After a complete refurbishment in 2012, Jacko's Restaurant in Iligan continues to be a popular place for individuals, families, groups and organizations. There are several separate areas at Jacko's to enjoy a simple and fast meal or a very leisurely and pleasant full meal in one of the indoor dining areas or in the very nice outdoor garden and gazebo. Along with the refurbishment of 2012 came a brand new fully air conditioned function / catering room with a very comfortable capacity of up to 40 people. This restaurant in its full capacity is just slightly over 100.
The food available at Jacko's is nothing short of excellent in both preparation and presentation at the table. I have enjoyed dining at this restaurant on my visits to Iligan in 2011 and 2012 with a group of local friends. On both occasions a variety of food was ordered to be shared by all of us so it provided me the opportunity to get a good sampling of the variety of Filipino items on the menu such as Crispy squid, grilled tuna belly, pork barbecue, adobong bagaybay, lumpia shanghai, Sotanghon Guisado, Pinakbet (Vegetables) and much more. Menu offerings can be viewed on their web page.
The service was excellent, the restaurant is clean and inviting. A wide choice of beverages of all kinds are available including a house special of fruit flavored smoothies, all made from fresh ingredients.
With the addition of the catering room reservations for a private party, wedding reception or business meeting-dinners can easily be arranged for. Take out service, outside catering and delivery are all available. Jacko's has recently been offering an all you can eat buffet affair about once a month ( see their web page for more information and pictures ) .
I look forward to many more pleasureable meals at Jacko's on future visits to Iligan City.
Jacko's is WiFi equipped.
Favorite Dish: I enjoyed such a variety of Filipino style items, some with a bit of a Chinese flair, it is not easy for me to single out any one individual item.
Since the 1999 opening of their first location at Zamora Street in Iligan City, Tita Fannies Liempo and Chicken Haus has enjoyed exponential growth and popularity. Other locations in Iligan can be found on Tibanga Highway near Elena Tower Inn and also at one end of the Gaisano City Mall at the corner of Roxas Ave. and Villaverde Rd.
I chose the mall location as this one sounded like the place that would be most applicable to tourists. Upon entering from the street entrance, there is a small dining and take-out area on the ground floor. Ascending up a circular stairway a very nice, smoke free dining area can be found. Additionally, there is access to an outdoor deck dining area overlooking the street below.
My first experience of Tita Fannies was in the form of a take-out platter I had enjoyed at an event I had been invited to on a previous visit. I looked forward to visiting one of Tita Fannies locations on my following visit in 2012 to enjoy another " Bila-o Overload " which to me translates to a Combination Platter Sampler of the many varieties of Filipino style menu choices. As I had just finished my "Bila-o Overload," one of the most favored Filipino desert items " Halo-Halo " was placed in front of me by the very attentive and polite wait staff that is found at Tita Fannies, which concluded a very tasty and enjoyable meal.
The reputation and popularity of Tita Fannies has expanded to it, becoming a franchise operation in a growing list of cities in the Philippines including Cagayan De Oro, Lanao del Norte, Pagadian and Manila. I look forward to further enjoyment of dining at Tita Fannies on future visits!
Favorite Dish: " Bila-o Overload " . This is a combination platter that can serve multiple people. It features a sampling of various items that can be found on the menu. A generous portion of rice is served separately and additional portions of rice are available at no additional charge.
An excellent example of a very popular Filipino desert known as " Halo - Halo " provided a great way to top off an excellent meal.
There are always things happening in Iligan City and always things to look forward to. It was between my 2nd and 3rd visit when I learned, via internet, about the opening of Calda Pizza. The pre-opening article complete with photos indicated that the specialty of Calda Pizza would be the availablity of freshly made Pizza up to and including 36 inches in diameter !
I knew this would be a place to go on my next visit to Iligan city and it was obvious I would take some of my Iliganon friends along with me to enjoy it.
Calda Pizza in Barangay Pala-o is located in a small area rapidly becomming known amoungst the locals as " The Strip ". There is a 24 hour convienience store located on one side of Calda Pizza and Sylvestros Bistro, a resto-bar located on the other side.
A place serving 36 inch diameter Pizzas obviously requires a bit more than the average sized table so the picnic style, umbrella covered tables are outside in a large lot.
