Punot Restaurant. “Situated along the riverside boardwalk also known as Espalanade River, Punot serve a combination of traditional and modern Ilonggo dishes. The owners wanted to provide a new and exciting dining experience to the Ilonggos, so they designed a set of menu inspired from their travels around the world. The restaurant also offers a relaxed and casual riverside dining experience that many Ilonggos enjoy”.

Although these are just a few of the many highly recommended restaurants, bars and café in Iloilo City—you can use this as a guide to kick-off your food-trip adventure in the city of love.

*Picture of Punot from Punot Facebook Page