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Travel Guide > Asia > Philippines

Philippines Restaurants & Eating

  
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Filipino cuisine has developed from the different cultures that shaped its history. As such, it is a melange of Chinese, Malay, Spanish, European and American influences. Though its cuisine is not as renowned as many of its neighbours, such as that of Thailand and Vietnam, Filipino cooking is nonetheless distinct in that it is possibly the least spicy of all South East Asian cuisines. Don't make the mistake of thinking that Filipino food is bland, though. It is just that instead of spices, Filipino food depends more on garlic, onions and ginger to add flavor to dishes. Painstaking preparation and prolonged cooking time is also a characteristic of most Filipino dishes, and when done properly is often what brings out the flavor of the food as, opposed to a healthy dose of spices.  

Kamayan, literally means Eating with Hands. Some Filipinos who were born and raised in rural provinces still eat with their hands, mostly at their homes during mealtimes. They would often say that Kamayan makes food taste better. Wash your hands clean before attempting this to avoid illnesses. Almost all Filipinos in the urban areas though use spoons, forks and knives. Eating with hands in public is not uncommon however if you're eating in a mid-range and splurge restaurant this may be considered rude.

To experience how the Filipinos eat in a budget way, Carenderias (food stalls) and Turo-turo (meaning Point-point, which actually means you point at the food you want to eat in the buffet table) are some of the options. Mains cost less than $1. Carenderias serve food cooked earlier and it may not always be the safest of options.

As with the rest of Southeast Asia, rice is the staple food of the Philippines. Some areas in the Visayas prefer corn but elsewhere Filipinos would generally have rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Uncooked rice usually comes in 50kg sacks but can be bought by the kilogram at the wet market or at neighborhood rice dealers. Single servings of rice are readily available at fastfood restaurants or eateries.

Filipino diet

The word diet is non-existent in the vocabulary of Filipinos or has never existed, as mentioned before they are laid back people, they love to eat as much as they can as if there is no tomorrow. They spend most of their money on food, a Filipino teenager might at least enter a fastfood chain twice to thrice a week, during fiestas in a city, town, barangay, purok or subdivision Filipinos would have big parties and it would last from noon to midnight when some of the people would end up being drunk, you can ask if you can join a fiesta in a home and some might welcome you as this is a tradition.

If you're visiting the Philippines it is the best time to cut your so called diet and eat to your heart's content. The Filipino diet is a lot more similar to the west than the east, with Filipinos eating less vegetables, more oil, meat and sugar than people in neighboring countries; most Filipinos aren't health conscious. Cancer and heart-related diseases are the leading causes of death here. However if you visit rural areas they use more vegetables and less meat and practice old Filipino medicine.

Cuisine

Filipinos usually serve at least one main course accompanied by rice for lunch and dinner. At times you would have two with a vegetable dish accompanying a meat dish. On special occasions such as fiestas, several main dishes would be served, a Filipino party or a Fiesta wouldn't be complete without Spaghetti, Pasta, Fruit Salad, Ice Cream, Rice, spring rolls, cake or rice cakes and soda. Soups are also often the main course apart from being a starter. It is not uncommon for Filipinos to douse their rice with the soup and eat the meat that came with the soup alongside.

Kanin at Kakanin

Kanin means Rice in Tagalog while Kakanin means Rice cakes.

  • Sinangag is fried garlic rice, often mixed with vegetables, dried shrimps, dried fish strips, hotdogs or Chorizos.
  • Bibingka - rice cake with cheese and salted egg, it originates from Indian cuisine.
  • Puto - Soft white rice muffins.

Other kinds include Biko, Cuchinta, Pichi-Pichi, Sapin-Sapin, etc. The towns of Calasiao in Pangasinan and Binan, Laguna are famous for their puto

Pansit/Pancit

Pancit/Pancit or Noodles, an influence from Chinese cuisine and believed to give long life because of its length, often eaten in celebrations such as Birthdays and New Year. Below listed are some popular Filipino noodle dishes

  • Pancit Batchoy/La Paz Batchoy is a noodle soup usually made from pork organs, crushed crunchy fried pork rind, shrimp, vegetable, chicken stock, chicken, beef and especially noodles.
  • Pancit Bihon, sautéed noodles along with vegetables, pork and shrimp.
  • Pancit Molo is a Filipino wanton soup however it doesn't have noodles in it.
  • Pancit Palabok' noodles boiled then topped with atchuete also known as annatto seeds, shrimp, crushed crunchy fried pork.

Silog and pankaplog

Usually eaten at breakfast, this is the Filipino version of a typical American breakfast of egg, bacon and pancakes. Silog is an contraction of the words Sinangag (fried rice) and Itlog (egg). They are not only sold in Filipino eateries and stalls but also in restaurants and fastfood chains such as McDonald's.