It was about 9 PM on a Saturday evening when I arrived at Calda Pizza and it was a full house although it was only a short wait to get our table. With such a large variety and style of Pizza available on the menu I let my friends decide what kind we should order as almost any kind would be just fine for me. I just Had To Have one of those 36 inch Pizzas !
The cost of the Hawaiian Style Pizza 36 inch size was about 1000 Peso ( about USD $24 ) and was delivered to our table in about 25 minutes. Too large to be sliced in the conventional wedge shaped slices, it was kind of criss cross sliced so the individual pieces would be rectangular.
The Pizza was good and we spend a considerable amount of time just enjoying ourselves at Calda Pizza. Some additional friends came along a bit later and this is one of the few occasions I didn't mind sharing some of my Pizza as there was plenty to go around LOL !
Calda Pizza, a great place to go with a group of friends or family.
The outdoor dining area has been much improved with new tables and chairs, a covered area so you can really enjoy yourself day or evening.
Favorite Dish: A 36 inch Diameter Pizza !
As a first time visitor to Philippines and a tropical climate, I was advised to visit a " travel Doctor " prior to my visit. I recieved a folder with info sheets and brochures about food and drink consumption in The Philippines. After reading these precautions it almost sounded as if I would have to bring my own food with me ! I decided that unless I could find some kind of " Fail Safe " place to eat, I would not go.
One of the earliest internet pictures I had seen of Iligan City was of a fast food franchise " Jollibee " on Tibanga Highway. After spending many hours of websearching and research I knew I had found my " Fail Safe " source of food ! Jollibee is the largest fast food franchise in The Philippines and has been in business over 30 years. The founder of Jollibee studied the fast food business in the USA for 2 years. They have adopted strict and very high standards in the handling, preparation and serving of all of their products. The majority of those working for Jollibee are college educated, even the front line staff that you see behind the counter. It is in my opinion after visiting many Jollibee locations, their locations not only meet, but excede the standards I have experienced in any USA fast food franchise I have been to !
Jollibee, Tibanga was one of the places that initially attracted my attention to Iligan City. A nice variety of food items on the menu are well prepared and attractively served. When I inquired to the Manager if " Tap Water " was used in any preparation or in any beverages served I was informed they have their own in-house water purification system and I was invited to look at their latest water analysis documents if I so desired.
I have visited this location many times while in Iligan City and have always found it to be exceptionally clean and orderly and very well staffed. Even at peak times with lines at each counter position the wait was not long at all. All of the staff was most courteous and polite at all times. Tables, chairs and other fixtures were very clean and well maintained. There is a uniformed security guard at the entrance to welcome you.
In the Philippines you will find wide variations in the Rest Room facilities in public places. Jollibee without a doubt maintains the best Rest Room facilities I have seen in any location of its kind. Very clean, paper for the toilet, soap and hot and cold water at the sink for washing of hands and a working electric hand drier. Everything in the Rest Rooms appeared in good working order and well maintained. You will not find facilities like this in every public establishemnt you may visit in Philippines.
Jollibee even offers delivery to your hotel or other place of accomodation.
There are many fine dining experiences to be had when visiting Iligan City although it is Jollibee, Tibanga that will always remain my favorite and most memorable. My congradulations to the management and staff ! I'll be Back !
UPDATE Nov. 2011
This location is undergoing enlargement and a complete re-imaging. It was open for business during my visit in Nov. 2011 Construction is on-going day and night to expedite completion. Same great food and as always, service with a smile. In spite of the construction it was still kept very clean and inviting inside.
Favorite Dish: Yum Burger
The newest branch of Chow King in Iligan City opened a little over a year ago on the ground floor street side of the Elena Towers Hotel. Chow King is a fast food franchise featuring Filipino and other Asian style offerings. Chow King is under the parent company of Jollibee Foods Corp and there are many Chow King locations all over The Philippines.
As you approach the entrance to Chow King ( Tibanga branch ) a security guard at the entrance will welcome you as well as the staff at the order counter where after placing your order and paying for it, your order will be delivered to your table in a short amount of time.
This restaurant is clean and well maintained. The rest rooms are clean, well supplied and in good working order at the times I visited.
