Last updated on January 26th, 2023 at 01:00 pm
Iloilo City, the province’s capital, is an urbanized city so there are many enterprises around. Especially restaurants in Iloilo where to eat in Iloilo famous and delicious Iloilo food, or Iloilo delicacies as Filipinos call it. Read here: Where to stay in Iloilo!
Iloilo is one of the provinces of the Philippines located in Western Visayas. It’s bordered by Antique to the west and Capiz to the north. Iloilo food is very unique and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy most of them. In this blog post, let’s talk about where to eat in Iloilo to taste their local cuisine!
SIM CARD AT MANILA AIRPORT
I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at Manila airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in Manila. Read here Philippines sim card for tourist and best Philippines eSim
You can find the cheapest Filipino eSim with Airalo Philippines eSim prepaid for $4 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%). For $9 USD with 3 GB data, for $13 USD with 5 GB data, for $21 USD with 10 GB data and for $32 USD with 20 GB data valid for 30 days.
Nomad eSim Philippines for $5 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days. For $10 USD with 2 GB data, For $13 USD with 3 GB data and for $15 USD with 5 GB data valid for 30 days. MTX Connect eSim Philippines for €24 with 4 GB data valid for 14 days. Holafly Philippines eSim for $44 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER coming with 8 GB data valid for 30 days and you can activate with QR Code.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE PHILIPPINES
You can get accommodation starting from 800-1000 PHP (less than $20 USD) for a room in a guesthouse. Can you imagen if you are two of you traveling in the Philippines, it will be $10 USD each.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
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You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included
HOW TO GET TO ILOILO
GETTING TO ILOILO CITY BY PLANE
The fastest way to get to Iloilo City is definitely by plane. From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo for around 3,000 PHP or so for a round trip ticket that lasts an hour. You can purchase cheaper flights online if you decide to book usually 2-3 months before your planned date of visit, go ahead and check out Cebu Pacific.
The weather can be a bit unpredictable. It could be boiling hot during the summer, or too rainy around December to January. So it’s better if you mentally prepare yourself ahead of time, unless those are the type of climate you’re used to then, welcome!
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GETTING TO ILOILO CITY FROM ILOILO AIRPORT
You can hail a cab and ask to be dropped off at your destination. You can search in advance some rental cars and transportation services you can avail in Iloilo City. The Grab app is widely used in the city as well.
GETTING TO ILOILO CITY BY SHIP/BOAT
There are regular trips to and from Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Bacolod that are headed to Iloilo. The schedule and the trips can be modified and cancelled because of weather conditions, especially during the rainy season. Make sure you take a look at the weather during the rainy season.
BEST TIME TO VISIT ILOILO
As part of the Philippine archipelago, Iloilo shares the humidity and 2 seasons of the country. It is common sense to travel to a city’s dry season to explore all its best locations without worrying about the rain, but Iloilo is pretty much a year round destination.
The driest months and therefore the best time to visit Iloilo is from January to June. December is also a good time to visit, but you can expect high rates from hotels during this month.
If you want to visit Iloilo during its low season, August is the best time to do so, though you should expect plenty of rain. The warmest months, on the other hand, are April to June.
Whatever month you decide to visit. Make sure to have sunscreen with you as the heat of the sun is different in tropical and Asian countries like the Philippines. Stay hydrated at all times, too!
DAILY FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL TO VISIT ILOILO
Fortunately, the cost of living in Iloilo is pretty low, especially compared to other island destinations. Decent meals can be afforded at 100-200 PHP and beer is also readily available at 40-60 PHP. Iloilo delicacies pretty cheap, right?
Moving around Iloilo also isn’t a problem with the abundance of transportation options here. You can start your trip with the flat rate of 9 PHP on the jeepney and 40 PHP on a taxi.
There are plenty of hotels, inns and resorts in the city and all around the province. For as low as 400-1,000 PHP, you can book modest rooms at dorms, pension houses and B&Bs. Staying at a nice hotel is also inexpensive at 1,300-2,500 PHP. That’s only $24-47 USD per night!
Those who want to splurge on accommodations will find establishments with rates of $55-95 USD. You can also try AirBnB in Iloilo. You can also book your trips in advance and find the best deals with Booking and Agoda.
Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.
RESTAURANTS IN ILOILO: WHERE TO EAT IN ILOILO
1. PITSTOP RESTAURANT
This may sound odd but you have to taste their Mango Pizza and Mango Beef Bulalo. After all, mangoes are one of the most famous fruits around Guimaras Island so this is one of the best foods you’ll ever taste in Iloilo City.
