Throughout the Philippines, locals love to dine out and be entertained and it is no exception in tropical Bohol. It doesn’t quite have the variety of tourist friendly dining hotspots such as Cebu or Boracay but you will certainly not go hungry for lack of choice.
The island capital of Tagbilaran is dotted with lively places to eat, serving up international and pan Asian cuisine and definitely the best bet for lovers of local Filipino specialties. Everywhere after dark you will find dozens of food carts serving up piping hot soups and curries, fried rice and tasty savoury snacks.
Touristy Alona Beach on Panglao Island is seafood heaven where every night dozens of places fire up the barbecue and many offer superb value all in seafood buffets with the bonus of glorious ocean views to boot. Bohol’s most interesting dining experience has to be found in the historic town of Loboc.
Itself a popular tourist haunt, yet more visitors arrive in droves to dine at one of its famous floating restaurants on the Loboc River. You can dine on an elegant candlelit deck with topnotch a la carte Mediterranean fare or gorge on yet more all you can eat Filipino seafood buffets.
Alona Beach also has a fair number of beach bars and lounges offering live music and expat friendly chat into the early hours. Check out our guide to the select best dining and drinking places in Bohol. You are sure to something right up your street whatever your budget.
Compared to racy Manila or Cebu City, nights out in Bohol are a much more tranquil affair. However there is still plenty of late night fun to be had with a lively bar scene in the main town of Tagbilaran where you will find friendly sports pubs and live music venues. There is no ‘girly bar’ scene to speak of in Bohol although there is likely to be a smattering of freelancers looking for company in the few karoake bars in town.
Recommended Bohol restaurants
Loboc Riverview Restaurant
The combination of lush tropical scenery and the majestic Loboc River is reason enough to venture to this renowned floating restaurant. It offers a fun atmosphere and although the food is mainstream tourist fare, its decent value for money and the portions of grilled seafood are huge. All you can eat Filipino buffets also available.
Considered the best place for curious tourists to dip their toes into Filipino cuisine for the first time, Jo’s Chicken is a trendy diner with a feel good informal atmosphere. Dine in air con comfort or on the breezy roof terrace with hearty dishes such as smoky barbecue chicken, crispy pork, steak and creamy seafood curries. A long time budget favourite. (website: www.joschickeninato.com).
Bohol Bee Farm
Located in a popular tourist attraction of the same name, this working farm is famous through the Philippines for its gourmet honey and where better to try than at its wonderful garden restaurant. The food is worth coming for alone and has a wholesome menu of healthy sandwiches, steak, pasta and spicy Filipino and Malay dishes, all organic and artfully presented.
There is an excellent choice for vegetarians, too, at this renowned expat-run resort. One of the best restaurants in the Philippines, the buffet spread is great value. (website: www.boholbeefarm.com).
This German-run beach resto-bar is the Holy Grail for steak lovers in Bohol. Expect a cosy atmosphere and laid back background music, interrupted by animated chat from a regular crowd of expats. You can shoot some pool while waiting to eat or indulge in one of their famous smooth fruity cocktails. Also has a good selection of imported wines
Recommended Bohol bars and nightlife
Martin’s Music Resto-Bar
Wine and dine to a cool jazz, bossa nova and soul soundtrack in a convivial atmosphere.
This gastro bar perfectly sums up laid back Bohol with exotic bar snacks and meals to keep you going until the early hours and live acoustic music to tap your feet too. The perfect place to come for a late evening nightcap.
This lively fun pub is all the rage with locals and sees plenty of late night wandering tourists attracted by its loud rock music, live bands and weekly comedy shows. A sometimes rowdy atmosphere, it has a real party vibe with long happy hours and cheap ice cold beer. Located close to Tagbilaran Cathedral.