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Now here's what this city needs more of...
Known for its all-day brunch, this atmospheric modern cafe across from La Paz market is a real green shoot, featuring music, views and nicely-presented Western meals with Filipino twists. Way above the competition.
It would be easy enough to miss the secluded entrance of this tucked-away Mexican restaurant by the river, which is exactly why it’s so popular with young couples on dates...
One of three restaurants run by locally renowned chef Pauline Banusing, Al Dente serves up Italian classics with contemporary flair, including a mouth-watering mango cheesecake...
Sit in a thatched dining pavilion and munch on Ilonggo specialities such as tinuom (chicken in banana leaves) at this ever-popular, well-manicured garden restaurant. Most dishes serve two to three diners...
Don’t be put off by the unappetising name that translates as ‘skin and bones’, a reference to the use of marrow stock in Ilonggo cooking...
The theme here is traditional Ilonggo seafood, with snapper and shellfish taking pride of place on the menu. Best of all, it has broken the San Miguel monopoly, offering a broad selection of foreign beers.
The eponymous products, made of coconut or banana blossoms, are small but cost just P25 so order a few of them. Other vego options are on the menu and there’s a built-in coffee shop.
An enormous, wonderfully atmospheric open-air restaurant by the ocean. Select your victims from huge tanks or mounds of ice, then have the chef cook it all up for you. Expect to wait.
Overlooking the river, the ever-popular Marina is a breezy open-air place with regular live music. The tasty grilled bangús (milkfish; P250) is big enough for four.
A lunch-only establishment in an open-air tree house, Peppy Thai produces simple, fabulous Thai food that comes almost instantly.
Starbucks meets German deli. Get your meaty sandwich here, or for a brain freeze, try the cinnamon cappuccino frappe.
This local classic has been serving up roasted Iloilo coffee since the 1940s.
An attractive strip of shops and restaurants just south of Smallville.
Little Starbucks clone has the usual frappé and sandwich options.
Seafood barbecue at the popular Arevalo beachside complex.
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