Spanish, American, Filipino, fresh seafood, and more: Restaurants to try in Boracay depending on your craving

More than just consistently being one of the best and beautiful islands in the world (taking the top spot again in Condé Nast Traveler’s polls this year), Boracay is also arguably a foodie’s haven,  with restaurants and cafes following the coastline of the famed White Beach, and also finding their way on the island’s main streets and side streets. These are also conveniently found near many of Boracay’s wide array of accommodations.

With the island’s many choices, there is definitely something for everyone, as I found out on my recent visit. Here are some restaurants I have personally tried, and would recommend, with the first two as the newest:

If you want fresh and really good seafood: The Pig Out Bistro Boracay

The two times I went to Boracay prior to my latest visit, I have had ok but not really great seafood in restaurants, so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried Pig Out, which just opened this year. The oysters were fresh, reminiscent of those I tasted in Capiz and Iloilo, my best oyster experiences. All seafood my travel companions and I tasted was fresh, period. The chef said the seafood came mostly from the waters off mainland Aklan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Most likely the freshest oysters you can taste in Boracay

If you are eating with a group, the seafood platter is a must-try, a veritable feast of fresh and baked oysters, paper-thin raw salmon, grilled and kinilaw (ceviche) fish, grilled octopus, steamed small clams, and shrimps in a bucket (yes, shrimps – not  beer – in a bucket!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Must-try for groups: Seafood Platter! Fresh and baked oysters, prawns on a bucket, fish kinilaw (ceviche), grilled gindara, octopus, and paper-thin salmon ala sashimi

Aside from great seafood, they serve mean chicken wings, too, with different dips and unique glazes like Classic Buffalo, Garlic Parmesan, and Jack Daniels. I rarely if ever eat chicken, but Pig Out’s is great, and my travel companions loved them.

For vegetarian fare, their fennel salad is a winner! It was my first time to taste fennel bulb, and even the meat eaters in our group loved it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fennel bulb salad – surprisingly good! A favorite even among meat eaters.

The Pig Out Bistro Boracay

Address: Jony’s Boutique Hotel (in front of Astoria) Station 1, Balabag, Boracay

Facebook page: The Pig Out Bistro

 

If you want classic Filipino food with a twist: Jeepney Stop Boracay

This restaurant can easily call your attention as you walk along D’Mall, with its colorful jeepney converted into a bar, and with its bright colorful chairs seemingly alluding to a fiesta.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The jeepney converted into a bar, with the restaurant’s chef

And they have these yummy food with fun, quirky names, like “Son in law Balut” (gourmet balut in tamarind chili sauce), “Goodbye Philippines” (a twist on the “dinamita,” the green chili or sili sigang fried with cheese filling. “Goodbye Philippines” is bigger and has more filling), and “Pares Hilton” (a twist on the usual pares street fare of beef).

Food is served in a fiesta-like atmosphere, with bright shredded vegetables perking up most meals, and on fun serving dishes, like the rice on a mini-kawali (cooking pan).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fiesta time! From top left, clockwise: Torta with a twist, Goodbye Philippines, Son-in-law Balut, Pares Hilton, pancit, and dilis. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They have food from other Asian countries, like this yummy Korean bibimbap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Calamansi mint shake and pineapple shake. Both are great, but calamansi is their bestseller!

The prices are affordable, too, with a meal with drinks good for two around P500-P600.

According to Jeepney Stop’s Chef Jian Sacdalan, the place was put up this year as there is a demand for Filipino cuisine, especially from foreigners. “You will be surprised to know that with so many restaurants in Boracay, there are only a few restaurants focusing on Filipino food,” he revealed. Jeepney Stop caters to both Filipinos’ and foreigners’ tastes.

Jeepney Stop Boracay

Address: D’Mall (among the strip of restaurants and on one of the pathways going to White Beach!)

