COOL and BOUNTY PLAZA: CHEAP LOCAL EATS
There are several turo-turo stands in the small plaza located across the road from the Allied Bank. Although this is not my preferred dining establishment there are several stalls selling prepared food for a few pesos , so if you are on a budget , go for it.
Turo turo is slang and comes from the verb 'turo' which means point, therefore you point to the pot containing the food that you require.
Puerto Pension Restaurant: Great food with great views
The ambience is lovely in this place- great views around - the water, the lush verdant mountains, and native decor.
The cosy atmosphere is complimented by lovely food that is made to order and using fresh locally grown ingredients. With very friendly staff, you won't go wrong sampling the food in this place!
Favorite Dish: I love the brekky- there's always native fare- Filipino fried rice with adobo or tocino with egg salad are my faves in this place. It comes with fresh juice and fruits too.
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PAPA BOSS, MAMA MIA: HUGE BOWLS OF SOUP
We often pop into this restaurant when we are shopping in town. The bowls of soup are good for four persons and are priced at under 100 pesos. The spring rolls (lumpia) are also very good, one of our favorites. Whatever we choose we usually accompany the meal with a plate of fried rice which has a little ham and vegetables in it. There is a choice of chicken and pork on the menu as well as fish and chips ( which perhaps may be a little disappointing compared to British/Australian fish and chips. However the meals are very economical and tasty.
The restaurant is a little difficult to find but it is behind the Landbank in Rizal Avenue, just after Lacao Intersection going towards the Capitol building.
Papa Boss and Mama Mia are a father and daughter team.
DIVINE SWEETS: BAKERY AND COFFEE SHOP>
You will find a good selection of delicious cakes in this small cafe that is in Valencia Street, opposite Mendoza Park. Probably only bettered by ITOY'S
UPDATE-- The business has been so successful that there is now a second branch in Robinsons Mall, which is much bigger and nicer than the one in town.
Bilao at Palayok: famous for local noodles and seafood
You can't miss this place as there is a huge clay soup bowl outside. The restaurant is built from native materials and the ambience is nice. Bilao is the native bamboo tray you gently shaking it up and to clean the rice or pick out the bad grains, while Palayok is the big pot you see outside. Each time that i have eaten here i was invited for a function and a buffet was served. while the food was very good, it wouldn't be my first choice.
UPDATE--- We w ate at this restaurant the other night with friends and found the food delicious. There are quite a few seafood plates on the menu so we chose Tuna Cheeks ( Panga- the most delicious part of the tuna fish), fish fillet with honey and mustard dip and sizzling seafood. We had a few drinks and the bill came to 1200 pesos--a bargain!!
By the way we started off with seaweed called LATO, a favourite on the island.
UPDATE--- i see that the restaurant has just started an all you can eat buffet every Friday evening or 299 pesos. This is one not to be missed!!!
JOLLIBEE: THE FILIPINO BURGER CHAIN
Jollibee is the biggest fast food chain in the country with over 750 outlets and Puerto Princesa has 3 of them, one in the new Robinsons Mall, one at the intersection of Lacao and Rizal avenue and the other at the intersection of Valencia Street and Malvar Street. This chain is more popular than Macdonalds, Burger King and Wendys, and often you will see many local people queueing up for their order. The chain was founded by Tony Tan who adjusted the normal items on sale at burger joints. a well as burgers you can have chicken in batter, spaghetti and everybody's favorite---rice. It has become tremendously popular and outlets can be found in Hong Kong, USA, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei. Prices are cheaper than Macdonalds.
MACDONALDS: THE BIG 'M' HAS COME TO PUERTO
I have lived in Puerto Princesa for 18 years and even though i am not a fan of Macdonalds and have never visited the establishment i know that there are some of us who love a Big Mac, so i am informing you that the local branch of Macdonalds opened up this year selling the standard burgers, fries that are available at the same establishments throughout the world. There is even a drive-in here, and it is located in Rizal Avenue not far from Lacao Street intersection.
GYPSY LAIR: A LITTLE MEXICAN and A LITTLE THAI
We went out with friends and really enjoyed the food here. As well as a few local and pasta dishes you will find a few Thai and Mexican dishes. We each chose a different dish and all were excellent including Fajitas, Thai curries, tom yam . The starters were also very good and tasty. The restaurant is situated in San Miguel Mercado, has an outdoor area where musicians will play, and an upstairs dining room too.
