Image by Flavours of Iloilo
Iloilo City's best tourist offering comes in the form of gastronomic delights that taste more delicious than those that are found elsewhere. We don't mean to brag or boast, but somehow, our sisig just tastes creamier, our dinuguan tastier, and our fish is just fresher than those you can have elsewhere in the country. Of course, other regions will protest, but competition aside, once you taste Iloilo's offerings, you'll want to come back again and again.
We're not exactly sure why the Ilonggo is just a better cook than people from other regions (we probably defer only to the Kapampangan cook), but that's something you'd rather not ponder on. You'd rather challenge the Ilonggo cook to give you his best shot.
If you want to go and dine in Iloilo, you don't have to spend a fortune. You don't even have to go to the swankiest of restaurants in order to taste the best fare. If you're into certain kinds of food, here's a great guide for eats, according to budget:
Fusion/All Around Fast Food:
JD boasts of delicious but absolutely affordable fare. Back in the day, JD Roadhaus' Fetuccini Alfredo cost only Php 28. Today, it costs Php 45, and it's still a far cry, price-wise from the Php 100 Carbonara in Hungry Monkey in D'Mall, Boracay. Must-try offerings include their panini sandwiches, their drinks (Cherry Fizzler FTW!) and their set meals. For those who are on a diet or are fasting, their creamy soups, especially the mushroom soup, are to-die-for.
Green Mango started out as a local Jollibee. Today, it is an Iloilo City institution in its own right. From creative Filipino desserts to filling burgers to Sumo Wrestler-worthy meals, you shouldn't leave Iloilo without trying it. Also, don't leave Green Mango without tasting their Maja Blanca, Fried Halo Halo, or Chocolate Turon. These are their best desserts, and a trip to Green Mango won't be complete without tasting these.
There are three Italian restaurants that were conceptualized in and are famous in Iloilo:
Al Dente and Amalfi are both high-end gourmet restaurants, but Amalfi has more affordable prices. Al Dente is already an institution in Ilonggo fine dining and Iloilo's creme dela creme dine there. Afrique's, on the other hand, is yummy Italian fare for those on a budget. If you're a college guy and you just want to treat your girlfriend to a great night out, Afrique's is the restaurant for you.
Must-try in Afrique's is the 4-Cheese Pizza. It's made of a crispy, crunchy crust topped with different types of cheese melted into one delicious mass. To top it off, it has Blue Cheese on each slice, making every bite a tangy, cheesy artwork on your tongue.
There are other notable restaurants in Iloilo, as it is fast growing into a cosmopolitan city. When you visit, you now know where to go and eat!