Apart from the Bangui Windmills, Cape Bojeador lighthouse and other tourist attractions, nothing represents Ilocos Norte best than its food. It goes beyond empanadas though – so take a look at some of these local favorites that serve everything from Ilocano dishes to Chinese cuisine. These pretty much, after all, are considered the 10 best restaurants in Ilocos Norte:
This panciteria first opened its doors in the 1950s. La Moda owner Evelyn Dayaoan Gee shared that she inherited the business from her father-in-law when her husband didn’t want to take it on during the late 1980s due to bankruptcy. Nowadays, La Moda is the go-to for Ilocano for homemade pancit.
Saramsam Ylocano is one of the more popular restaurants in Ilocos Norte with charming interiors and divine Ilocano cuisine. All their dishes are reasonably priced, albeit being inventive and homemade. In fact, the dishes really live up to the restaurant’s name – the Y in “Ylocano” stands for yummy.
Named after the restaurant owner’s mother, Preciosa Palma, this small Ilocano restaurant serves local cuisine with a twist. The homey interiors throws customers back to the 90s, as they sit and enjoy one delicious dish after another. Though there are a number of inventive dishes, their carrot cake remains a favorite topped with shredded carrots for extra texture and crunch.
If there’s one thing you definitely have to try out at Herencia Restaurant, it’s their pizza! Pinakbet, a classic Ilocano favorite, is basically vegetables cooked with “bagoong” (fermented fish paste).
Now, imagine this on top of warm pizza dough and cheese. Can’t? You’ll have to head over and try it out for yourself because customers have come to love it so much that it’s become the restaurant’s bestseller.
If there’s one problem you might encounter at Cuisine de Iloco, it may be the lack of seating as apparently – they’re always packed! A local favorite, families and groups of friends head over to this budget-friendly joint for lip smacking Filipino and Ilocano food. There are budget meals at P150 and family-style dishes that cost no more than P350 or so.
BergBlick, which means “mountain view”, is a German restaurant that offers homemade German, International and Filipino food at its best. From fresh seafood, organic vegetables to homemade pasta, guests are definitely in for a gastronomic treat.
If you’d like to take a break from Filipino and Ilocano cuisine, then Red 8 is a definite go to. Families, friends and even local officials flock to this Chinese restaurant to satisfy their cravings for noodles, Peking duck, suckling pig, dimsum, seafood and more.
With a gorgeous view of Paoay Church, Smoke Bar is the first authentic southern US smoke restaurant in Ilocos Norte. They serve all your favorite American dishes including ribs, pulled pork and their lip smacking Bagnet smoked over Hickory and Mesquite wood chips. You may even want to order their hot buffalo wings and chili, too!
Papa Pau first opened its doors in 2008, introducing the concept of eating via Boodle to Ilocanos. The hope was that the food concept would strengthen the bond of families and friends over good food, all the while making good memories. A decade later, Papa Pau has branched out to Papa Prito – still serving delicious Filipino food that fits everyone’s budget.
Nothing screams Ilocos Norte more than Empanadas! These fried, bright orange treats filled with bean sprouts, longanisa and eggs are a locals go-to for a quick power treat or breakfast for no more than P50, depending on the variation.
The Riverside Empanadahan is a food court constructed by the local government and is home to several stalls, but if you had to try one – Glory’s is apparently the best.
Ready to head up north to try out one or all of the top 10 best restaurants in Ilocos Norte? Make sure you book your flight and hotel with Traveloka!
Eat your way through Singapore’s best restaurants without cutting your budget.
Everything you need to know about ordering lechon.
Check out our favorite Singaporean treats!
Get ready to eat your way through the Lion City!