A voyage to the heart of the Philippines is incomplete without exploring the delectable and mouth-watering Iloilo Delicacies. This is especially true when one embarks on a gastronomic adventure in the vibrant city of Iloilo.
Known for its rich cultural history and warm-hearted locals, Iloilo is also a sanctuary for food lovers, boasting an array of local delicacies that each tell a story of the region’s tradition and ingenuity. In this article, we journey through the unique flavors of Iloilo and list down ten must-try delicacies that you cannot miss.
The Ilonggo Connection: Iloilo Delicacies and Food
It’s no secret that food is a big part of the Iloilo culture and experience. The city, known to many as the City of Love, has one major love language— eating! So, if you’re visiting Iloilo, you do not want to miss the culinary wonders it has to offer.
Most times, you don’t need a big hearty meal when you’re trying out these delicacies. You’re going to want to make room for ALL the amazing delicacy options when you’re going on your food escapade in the city!
Oh, and if you want a guided tour to experience the culinary wonders of Iloilo, there’s this amazing tour on Klook that you should check out. No, this isn’t us, but we’ve heard many wonderful things about them. The reviews seem pretty unanimous too.
The 10 Best Delicacies to Try in Iloilo
1. Original Biscocho Haus
Venturing into the bustling heart of Iloilo, it’s hard to resist the allure of Original Biscocho Haus, a landmark bakery beloved by locals and tourists alike. As we stepped inside, the aroma of freshly baked goods instantly enveloped us, promising a treat for our taste buds.
We reveled in their wide array of sweet and savory delicacies, but it was their namesake Biscocho that captivated us the most. With each bite of this crunchy, buttery delight, we experienced the harmonious blend of traditional Filipino baking techniques and creative innovation. Other things you should try at Biscocho Haus are their Butterscotch, Barquillos, Boat Tarts, and Merengue, among many more.
Address: 8 Lopez Jaena St, Jaro, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
2. Original Deocampo Barquillos
Many Iloilo visitors and residents are easily drawn to the legendary Original Deocampo Barquillos. This charming store, steeped in history, welcomed us with the delightful crunch of their signature Barquillos.
You’ll be fascinated by the perfect thin, crisp wafers, subtly sweet and beautifully golden. As we savored each roll, we could taste the legacy of meticulous craftsmanship that spans generations. It’s not only a taste experience but a slice of Iloilo’s rich culinary heritage that we will remember fondly.
Address: 46 Santa Isabel St, Jaro, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
Website: Deocampo Barquillos Facebook Page
3. JD Bakery Cafe
A culinary adventure in Iloilo wouldn’t be complete without a visit to JD Bakery Cafe. Here, we were introduced to a delightful array of pastries and cakes, each promising a unique taste experience.
You should definitely try the famous Mango Tart. The balance of the creamy, tangy mango and the buttery, flaky tart shell made our taste buds sing. Oh, and the endless options of small cake bites are endless! They also serve lunch and breakfast meals. Their fried chicken is also a definite must-try. Each mouthful at JD Bakery Cafe was a true testament to Iloilo’s decadent dessert scene.
Address: 38 General Luna St, La Paz, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
Website: JD Bakery Cafe Facebook Page
4. Carlos’ Bakeshop
Next on our food tour in Iloilo was Carlos’ Bakeshop, an establishment known for its traditional Filipino breads and pastries. We were greeted by the aroma of freshly baked pan de sal and ensaymada as we entered the shop, setting a nostalgic ambiance that was simply irresistible.
It’s hard not to indulge in their signature Butterscotch Bars – sweet, chewy, and bursting with flavors of brown sugar and butter. We also appreciated the bakeshop’s commitment to freshness, which was evident in every bite. The welcoming staff and the delightfully local vibe made our experience at Carlos’ Bakeshop one we would love to repeat.
Address: Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo
The next stop is Roberto’s, a legendary spot in Iloilo City that is known far and wide for its iconic Queen Siopao. From the moment we walked into the bustling establishment, it was clear we were about to partake in something truly special.
When you bite into the Queen Siopao, a delectable bun generously stuffed with a variety of fillings such as Chinese sausage, pork adobo, egg, and chicken. The contrast between the soft, fluffy bun and the savory, flavorful fillings left us in awe. There’s a harmonious balance in every bite, making Roberto’s Siopao a must-visit when you’re in Iloilo.
