Roxas City, the capital of Capiz is known as the “seafood capital of the Philippines.” Home to one of the richest fishing grounds in the country, Roxas City offers a range of fresh and affordable seafood including shellfish, squid and different varieties of fish. From jumbo-sized tiger prawns to crabs and oysters cooked in a variety of ways – you can enjoy seafood any way you want. Grilled, steamed, stewed, fried, dried smoked or even raw – take your pick!
I’ve actually been to Capiz four times already, but I always look forward to trips here because I love seafood. I really think Capiz is one of the top destinations in the country for foodies! Here are a few of the best restaurants and unique eats that you should look out for.
SAN ANTONIO RESORT
- Type of cuisine: Filipino fusion
- Address: Lawis Baybay Beach, Roxas City
- Facebook: San Antonio Resort
A leisure and business hotel resort by the beach with a huge swimming pool that offers delicious meals with a unique twist. Bestsellers include the Ensaladang Lato with Salted Egg & Green Mango, Tiger Prawns in Aligue Sauce and Capiz Salmon with Tomato Salsa and Jalapeno Glaze.
- Type of cuisine: Filipino
- Address: Pueblo de Panay, Lawa-an, Roxas
- Facebook: Cafe Terraza
Cafe Terraza is the first and only scenic hilltop dining destination in Roxas City. Located at the back of El Circulo Convention Center in Pueblo de Panay, the emerging commercial business district in the city, this resto offers Filipino food with a great view. They serve a wide range of seafood, pork and chicken dishes, desserts, drinks and coffee. Specialties include seafood kare-kare, bangus and pork sisig and grilled tiger prawns.
MARIBERT INLAND RESORT
- Type of cuisine: Western/Filipino
- Address: Pontevedra, Lantangan, Capiz
- Facebook: Maribert Inland Resort
Situated between rice fields & fish ponds, this huge resort complex is ideal for large gatherings & occasions. They serve delicious family-style meals in their in-house restaurant. Be sure to try the crabs and refreshing fruit shakes. We got to try crabs three-ways here: Native Crab, Steamed Crabs and in Chili-Garlic Sauce. Merienda pa lang yun!
SPANGGO CAFE AND PASALUBONG CENTER
- Type of cuisine: Spanish-Ilonggo
- Address: Rizal Street, Roxas City, Capiz
- Facebook: Spanggo Cafe & Pasalubong Center
This homegrown establishment in Roxas City offers much more than pasalubong. The cozy cafe specializes in Spanish-Ilonggo cuisine using heirloom family recipes. They serve a wide range of tapas, pizza and all-day breakfast meals. House specialties include the Paella Mixta (a traditional Spanish dish prepared the Ilonggo way), Lola Ita’s Palabok Espesyal (topped with shrimp, crushed chicharon, smoked tinapa flakes and camias), and Cocido (a chickpea based garbanzo stew with beef and vegetables flavored with chorizo and tomato sauce). The soup was just heavenly! Spanggo is also the home of Capiz’s best Buko Pie with a delicate streusel crust.
ESPACIO VERDE RESORT
- Type of cuisine: Seafood
- Address: Dayao, Roxas City
- Facebook: Espacio Verde Resort
Spanish for “Green Space,” Espacio Verde offers Filipino and seafood dishes with a unique twist. The restaurant, which is open for lunch, snacks and dinner and accepts in-house catering services, is located inside a sprawling recreational, adventure and eco-tourism resort which has its own theme park attractions including water slides and water park for kids.
Must tries include the Prawn Thermidor, Binusog na Lukos (squid stuffed with garlic, basil & cheese), and Diwal Pasta (which uses angelwing clams).
BITOY’S BALAY BARBEYKYUHAN
- Type of cuisine: Filipino / Barbecue house
- Address: Baybay, Roxas City
- Facebook: Bitoy’s Balay Barbekyuhan
Bitoy’s Balay Barbekyuhan is a beach-front restaurant specializing in seafood and grilled specialties. Notable dishes here include binakol (a native chicken dish cooked in a coconut shell), seafood kaldereta, rellenong pusit (stuffed squid), and fresh steamed oysters.
Since it was established in 1986, locals who want a change from seafood usually head here for their barbecue, which is as thick as liempo and has really juicy and tender meat. For just P25 a stick, this is a good option for budget travelers and carnivores.
RML MANOKAN HOUSE
- Type of cuisine: Filipino / Barbecue house
- Address: Baybay, Roxas City
- Facebook: RML Manokan House
RML Manokan House is a grillhouse located along Baybay beach that offers live acoustic music and great seafood. Specialties here include chicken inasal, steamed crabs, grilled hito (catfish stuffed with lemongrass), garlic shrimps, baked scallops, sinigang and oysters.
