March 20, 2020

LIST: Great Eats in El Nido, Palawan

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  • LIST: Great Eats in El Nido, Palawan
  • If you are looking for beaches, islands to discover, and water activities to enjoy, El Nido would be at the top of the list for Philippine destinations. With all these great things to do,  surely any tourist would go hungry for good food.

    Surprisingly, there is more to El Nido than just seafood so like their famous island hopping tours, hop on to the various cuisines, mouthwatering dishes, and amazing eats that El Nido has to offer!

    Midtown Bakery

    Start the day with freshly baked bread from El Nido’s very own Midtown Bakery. Grab your early morning coffee and pandesal here or even grab a few of their pastries to bring to your island hopping tours!

    Also read: Midtown Bakery in El Nido: Tasty Treats to Munch While on Island Tour

    Following the quintessential bakeries in the Philippines, Midtown Bakery serves a wide variety of hot off-the-oven well-loved Filipino bread and pastries such as pandesal, loaf bread, blueberry muffins, assorted pies, pan de coco, and cakes.

    Address: Rizal St, Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Taverna Agape

    Calle Hama along the shoreline of El Nido beach is a long street full of souvenir shops, tour providers, and restaurants. One of them is Taverna Agape with a menu that is mostly Greek and highly inspired by Mediterranean dishes.

    Greek Salata (Php 250)

    Since Greek cuisine is mostly made up of healthy plates of greens, the restaurant is a great place for wandering vegetarians and vegans with dishes such as the flaming fried cheese Saganaki, Greek Salata, and Melitzanes Papoutsakia.

    Also read: Taverna Agape in El Nido, Palawan Is A Beach-Front Greek-Inspired Restaurant

    Address: Calle Hama, Brgy. Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Trattoria Altrove

    Taverna’s sister restaurant is also close by and has become the destination for famed fire-wood brick oven pizza. Trattoria Altrove is an exclusive Italian restaurant that hints a Filipino-inspired interior design and promises authenticity that roots back to pizza’s birthplace—Naples, Italy.

    Also read: Trattoria Altrove in El Nido Palawan Is Home to the Famed Fire-Wood Brick-Oven Pizza

    Pancetta Con Tartufo Pizza (Php 645)

    Altrove also takes pride in its pasta servings that are all imported from Italy and are made to order to maintain its freshness. Guests can choose from the three dry pasta choices: Spaghetti, Penne or Fettuccine.

    Address: Calle Hama, Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan (Main) or Pops District, Corong Corong, El Nido, Palawan (Branch)

    Osaka Castle

    Joining the unique cuisines you can try in the tropical El Nido is the Japanese Restaurant, Osaka Castle. Run by an owner from Osaka, Japan, the restaurant solely makes use of natural flavors in their ramen offerings as well as fish imported from Tsukiji in Tokyo.

    The Ramen (Php 390)

    They have The Ramen (Php 390), a chicken-based broth served with steamed pork, marinated soft boiled egg, and seaweed—something you may not expect in tropical El Nido, which makes it extra special!

    Address: Calle Hama, Brgy. Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Tambok’s by PIOPIO

    Learn about local cuisine at this popular restaurant that used to be a simple road-side eatery called Tambok’s. Now an established brand in El Nido, they are well-loved by the locals for their simple yet delicious Chicken Inasal (Php 130).

    Chicken Inasal (Php 130)

    Just as you’d think that they cook dishes the same way as any other Filipino restaurant, Tambok’s actually mix it up and serve dishes that may surprise even the well-traveled Filipino with dishes such as Pancit Buko, Laswa, Lechon Kawali, and Turon.

    Also read: Tambok’s by PIOPIO in El Nido Fills Your Bellies With Palawan Favorites

    Address: Lio Tourism Estate, El Nido, Palawan

    Gusto Gelato

    All the touring and exploring may have worn you out but that is no problem after you’ve cooled down at Gusto Gelato for a variety of gelato, crepes, and waffles, with drinks such as coffee and tea.

    Also read: Gusto Gelato in El Nido: Something Cool and Sweet

    One scoop is only Php 120, two for Php 180, and three for Php 240.

    Choose from over 10 types of gelato you can enjoy in cups or even better, an artisanal homemade waffle cone. With all their gelato and freshly baked crepes and waffles, you could spend the whole afternoon enjoying the simple delights as you go over your day.

