There is one other thing in Albay, aside from Mount Mayon, is known for. It’s FOOD!!!! Albay in the Bicol Region is well known for its dishes mainly due to their wide usage of gata (coconut milk/cream) and sili (chillies). Having a very short trip also shortened my hunt for local food, however I did try most of them in my short trip, not all though. =(
I am not very much into chillies myself. But being a FOODIE, it did not stop me from trying, even if it means burning my mouth away, NOT. Hahaha Most of the dishes are still tourist/traveller friendly, meaning restaurants/eateries still give you options as to the level of hotness of the dish.
Without further ado, I will let you into a food rollercoaster in Albay. These are the must places to visit to try Albay’s best foods:
Primarily known for its Sili Ice Cream and other Ice Cream flavors that are native in Albay: Pili nut Ice Cream, Tinutong na Bigas (blackened rice) Ice Cream, Salabat (ginger) Ice Cream, to name a few.
I was only able to try 2 flavors of their famous Ice Cream:
A quaint rustic cafe that offers Bicol dishes with a twist. From Pasta Pinangat to Red Hot Lava Ice Cream.
Read more: Small Talk Cafe – Foodtripping
Small Talk Cafe is one of those cafes that are highly recommended by locals. What’s interesting about this cafe’s are their fusion of local bicol dishes with italian cuisine. Pizza, Pasta with a touch of bicol what I would say.
3. Let’s Pinangat
Let’s Pinangat claimed to have the best pinangat in Albay. Situated in Camalig Town Proper. As local says, Camalig Town produces the best pinangat because of their Gabi Leaves that are softer and smoother than the other gabi leaves nationwide.
Although there’s a debate between Dad’s Pinangat and Let’s Pinangat about who has the best pinangat, locals of Camalig would always recommend Let’s Pinangat but Dad’s Pinangat is more popular, maybe because of some marketing strategy.
4. DJC Halo Halo
bagged to have the best Halo halo in Albay. As a fan of Halo Halo I did not let this slip in itinerary. Their Halo Halo with Ice cream costs 90php. It was a good creamy halo-halo, but for its price, I think it’s a bit overrated. But hey, everyone has their own taste right? What is interesting about their halo halo is the cheese that they put on top that added some saltiness to the dessert that makes it appealing to the palate of the customers.
5. Sili Shake Master
Sili Shake Master is the pioneer of sili shake in Cagsawa. They have this cute little keychain that comes with every order of Sili Shake. =)
Sili Shake Master is located inside the compound of Cagsawa Ruins.
6. Family Kitchenette
Famous for its fried Chicken! located in Bonot area in Legazpi City. I was able to try this due to the fact that it is located just outside of my inn and my tour guide recommended me to try their fried chicken, and I can see why. The way they cook the chicken, it is a traditional type wherein in they do not put a lot of fillers and too much seasoning.
I was not able to visit these places, but I will certainly be back to try all of them. These are the other 3 restaurants that are highly recommended by the locals.
7. Waway’s Restaurant
I was a bit dismayed that I haven’t been able to try this restaurant. This is a buffet style restaurant that has Bicol dishes. For an affordable 250php/person, you can already eat all the bicol dishes to your heart’s content and not to mention unlimited drinks too.
8. Balay Cena Una
Located at the Heart of Daraga, around 30 minutes away from Legazpi City. This ancestral home turned restaurant is ready to give you a feast. They have wide variety of local dishes with modern culinary infusion, and not to mention, they use unique ingredients. I guess it’s for us to find out soon. =)
9. Bigg’s Diner
Bigg’s Diner is a local food chain in Bicol. They cater mostly western type of food with a western style interior. This diner is good for travellers who are in a budget since they also have budget meals, just like any other food chains.