that serve some of the most
delicious Pinoy native foods
If I am to be honest with you, there’s really not much to see and visit in Bacolod City, the capital of the province of Negros Occidental, in southern Philippines. That is, if we are talking about theme parks or beaches. But what we lack in grand tourist destinations, we more than compensate for in food–choices and taste included. That is why a Bacolod food trip is always in order for visitors to our city. Here, we give you a Bacolod food tour that you will most certainly enjoy at prices that are easy on the budget.
So you may sometimes ask, where do I bring my guests if they are craving for a particular dish? It can be a daunting task if you have many visitors coming here quite often with different tastes. Here, I compiled some of the Pinoy specialties here in our city and which Bacolod restaurants are serving the best of them. All are husband-approved! Some of you may not agree with my suggestions, but for us, these are the best. When my husband and I eat, there are really those foods that leave an imprint on our palates, noses, memories and hearts. Here are some of them.
One of the favorite soups of Bacolodnons is the Cansi or Kansi — beef shoulders boiled for hours and flavored with our local souring fruit called the batwan as well as some chili. Then the soup is colored with achuete, which turns it yellow-orange. A steaming hot bowl, with the flavors of the beef and the bone marrow mixed in, is truly heavenly. The most famous kansihan in our city is Sharyn’s Cansi House, which made it to the top 50 list of the world’s “street food masters.” Sharyn’s Cansi House is located at Narra Avenue, Capitol Shopping Center, Bacolod City.
Aside from Sharyn’s, there are many other cansi houses in Bacolod City, such as Eron’s, Rodrigo’s, and many more. In my case, I now prefer Rodrigo’s because it has a milder taste and their broth has NO VETSIN. I can savor the soup better because it doesn’t bite the tongue.
Bacolod Chicken Inasal
Chicken Inasal is something like the “pambansang food” of Bacolod. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like inasal, which is the reason why we have an inasalan in every corner. But the hub of chicken inasal is Manokan Country, which is just at the Reclamation Area, across SM City Bacolod north wing. The food stalls there are many and people frequent the booth that they like the most. All of them are pretty much the same in size and it can get crowded during peak hours (lunch and dinner), so you if you haven’t reserved a spot, you might have to choose another stall other than your favorite. Unless, of course, you are willing to wait. In our family’s case, we frequent the Lion’s Park Grill Haus. It’s the first stall on the right when you enter the Manokan Country from the Bacolod Public Plaza. It is by far the biggest of all the chicken inasal restaurants in the area. It has a garden and a playground, too. And aside from chicken inasal, they serve turo-turo dishes as well as paluto — fresh seafood that you pick and then order to cook according to what they can do in the kitchen. Then you just get charged based on the weight and cooking fee. And they have talaba (oysters), too. We have dined here so many times, whether lunch or dinner, and so far, the oysters here are really good. All these dishes add variation to your meal–if you want to have more than inasal. And oh, don’t miss the isaw (skewered chicken intestines). hehe
The oysters here in Bacolod are not really from here. They are from Roxas City in Capiz, Hinigaran, and Ilog, Negros Occidental. Different sellers have different suppliers. So far, the joints we go to are Kau-Kau Grill along Burgos Street, Gerry’s Talabahan, and Lion’s Park Grill Haus. These are just blanched oysters, shelled, and then soaked in a dipping sauce of soy sauce, chili vinegar (sinamak), and crushed chili. Then we eat them with rice using our bare hands. Of course, we have nice baked versions, too, especially the baked oysters of Italia Restaurant. Of course, that’s not Filipino food but I just have to mention it. Italia Restaurant is located at the Paseo Verde Bldg., Lacson St., Mandalagan, Bacolod City.
