Aside from its historic landmarks, beautiful sceneries, vacation spots, and its amicable citizens, Iloilo is also famous for its cuisine. They’re always fresh, always filling, and they are what keep tourists coming back to the City of Love. Today, the directory of dining places continues to grow, and these six venues are the standouts. Here are up-and-coming new restaurants in Iloilo City this 2018 that will tug all the tourists to visiting the province.
1. Tabla Comfort Food by Prima
Address:GT Hotel Jaro, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City
Operating Hours:6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
“Tasty” is an understatement for all the delectable dishes Tabla offers.
Image: TABLA Comfort Food Facebook Page
The name tabla comes from the Filipino word meaning “lumber,” which goes great with the restaurant’s earth tones. Tabla has a beautiful interior as gorgeous as their food selections. Must taste dishes are the Tabla cobb salad, salted egg prawns, pomelo shrimp salad, chicken calabrese, among others. The restaurant is also known for its frozen cakes with flavors such as matcha, ube, brazo, and more.
Appetizers at Cafe del Prado lunch buffet will prepare you for the delight of the main course.
Image: Cafe Del Prado
Cafe del Prado at Hotel Del Rio is one of the must-try restaurants in Iloilo. It is known for its weekly lunch buffet which welcomes hordes of people every Thursday. The restaurant features hearty Filipino dishes that will make visitors hailing from anywhere feel like they’re right at home. Their wide array of food choices include vegetable gratin, grilled tanigue (mackerel), pork steak, Taiwan pechay (Filipino bok choy) with earwood mushroom, beef kare-kare (stew with peanut sauce) with bagoong (fish paste), fish escabeche (sweet and sour fish), pancit buko (coconut noodle dish), paella negra, Spanish cold cuts, and more. Their halo-halo (shaved ice with various toppings) for four is also something that you must share with friends and family for this summer.
3. Merraq Seafood Cafe
Address:San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Operating Hours:11:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Weekdays); 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM (Weekends)
The quaint facade of the newest seafood restaurant in Iloilo City – Merraq Seafood Cafe
Image: Merraq Seafood Café
If you are craving for freshly-prepared seafood, Merraq Seafood Cafe in San Rafael, Mandurriao should be your first stop when visiting Iloilo. The place offers buttered shrimp, Merraq extra hot shrimp, seafood pancit canton (stir-fried noodles), buttered chicken, crispy talong (eggplant), and salted caramel frappe. Besides the food, Ilonggos also flock to Merraq Seafood Cafe because of its relaxing ambiance, friendly staff, and in-house acoustic entertainment. Occasionally, Merraq Seafood Cafe also offers a seafood buffet for as low as PhP499.00 per head.
Address:102 GF Paragon Square Building, D. Pison Ave., Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Operating Hours:1:00 PM to 1:00 AM
What more can one ask for from this Puesto seafood platter?
Puesto is loved by both locals and tourists alike because of its relaxing acoustic entertainment featuring local Ilonggo artists. Of course, music is just secondary to its heartwarming dishes—the real reason why people go to Puesto. It has unique offerings in the menu, namely: ubre de vaca and tapas (appetizer); beef, chicken and ham quesadillas; pretzel burger, pretzel dog, dragon pork ribs, sizzling lengua (beef tongue), baked talaba (oyster), pink salmon pasta, New Orleans banana foster, and more. Craft beers and ladies drinks are also available for when you need something to chug all the goodness down.
5. Farm to Table
Address:Megaworld Complex, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Operating Hours:11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Freshly harvested farm produce available at Farm to Table Iloilo
Image: Farm to Table Iloilo
Farm to Table is the first of its kind in Iloilo to offer dishes created from freshly-harvested farm produce. Farm to Table is a lifestyle restaurant that seeks out local, seasonal, and fresh farm products daily. As guests enter the restaurant, they are welcomed d by the astounding interior, a mix of farm produce, native products, and craft beers from all over the world.
All-you-can-drink wine is also available during Sundays. Black rice accompanies dishes like chicken with lemongrass and coconut soup, organic pork belly slices with mango and cucumber, tofu and vegetable scramble, and more. Farm to Table’s must-tries are its kalabasa (squash) cheesecake and pokè bowl salad.
6. Haroo Korean Homestyle
Address:Unit 5, The Galleria, Jalandoni St., Jaro, Iloilo City
Your table will be filled with Korean side dishes when you dine at Haroo.
Image: HaRoo Korean Homestyle
Haroo Korean Homestyle restaurant in Jaro, Iloilo City offers an everyday eat-all-you-can buffet for lovers of Korean food. There’s unlimited samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly), beef bulgogi (Korean barbeque), dak bulgogi (Korean chicken barbeque), and rice whenever you come in to eat lunch or dinner. What’s more, you and your friends can order budae jjigae (army stew) overload, beef bulgogi jeongol (bulgogi hot pot), yubu chobap (Korean sushi), pajeon (green onion pancake) Korean pizza, and beef bibimbap (mixed rice dish).
Aside from the food, the ambiance of the restaurant can also make you feel at home with your friends and family. The place can cater to both intimate discussions and reunions.
Aside from these new names, there are also new restaurants by famous local and international franchises, such as Soi Thai Restaurant, Yakimix, and Gerry’s Grill in Mandurriao. Regardless of how long they’ve been around, Iloilo remains a hotspot for hungry foodies, and with new and exciting food chains finding themselves in Iloilo, it’s unlikely that this will change anytime in the future.
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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