Facebook page: Jeepney Stop Boracay

 

If you want feel-good American food or breakfast: The Sunny Side Cafe

The place definitely looks and feels sunny, with the bright yellows at Sunny Side’s exteriors and interiors.  And that sunny energy is also evident in the food’s taste and looks!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It looks sunny at The Sunny Side Cafe.

My favorite, which was enthusiastically recommended by Chef Jian of Jeepney Stop, is the Avocado and Bacon Smash, which tastes as delicous as it looks. It’s mashed avocado and pumpkin seeds on brioche toast, with poached eggs and grilled tomato. At first, I thought the poached eggs were big blobs of cream, until I sliced my fork into one, and the yolk oozed out perfectly. There are crunchy red beets further brightening up the meal, and of course, the dark homemade bacon. This meal is eye candy.

While I don’t really eat pork, I took a curious bite, and decided it was way better than the usual store-bought bacon everyone already loves. My travel companions loved Sunny Side’s homemade bacon so much that a few mentioned taking some bacon home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Avocado & Bacon Smash. This is my winner both in looks and taste! Those big white blobs are perfectly poached eggs where the yellow yolk deliciously oozes out when you slice into one. 

Of course, all the other food we tried was also good. Another favorite of our group was the “I Can’t Believe It’s Better than Bacon” (and it really is!) pizza of creamy spinach and potato strips.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not as colorful as the Avocado bestseller, but this tastes really good. One of our group’s favorites, too.

Their shakes are also awesome. My favorite and also their bestseller is their “All the Way,” made of pineapple, calamansi, lychee, and mint, which you can find at the bottom of the photo below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“All the Way,” “The Morning After,”and “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” Creatively named and delicious shakes too!

And, if you are ordering pancakes, they are HUGE and for sharing. They are all thick and fluffy, but my favorite is the espresso and caramel pancake, which has a rich taste.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunny Side’s giant pancakes. Clockwise from top: mango cream cheese, apple crunch, and espresso caramel (simplest in looks but the tastiest for me!)

The Sunny Side Boracay

Address: Station 3 Beachfront, Boracay Sands Hotel

Website: The Sunny Side Boracay

 

If you want hearty Spanish cuisine: Dos Mestizos

The food here tastes carefully homecooked with love, probably because of the recipes being passed down long years among families. The place also has an charming and cozy atmosphere, with its low lights, brick accents, and even the restaurant’s name in Baybayin, the ancient Filipino script, as though affirming both the Filipino as well as the Spanish influence on the cuisine there, as the restaurant was founded by a Castilian Filipino.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The restaurant’s low-lit, cozy interiors. Check out the restaurant’s name in Baybayin, the Filipino ancient script, on the top right.

This is where I have probably tasted the best paella so far, and it goes well with sangria, which I have been partial to ever since when it comes to Spanish cuisine. The paella is rich and creamy, and the sangria balances the creaminess, though squeezing lemon on the paella also gives a great flavor accent. We tried both the seafood and the chicken paella during out visit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bestsellers: Chicken paella, seafood paella, cochinillo, best paired with sangria

I also like their selection of tapas, with my favorite being the deep-fried mozzarella as it has just the right cheesiness and crunchiness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tapas galore!

Meanwhile, my travel companions swear by the cochinillo, which is roast pig or lechon cooked the Spanish way.  It is also one of the restaurant’s bestsellers.

Dos Mestizos

Address: Remedios street, Sitio Manggayad, Boracay
Website: Dos Mestizos

 

If you want Mexican comfort food: Mayas Filipino and Mexican Cuisine

I cannot pinpoint a single favorite Mexican dish here as I love all the ones we tried, but I will try to name the most memorable for me, which are still many:  the nachos with the tuna and pomelo dip, the generously-filled chimichanga slathered in cream and guacamole and swimming in tomato sauce, the tacos bursting with flavor and filling, and the subtle yet flavorful quesadilla.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The plate originally had more nachos than this, but we just couldn’t resist eating already! The nachos and tuna and pomelo dip were that good!

