Bacolod City is the capital of Negros Occidental, a province in the Western Visayas region in the Philippines. It prides itself as one of the best travel destinations in the Philippines. It is the largest highly urbanized city in the province and as such enjoys a good number of tourist arrivals all year round. Known to the locals as the “City of Smiles”, Bacolod is more than just a popular tourist spot. It is a city of friendly people and good food.
Food is the main attraction of Bacolod City. There are a plethora of restaurants in Bacolod that serve delicious local dishes which visitors shouldn’t miss when they travel Bacolod. Much of the cuisine in Bacolod is shared with Panay, a neighboring province. While a number of Oriental and Western restaurants are brought to the city, the people still maintain their native cuisine. Some of Bacolod’s all-time favorites include:
- Lumpiang Ubod/Fresh Lumpia/Lumpiang Bacolod (fresh spring roll; not fried). This is a must-eat recipe, delicately wrapped in a paper thin translucent crepe filled with ubod (fresh coconut tree heart), pork and shrimp with a garnish of scallion. What makes lumpiang Bacolod different is its sauce, which was drizzled inside the wrapper.
- Inasal which means “cooked over fire”. This is a local version of pork or chicken barbecue. It is cooked with red achuete or annatto seeds giving it a reddish color and brushed on oil and cooked over the fire. It’s cheap and affordable as well as delicious. Also, Ilongos put on herbs and spices that made their inasal special.
- Kalamayhati. This is a sticky sweet dessert made from glutinous rice and coconut milk and cooked over low heat until it becomes sticky. It’s the local version of rice cake.
- Napoleones. This dessert originates from France where it is known as Mille-feuille. Aside from Inasal, Bacolod is also popular for its Napoleones. While Napoleones did not quite succeed in France, it is considered the best in the Philippines. The people of Bacolod learned the secrets to a delicious Napoleones through the French who had brought the custard filled pastry to the island. Two of the most popular maker of Napoleones are Roli’s bakeshop and Virgie’s homemade products.
- Piaya. This is a sweet biscuit which is the thin version of moon cakes. It has fillings such as ube (yam) and caramel.
- Pinasugbo. These are thinly sliced banana coated with brown sugar and deeply fried. This is a local version of banana fritters.
- Uga or dried fish. Bacolod is known to be a good source of dried fish. They got variety of dried fish and the best seller is Danggit.
There are a few places in Bacolod where you should try eating when you visit the place.
- Pala-Pala Market is a place where you can buy fresh seafood in the wet market then go to a restaurant nearby and have it cooked at a nearby eatery. One way of enjoying seafood in all its freshness. There are oysters, crabs, blue marlins and other seafood products which are guaranteed fresh.
- Aboy’s Restaurant is known for their affordable grilled seafood and regular household recipe. The restaurant started small which intended to serve just the offices near its location but eventually expanded because of its scrumptious food that the locals loved. Must try food from Aboy’s is their baked scallop. A complimentary Tarragon tea is also served after a hearty meal, which tasted so good.
- Nena’s Rose serves the best chicken inasal in the city. They serve their inasal off the grille and expect it to be really tasty. No usual condiments are needed when you eat their chicken inasal and be ready to eat additional cups of rice.
- Calea, Balay Quince (in front of L’Fisher Hotel). Cakes are also Bacolod’s pride. The Ilonggos of Iloilo take a trip to Bacolod just to taste their irresistible cakes – from cheesecakes to ice cream cakes. Calea is famous for their to die for cheesecakes and their moist chocolate cake. Their white cheesecake is a must try because it’s sinfully delicious.
- Felicia’s Pastry Café. Like Calea, Felicia’s is known for their great tasting Sans Rival and Chocolate cake. They also offer club sandwiches that made them a favorite hangout spot among locals and tourists.
Filipinos love to eat. They are very enthusiastic in trying out something foreign to their taste buds. Traveling is not always about discovering new places; it is also about trying new food. Tasting a place’s signature dish means you’ve completely experience the place or country’s culture.
The Philippines is also a good place to try on different dishes. Because of its rich culture, each province boasts a signature dish that is only done best in their locality. Travelling the Philippines will not only satisfy your quench for adventure, picturesque sceneries, white sand beaches, but also your satiety.