I enjoyed breakfast here on several mornings as well as dinner in the evening. A traditional Filipino desert item is Halo Halo and Chow King has a good reputation for serving a traditional example of this unique desert item. Later in the evenings I also appreciated the convienience of this Chow King branch for take out coffee.
As with most fast food restaurants, menu items are displayed on backlit panels behind the order counter with prices plainly posted. If you have any questions of what any particular menue item consists of the counter staff is more than willing to explain it to you. I had to ask several times as I am not totally familiar with Filipino fast food meals. I enjoyed every meal that I had at this location and look forward to visiting again.
There is at least one more Chow King location in Iligan City although the Tibanga branch is the only one I have visited so far.
Simply Amazing !
Favorite Dish: Halo Halo. A cool and refreshing desert item enjoyable at any time of the day or evening !
Many of the places that attract my attention in Iligan City are derived from viewing pictures and videos of them on the Internet and The Iliganon was no exception to this. Located just outside of the busy downtown area of Iligan in barangay Pala-o it provides a relaxing atmosphere for enjoying the beverage of your choice and a very nice meal.
As I would consider this a traditional restaurant with a wide variety of Filipino items on the menu this is what I anticipated to be an enjoyable experience and it certainly was. Since the first pictures I had seen of The Iliganon a few years prior to my visit, they had since added a rather complete Pizza Menu which attracted my attention. Although I did enjoy a traditional Filipino beef item I just couldn't keep my eyes off the pizza menu.
As I was enjoying lunch with some of my Filipino friends it got to the point where I just could not hold back any longer and ordered a large pizza. As we finished our initial lunch order the pizza was delivered to our table. I picked up the first slice and took a bite out of it and then another and without hesitation I commented to my friends " I think we should order another one of these Pizzas !
I can not say for certain if it was the cheese, the sauce, the crust or the entire combination of all of the ingredients that must have triggered something in my memory from many years ago. They just don't make pizza like this where I live any more. You can be certain I shall be returning to The Iliganon for Pizza on each visit I make to Iligan City !
There are several dining areas in this restaurant including a bar - coctail lounge, the main dining room and an outdoor patio area. I enjoyed my lunch in the coctail lounge which is air conditioned and provides a cozy ambience. Everything appeared clean and orderly, the service was excellent and the food had that home cooked flavor and aroma.
As it was approaching mid-afternoon when I visited The Iliganon it was not too busy which provided time for a nice conversation with the owner. The hospitality was great and although I had originally intended to spend only about an hour here it turned into a 2 hour visit of which I enjoyed every minute of it.
( UPDATE )
On a visit to Iligan City in late 2010 I once again visited The Iliganon not once, but twice in two consecutive days for lunch, Pizza of course, and it tasted just as I had remembered it from the year before. Same great hospitality and enjoyable conversation.
Simply Amazing !
Favorite Dish: Pizza !
There are always new things to see and do each time i visit Iligan and on my recent visit it included the sparkling new Fontina Restaurant opened mid year 2010. This clean, bright and cheerful dining establishment convieniently located next to Kingsway Inn on Tibanga Highway has rapidly become a popular place with Iliganons, along with domestic and international visitors.
The menu features a wide variety of meals, beverages and deserts of local and internationally known favorites. If you desire to try something purely Filipino, it's all there for you. The food is individually prepared as opposed to production line style as found in chain or fast food restaurants.
The service is excellent with a very hospitable and courtious staff. It may " seem " as though it may take a few minutes longer for your food to be delivered to your table than some other restaurants but that insures your order has recieved the personal attention to detail that it deserves. The ambience at Fontina encourages you to take your time and enjoy your experience there and this is something I appreciate when spending time dining with friends I visit in Iligan City, who also agreed with my impression of Fontina.
This was the first time I had tried a " Mango Shake " to enjoy with my meal and a few times a second one to enjoy afterwards.
You have a choice of indoor ( smoke free ) dining or outdoor on the front porch area and the covered area on one side of the building. I spent an enjoyable few minutes sitting at an outdoor table with a Mango Shake watching the sights and sounds of Tibanga Highway go by. As an international visitor to Iligan City I really enjoyed doing this.
The exciting desert menu sent my tastebuds into orbit and I found myself " doing a Double " on the freshly made Mango Cake.
