This family-run restaurant serves rustic and unpretentious Filipino-Castilian dishes. Dos Mestizos, meaning ‘two mixed-raced men’ in Spanish, is the brainchild of Jose Carlos Remedios and his friend, the late Jose Ramon Nieto, both of Filipino-Spanish descent. Established well over a decade ago, it is one of the most successful restaurants in Boracay – serving a selection of soups, tapas and five types of paella that blend Spanish and Philippine influences flawlessly. Their famed tapas night (which happens every Saturday), offers a hearty sampling of small platter bar chow. Don’t forget to visit their newly opened delicatessen Gusto y Gustos, which serves deli sandwiches using freshly baked breads – filled with succulent meats, Cubano and smokehouse grills and European cheese, smothered in the best condiments and organically grown vegetables from Remedio’s farm in Aklan.
Nonie’s is owned by married couple Patrick and Shria Florencio, who quit their corporate jobs to work with food and the community. The trendy restaurant is named after Patrick’s mom, focusing on carefully crafted healthy Filipino meals. The sustainable enterprise highlights locally-sourced produce and the freshest ingredients from suppliers in the community. Nonie’s has great options for vegetarians and specialize in a wide array of smoothies and pressed juices. Try their elegant pumpkin soup followed by a plate of bao sliders – which also has a vegan option. End the meal with the guilt-free flourless chocolate cake.
Before exploring the sandy beaches of Boracay, start the day right with breakfast or brunch at Sunny Side Café. The venue offers all-day contemporary breakfast dishes, achieving the perfect fusion of Filipino and American cuisines. The relaxing café sells delicious artisan coffees that you can pair with fluffy pancakes or a brilliant twist on the grilled cheese sandwich served with bacon and mango. All their breads and pastries are freshly baked each day. Walk along Station 3 in White Beach to find it.
This refreshing open-sided venue inside the D’Mall offers all-day Filipino and American breakfasts, healthy salads, and homemade pastries and breads. The perfect place to recover after a night of debauchery – order brunch and go for the classic eggs benedict.
Meaning ‘a mouthful’ in Tagalog, Subo is not your typical Filipino restaurant. It steers away from tradition and comes up with creative combinations to give Filipino food a fresh feel. Try the hot and sour broth soup called shrimp sinigang, similar to a Thai tom yung that features prawns, tomato, heaps of vegetables and batwan, a local Visayan fruit which serves as a souring agent instead of tamarind. The restaurant’s interiors feature antique Filipino-Spanish styled furniture, wooden floorboards, and windows made of capiz shells. The massive space can accommodate large groups, who can enjoy their meal while serenaded by local guitar players and traditional folk dances.
If there’s such a thing as affordable haute cuisine in Boracay, Prana fits the bill. It is the signature restaurant of the Mandala Bay and Spa, who use local produce from their urban farm. The farm is located approximately 100km from Boracay, which in hand supports local producers. Headed by Executive Chef Peter Montemayor, who lived in Thailand and Bali, the spices and tastes of these two countries have been added to Filipino dishes. Cool off with a refreshing Calamansi mint slushie, made from a local citrus that is plucked straight from the garden. Follow this up with the Asian Tuna Tartare starter, that presents freshly-sourced tuna seasoned with lemongrass, ground toasted rice, bulgogi sauce and dried coconut. The menu stays away from red meat and focuses on fabulously presented healthy dishes, with a few that are also vegan-friendly.
Looking to impress a date with something a little more glamorous? Splash your cash by pre-booking a table at the Solana Shangri-la, which offers impeccable service, great food and a stunning view of Boracay’s sunset. The resort-restaurant features a large wooden terrace based on a cliff, offering a luxurious view of their private beach, with open-sided cabanas, outdoor lounges and tables that rest around a fire pit. Indulge in a variety of cocktails and international and Filipino-style seafood dishes. Start with a refreshing appetizer, ‘kinilaw na tanigue’, which is a local version of ceviche. Raw narrow-barred Spanish mackerel is marinated in local vinegar and lemons, chilli and other spices.
Paluto, meaning ‘to have someone cook’ in Tagalog, is a standard service offered in well-known seafood markets across the Philippines. The goal at D’Talipapa wet market is to purchase the freshest shrimps, crabs, fish or whatever takes your fancy and have one of the many small, family grill restaurants cook it for you. Check the scales and don’t forget to bargain! Any shellfish stir-fried in butter, garlic, and fresh chillies is a sure hit.
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From the owners of Sunny Side Café in Boracay, expect high quality and good times at Spice Bird. Conveniently located inside D’Mall, this BBQ restaurant offers a refreshing change from the wealth of seafood on the island. It offers great value for money with large portions, presenting an array of barbequed pork and chicken, which are soaked for 36 hours in their signature piri piri (bird’s eye chilli) marinade. The mains are served with hearty sides and fiery homemade sauces to elevate your dining experience.
Hands down the best value for money family-style Filipino restaurant on the island. Established in 2004, Smoke has two branches in Boracay: the first located in D’Mall market, while the second sits across a Freestyle Kitesurfing school along Bulabog Beach. Popular with locals and travellers on a budget, this is the place to go if you want to sample authentic no-frills Filipino cuisine. Try their ultimate hangover-curing bulalo beef soup, paired with some freshly grilled fish of the day.