Your Masskara experience won’t be complete without trying out the food culture in Bacolod.
While waiting for the events of the Masskara Festival to start, why not gorge on the finest plates and famous food of Bacolod? Before you feast your eyes on the colorful masks on the streets, discover what to eat in Bacolod first! If you plan on staying the whole weekend for the highlights of the annual celebration, go on a food adventure and take your taste buds to a flavorsome experience through the festive dishes that the City of Smiles is known for. Know what to eat in Bacolod as you read on below!
When you’re in Bacolod, chicken inasal (grilled chicken) is not to be missed. Although commercial chains all over the Philippines serve this dish, Hiligaynons cook it better. What makes it the best in the country? It is skewered and roasted over an open flame, coated with a signature sauce, and served on fresh banana leaves with a cup of garlic rice drizzled with chicken oil. It is its flavorsome authenticity that captures the smiles of many people.
One of the best spots to get this popular dish is Aida’s Chicken Restaurant. Always jam-packed with people, this simple restaurant is flocked to even by celebrities. The must-try parts of the chicken are pecho (breast), paa (leg and thigh), and pakpak (wings).
How to get to Aida’s Chicken Restaurant, Manokan Country: If you are from North Terminal or along Lacson Street, find either a Bata-Libertad or Mandalagan-Libertad PUV bound south and ask the driver to drop you near Manokan Country. It will only take a few steps from the corner to reach Aida’s Chicken Restaurant. Meanwhile, if you are from the east, take a PUV with a Fortune Towne-Central Market route and ask to be dropped in front of Manokan Country or the North Wing of SM City Bacolod. From there, you will already see the big chicken statue and signage of the restaurant.
Sugar is the main crop in the area, and this becomes obvious the moment you arrive at Bacolod-Silay Airport when you see the sugarcane fields outside the metro. This is why the city is also called “Sugarlandia.” In a city known for all things sweet, one of the things you should try is Napoleones. It is a puff pastry that has a custard-like filling and is topped with sugar glazing. One bite and your teeth will sink into the soft, sweet, and creamy custard cream and sugar glaze. Be careful--it can be addicting! You might want to watch your blood sugar if you indulge too much on this little pastry.
Try out the authentic recipe from its original maker. Roli’s Cafe is the first seller of this sweet and heavenly dessert. Later on, other pastry shops started serving their own version of the Bacolod delicacy.
How to get to Roli’s Cafe: From the downtown area, find an Eroreco-Central Market PUV and get off in front of Roli’s Arcade along La Salle Avenue just before it reaches the University of St. La Salle. Cross the street and you will find the cafe on the ground floor of the building. If you are from the North Terminal, ride a Northbound Terminal jeepney and get off at Negros Grace, then cross the street going to the McDonalds La Salle branch and walk a few meters to reach Roli’s Arcade.
Another piece of confectionery to add to your sweet tooth cravings are the cakes from Calea Pastries and Cake along Lacson Street. Take a break while observing the busy streets during the festival by trying out different slices of cakes by Calea. You will be spoiled for choices, but the Chocolate Mud Pie (PhP120), Blue Berry Cheesecake (PhP98), and White Chocolate Cheesecake (PhP100) are the cake shop’s best-sellers. After having a delicious lunch or dinner at a restaurant, it is best to take yourself to this sweet paradise.
How to get to Calea: Find a Bata-Libertad or Mandalagan-Libertad jeepney either from the North Terminal or Downtown area and ask to be dropped in front of L’Fisher hotel. Calea is located on the ground floor of Lourdes C’s building in front of the hotel, at the corner of Lacson Street and 15th Street.
Since the city is near the seaside and fish ports, fresh seafood is delivered and cooked every day in the tasty Hiligaynon way. To have the best seafood experience, you should try Palawud Resto Grill and Bar located in Banago. The restaurant is seemingly isolated so people can enjoy some peace and the sea breeze while dining. The seafood can be cooked in a soup, grilled, or served sizzling. One should not miss their calamares (fried battered squid rings) and buttered garlic shrimps. They also have a boodle platter served on banana leaves to capture the traditional vibes of the town.
How to get to Palawud Resto Grill and Bar: Coming from the downtown area, wait along Bacolod Public Plaza in front of Jollibee Gatuslao branch for a Banago-Libertad jeepney. Ask the driver to drop you off in front of Palawud Resto Grill and Bar in Banago. From the main entrance, walk a few meters to the restaurant.
Organic products have no pesticides and preservatives added.
Image: Fresh Start Organic & Natural Store Facebook Page
After all the sweets and meat, cleanse your stomach with organic food. Negrenses advocate organic farming, and many groups also aim to save and preserve the natural environment of Negros Island. Fresh Start Organic & Natural Store is a restaurant specializing in various salad preparations, pasta, and beverages. Some of the appetizing dishes in their menu include pesto pasta dish with malunggay (moringa) leaves and quesadilla with salsa. They also have a display area for packed organic food products like Muscovado sugar, coffee, chocolate tablea, colored rice, colored rice varieties, and more.
How to get to Fresh Start Organic and Natural Food Store
SM City branch: Take any PUV that will pass by SM City Bacolod like Bata-Libertad, Mandalagan-Libertad, Pta.Taytay-Central Market, Alijis-Central Market, Shopping La Salle-Central Market, Fortune Towne-Central Market, Homesite-Central Market jeepneys. Get off on the North wing of SM City. The restaurant is located at the ground floor of the mall.
Robinsons City Walk branch: Ride either a Bata-Libertad or Mandalagan-Libertad jeepney bound north from the downtown area and ask to be dropped in front of Robinsons Mall. Get off under the overpass and cross the street going to the mall. The restaurant is located at the back/south side of the mall.
With these top dishes for you to try, not only you will be filled with beautiful memories from the festival, but you will also have your stomach happily satisfied with these festive foods!
Visit Yoorekka for the best food spot recommendations and tips for enjoying your Masskara experience!
About Shanice Reyes
Shanice Reyes writes to buy herself good coffee and bike parts. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling to new places, or hanging out with her dogs and tarantulas. Though she has an irrational fear of heights, she'd love to try sky-diving one day.
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