This restaurant is very clean and well maintained and that includes the full feature rest room ( Comfort Room ), which is something that may not be found in all dining establisments in The Philippines. Fontina is fully air conditioned, they accept credit cards ( yes, foriegn issued cards will work here ). Fontina is WiFi equipped and I noticed several people with their Laptops websurfing while enjoying their lunch. There is off street parking on the side of the building. for a party or event there is a catering room on the second floor.
Fontina is a family owned and operated restaurant by a family with a long track record of professionalism which is certainly reflected in a great dining experience at a modest and affordable cost.
see their website for further information and some great pictures !
Favorite Dish: I can not remember the exact name of it on the menu. I usually try to order something familiar to me for the first few visits to a new restaurant for comparison to meals I am familiar with. I had a beef over rice with mixed vegatables. It was well prepared and attractively served and the beef was cooked just right, not undercooked and not overcooked, Just the way I like it !
Can you be half way around the world from where you live, walk into a place for something to eat and feel like you were in your own home town ? This is how I felt the first time I walked into Zoey Cafe in Iligan City.
Clean and bright, a warm and friendly welcome from the staff will greet you as you enter. A wide variety of local and universally known items appear on the menu and prepared in a home style manner. The food is well prepared and attractively served to your table usually within a short amount of time. Once you enter however, you may not be in such a hurry to eat and run as the local ambience of this place was something I found quite enjoyable.
If you are a visitor / tourist on vacation, and on a diet, this is one of those places you let your diet go and enjoy yourself. For me another great feature of eating at Zoey Cafe is the deserts. This place has quite a reputation amoungst the locals for Halo Halo, a Philippine desert of ice cream, crushed ice and many other taste tantalizing delights and can prove to be a great experience ! I spotted one of my favorits, carrot cake and was served quite a generous portion of it.
I would compare Zoey Cafe to be similar to an American " Luncheonette " , and a very good one at that.
Simply Amazing !
Favorite Dish: Halo Halo
located at the foot of the buhanginan hill, it has a very nice ambience...the interiors is technically simple but it has a nice elegant feel to it. the food is also great...and the price is okay...not too expensive and not too cheap.
a good place for family gatherings, business meetings...
Favorite Dish: hmmm...tinolang manok?
Aside from the lechong baboy, you can also try the lechong manok Iligan-style. Lechong manok (roasted chicken) is a very popular food in Iligan city, judging by the number of places that carry this as the only offering, and the number of people that are in queue outside. The more popular ones are Tony's and Epay's, close to the only Jollibee branch in the city.
Like the lechong baboy, Iligan's lechong manok is also cooked with the spices inside. It's way better than Andok's or Baliwag. And cheaper, too. One whole chicken is only ~P100.
When you are in Iligan City, you have to try "lechong baboy" (roasted pig) which is really, really good. Simply the best lechon I've had in my whole life! Iligan lechon is cooked with the spices inside so it's very flavorful and juicy. :) We always have lechon every Christmas. No celebration is complete without it.
There are many stalls/restaurants along Tibanga Hi-way that sell lechon, but the most popular one is probably Dado's. Where you buy will not make too much of a difference (they're all good), just make sure you're still in Iligan. :)
Favorite Dish: Lechong baboy
Zoey Cafe is a popular food place located along Aguinaldo Street. They serve mostly snacks so the place is packed during mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The place can get noisy as groups frequent this place. In Zoey's, you are given the order list and you write down your orders. I find it really convenient and efficient.
Food is ok and reasonably-priced. We had the fish fillet sandwich, carbonara, strawberry milkshare and bottled water for P162 (less than $3).
Favorite Dish: Fish fillet sandwich
Seafood platter (my sis recommends this)
Iligan City are gracious and blessful of the many waterfalls and the waters which sorrounds us. We have Falls everywhere, pools and beaches. When you're in Iligan donot forget to visit the Timoga Swimming pool, pamper yourself with the amazing swimming pools in here, it is a flawing pools not a stagnant one so dont worry about those germs that might come after you! They have Lechon REstaurants infront of the Pools and be sure to have a lechon which is cook in that day!
Favorite Dish: Roast Pig or Lechon is one of the main dish here and the yummy roast chicken or grilled pork or beef!
Mom is a fabulous cook so, she would prepare a gay crab with coconut soap and anything to do with crab when I'm home! Grand, is it?