ISLAND SIZZLERS: SIZZLING MEALS AT A ECONOMICAL PRICE
Island Sizzlers is located on the second floor of Robinsons Mall and the sizzling dishes are excellent. Choose your sizzling dish and 10 minutes later it will arrive at your table while the meal is still sizzling. Your choice of fish , beef, pork or other seafood is cooked in the kitchen rather than being already prepared. The sizzler is usually accompanied with vegetables, gravy and java rice, so if you are at the mall and fancy a bite to eat you will not be disappointed. Most items on the menu are around 120-150 pesos.
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BODATO BURGER: EXCELLENT BURGERS
Bodato Burger is located in the food court on the second floor of Robinsons Mall and i usually stop and have a burger here while my wife is at the supermarket. My favourite is the spicy Burger which comes with fries and a drink for around 130 pesos. Other choices include crocodile burger and fish burger, all at similar prices. You will pay in advance and 10 minutes later your burger will be ready and for me it is much better than Macdonalds and the other fast food chains.
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KA LUI'S: THE ORIGINAL SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Ka Lui's has been around for 20 years or so and is now very popular with an expanded menu. Years ago they had a choice of two, a simple seafood meal or a special seafood meal. The place has grown with its popularity and is still worth a visit. Try the blue marlin steak, but stay away from the special meal, don't think it is worth it.
UPDATE---We went to Kalui's last night and the food was outstanding. I tried the blue marlin steak while others ordered the shrimp, tuna steak. Most meals cost 200-250 and the portions are big enough. There is a complimentary soup and a fruit salad included in the price. If you want to dine here it is advisable to book in advance to make sure you get a table.
CHOW NA!!!: GOOD FOOD AND REASONABLE PRICE
Chow Na (means eat now) is located in the ground floor of A@A Plaza Hotel by junction 2. There is a good selection of budget meals as well as expensive plates for 4 or 6 people. I chose chicken with mango and oyster sauce and it was mouthwatering as well as colorful. My wife had tuna belly which was also good. The budget meals range from around 69 pesos to 100 pesos and you can add rice and a mango drink for another 15 pesos. We were a little surprised when the bill came there was an additional 12 % VAT and 5% service charge.
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LALE'S: TRY THE CURRIES
This restaurant is in a hidden spot near the city Coliseum and is run by a very nice girl who is a wonderful cook. The menu is not extensive but serves delicious Indian curries as well as chapatis, nan bread and chutney. There are also a few Thai dishes on the menu. The owner will always listen to advice on how to improve the meals, as my friend had the chicken curry with the meat served on the bone but after his suggestion, it is now served boneless. Possibly prices are a little high but good food.
Update---We tried this restaurant today and for starters we had potato samosas and chicken samosas---they were quite good but perhaps the pastry crust was a little too thick. Thai and Indian Curries were as good as usual and the Pad Thai was particularly good!!!
Fresh Seafoods: Delicious stuffs
On our second day trip at Puerto Princesa, We tried Island Hopping at Honda bay. We visited 8 islands and islets. "Isla Pandan" is one of the island that we visited. There are palaweno who sell fresh crabs and prawn and can request for them to cook. Our lunch cost for only 400Php, 10 steamed crabs with rice and 3 fresh coconut juice.
Favorite Dish: Great!
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KaLui Restaurant: Come for the interior, not for the food.
Here, credits are given more to the interior designing of the place rather than the food and the service; especially the service. It was recommended by the hotel and the locals but i feel it's very overrated.
Food is so-so with very limited choices. There's even not much of the menu that's "unique". The place during our visit was full. I think it always is since they require reservations. But this shouldn't be a reason for the staff to be all grumpy and haggard looking. We didn't find them hospitable with the frowns or straight-faces. We didn't just go there to be served with food; we were expecting to be amazed.
This brings me back to the physical set-up of the restaurant. Very homey, artsy and culture driven. We were required to remove our shoes and we sat by the corner where we had to squat on pillows. This was a cool experience. I loved the ambience of the place. The lightings were prefect, the displays and the paintings at the back were interesting to look at.
Favorite Dish: To be honest, I don't remember what I liked best. Yes, I wasn't that impressed with their food. But the fruits were sweet and fresh. I guess that would be it then.
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