People from all over the world travel to the Philippines mainly for two things: the tourist attractions and food. As they say: the way to a man’s heart is to their stomach. Because of the uniqueness of each island in the Philippines, various dishes appear from the creativity of the natives.

Photo from Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafoods Facebook Page

Iloilo also has its own fair share of unique yet delicious delicacies. In fact, many of the Philippines’ iconic dishes such as the La Paz Batchoy comes from Iloilo. If you are travelling to Iloilo, be sure to get a taste of the following dishes to complete your experience.

There are a couple of suggestions for these dishes on where you can eat them. The source of the information is Trixie Reyna-Benedicto’s article in Deal Grocer. Be sure to check out these places as they are on-the-nose in their recipes.

La Paz Batchoy

La Paz Batchoy originates from the district of La Paz, Iloilo, thus its name. It is the perfect dish if you are looking for some hot soup, especially on cold nights. It is typically made using pork offal, chicken stock, beef loin, and egg noodles. Then, it is topped with pork cracklings and an egg (raw or hard-boiled).

Suggestion: Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy

  • Address: Inside La Paz Public Market, Luna cor. Huervana st., La Paz, Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (033) 396 2189
  • Email Address: [email protected]
  • Operating Time: Daily, 7 AM – 7 PM

Pancit Molo

Another iconic dish in Iloilo is the Pancit Molo, a dish made using ground pork dumplings wrapped in wonton wrappers along with shredded chicken, al swimming in a hot bowl of flavorful chicken broth. It originates from the district of Molo in Iloilo where the natives made their own version of the Chinese’ wonton soup.

Suggestion: Punot

  • Address: Iloilo Riverside Boardwalk Complex, Dr. Rizalina Bernardo Pison Ave. cor Paciencia T. Pison Ave., Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (033) 320 9893; (0907) 151 6296
  • Email Address: [email protected]

KBL

KBL stands for kadyos (pigeon peas), baboy (pork), and langka (jackfruit), the main ingredients that make up this Ilonggo dish. Its broth’s distinct taste comes from native fruits in the Negros region known as the batwan and kadios. KBL is a hit among the people in the region and is served in many restaurants in Iloilo.

Suggestion: Breakthrough Restaurant

  • Address: Villa Beach, Barangay Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo
  • Contact Number: (033) 337 3027
  • Operating Time: 10 AM – 9 PM

Laswa

This healthy dish full of vegetables consisting of squash, okra, eggplant, malunggay, string beans, and more originates from Iloilo. It is a great soup dish during cold days similar to La Paz Batchoy as it is served hot. If you are looking for a green diet, Laswa might just be your savior in the region.

Suggestion: Bauhinia

  • Address: The Avenue Complex, Donato M. Pison Ave., San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (033) 329 6951
  • Operating Time: 11 AM – 2:30 PM and 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Suman sa Ibos

Often fried, this dish is a classic Ilonggo merienda made of glutinous rice. It is best paired with sweeteners like muscovado sugar, mango puree, and rich tablea hot chocolate (also known as batirol). This sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and salt is mixed with “ibos,” a certain palm leaf wrapper in Iloilo.

Suggestion: Café Panay

  • Address: Festive Walk Parade, Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
  • Operating Time: 7 AM – 2 PM and 5 PM – 10 PM

Kansi

If you are looking for a hot and sour beef soup in Iloilo, look no further than Kansi, a hit among the region. It is typically made using beef shank and boiled bone marrow, and its soup is soured using batuan or bilimbi. Its orange visual is due to atsuete, also known as annatto seeds.

Tinuom

Hailing from the municipality of Cabatuan in Iloilo, Tinuom is a part of the town’s history. It consists of native chicken seasoned with onions, tomatoes, and lemongrass in a rich, tasty broth. Then, the overall dish is wrapped in banana leaves, completing its native look. Tinuom is so popular, it has its own festival in Cabatuan.

Suggestion: Leah’s Tinu-om

  • Address: Bermejo Street, Cabatuan, Iloilo
  • Contact Number: (0928) 767 1244

Tatoy’s Native Lechon Manok

You can find native lechon manok anywhere in the Philippines, but Tatoy’s in Iloilo is a different league of its own. Also known as bisayang lechon manok, or charcoal-grilled native chicken, Tatoy’s Manokan serves them with their unique way. It is said that their chicken is much leaner, and its tasteful richness comes from its marination.

Suggestion: Tatoy’s Main Branch

  • Address: Sto. Nino Sur Arevalo
  • Contact Number: (033) 337 1360
  • Opening and Closing Time: 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM

Suggestion: Tatoy’s – Atria Park District

  • Address: Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (0927) 874 3848
  • Opening and Closing Time: 10 AM – 10 PM

Suggestion: Tatoy’s – Cabatuan Branch (Iloilo Airport)

  • Address: Brgy. Gaub, Cabatuan, Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (0947) 983 4820
  • Opening and Closing Time: 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM

Roberto’s Siopao

Like the previous dish, siopao is something you can eat anywhere, yet again a classic restaurant within Iloilo changes the story. Roberto’s, a 44-year-old well-known restaurant, serves a variety of dishes, and one of them is their Queen Siopao, filled with Chinese sausage, chicken-pork adobo, salted egg, and bacon.

Suggestion: Roberto’s

  • Address: JM Basa St (former Calle Real), Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (033) 335 0484; (033) 337 1595

Biscocho, Barquillo, and Butterscotch

To close this tasty menu of dishes in Iloilo, it would be appropriate to end it with some desserts. Biscocho, Barquillo, and Butterscotch are iconic Iloilo specialties that people often buy as pasalubong for their relatives back home when they return. They are incredibly sweet and scrumptious; you would not even notice that you have eaten everything already.

Suggestion: Original Biscocho House

  • Address: 33 Lopez Jaena St, Jaro, Iloilo City
  • Contact Number: (033) 329 0862

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