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Seafood And So Much More: 10 Best Restaurants In Iloilo City - Updated 2020

10 best restaurants in iloilo
Liezl
Liezl
Updated

Iloilo City is known for its gentle people, because its locals speak a dialect with its sing song tone. The city also offers a great culinary adventure, with a little bit of everything for any palate. Savor Iloilo’s flavors in its 10 best restaurants.

1. Feast on fresh seafood at Breakthrough Restaurant

Tuna ceviche
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Iloilo City is a coastal city in the island of Panay. So it is no wonder that fresh seafood is readily available in the city. At Breakthrough Restaurant, they offer seafood dishes that are as fresh as catching them yourself. The restaurant has live seafood on display in aquariums. You can choose from a wide variety of fish and seafood such as shells and crustaceans. These will be weighed and cooked the way you want it. The usual cooking methods are cooking with soup, in spicy sauce, in garlic sauce, or grilled. The best selling dishes as the baked scallops and oysters, spicy crabs, any kind of grilled fish and kinilaw (ceviche). The restaurant is located near the beach so you can choose to dine al fresco, if the weather permits. Filipino dishes of beef, chicken and pork are also available for those who cannot take seafood.

Breakthrough Restaurant

Address: Santo Niño Sur, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City, Iloilo

Contact Information: +6333 337 3027

Website: Breakthrough Restaurant

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

2. Best of both worlds at Tatoy's Manukan Restaurant

Tatoys Manokan, Villa Beach, Iloilo City. Philippines
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Riyan0721 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tatoy’s is truly a homegrown restaurant. It started out in the 1970s as a humble shack serving seafood dishes, cooked from whatever was the fresh catch of the day. The owner himself was a fisherman so he knew where to get the freshest ingredients. Aside from seafood, Tatoy’s became famous for its roast chicken which is native chicken marinated in local lime, coconut vinegar and other spices. Cooked to perfection on a rotisserie, the chicken retains its juiciness and is perfectly flavored. No dipping sauce is necessary when eating Tatoy’s native chicken. A whole chicken would set you back about 6 USD each, which can be shared by two or three people. From an unassuming bamboo shack, the restaurant has grown to serve many diners and even special events such as weddings and functions.

Tatoy's Manukan Restaurant

Address: Valuarte-Calumpang-Villa-Oton Road, Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo

Contact Information: +63 33 337 1360

Operating Hours: 7am - 9:30p.m., Daily

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

3. Bon apetito at Amalfi Cucina Italiana

Seafood Linguine pasta at The Italian Chef in South Yarra
Source: Photo by Flickr user Katherine Lim used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Yes, there is good Italian food to be had in the city. Amalfi Cucina Italiana has been consistently among the top food spots to go to when you are in the city. Its menu boasts of Italian dishes that make good use of seafood, rightly so because there is plenty of it in the city. Among its bestsellers are the Chilean sea bass with potato risotto and black truffle cream and seared scallops with pepper crust served with pasta pomodoro. Lamb also shines on the menu, with its grilled lamb chops with mint jelly and potato au gratin. Its pasta choices also have meat and seafood and its wine and liquor selection is considered to be one of the best. The menu changes regularly, as new dishes are introduced according to what’s in season. Because this restaurant has limited seating, it is best to call for reservations.

Amalfi Cucina Italiana

Address: The Avenue, Glicerio Pison Ave., Smallville Business Complex, Iloilo City, Iloilo

Contact Information: +63 33 3295289

Operating Hours: 5:30pm - 12mn, Mondays to Thursdays; 11:30am - 2pm, 5:30pm - 12mn, Fridays to Sundays

Facebook page: Amare Cucina Italiana

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

4. Good old Americana at Bourbon Street Grill and Bar

Grilled Salmon (14745629127)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Prayitno / Thank ... used under CC BY 2.0

For local foodies, Bourbon Street Grill is the go-to place for barbecue ribs, American style. Located at one of the newer dining and entertainment centers in the city, Bourbon Street is making a name for itself when it comes to bistro dining. Its signature dishes are the Bourbon BBQ Ribs which are marinated with real American bourbon for a distinct flavor and its signature Square Pizza oozing with cheesy goodness and gourmet toppings. Seafood dishes are on the menu as well beer battered squid rings, grilled salmon and tuna and seafood creole. A rack of BBQ ribs which is good for sharing would cost around 13 to 15 USD, while a 9 inch pizza would be around 5 USD each. Reservations are encouraged especially if you are coming with a group.

Bourbon Street Grill and Bar

Address: The Avenue, Glicerio Pison Ave. (Smallville), Diversion Road, Manduriao, Iloilo City 5000

Contact Information: +63 33 3376168

Operating Hours: Lunch (Everyday 11:00am - 2:30pm), Dinner (Everyday 5pm onwards) and After Hours (until 3AM Friday to Saturday; until 2AM Monday to Thursday & Sunday)

Website: Bourbon Street Grill and Bar

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

5. Truly local food at Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine

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Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Judgefloro used under CC0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Bauhinia is a casual dining restaurant that prides itself in serving not just Filipino delicacies, but Iloilo delicacies. Most of their dishes are cooked with traditional ingredients and a twist, making them all the more interesting to diners. One Iloilo delicacy they serve is the local version of the adobo, but instead of using soy sauce to flavor the dish, they use annatto oil, which makes the taste quite distinct. Yet another is the slow-cooked stew of pigeon peas, pig’s hocks and unripe jackfruit. Seafood dishes are also popular such as squid cooked in coconut milk and pesto crusted blue marlin. Because of limited seating, reservations are recommended.

Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine

Address: The Avenue, Smallville Comples, Diversion Road, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Contact Information: +63 33 501-6262; 329-6951

Operating Hours: 11:00am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Daily

Facebook page: Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

6. Taste the pride of Iloilo at Netong's Lapaz Batchoy

LaPazBatchoy
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Heidigutierrez used under CC BY 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

At Netong’s, you can taste the original noodle dish that Iloilo is known for. Named after the district of Lapaz, the Lapaz batchoy is said to have originated in the small eateries found in the public market. To this day, Netong’s can still be found in one corner inside the Lapaz public market. The eatery has expanded however and offers an air conditioned dining area. The flavor of the noodle dish comes from the broth, which is beef bones and marrow slow cooked to achieve a deep flavor. This broth is poured over a generous serving of egg noodles, cooked pork intestines, fresh spring onions and crushed pork skin crackling. Some also top it with freshly cracked egg, which gets cooked in the hot broth. At Netong’s, you can choose the size of your batchoy, from Special (1 USD), Super (1.25 USD), Jumbo (1.50 USD) and Mega (2 USD). If you ask the locals the best place for batchoy, most of them will point to Netong’s.

Netong’s Original Special La Paz Batchoy

Address: La Paz Public Market, Luna cor. Huervana St., La Paz, Iloilo City

Contact Information: +63 33 396 9449; 396-2189

Operating Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

7. Homegrown goodness at Madge Cafe

Madge Cafe Iloilo
Source: Photo by Flickr user Constantine Agustin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Move over, Starbucks. In Iloilo, Madge Cafe is the purveyor of the love for coffee. This unassuming coffee shop is still located in the same spot it has been since its humble beginnings. Found in the Lapaz public market, its location does not stop its loyal patrons and tourists from flocking here. What brings them to Madge is the native Arabica coffee brewed in the traditional way and the best thing is, it will only cost you 0.5 USD to enjoy a cup. The coffee shop also serves native sticky rice called “ibus” which is a perfect companion to your coffee. Most reviews recommended taking your coffee with evaporated milk. Don’t forget to enjoy watching the attendant prepare your coffee the traditional way, using a coffee pot and a strainer.

Madge Cafe

Address: Lapaz Public Market, Cor. Rizal-Huervana Sts., La Paz, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo

Contact Information: +63 33 509 3737

Operating Hours: 5:30am - 6:30pm, Mondays to Saturdays; 5:30am - 12:30pm, Sundays

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

8. Taste the best siopao at Roberto's

Roberto's Iloilo
Source: Photo by Flickr user Constantine Agustin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Siopao is the local name for steamed buns with fillings and in Iloilo, the best siopao can be had in Roberto’s. This restaurant was established way back in 1978 and since then, has made a name for itself when it comes to siopao. Ilonggos usually associate this snack with Roberto’s. The restaurant offers four types of siopao: the regular (0.75 USD) which has pork adobo and egg; the Jumbo (1 USD) which has Chinese sausage, chicken pork adobo and egg; the Queen (1.50 USD) which has bacon, Chinese sausage, chicken pork adobo and egg, and the King (1.75 USD) which has ham, Chinese sausage, chicken pork adobo and egg. Located in the downtown district of the city, the restaurant is hard to miss, as patrons usually line up to buy this famous snack.

Roberto's

Address: 61 J.M. Basa Street, Iloilo City

Contact Information: +6333 335 0484

Operating Hours: 8am - 7pm, Daily

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

9. Get authentic German sausages at Bavaria German Restaurant

Bratwurst sausage
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Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you are hankering for authentic German cuisine, particularly German sausages, Bavaria German Restaurant is where you should go. If you are tired of eating seafood or Filipino food and want to try something different, come here. Because the restaurant is located away from the bustling entertainment center of the city, you will also like the fact that you can enjoy a quiet meal by yourself or with family here. Sausages such are bratwurst, wiener, schublig and the like are their bestsellers but they also serve pastas and freshly baked bread and pizza. And what are sausages without good German beer. A sausage platter good for sharing is around 10 USD, while a serving of German beer is around 2.75 USD.

Bavaria German Restaurant

Address: 113 Seminario Street, Jaro, Iloilo City

Contact Information: +63 33 329 0078

Operating Hours: 8am - 12am, Daily

Facebook page: Bavaria German Restaurant

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

10. Romantic dining at Mango Tree

Seafood paella at Picaro in the Mission
Source: Photo by Flickr user Neeta Lind used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

This restaurant is not only known for good Filipino food, but also for its romantic ambiance. Located in the Mandurriao district of the city, it is situated in a compound that actually has an old mango tree, thus the name. The place looks stunning at night, and diners have a wonderful view of the backyard and the mango tree from the dining area. Must-try dishes are the seafood paella, the chop suey (which is served over crispy fried noodles) and their poor man’s steak (cooked in a garlic soy based sauce). A full meal for two would likely set you back 20 USD each or 40 USD.

The Mango Tree Restaurant

Address: 28 Guzman Street, Brgy. Guzman Jesena, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo

Contact Information: +63 33 321 0420

Operating Hours: 11am - 11pm, Daily

Facebook page: The Mango Tree Restaurant

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Iloilo, Visayan Islands, Philippines

Iloilo City is a testament to the Filipinos love for eating

Iloilo City is a one-hour plane ride from Manila, where there are daily flights on commercial airlines. From the city’s airport, you can take a shuttle that will cost you about 2.5 USD to bring to the city. Taxis are plentiful so these are the recommended form of transport within the city.

Iloilo City’s is indeed a culinary adventure even for the reluctant guest. You can try something more familiar such as Western cuisine, but for the more adventurous, the best way to get to know a city is through its homegrown food. So don’t be afraid to try new tastes.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I am a freelance writer living in the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City. I am passionate about writing and living and anything in between.

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