  • Adosilog has Adobo
  • Longsilog has longganisa or local pork sausage
  • Tapsilog has tapa or cured beef
  • Tocilog has tocino or cured pork

Pankaplog

A slang term for a breakfast that mainly consists of Pande Sal (bread), kape (coffee) and it'log

Ulam

Ulam means Mains in Tagalog.

  • Adobo - chicken, pork or both served in a garlicky stew with vinegar and soy sauce as a base. It is arguably the national dish of the Philippines.
  • Bopis - pork innards, usually served spicy.
  • Burong Talangka - Filipino caviar, it is taken from Talangkas or Crabs.
  • Calamares - fried shrimp/squid wrapped in breading.
  • Camaron Rebusado - the Filipino version of tempura.
  • Chicken Curry - A lot different from other curries because it isn't spicy unlike other curries. Aside from chicken, Crab curry and other varieties are also available.
  • Dinuguan - a dark stew of pig's blood mixed with its innards. Usually served with a big green chili and best eaten with puto.
  • Daing na bangus - fried dried milkfish, usually served for breakfast with garlic fried rice and fried egg.
  • Kare-kare - peanuty stew of vegetables and meat simmered for hours on end, usually beef with tripe and tail and eaten with a side of shrimp paste (bagoong). There is also a seafood version of kare-kare with crabs, squid and shrimp instead of beef.
  • Lechon de leche - slow-roasted baby pork, usually served during larger occasions. The crispy skin is delicious and is often the first part that is consumed.
  • Lengua - roasted beef tongue marinated in savory sauce.
  • Nilaga - literally means "boiled", can be beef which in certain places is served with its marrow (bulalo), pork or chicken.
  • Pakbet - a traditional meal of mixed vegetables usually containing cut tomatoes, minced pork, lady finger, eggplant, etc.
  • Paksiw - fish or vegetables cooked with vinegar, ginger, garlic and chilli picante.
  • Sinigang - soup soured usually with tamarind (but can also be by guavas or kamias), can be served with pork, beef, chicken, fish or shrimp.
  • Tinola - chicken in ginger soup.

Restaurants in Philippines

Bakery Mother's Cakehouse & Restaurant
The oldest Cakehouse in Angeles City. Known for its traditional and personalized cakes... The restaurant is so cozy that gives you a home-y feeling ambiance with pink and white motiff. Its baked macaroni is to die for! Other must try: spareribs, sisig dinuguan,... more
 1 Fans, in Angeles
International Tequila Reef Cantina
Authentic Mexican Cuisine, Bar-B-Q Chicken & Ribs, New Orleans “Cajun” Specialties, Steaks, Burgers, Sandwiches andFilipino FoodDirectionsJust off of Fields Avenue Near the Central Park, Pacific Breeze and ... more
 1 Fans, Mid Range, Mains from $5 to $10, in Angeles
 
Fast Food Jollibee
The most well known Filipino fastfood chain of all, Jollibee can boast of over a thousand stores in the Philippines and more than 300 stores around the world. Typical fastfood fare for the most part, but the burger dressing will taste different (read: sweet) to... more
$1-$2 per serving, in Philippines
Fast Food Greenwich Pizza
The second of Jollibee corps' trifecta of fastfood chains, Greenwich Pizzas are your typical fare, but once again with the slightly sweeter than usual tomato sauce. Some seasonal offerings may be on offer though, like the sisig pizza, so check the menu.
$2-$3 per serving, in Philippines
 
Chinese Chowking
The Filipino version of Chinese food, also owned by Jollibee. For good sampling of their food, try the Lauriats, which feature a viand (beef, pork, chicken), rice, pancit (fried noodles with meat and veggies), siomai (dumplings), and buchi (a sweet rice ball co... more
$2-$3 per serving, in Philippines
Filipino Tapa King
Tapaking is where you get the ubiquitous tapsilog (fried beef strips, fried garlic rice, and egg), along with other local delicacies.
$2-$3 per serving, in Philippines
 
Filipino GotoKing
This where you go to get the localized version of congee called goto and lugaw, with different kinds of toppings like chicken, roasted garlic, egg, etc.
in Philippines
Barbeque Mang Insasal
A relative newcomer, Mang Inasal actually brings a variety of barbecue called "inasal" into Metro Manila from the smaller city of Bacolod. They offer other grilled meats, as well as soups like sinigang (a sour, tamarind based soup).
$1-2$ per serving, in Philippines
 
Bakery Goldilocks
The place to go for your baked treats and sweets like mamon (a spongy round cake), polvoron (a tighly packed powdery treat) ensaymada (bread baked with cheese and sugar), and host of other delicacies for those with a sweet tooth.
in Philippines
Fast Food Jollibee
The most well known Filipino fastfood chain of all, Jollibee can boast of over a thousand stores in the Philippines and more than 300 stores around the world. Typical fastfood fare for the most part, but the burger dressing will taste different (read: sweet) to... more
$1-$2 per serving, in National Capital Region
 
These are just 10 of 325 Restaurants in Philippines. Show more.




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