Shop and Eat Like a Local at the Best Public Markets in Iloilo

Drop by for Iloilo’s delectable batchoy, fresh fish, pasalubong, and more!

By: Hyacinth Bangero | February 25, 2017
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Most tourists go to Panay Island to soak up the rich heritage of the place or to wade in the beach. However, they say their getaway is not complete if they miss Iloilo’s public markets. There are a number of public markets here, but La Paz Public Market, Ilsupoilo Super Market, Iloilo Central Market, and Estancia Public Market are major destinations. Read on so you’ll know where to go to have a taste of the place’s scrumptious cuisines and shop novelty and specialty products.

La Paz Public Market

best public markets in Iloilo

The first branch of Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy at the La Paz Public Market (Image: Matu Gorrieza‎)

The La Paz Public Market is located at La Paz District in Iloilo City. It is the destination of lovers of the local brew whenever they are in the City of Love because it is where one can find the original branch of Madge Cafe.

Aside from coffee, people visit the public market because it is where Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy can be found. In the middle of the La Paz Market, one will see the many batchoy (pork and beef noodle soup) lovers savoring their all-time favorite soup.

Of course, by the exterior of the market you will see the first branches of two of the popular specialty restaurants that prepare batchoy—Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy and Deco’s Original Batchoy. These three claim to have been the first to offer Ilonggos the taste of the original batchoy. Nevertheless, whoever developed the recipe, batchoy certainly originated in this public market.

Iloilo Super Market

best public markets in Iloilo

Dried fish is one of the best buys in Iloilo Supermarket (Image: Mavil Ong)

Iloilo Super Market is one of Iloilo’s most populated public market. It is a busy place on a daily basis, the reason why most people nicknamed it as “Super.” Here, you can buy affordable and fresh poultry products, vegetables, fruits, meat, and the like.

You can even purchase in bulk because the supplies they have are from the farms all over Iloilo or even Western Visayas. That is why most businesses are dependent on this market since they get their stocks from the wholesale market here.

It is Iloilo’s terminal market, the drop-off point of all delivery trucks from various districts in Iloilo. Going to Super is easy because it is near a major mall in Iloilo City and most public utility vehicles pass through its premises.

On the other hand, the place might not be that safe and convenient as that in malls. Nevertheless, there are policemen roaming around to secure the area. It is advised as well to wear low-profile clothes and apparel so you would not attract the attention of snatchers.

Iloilo Central Market

best public markets in Iloilo

Dried fish sold at Iloilo Central Market. (Image: Alex Moscoso Española‎)

Another destination for tourists is the Iloilo Central Market situated at the heart of Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City. It is a convenient place for those who shop at Calle Real de Iloilo or Iloilo’s commercial heritage district.

Those who wish to taste Iloilo’s best-tasting batchoy have to go to the Iloilo Central Market and check out Popoy’s Original Batchoy. Batchoy, though, is not the main reason of shoppers for visiting the public market. Rather, they come there to buy novelty products, taste De Leonian’s Coffee, purchase pre-arranged flowers, and more.

Located at Rizal St., Iloilo City Proper, this market is a popular destination because it is near the ferry terminal, Iloilo City Hall, and university and schools, among others. It is decades old and is about to be renovated to attract more customers. With the current development in the city with regard to its Central Business district, public markets are challenged to compete in order to survive.

Estancia Public Market

best public markets in Iloilo

Dried fish section at the Estancia Public Market (Image: Yudipoga Ka Period)

Tourists from all over Western Visayas would often take the long ride to Estancia, Iloilo, just to purchase dried fish and goods. Being a center for commercial fishing, Estancia is dubbed as the Alaska of the Philippines.

The Estancia Public Market is a one-stop shop for the cheapest dried goods that one can bring home for family and friends. It is the place to buy dried squid, fish tocino (cured fish) bone crackers, squid rings, anchovies, and other similar products. On the other hand, those who want to taste the fresh catch can just walk a few meters from the place to go to Estancia Fish Port Complex.

With the very affordable price that fishmongers/fish vendors at Estancia Public Market offer its local customers and tourists, travelling hundreds of kilometers to get here won’t be a regret.

Thus, travelers who aim to visit not just the usual touristy places but also markets and shopping centers of Iloilo should definitely drop by these public markets. These markets promise affordable but quality products that can satisfy your cravings and needs.
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About Hyacinth Bangero
She is a young broadcast journalism professor and marketing officer of the University of San Agustin. She's a proud volunteer of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. Hyacinth is geared to educate, experience, and explore.
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