Boracay—the island that pumps tourists’ veins with adrenaline-filled adventures—excites with tons of food and drink options that appetize from sight to palate.
The wide variety of dining places, most of which hail from White Beach, makes it difficult for first-time travelers to choose the best for their mood and preference. Here is a quick rundown of the 10 (plus three more) recommended restaurants and diners.
Ten Best Stops in Your Boracay Food Itinerary
1. Seafood and Service: Plato D’ Boracay
A top choice by Lonely Planet, this restaurant offers the must-do paluto experience, where you buy your desired seafood from the nearby D’Talipapa and have them cooked to your chosen dish. A range of Php100 to Php200 is not bad, especially if you are tossing in some meats and vegetables. Because Plato D’ Boracay is close to the wet market, food prices are lower than at the beachfront. And if you can bargain like a pro at the market, your dish-price enjoyment ratio would undoubtedly call for a return.
2. Meat: Cowboy Cocina
Another Lonely Planet choice is this American-styled diner set at the quiet strip of Station 3. Cowboy Cocina is famous for its roasted meats—try the T-bone steak and the ribs—dressed and rubbed with the finest imported ingredients. Other top choices by patrons are the taco burgers, vegetarian enchiladas, cheese-jalapeño balls, and fish and chips. Late afternoons are also made relaxing at the beachfront tables, where you can sip coffee or swig beer awaiting dusk.
3. Spanish: Dos Mestizos
Dos Mestizos, established by Jose Ramon Nieto and Jose Carlos Remedios, rules Boracay with its Spanish goodness. The accurate adaptation of a Spanish tapas bar with an infusion of Filipino touches and soft lighting makes dining on the restaurant’s specialties a real pleasure: 16 different tapas, five versions of paellas, Lengua Estofada, meatballs, calamari, white wine mussel steak, salpicao, and a menu-full more. The place, nestled on Remedios Street in Station 3, also invites musicians to play while you drink your chosen sangria, made from fermented fresh fruits to render that auténtico Sabor español.
4. Value and Filipino: Smoke
Accessibility and affordability are the two reasons why this open-space diner magnets both locals and foreigners. There is a range of Filipino dishes to try, with most recommendable the award-winning crispy bulalo famous for its tasty soup. Others also sample its Thai rice bowls (try Kao Pad), barbecue, fruit shake, tofu salad, chicken Bicol express, and salpicao. Budget travelers appreciate the excellent value for money Smoke offers since Php100 per meal is enough to survive a thin-budgeted trip for two or three days.
5. Italian: Aria Cucina Italiana
Located at the entrance of D’Mall, Aria is a busy restaurant that draws hungry tourists with its delicious Italian dishes. Thin-crust pizzas topped with just the right amount of meats, greens, and cheeses are slid into wood-fed ovens for that crispy bite. There is also a good variety of pasta of all kinds and colors to occupy a couple of visits, with Tartufo Tagliatelle, marinara with chili, and squid ink pasta as top ones to start. For a heavenly dessert, grab a gelato with avocado or strawberry and cream.
6. Mexican: Mañana
Facing the beachfront of Station 1 is the famous and happy-looking Mañana, with a name that invites you for the next day for a good reason. Authentic Mexican dishes served by the friendly staff are the restaurant’s secret to capturing travelers. Quesadillas, enchiladas, smokey burritos, and tacos are the bestsellers; there are also margaritas and shakes to match these regulars. Whether you opt for dine-in or takeaway, you will enjoy what has been served before you, fresh and hot.
7. Shakes and Snacks: Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar
According to Hoyle, strolling by the beach on a hot summer day is best with a tropical beverage in hand. Jonah’s has three locations in White Beach to complete every tourist’s island experience of Boracay. Starting with the best-selling Mango Shake or Banana Mocha Peanut Shake will make a quick believer out of you, and just like how others enjoy the varied refreshments, you will also try the other over 45 different concoctions. Combine mango, strawberry, papaya, banana, pineapple, avocado, melon, or watermelon; or mix milk, rum, or choco for that sweet-fruity or whiskey taste. Add the convenience of having your favorite drink on the go with a straw, then the Php95 to Php180 price range is sure to be worth it.
8. Sweets: Lemoni Cafe
A five-time maker to the country’s best restaurants list by Philippine Tatler, Lemoni Cafe is the high-end way to feed yourself from dawn to dusk, with prices starting from Php70 and climbing to Php600 depending on the item. Aside from the excellent service and comfortable, citrus-inspired alfresco setup, this restaurant also effortlessly makes patrons crave for its great-looking offerings, from its signature Lemon Cheesecake and decadent Chocolate Truffle to the Eggs Benedict and verbose main-course varieties. There are several sandwiches, appetizers, and salads to unleash your inner gourmand. But if on a budget, just sampling the sweets would be a great inclusion in your food exploration at this cozy D’Mall cafe.
9. Indian: True Food Restaurant
Giving western restaurants a run for their money is True Food, a two-story, tree-house-inspired diner that passes muster genuine Indian cuisine. The owners used a lot of novelty to outstand others in Station 2—mat flooring, oversized pillows as seats, large wooden tables, background Indian music. Patrons love the hominess of the place that inspires good-natured conversations. As with the food, there is quite a list to choose from, but the recommended naan, roti, chicken masala, and biryani rice would not disappoint. Options for vegans are also on the menu, and you can send a request to the Sri Lankan chef to adjust the condiments if you are not fond of spicy food.
10. Group Feast: D’Talipapa
If there is a place in Boracay where you can indulge in fresh and affordable seafood or meat, D’Talipapa matches the criterion spot-on. This wet market is driven by bargaining, so hold on to your money and ask around until you get your prawns, crabs, shellfish, squids, lobsters, and fish at the lowest reasonable price for you. Once your pickings are complete with vegetables and add-ons, head to one of the nearby restaurants to let them cook them for you. At the same time, you sit at the available tables awaiting your fresh-from-the-fire dish—nothing but a budget-friendly way to enjoy a tropical meal with a big gang.
1. Dessert: Zuzuni
Owned by a Station 1 hotel of the same name, Zuzuni passes tourists’ standards for Greek offerings like hummus, gyros, souvlaki, tzatziki, moussaka, pita pizzas, and sandwiches. But for a killer experience, try its renowned Mati Chocholate Sin, a chocolate lava cake topped with vanilla ice cream.
2. Greek: Cyma
Cyma is another popular foreign restaurant located at the D’Mall complex. It is famous for its Flaming Saganaki, Chicken Gyros, fish and lamb kebabs, pasta, salads, and soups—all prepared to give you that great Greek experience that nurtures “the soul and the spirit.” Try its variety of Mezedes perfectly paired with its large selection of red and white wines.
3. Burgers: Bite Club Grilled Burgers
At the D’Mall complex, this burger joint delights meat lovers with its heavy-pound burgers flipped on order. Fresh ingredients and topping choices are what tourists like about this place. Must-tries are the Burgerella, beef patties stuffed with mozzarella; and the Bomberella, a half-pounder expanded with cheese, bacon bits, and mushroom chunks.
To enjoy a budgeted trip in Boracay with a small or big group, try the mentioned food establishments and the wide selection of dining places and resto-running hotels on the island.
Have you been to Boracay? What is your favorite dining destination? Why? Let us know by commenting below.