I guarantee it will become one of your favorites! You can visit the restaurant at SM Iloilo Southpoint where to eat in Iloilo delicious mango pizza.
2. NETONG’S ORIGINAL SPECIAL LAPAZ BATCHOY
Yes, Iloilo City is the home of the famous Filipino delicacy called batchoy, a kind of noodle soup. It is a must-try in Iloilo City and the best batchoy can be found at Netong’s Original Special Lapaz Batchoy in, La Paz Market, La Paz, Iloilo.
It is one of the greatest staple food in the province and will always be one of the favorites of every Filipino and Ilonggos.
3. MOLO MANSION CAFE
Walking around Molo Plaza is a must to visit Molo Mansion and Molo Mansion Cafe where you can relax and have ice cream, coffee or trying local food in a quiet spot in Iloilo City. Pancit Molo is their most famous dish, which is made of soup with Chinese dumplings.
Even though it has “Pancit” name, it doesn’t really have noodles. “Pancit” in Pancit Molo is actually the molo ball wrappers which has basically the same components as pancit or noodles. It’s a must in the list of restaurants in Iloilo.
4. PUNOT RESTAURANT
Another place where to eat in Iloilo is Punot Restaurant located at Iloilo Riverside Boardwalk Complex. You can find the famous Pancit Molo here as well. This restaurant will give you relaxing, home ambiance while having a warm bowl of their delicious soup!
5. CAFE PANAY
Something you can’t miss to visit to have some Iloilo food is Cafe Panay. Their simple yet homey restaurant is located at Festive Walk Parade in Iloilo Business Park. You have to try their Iloilo delicacies: turon, fried ibos, pancit molo, and Tsokolate de Batirol.
If you haven’t heard of turon yet, it is a Filipino dessert made of banana covered in an edible wrapper and fried in brown sugar. Also, fried ibos is made of glutinous rice, so it’s crispy and golden. It’s served with muscovado sugar, mango puree or hot chocolate sauce for dipping since it doesn’t taste sweet on its own. One of the most popular restaurants in Iloilo.
6. TATOY’S NATIVE LECHON MANOK
One of the most famous places where to eat in Iloilo is Tatoy’s. They serve yummy roasted native chicken. They call it “daraag”and marinate it in vinegar and calamansi (local lime) and stuffed with tamarind leaves and lemongrass. It’s definitely a must-try!
Though siopao is commonly known in the Philippines to be Chinese food, there’s an Iloilo version of this in Roberto’s. They have an Iloilo food called Queen siopao which is stuffed with bacon, sausage, egg, and adobo. Roberto’s Restaurant is located at JM Basa Street and is dubbed as one of the best restaurants in Iloilo because of their unique food.
Another one of the best restaurants in Iloilo is called Breakthrough, and it can be found at Villa Beach, Barangay Sto. Niño Norte, Arevalo in Iloilo. They serve fresh seafood, even the unusual ones like the Managat fish or red snapper and angel-wing shaped diwal.
They also serve the famous KBL. It stands for kadyos (pigeon pea), baboy (pork) and langka (jackfruit), the 3 main components of the dish. This soupy dish is cooked by making the pork very tender and adding the unique ingredients, pigeon pea and jackfruit, to give K.B.L. a distinct sour flavor.
Sounds weird, right? I guess you’ll just have to taste it! K.B.L. is definitely a local favorite and a must-try for tourists.
9. ORIGINAL BISCOCHO HOUSE
You can’t miss in restaurants in Iloilo to take home at least one box of biscocho, or crispy buttered toast sprinkled with sugar. You must also try their pinasugbo, which are thin slices of caramelized banana sprinkled with some sesame seeds, and try as well their Iloilo delicacies barquillos which are thin and crispy wafer rolls.
Don’t forget to try their famous butterscotch as well! You can find one of their branches at 33 Lopez Jaena St, Jaro in Iloilo City.
10. BINAKOL EXPRESS
Located at Zaldarriaga Compound in Tacas, Iloilo City, is Binakol Express, where you can have another famous Iloilo food called Binakol, or binakoe. It is a kind of soup, similar to Tinola, made from chicken cooked in coconut water with grated coconut, vegetables and herbs.
MORE ILOILO FOOD RESTAURANTS IN ILOILO AND WHERE TO EAT IN ILOILO
The next few places in our list are actually in Bacolod, a province near Iloilo where you can visit next. These provinces’ cuisines are kind of similar to each other, and we recommend that you taste the famous dishes of these Iloilo delicacies too so you can taste more of Iloilo food and Filipino cuisine.