PEOPLE’S PARK AND SEAFOOD PLAZA
Aside from the popular restaurants near Baybay Beach, the People’s Park and Seafood Plaza offers a good spot for tourists to dine the way locals do it – dampa-style. The park has several stalls where you can choose the seafood you want to eat and have it cooked however you like. I highly recommend the having shellfish like oysters, mussels and scallops baked with garlic, butter and cheese.
Though I usually prefer oysters baked, the fresh oysters in Capiz are some of the largest and juiciest I’ve ever had. They were just steamed lightly but they tasted heavenly. Just a pinch of salt or a bit of calamansi, panalo.
You can never go wrong with baked scallops with garlic and butter!
Diwal or angel wing clams is one of the prized shellfish specialties in Capiz. Locals say that the meat is sweet and succulent with a taste superior to oysters and mussels and a more delicate texture. Unfortunately, diwal is a seasonal delicacy and was not available during the time of our visit, so that’s one reason to go back.
Diwal Pasta by Espacio Verde. Photo courtesy of Espacio Verde Resort
PUYOY (GRILLED EEL)
At first glance, this barbecue dish looks like something out of Fear Factor. The street-food resembles tiny snakes skewered isaw-style and grilled. I’ve tasted types of eel before in soups and stews, but this was the first time that I tried it barbecue style. It really helps if you don’t look at it directly or think about it too much when you eat because the heads are intact and you can see the open mouth of the eel through the stick. It tasted like grilled fish, only slightly slimier with tiny crunchy bones (like those of sardines). I think it would have tasted better if it were dipped in vinegar.
ADOBONG TAKLONG (FOREST SNAILS)
Taklong is a species of snail found in the woods or forested areas in Capiz and nearby provinces, mostly in moist places near rivers and waterfalls. Locals prepared this dish and served it during our kamayan-style picnic lunch at Liktinon Falls in Brgy. Bayuyan, President Roxas (along with more tame offerings like liempo & steamed crab). When cooked, the cut up pieces of snail meat resembled chicken gizzard or mussels. I’m not sure if it was the sauce of the adobo, but I found this dish really, really delicious. Adobong taklong tasted like shitake mushrooms to me, only a bit more gummy.
KILAWING HIPON (SHRIMP SEVICHE)
Kilawing hipon or shrimp ceviche is raw shrimp tossed in vinegar. Good for pulutan, with beer or a shake to balance the acidity.
Some native delicacies in Capiz include puto maya (topped with muscovado sugar and sesame seeds) and suman sa ibos (made of steamed glutinous rice).
Dried fish like crispy palad is usually served as one of the choices as a complimentary breakfast in hotels like Urban Manor Hotel, Roxas President’s Inn and Hotel Veronica.
Before going home, you can head to the wet market to buy fresh seafood. Or if you want something easier to take home for pasalubong, there are also interesting Capisnon delicacies like dried pusit, fish tapa and fish tocino available.
I highly recommend you buy bottles of Kapis Aligue from Spanggo. This is the BEST aligue I’ve ever tasted! Just mix a bit with with pasta or rice or stir-fry some prawns or fish in it and you’ll be instantly transported to Capiz. Sobrang panalo. I regret buying only one bottle because it barely lasted us a week.
Take home goodies: Mudcrabs from Atty. JP from Pilar, Capiz plus Aligue Rice at home after our Capiz trip (Yeah, I know. Overload!)
NOTE: This information was compiled from four different trips to Capiz from 2012-2015. Thank you very much to the Capiz Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office and Las Islas Travel and Tours for the latest updates on the food scene there! Cheers!
WHERE TO EAT IN CAPIZ:
- Espacio Verde, Dayao, Roxas City. Tel: 9036) 522-8383
- Festa Resto, Pueblo de Panay, Lawaan, Roxas City
- Cafe Terraza & Restaurant. El Circulo Convention Center, Lawaan, Roxas City. Mobile: 0939927271447
- Roxas People’s Park and Seafood Plaza, Baybay, Roxas City.
- Cafe Pueblo, Hotel Veronica. Pueblo de Panay, Lawaan, Roxas City. Tel: (036) 621-0919
- Bitoy’s Balay Barbekyuhan. Lawis Baybay, Roxas City. Tel: (036) 621-4694
- RML Manokan Haus. Baybay, Roxas City. Tel: (636) 621-0322
- San Antonio Resort, Barangay Lawis, Baybay, Roxas City. Tel:(036) 621 6638
The Grand Gazebo Events Place & Dormitel. Barangay Lawis, Baybay, Roxas City. Tel (036) 643-0796
- Tangerine Bistro. Capiz Gov’t & Business Center, Fuentes Drive, Roxas City
- Spanggo. Spanish-Ilonggo Cafe and Pasalubong Center, Roxas City
- Cebrew Café. Gaisano City Arcade Arnaldo Blvd. Roxas City Tel.No: 6210-810
- Maribert Indland Resort, Brgy. Lantangan, Pontevedra, Capiz. Tel: (035) 643-0540