    Address: Calle Hama, Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Cafe Athena

    Cafe Athena is a Greek Mediterranean restaurant along the busy beach-side streets of El Nido. With a mix of Greek-Mediterranean and El Nido’s great seafood choices, they offer dishes that are both savory and healthy.

    Also read: Cafe Athena in El Nido: Greek Mediterranean Along the Shore

    Moussaka (Php 450)

    Whenever possible, Cafe Athena sources their ingredients locally and as fresh as they can be. The owners constantly take their customers’ requests into consideration like how the Moussaka (Php 450) came into the menu.

    Address: Serena St., Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Gandhi’s Revenge

    Everything about Gandhi’s Revenge exudes an intensity disparate to other restaurants that foremost seek to emit warmth by offering an array of spicy dishes! You will understand why tourists wholeheartedly wait outside the always-packed expanse—most especially when you taste their Tikka Masala.

    Tikka Masala (Php 499)

    Also read: Gandhi’s Revenge in El Nido, Palawan Houses Strikingly-Good Curry Dishes Made From Scratch

    All of the other curry dishes for that matter, come at a price of Php 499 with your choice of sides: Gandhi’s rice, biryani, or naan. Gandhi’s Revenge beats all odds with its line of curry offerings brought forth from utmost scratch!

    Address: Taytay-El Nido National Highway, Corong Corong, El Nido, Palawan

    Artcafe

    How about eating in an established restaurant in El Nido such as Artcafe, a humble restaurant with a farm to table concept offering organic dishes using produce from their own farm as well as fresh produce picked from the market the same day.

    Also read: Artcafe in El Nido: Grab a Healthy Meal, Book a Tour, or Buy Souvenirs

    Penne Pesto with Chicken (Php 390)

    One dish to try is Artcafe’s Penne Pesto with Chicken (Php 390). Made with their homemade pesto sauce, basil from their own farm, and fresh chicken from the market, this dish was a bright and nutty treat!

    Address: Serena St., Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Scape Skydeck

    Located at the topmost floor of the meek Cuna Hotel, Scape Skydeck offers comfort foods and choose between their signature pizza Skydeck Royal (Php 695) and their vegetarian option Truffle Carbonara (Php 415)—or order both if you feel like stuffing yourself with good eats.

    Also read: Scape Skydeck in El Nido Offers a Sweeping Island View on Top of Good Food and Drinks

    (L) Truffle Carbonara (Php 415); (R) Skydeck Royal (Php 695)

    Scape Skydeck El Nido has two faces to it: a calming expanse in the morning and a liberating place at night with an extended its wide array of food offerings, which are largely rooted in the fusion of international flavors.

    Address: Cuna Hotel, Osmeña St., Brgy. Masagana, El Nido, Palawan

    Big Bad Thai

    With a Thai chef at the helm, you can expect Thai-level spiciness and flavors from everything in their menu—from their popular hits like pad thai and pad krapow to crab curry, all made from local ingredients and fresh vegetables from their own farm!

    While many restaurants try to tweak dishes to the milder Filipino taste, Big Bad Thai does not hold back at all from their Thai dishes to their homemade sauces! Expect the spice level you’ll equally enjoy in Thailand while being in El Nido.

    Also read: Big Bad Thai in El Nido: A Popular Dining Destination for Authentic Thai Spice and Flavor

    Address: Calle Hama, Brgy. Masagana, El Nido, Palawan

    Island hopping tours start early in the day but these restaurants are open till late in the evening for tourists to still enjoy the catch of the day, healthy dishes, and refreshing drinks!

    Also read: A Guide to El Nido Island Hopping: Tours, Fees, and Everything in Between

    Bella Vita

    If you’re wandering around and trying to find the perfect place to chill out, we suggest Bella Vita El Nido, an Italian beach-front resto-bar perfectly situated in the majestic backdrop of El Nido’s Corong-Corong beach.

    Also read: Bella Vita in El Nido Palawan: Sunsets, Pizzas and Cocktails by the Beach

    Margherita (Php 270/9 inches; Php 370/12 inches)

    The restaurant is known for its perfect combination of sunsets and cocktails, best paired with a slice of good pizza. Enjoy a good slice of pizza and a glass of your favorite cocktail with El Nido’s sunset as your backdrop.

    Address: Calle Hama, Brgy. Masagana, El Nido, Palawan

    District Bar & Kitchen

    Bars and restaurants that proliferated around the beachside area of El Nido town center have turned it into the ultimate nightlife district of the town. District Bar & Kitchen aims to be known as a disco bar, where bar-goers can feel less guilty of consuming alcoholic drinks.

