When in Iloilo, you don’t just get the best of Ilonggo food; you get the best of the world!
Image: Festive Walk Iloilo Facebook page
There probably isn’t another region in the Philippines that can match the culinary contributions of Iloilo. The City of Love is a gourmet paradise, from its batchoy (pork and round noodle soup) to its talaba (oyster) and other seafood specialties.
What makes it all the better is you don’t have to bust your budget to be able to experience this gastronomic eat-all-you-can in Iloilo City. Here, we narrow your options to a handful of the best Ilonggo buffet restaurants in Iloilo City.
Location:Ayala-Technohub, Smallville Complex, San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Budget:PhP299 per head
Challenge yourself and see if you can sample all of their thirty sumptuous Filipino delicacies.
Image: Hometown Buffet by Freska Facebook page
Freska Ilonggo Seafood & Inasal offers 30 of the best and tastiest delicacies that remind us of the home-style dishes we grew up loving.
They specialize in seafood dishes and serve treats from the sea like talaba (oysters), grilled scallops, crispy crablets, inihaw na tanigue (grilled wahoo), and managat (Visayan snapper), which they can cook in various ways. This buffet restaurant in Iloilo City feels like a home away from home, wherever you may come from.
This buffet in Iloilo City cooks up other meat dishes; their callos (beef tripe stew) is a dish to die for. After filling yourself up with the main course, you can proceed to their dessert table, which also consists of many Filipino desserts.
Freska serves fresh food. Given their popularity, they only serve buffet dishes hourly or when they need to replenish.
Location:3F, SM City Iloilo, Benigno Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Budget:PhP350 a head
From Kapampangan to Ilonggo cuisines, Cabalen covers all the flavors with a buffet that feels like a fiesta!
Image: SM City Iloilo Facebook page
We venture into familiar territory with a buffet restaurant in Iloilo City that’s also well-known across Metro Manila. Opening its 28th store in Iloilo in early 2017, Cabalen brings its famed Kapampangan flavors to an eager Ilonggo audience.
Being in the business for 30 years, Cabalen has almost perfected the art of preparing delicious delicacies from all over the archipelago. Their name translates to “town mate,” which is exactly what Cabalen builds: communities of friends and families sharing special moments over the dining table.
Of course, people know this buffet restaurant in Iloilo City for its kare-kare (oxtail stew in peanut sauce) and sisig (sizzling diced pork dish), among other bestsellers of this buffet in Iloilo City. However, Ilonggo eaters always crave for more, which is why these eat all you can in Iloilo also serves Iloilo-inspired dishes. Bagongon (snail in coconut sauce) and tambo (young bamboo shoots) are just some of the cuisines that bridge the Ilonggo palate.
3. Farm to Table Iloilo
Location:Transcom Bldg., Megaworld Blvd, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Budget:PhP399 per head
At Farm to Table, only the freshest ingredients of the season are served out.
Image: Festive Walk Iloilo Facebook page
An exquisite trait of Ilonggo cuisine is how they always put freshness first. The best dishes come from the freshest catches and harvests, and this is what’s at the heart of Farm to Table , a lifestyle buffet restaurant in Iloilo City dedicated to supporting local, fresh, seasonal, and organic produces as their ingredients.
Have a bowl of salad from their organic salad bar, a serving of their coconut fishballs for appetizers, or a plate of their whole wheat pasta dishes. Pair this with a bottle of their local craft beer or a glass of wine from their selection, which is the largest in Iloilo City. Indeed, living and eating conscientiously starts with a healthy buffet in Iloilo, like in Farm to Table.
Founded by Iloilo chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing, this up-and-coming and progressive buffet restaurant in Iloilo City serves dishes that are as delicious as they are guilt-free. Not only is this a step towards a healthier diet, but also a step towards a more sustainable farming community that connects its consumers directly to their food source.
4. Gerardo’s Kitchen Food by Federico
Location:Bonifacio Drive (in front of Hall of Justice), Iloilo City Proper
Budget:PhP299 per head
Celebrate in the company of friends and families with good, old comfort food in Gerardo’s Kitchen Food.
Image: Gerardo’s Kitchen Food by Federico Facebook page
Sometimes, we just want to eat comfort food, and the choice need not be too complicated or broad. It could not get any simpler at Gerardo’s Kitchen Food by Federico. This casual fine-dining restaurant-slash-events place offers probably the cheapest lunch and dinner buffet restaurant in Iloilo City at only 175PhP a head. Still, their selection isn’t any less filling at this eat-all-you-can in Iloilo.
Their Fil-Italian fusion menu features pasta dishes and their must-try, the Big Square Burger, which is what it sounds like—a giant square-cut burger that can probably feed a whole family or a handful of friends in one sitting.
If you’re going to fill your belly with a buffet in Iloilo City, you can take advantage of an upcoming event and book it at Gerardo’s Kitchen Food. The venue caters to birthdays, receptions, family events, and practically any significant function you’d want to keep in your memory. Besides, nothing makes an event more memorable than the food!
If you’re still having trouble choosing what to eat, this should solve your problem. Stop struggling and just dive into whatever’s on the Ilonggo dining table!
Which of these buffet restaurants in Iloilo City enticed your palate? Let us know in the comments section below!
About Viktor Austria
Viktor would love to receive an extra hour a day as a Christmas gift. That way, he won’t have to struggle over splitting his 24 hours among making brand copies and campaigns, writing children’s stories, going to the gym, commuting around Taguig, and feeding his two overweight cats. He hates the hustle culture, that’s why he’s thankful for friends who have time to spare on weekends, preferably over spicy ramen and cold bottles of beer.
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