Such is its popularity with European and North American visitors, Palawan has a fantastic variety of dining which is sure to cater to every palate. Meals are generally cheap outside the major beach hotels and cities with hole-in-the-wall street stands providing round-the-clock authentic local fare for just a few pesos. Palawan has arguably the best variety of local vegetable dishes in the country so vegetarians will certainly not go hungry here.
Palawan is most famous for its cashew nuts which are the basis for numerous local dishes. Don’t miss out on yummy cashew pastries, nougat and yema. You cannot go wrong with locally caught seafood which is cheap, abundant and cooked fresh on the spot.
Buffet-style seafood barbecues are a big hit with holidaymakers in the tourist hotspot of El Nido and Puerto Princesa and are usually superb value for money.
But it is worth spending a little extra on a really good one as some specialities – such as barbecue-baked oysters – can be problematic if not done properly.
There are plenty of options for a memorable night out whatever you crave with romantic candlelit dining on the sand or a noisy night of loud music to accompany your meal.
Recommended Palawan restaurants
Badjao Seafront Restaurant
The fantastic beachfront location alone makes it worth a visit yet seafood lovers will be in heaven with a delicious array of fresh barbecued fish and classic lobster and prawn dishes. Set menus offer good value and carnivores can choose from a decent selection of grilled beef, pork and chicken. It overlooks a lovely white sand beach and pleasant boardwalk making it a hot ticket for romantic evening meals.
This spacious German-run garden restaurant is a tranquil affair where diners can chill out in hammocks and listen to jazzy background music. The menu consists of homemade Asian fare with a sprinkling of Thai, Malay and Chinese noodles and the usual Filipino favourites. European dishes include pasta, pizza and French chargrilled steak. A little difficult to find but this stylish place is worth the effort to seek out. website: www.kokosnuss.info.
This Palawan institution has been at the forefront of the local dining scene for years and is an incredibly popular hangout especially with lively groups of locals and travellers. Expect a stylish menu of Asian fusion, Western snacks and tapas-style Mexican and Cajun bites at good value prices. It has become a trendy haunt for young style-conscious drinkers and the perfect spot for late night cocktails and animated chat.
One of El Nido’s most stylish spots for food and drinks, Artcafe is a lively lounge and diner with a funky décor adorned by modern art. Seafood, pizza and steaks make up a cosmopolitan menu which also features a great range of light lunchtime bites and delectable desserts. The wine list is one of the most comprehensive in town. Artcafe opens early for hearty Western breakfasts. website: www.elnidoboutiqueandartcafe.com.
Eternally popular eatery that is a real favorite with locals, you can expect the most authentic regional cuisine in town at Skyline. Prices are very cheap with intriguing dishes such as Kaldereta goat meat stew and ever popular Crispy Pata. It has a relaxed daytime atmosphere but transforms into a rowdy but good natured karaoke lounge after dark. website: www.new.skylighthotelpalawan.com.