    Classic Margarita (Php 220)

    It’s the place where you can easily recover from exhaustion and hangover with just a nice bowl of pho or a healthy mouthful of Vietnamese salad with cocktails made with fresh, real ingredients like their margarita made with fresh herbs!

    Also read: District Bar & Kitchen in El Nido: Vietnamese Comfort Food and Cocktails

    Address: Osmeña St., Buena Suerte, El Nido
    Business Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

    Happiness Beach Bar

    Happiness Beach Bar is now the stylishly and natively hip restaurant along the tourist-laden street of Serena facing El Nido Beach known to create some moments of happiness with the healthiest selection of food.

    Also read: Happiness Beach Bar in El Nido, Palawan Emits Utmost Happiness for One’s Heart and Body

    Their menu is composed of Pick a Plate under which are hummus and falafel variants, Pick a Skillet where the Happiness versions of shakshuka dishes are a part of, Pick a SaladPick a SandwichPick a PicaPick a Dessert, and a whole set dedicated to the Breakfast Menu.

    Address: Serena St., Brgy. Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

    Liberté Bar and Restaurant

    This little-known bar is actually known among the locals as the bar to come to for late-night parties and socializing. With Liberté Bar and Restaurant’s Grecian-inspired interiors, you would think this bar is out of place when it’s just the right dose.

    IMAGE grabbed from Liberté Bar and Restaurant

    Surprisingly, like many things in El Nido, Liberté Bar offers Japanese dishes such as ramen, curry rice, gyoza, and kushiage that you can pair with classic cocktails and local alcohol!

    Also read: Liberté Bar in El Nido Lets You Enjoy Food and Cocktails Along Picturesque El Nido Beach

    Address: Calle Hama Street, Brgy. Masagana, El Nido, Palawan

    Local Provisions Kitchen + Mini Bar

    Local Provisions Kitchen + Mini Bar stays true to their pursuit of sustainability, they largely utilize the types of fish that are not on high-demand in Palawan and scrape them to the bone to serve more purposes than the usual.

    Also read: Local Provisions Kitchen + Mini Bar in El Nido, Palawan: A New American Restaurant Undisturbed by the Passing Time and Trend

    Bryan’s Lemongrass Pork (Php 310) is rightfully named after the sous chef, Bryan, who came up with the dish

    Among others, they take pride in their Catch of the Day sourced from the fishermen themselves who usually supply the restaurant every morning. Apart from the kitchen itself that is the main point, it also features a minibar right by the entrance.

    Address: Units 60-61, Shoppes at Vanilla Beach, Sitio Marimegmeg, El Nido, Palawan

    Jungle Bar by PIOPIO

    Jungle Bar is an outdoor and open space bar inside the Lio Tourism Estate overlooking the majestic Lio Beach. The bar makes all their sauces, sides, and infusions in-house with ingredients from the Lio Estate farm. They even have a small garden at the back with all their fresh herbs for garnish!

    They serve simple bar chows turned innovative dishes like the Pork Sisig for example, where they serving it with a side of fried chips made with dehydrated cooked rice, making it even more exciting to munch.

    Also read: Jungle Bar by PIOPIO in El Nido: Local Bar Chows and Exciting Drinks Made In-House

    Address: Lio Tourism Estate, El Nido, Palawan

    SAVA Beach Bar

    As you slip through the main entrance of SAVA Beach Bar, you will be instantly engrossed in a world sustained by the rhythmically thumping music and the undisturbed view of the interlaced skyline and open sea of El Nido Beach!

    Also read: SAVA Beach Bar in El Nido, Palawan: The Town’s Pioneer Cocktail Bar

    (L to R) SAVA Sensation (Php 300), Twister (Php 300), and English Fizz (Php 300)

    Let yourself loose in its midst as you savor a drink from the bar’s plentiful offerings, most of which are created by a UK mixologist! Apart from their cocktails and food, SAVA Beach Bar takes great pride in their place’s ambiance.

    Address: Calle Hama, Brgy. Masagana, Zone 3, El Nido, Palawan

    Also read: 5 Must-Visit Beaches in El Nido, Palawan

    Which of these restaurants are you looking forward to visiting? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!


    This first appeared in Philippine Primer’s Japanese and English Magazine March 2020 issue.

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