Address: 61 JM Basa St, Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Website: Roberto’s Facebook Page
6. Kong Kee Restaurant
Your culinary adventure in Iloilo will not be complete without visiting Kong Kee Restaurant. As you walk in, the warm, inviting atmosphere immediately draws you in. Kong Kee is renowned for its authentic Chinese-Filipino cuisine, a delightful fusion that we were more than ready to experience.
A definite must-try is the Pancit Molo, a local dumpling soup that captured our taste buds with its robust flavors and heartwarming broth. The well-loved Lomi, a thick noodle soup, is also absolutely heavenly.
Address: 23 JM Basa St, Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Phone: (033) 339 8335
Website: Kong Kee Facebook Page
7. Ted’s Oldtimer Lapaz Batchoy
Ted’s Oldtimer Lapaz Batchoy is an absolute delight and a non-negotiable when you’re in Iloilo. A trip to Iloilo would not be complete without trying the iconic Lapaz Batchoy, and you’ll understand why when you visit.
The batchoy, a noodle soup garnished with pork organs, crushed pork cracklings, chopped vegetables, and a spoonful of garlic, was incredibly flavorful, comforting, and surprisingly moreish. The warmth of the broth, the texture of the noodles, and the blend of spices created a culinary experience that we will not soon forget.
Address: Benigno Aquino Ave. Diversion Rd, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
8. Kap Ising’s Pancit Molo
Kap Ising’s Pancit Molo is a comforting dish that is a Filipino-style wonton soup that originates from the district of Molo in Iloilo. The moment you’re served, you’ll see the steam rise from the hearty, piping-hot bowl, promising a soothing experience.
Each spoonful will bring an explosion of flavors – the delicate taste of the pork-filled dumplings, the rich, savory broth, and the fresh hint of spring onions all marry together perfectly. The handmade dumplings are incredibly tender and the soup had a depth of flavor that spoke to the hours spent on its preparation.
Address: The Atria, San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Website: Kap Ising’s Facebook Page
9. Rgies PH
Renowned for their homemade quality, Rgies’ treats bring a taste of authentic Iloilo to your palate. Their butterscotch bars, a local favorite, are second to none. Each bite is an indulgent mix of sweetness and rich buttery goodness.
Their toasted mamon is another must-try, with its soft, fluffy texture that makes it a perfect companion to your morning or afternoon coffee. What sets Rgies apart is their dedication to using quality ingredients, ensuring each product is packed full of flavor. We recommend Rgies to any visitor wanting to truly experience the culinary delights of Iloilo. Don’t leave without grabbing some of these treats to take home!
Address: Kamantigue Street, Gran Plains Subdivision Jaro, Jaro, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
10. iCreamhorn – formerly Margec’s Cream Horn
Visiting Iloilo wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the decadent cream horns from iCreamhorn, formerly known as Margec’s Cream Horn. We were completely swept off our feet the first time we tried these flaky pastries filled with rich and creamy custard. The delicate balance between the light, crispy exterior, and the smooth filling is simply perfection.
Anyone will appreciate the effort they put into keeping the quality consistent, giving a dessert that any Ilonggo can be proud of. Each cream horn is meticulously crafted and is a delightful treat you should absolutely experience while you’re in Iloilo.
Address: Jaro Lopez Jaena Street Jaro Iloilo City (infront of Caltex)
Website: iCreamhorn’s Facebook Page
Final Eats… Err… Thoughts
From the hearty La Paz Batchoy to the delightful sweetness of Cream Horn, the spectrum of Iloilo’s culinary scene is indeed a foodie’s paradise. Each delicacy on our list represents a piece of Iloilo’s vibrant culture and history, giving you not just a gastronomic satisfaction but also a deeper appreciation for this beautiful city.
So, the next time you find yourself in Iloilo, make sure to embark on this epicurean adventure and savor the taste of these delightful Ilonggo delicacies. Who knows? You might find yourself coming back for more.
If you’re visiting Iloilo, you should definitely check out the Iloilo River Esplanade. Read more about this amazing riverside park system here.