Aside from the famous Vigan City which is considered as the number one museum city in the Philippines, Ilocos is home for some of the most delicious authentic Filipino cuisines you need to try in your lifetime.

Photo source: Unsplash

Because this part of the region is rich in the agriculture and fishing industry, many of its dishes are simply made out of the freshest produce and fishes Ilocanos can harvest – that alone makes all the difference in the world. So if you find yourself visiting Ilocos soon, why don’t you try some of these local culinary favorites and get to know the region through your tastebuds.

Empanada – The most obvious difference between the empanada you will find internationally from the Ilocos ones is the color. Ilocano empanadas have a bright orange color that stands out immediately.

Though considered mostly as a snack, it’s such a hearty meal on its own filled with beansprouts, egg, unripe papaya, and sausage meat. Take a bite of the original empanada in Vigan while strolling down the cobblestones and visiting some heritage houses.

Photo source: lutongbahayrecipes.com

Longganisa – A staple when it comes to Ilocos food, Longanissa are pork sausages infused with garlic and other local seasonings, making it one of a kind and has quite a punch. If you haven’t tried your hands on some Vigan Longganisa, then clearly you are missing out.

Photo source: meatandsausages.com

Igado – The taste of liver can be off-putting some of the times, however, this particular stew makes it all the while. For those who are on the more adventurous side when it comes to eating, Igado (or Higado) should be on your list.

Photo source: Knorr 

Sinanglaw – Another one not for the faint-hearted, Sinanglaw is a homely Ilocano dish that can be eaten as a meal in itself or as a pulutan which is what the locals prefer to do. Even though it is made out of beef and beef offal, you really won’t notice it because of the combination of onions, garlic, ginger along with the powerful sour taste of Kamias. This soup meal is akin to the Papaitan.

Photo source: angsarap.net

Dinakdakan – if you’ve tried Sisig, then you shouldn’t be worried about Dinakdakan. But if not, it might take a lot of convincing before you get your hands on this particular dish. Made out of pork parts such as the face, ears, liver, tongue, and sometimes, even pork brains – yeap, read the right, brains – Dinakdakan will certainly be one heck of a food adventure. Nonetheless, it’s something you should try.

Photo source: kawalingpinoy.com

Dinengdeng – An Ilocano fish dish, Dinengdeng is very similar to another Ilocano dish called the Pinakbet. However, this bagoong monamon soup base dish contains lesser vegetables and the taste of bagoong is much more prominent.

Photo source: Maggi 

Pinakbet – If there’s one dish that best represents Ilocos that would be Pinakbet. This authentic Filipino dish is made from mixed vegetables stewed in fish sauce or shrimp paste. It can either be cooked with pork or just on its own – perfect for vegetarians. 

Photo source: Maggi

Reading about all these delicious foods, we hope that it will excite you to visit Ilocos very soon – we surely are. If you find yourself taking a trip to the Ilocos region, we suggest trying out some of these native delicacies to have a complete Ilocano experience.

While you’re there, why don’t you also try staying with us in RedDoorz? From Vigan City to Laoag City, you can book the best rooms at very affordable prices with us. Plus, all of our hotels are near the most visited destinations in the Ilocos region. So, what are you waiting for?


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