Being near the sea, we have an abundance of Bacolod seafood restaurants here, competing in flavor and price. So, of course, many of them serve squid dishes. But one homegrown restaurant whose Sizzling Squid stood out for us is Tita Beth’s Pancit Malabon House. The large squid is grilled to perfection and served on a sizzling plate with a special sauce and some aromatic vegetables. It’s unique and oh-so-good! Really satisying. Try it! Affordable, too. 😀
Buttered Shrimps, Buttered Blue Marlin
and Saucy Alimango
Again, there are many restaurants that serve buttered shrimps, buttered blue marlin, and alimango and we like most of them but one restaurant stood out for us–as in like we keep remembering these dishes and wishing to eat there again soon. And that is, Hyksos Pala-pala, It is a native seafood restaurant located at the Burgos Extension, Reclamation Area, just across SM City Bacolod. Their shrimps are so fresh and flavorful. Ugh! My mouth is watering as I write this. The blue marlin is also very ma-nanam and not malansa. Gosh, I don’t know how to translate them. haha And the alimango…hayy…
Charcoal Grilled Pork Chops
There are so many grilled pork chops out there. As in. But one that really stood out for me was the simple flavor of the grilled pork chops of Aboy’s Restaurant, located at Goldenfields Commercial Complex, Bacolod City. The slices are think so inside the meat is juicy and the fat is so flavorful. It reminds me of the sinugba nga baboy that we have at home that my mother makes — salted and grilled over charcoal. It gives me memories of grilling at the beach. So appetizing! And while you’re there, order the pangat as well. Aboy’s has a lot of items on their menu. But these ones always hit the spot.
The Galo Street side of La Consolacion College Bacolod is known for the string of pork barbecue stands that people in Bacolod frequent. They are collectively known as “pork barbecue sa may LCC (LCC pork barbecue)”, as if the college owns it. haha Anyway, there are many of them there and each one has his own suki. But our family is suki (frequent customers) of Bacolod Bakerite. It’s the biggest eatery there. We buy our take out and we also dine in there. Aside from pork barbecue, they also have other home-cooked dishes served the turo-turo (fast food) way.
I was told that as opposed to the cansi that’s cut off a cow’s shoulders, bulalo comes from the legs so the bones are longer. I am not an expert, just relaying what was told to me. Anyway, a satisfying bulalo dish for us was at Bones and Belly Restaurant, located at the Pearl Manor, 23rd-Lacson Streets, Bacolod City. Since it has a longer bone, that means only one thing — more bone marrow! 😀 I know, I know, LDL, but hey, I know that those who have high cholesterol are responsible enough for their diets, alright? hehe
I guess if you want kinilaw (fresh seafood steeped in vinegar), you go to the house that kinilaw built– Enting’s Special of Sagay, a seafood restaurant located at the Villa Angela Marketplace, Circumferential Road (near the Government Center), Bacolod City. They have different kinds of kinilaw. And while we regular folks might have the same vinegar solution where we soak our seafood, Enting’s has different treatments for each kind. Try their tangigue kinilaw, shrimp kinilaw, and seaweed salad.
Imay’s Restaurant is another Bacolod restaurant serving Pinoy favorites. But one really memorable dish for us here is the Porbidang Kangkong. It’s a spicy vegetable dish (made entirely of kangkong) with coconut milk that’s a great appetizer. I am sure many would agree with me on this. Imay’s is located at 6th-Lacson Streets, Bacolod City. You wouldn’t miss this big restaurant.
I am not aware if there are other restaurants serving this, but I only know of Juliana’s Cafe, located at 7th-Lacson Streets. They serve one half of a duck on a sizzling plate. It’s a big order actually that’s good for sharing. Not a lot of people like duck, but if you do, know that you will find it here and it’s tasty. Its cooked home-style, with pineapples and some vegetable sidings. Juliana’s aircon works quite well, so it is best that you consume this dish while it’s still hot.
The classic pochero but with achuete sauce, where did it originate? I am not sure where, but if you like your pochero this way, one restaurant left an imprint on us — Merkado. Merkado is a Bacolod restaurant located at the Art District, Mandalagan, Bacolod City that specializes in slow-cooked, organic food, so you know that their dishes are good for you. They also have a mean beef curry, beef kare-kare, and baked bangus. Also have their J’s Green Salad–the only one in Bacolod with grilled eggplants.