11. ENTING’S SPECIAL OF SAGAY
Lacson Street in Bacolod is really famous for good restaurants and Entings restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Bacolod City to go to! Locals love their cansi, kinilaw, and lechong baka. Prices are affordable if you go in groups. You can pay for as low as PHP 100 per person per meal!
12. NEGROS MUSEUM CAFE
If you are heading in Gatuslao Street in Bacolod, don’t forget to stop by Negros Museum Cafe. They serve high-quality Filipino, French, Asian, and Mediterranean dishes for any meal of the day. You should definitely try their sandwiches, salads, steaks and many more.
One good thing about Negros Museum Cafe is that they source their ingredients from local farms and markets!
13. ROLI’S DINER
This restaurant that was established in 1940 is very well known for its Napoleones, a popular Bacolod delicacy that is usually given as pasalubong to friends and family back home.
Napoleones is a sweet layered pastry with custard filling. Aside from that, it’s also a favorite restaurant for local dishes. Roli’s Diner is located in Villamonte, Bacolod.
14. SHARYN’S CANSI HOUSE
If you’ve ever heard of bulalo, it would be easy enough for you to imagine what cansi is, the Ilonggo version of said Filipino dish. For those who think those two words sound made up, bulalo and cansi are basically dishes cooked with the same main ingredient: beef shank. However, the shank isn’t necessarily the highlight of cansi.
The star is actually the bone marrow, which can be eaten by using the wrong end of your spoon/fork to scoop the marrow from the bone. Even shaking the bone downwards to let the marrow fall out might do the trick!
Prices for order is around 350 PHP and it’s a complete soup full of meat that can be shared for a few of you. Sharyn’s Cansi is one of the many places where you can eat Cansi in Bacolod, and is located at C-58 Capitol Shopping Center, Villamonte, Bacolod.
15. HYKSOS PALA-PALA SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
In Hyksos Pala-Pala Restaurant in Bacolod Bayview Foodcourt in Burgos Street, you’ll have the chance to munch on those yummy fresh seafood of Bacolod! The process here is easy.
You’ll choose which fresh seafood you want from the wet market area and just let them know how you want it to be cooked. Make sure to try sinigang na isda, kinilaw, and buttered shrimps.
WHERE TO STAY IN ILOILO CITY: HOTELS IN ILOILO CITY PHILIPPINES
AURORA 2013 GUESTHOUSE
We stayed at Aurora 2013 Guesthouse and to be honest it was amazing. The location was great sleeping in a quite neighborhood just one jeepney ride of Jairo Cathedral and Molo Plaza.
The rooms were quite big, the staff was very welcome and made us feel as at home. The breakfast were one of our favorite food in Iloilo. If you book in this place you will understand why the are Number 1 in Agoda and Tripadvisor Reviews. Prices are starting 1700-2000 PHP.
GO HOTELS ILOILO
The rooms at Go Hotels Iloilo come with air conditioning, a personal safe, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. It also has a private bathroom with towels. 15-minute drive from SM City Iloilo and 6-minute from SM Delgado, Go Hotels Iloilo offers a 24-hour front desk, parking, and free WiFi in the entire hotel.
At Go Hotels Iloilo, guests can approach the friendly staff for assistance with luggage storage, laundry service and car rental arrangements. A common lounge area is also available. Their rooms are affordable for just $26 a night! Great option as cheap hotels in Iloilo City.
RICHMONDE HOTEL ILOILO
The rooms at Richmonde Hotel Iloilo are equipped with a cable TV, a desk, and a safety deposit box. A private bathroom with free toiletries are provided for guests. Some rooms offer a tumble dryer and a seating area. Staff at the 24-hour front desk can help guests with any queries that they may have.
Currency exchange and luggage storage may also be arranged for guests at the reception. Guests can enjoy the buffet breakfast at the on-site restaurant, The Granary. The restaurant and bar serves international cuisines. Their deluxe room costs $109 a night.
Offering free WiFi, J7 Hotel offers rooms in Iloilo City, 1.9 mi from Calle Real. Providing a restaurant, the property also has a terrace. The accommodations offers a 24-hour front desk. The units in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV with cable channels.
Each room includes a private bathroom and free toiletries, and certain rooms are fitted with a balcony. All units at J7 Hotel include air conditioning and a desk. A à la carte, Asian or Italian breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. Their room’s price starts at $80 a night.
There you have it, guys! Those are our top Iloilo food or Iloilo delicacies where to eat Iloilo in Iloilo for you to try next. Have you tasted any of these restaurants in Iloilo? Share it with us in the comments!
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Happy travels and eating!