And, we enjoyed this with a view of White Beach, too, as the restaurant is right on the beachfront.

Mayas is one of the oldest restaurants in Boracay. In fact, it also sells Jony’s fruit shakes, the oldest shakes in Boracay, whose business began 1982. As the restaurant name suggests, it also serves delicious Filipino food like fish kinilaw (ceviche), sinigang, and more. Their Filipino bestseller is the lechon kawali (roast pig), said to be the best on the island. The seafood here is also surprisingly fresh, perhaps because the owners of Pig Out and Mayas are the same, and the seafood is sourced from the same place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marriage of Mexican and Filipino cuisine. There’s the soft taco with generous filling on the left, and rice and crab on a coconut shell on the right.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mayas has fresh seafood and delicious salads too! 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mayas Restaurant is also home to Jony’s, the oldest name on yummy fruit shakes in the island. My favorite is the chocolate banana, pictured on the top right here.

Mayas Filipino and Mexican Cuisine

Address: White Beach, Station 1, Balabag, Boracay

Facebook page: Mayas Filipino and Mexican Cuisine

 

If you want a memorable dessert: Lemoni Cafe

While Lemoni Cafe is known for all things lemon, as much of their food has lemon as an ingredient and their interiors have a lemon-yellow theme, it is their desserts that really left an impression on me.

As I savored their lemon meringue tart, it instantly became my favorite. It is undoubtedly and distinctly lemon, with the perfect balance of lemon and sweetness. The meringue is a soft cloud that delicately melts in my mouth before the powerful, tangy lemon taste kicks in, giving that kilig-asim  feeling, or that pleasant tingling feeling you get when you bite into something sour yet delicious.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A taste you won’t forget. Lemoni’s lemon meringue tart packs a powerful punch of lemon and sweetness.

Meanwhile, Lemoni’s rich chocolate truffle cake is delicious on its own, but goes very well with the lemon meringue tart, as the lemon is distinctly sour and tangy, while the chocolate truffle is deeply and richly sweet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lemoni’s yummy desserts. Their mango graham cake (closest in the photo)has a satisfying subtle sweetness, but my favorite companion to the lemon meringue tart is the chocolate truffle cake (second closest in the photo).

 

Lemoni Cafe

Address: D’Mall (among the strip of restaurants and on one of the pathways going to White Beach!)
Website:   Lemoni Cafe

 

The list above is by no means exhaustive, and based mostly on my taste, though my travel companions loved them too! Perhaps I will add more should I visit Boracay again. I am open to suggestions for must-try restaurants!

How to get to Boracay: Take a flight to Caticlan or Kalibo, which usually takes around 45 minutes.  From Caticlan airport, take a tricycle to the jetty port then ride the ferry to Boracay, which should take around 15 minutes or less. If coming from Kalibo airport, ride a bus or van to Caticlan jetty port.  Travel time from Kalibo to Caticlan is around two hours.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Spanish, American, Filipino, fresh seafood, and more: Restaurants to try in Boracay depending on your craving

    • Thanks! I think I’ve tried Jasper’s eatery, too, on another Boracay visit. It was quite simple, with that carinderia-meets-resto feel. I’ve also eaten at roadside Boracay carinderias on a solo backpacking trip. If you’re only after budget and not ambiance, these choices are great. For a relatively budget Filipino resto with a nice ambiance, though (if you’re after ambiance, too), Jeepney Stop may very well be the best!

      • Yeah it’s a classical carinderia with good quality food for what it serves (not all carinderias have worthwhile quality my experience). Good for the budget minded like you say.

        But I also like it because carinderias are a big part of Filipino food culture, so in a sense it’s like mingling with and experiencing the local food culture.

        But… Not the best place to bring a date I agree 🙂

  1. Pingback: Travel and Beyond: On Losing Magic and Struggling to Find It Again | Traveling Light

  2. Pingback: Budget stay in Boracay? Find the best hotel deals using Traveloka app | Traveling Light

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s