With its stunning beaches and glistening waters, Puerto Princesa still reigns as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
Puerto Princesa offers many spots for relaxing escapes and honeymoon getaways. Its waters are teeming with aquatic wildlife; its forests are thick with greenery and various rock formations; and it's considered one of the cleanest and greenest places in the world.
While Puerto Princesa is well-known for its natural landscape, its culinary scene shouldn't be overlooked. Restaurants in the city thrive from the support of locals and tourists alike, and for good reason. Though you can now find fast-food branches and international cuisine in malls in the area, nothing beats sampling the unique, homegrown fare the province has to offer.
For those looking to enhance their Palawan experience, here are some of the hot spots to add to your Eat Sheet:
1. KaLui Restaurant
A longtime favorite, KaLui is a native restaurant adorned with intricate and beautiful Palawan artwork. It’s a trusted go-to place for the locals, who often bring their friends and family from out of town to taste some of the best food the city has to offer.
The barefoot dining experience will make you feel as if you were dining in someone’s nipa hut home. The rustic-inspired restaurant highlights Palawan’s seafood specialties like blue marlin, tuna, sashimi, crabs, lobster, and shrimps, as well as fresh fruit shakes infused with local ingredients. They serve meals with the freshest catch of the day.
You'll shell out: ₱280 - ₱500
369 Rizal Avenue
Open daily except for Sundays
Lunch is at 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Dinner is at 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Built on stilts over a mangrove area, this place offers a stunning view of Puerto Princesa’s seascape. The sunset view is something to watch for, and is a stunning sight to behold when captured on camera and IRL. Badjao Seafront Restaurant also specializes in fresh seafood and grilled specialties. Each dish is perfectly cooked and served in ample portions, leaving you fully satisfied after your meal. We highly recommend going early since the restaurant tends to get packed quickly.
You'll shell out: ₱300 - ₱500
Badjao Seafront Restaurant
Open daily, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
3. Ka Inato
Ka Inato, also known as Ka Inato San Manuel, is a native restaurant with artistic interiors decorated with colorful wooden sculptures and carvings—the likes of which Palawan is famous for. Their specialty is the chicken inato, a version of the well-known chicken inasal. Their menu includes other Filipino dishes like sinigang, inihaw, grilled squid, and crocodile sisig, which you need to try if you're the more gastronomically adventurous type. Occasionally, they have buffet promos worth keeping an eye out for.
A cool fact: Ka Inato provides livelihood to persons with disabilities. Some servers are hard of hearing or non-verbal, so customers are encouraged to use sign language when ordering. They’re some of the nicest people you will meet.
C4 Compound, San Manuel
Open daily, 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
If you’re looking for a place to satisfy your alcohol cravings, where you can chill with your buddies or let off some steam, Kinabuch’s Grill & Bar fits the bill. This laid-back sports bar is the ideal inuman setting with its pool tables and live music. It has an open-air dining space where you can enjoy the cool night’s breeze, too.
Kinabuch’s serves Filipino favorites like crispy pata and grilled pusit. It’s also one of the restaurants where you can order tamilok (a woodworm delicacy), served either classic-style or deep-fried and breaded.
You'll shell out: ₱130 - ₱390
Kinabuch’s Grill and Bar
Rizal Avenue (located near KaLui)
Open daily, 5:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Namaskar Vegetarian House caters to vegetarians and vegans looking for a healthy alternative to standard meat-based cuisine. This hole-in-the-wall serves tasty and very affordable plant-based food, including vegetarian chao long (rice porridge with pork innards), spring rolls, veggie kebabs, raw salads, vegetarian salmon, and refreshing fruit shakes.
This cafe gets full easily as it only services seven tables, so dine during off-peak hours if you want to avoid the crowds and queues.
You'll shell out: ₱45 - ₱100
Namaskar Vegetarian House
75-P Burgos Street
Open daily, 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
6. Viet Ville
Thousands of Vietnamese refugees fled their country after the fall in Saigon. Many of them ended up in the Philippines, and some of them decided to rebuild their lives in Puerto Princesa—since then, the Palawan city has fostered a large Vietnamese community. With the help of the local government and the Center for Assistance to Displaced Persons (CADP) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, the refugees built Viet Ville, an entire community, from the ground up. From over a thousand settlers, very few of the original now remain, but the church, temple, and community restaurant are still standing.
Viet Ville’s menu caters to and is heavily influenced by the Vietnamese palate, and aims to provide its customers with the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine available in Puerto Princesa. Chao long, a local version of the Vietnamese beef stew noodles or pho is considered a must-try when in Palawan. While there are several eateries and restaurants specializing in chao long, Viet Ville offers one of the best-tasting and most authentic versions, served with a plate of basil leaves, bean sprouts, and chili paste, and garlic bread. Other recommended dishes are the beef stew noodle soup, pork barbecue, and fresh spring rolls.
You'll shell out: ₱150 - ₱350
Viet Ville Restaurant
Barangay Sta. Lourdes
Open daily, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Featuring classic recipes from Spain, America, Vietnam, and the Philippines, Matiz Restaurant and Tapas Bar at Hue Hotels gives guests a wide array of delectable offerings that bring together flavors that whet the appetite. If you’re looking for a more comfortable spot to enjoy your meal in, Matiz's homey atmosphere will make you feel at ease right away.
Must-tries include their Matiz Paella, Gambas al Ajillo, Chicken Iberico with Mojo Sauce, and Tres Leches Flan. They offer vegan-friendly meals as well.
You'll shell out: ₱400 - ₱1,000
Microtel Puerto Princesa is the only beachfront hotel in Puerto Princesa, giving guests picturesque views of white sand shores and mangrove forests. Their in-house restaurant Señordamla is located right next to the pool. Like Matiz, Señordamla Restaurant also prioritizes comfort, providing a casual and cozy dining experience.
They serve specialties like lechon kawali, chicken adobo, gising-gising (ground pork and green bean dish cooked in coconut milk), and well-known seafood dishes. By special request, you can choose to have your dining tables set up right by the beach under the trees.
You'll shell out: ₱200 - ₱400
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