Sizzling Kansi Steak
Mushu is a fusion restaurant located at the Azotea Bldg., Mandalagan, Bacolod City. When my husband and I had a date there, what stood out was the sizzling kansi steak. And also the prichon. I like their sizzling pork sisig, too. Why do I like sizzling stuff so much? haha
Jumbo Squid Barbecue
I believe Ribshack is the only one serving skewered slices of jumbo squid like this in Bacolod City and even in Iloilo. The giant squid meat is sliced into squares, skewered, and grilled. It tastes so good and is surprisingly very tender. Hubby and I love squid and this is one of the most memorable dishes that we have tried. It’s really affordable, too. They have branches at SM City Bacolod south wing and The District North Point (Ayala Mall Talisay). They have another branch at the Food Court of 888 Chinatown Square Premiere Mall and in Iloilo City.
Baby Back Ribs
The most loved baby back ribs in Bacolod is none other than Lord Byron’s Backribs. They are the original. For a Bacolodnon, there is no explaining to do why they love Lord Byron’s. A really big slab of tender and juicy ribs smothered in their special barbecue sauce. Love. They’ve been around the longest in the business and people have loved them ever since. They have branches at Magsaysay Street (behind Luxur Place) and at San Agustin Drive (across the side of Riverside Hospital).
Another noteworthy baby back ribs for us is Rodrigo’s Cansi House. Different taste, different texture, but still flavorful and noteworthy. Hubby likes it that their ribs has a crunchy surface and tender and juicy inside. Try nyo. Eat immediately so that the crunch will not become soggy because of the sauce.
I have been eating palabok by Roli’s for more than 20 years already and it still tastes the same–absolute love. Roli’s Cafe Bacolod is an iconic Bacolod restaurant that’s been around for almost a century already. My husband has fond memories of Roli’s since his childhood, so I guess I can say that they are customers here for more than 40 years. They are well-loved. Anyway, while you are there, you may also want to have their chicken sandwich, chicken mami, and their meals. Visit them at The Hostelry and Residences, La Salle Avenue, Bacolod City.
Needless to say, we love batchoy — that bowl of noodle soup with pork broth and lots of innards and chicharon. Two restaurants we love are Super Batchoy House and 21 Restaurant along 21st-Lacson Street, Bacolod City. Meanwhile, Super Batchoy House is located at San Sebastian Street, Villa Angela East Block, and their original place at the Central Market.
While pork sisig is common, bangus sisig is not. But there are already several restaurants serving this. Among all of them, a stand out for us is at at Big Joe Eatery, Pta. Tay Tay Viewing Deck 8. My husband and I cannot forget it, and the taste even lingers in my memory. Yum! They have many affordable dishes there, too. It’s a rustic eatery by the sea without much modern comforts, so if you are squeamish about sanitation and such, then this may not be the place for you. But if you are adventurous with your food like us, then explore their many lovely seafood dishes because they are easy on the pocket while you enjoy the sea breeze.
At 18th Street Pala Pala, they have a seafood stew called Fisherman’s Delight — a dish made up of the bounty of the sea, cooked just right in butter and milk, much like the French bouillabaisse but with Filipino vegetables. It’s so flavorful! An order is a bit pricey, not because 18th Street Pala Pala is expensive but because this dish has crabs, shrimps, fish, and squid. Plus vegetables. So there you go.
Dinuguan and Puto
These are pang-snacks only, but I think it’s worthy to note that Quan Delicacies serves really good dinuguan (blood stew) partnered with puto (rice cake cooked in banana leaf cups) that my husband really likes. If he eats another dinuguan, he would say, “Namit gyapon ang Quan (Quan’s is better). So ok, here it is. 😀 By the way, Quan has many branches around Bacolod City, mos notable of them are MC Metroplex along B.S. Aquino Drive, La Salle Avenue, Veranda at Circumferential Road, and San Juan. They also have so many kinds of ready-to-go Quan sud-an (viands) available.
How about you? What are the most memorable Pinoy dishes for you? Where do you eat them?