Food Trip: Pampanga

Located just a couple of hours from Metro Manila, Pampanga is a great choice for those looking for a unique food trip destination relatively near the metro. This province in Central Luzon is known as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines,” known for being the birthplace of chefs who learned cooking techniques from Spaniards during the colonial period and passed down family secrets through generations.

01. food trip pampanga aling lucing sisig tokwat baboy chicharon bulaklak

It’s always difficult to come up with a list of “where to eat” in a destination, and more so when you’re writing about a place that’s known for their great cuisine. Like all food trip guides, this list is by no means definitive. It’s based on places that I have personally tried during media tours & from recommendations of friends who live in the area. If you only have a limited time, these are just some suggestions where to eat. WARNING: Putok-Batok post ahead.

Aling Lucing’s Sisig

  • Address: Glaciano Valdez St, Angeles, Pampanga
  • Type of cuisine: Filipino
  • Price range: P200 per dish
  • Facebook: Aling Lucing Sisig

03. pampanga aling lucing sisig

Sisig, a dish made of grilled, diced pork cheeks, ears, liver, onions, and pig brain, is pretty much synonymous with Pampanga. The country’s most popular pulutan (food paired with beer) is credited to Lucia Cunanan of Angeles City, who popularized it by using discarded ingredients from Clark Air Base. When in Pampanga, it’s a must to visit Aling Lucing’s Sisig.

02. pampanga aling lucing sisig streetside

This unassuming streetside eatery serves the most authentic Kapampangan Sisig, as well as other specialties like Chicharon Bulaklak (fried pork intestines), Tokwa’t Baboy (Boiled Pork with Fried Tofu), barbecue and Pako Salad.

04. pampanga aling lucing sisig chicharon bulaklak

Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy & Sisig

  • Address: Brgy. San Angelo, San Andres St, Angeles, Pampanga, Philippines
  • Type of cuisine: Filipino
  • Price range: P300-500 per person
  • Restaurant hours: Everyday 10am – 10pm

05. pampanga milas tokwat baboy & sizzling sisig

Mila’s is a humble carinderia operating since 1989 that’s reputed to have one of the best sisigs in Pampanga. The classic sisig is well-seasoned and crispy, pretty good on its own (but preferably with rice). The Tokwa’t Baboy, with crisp and fresh golden fried Tofu, Pig Ears and a delicious blend of Home-made Soy Sauce with Celery and Tomato is hands down the best Tokwa’t Baboy I’ve ever tried.

06. pampanga mila's tokwat baboy

1956 Downtown Cafe by Bale Dutung

  • Address: The Quad at Nepo, Nepo mart, Plaridel St. Angeles City
  • Type of cuisine: Kapampangan fusion
  • Price range: P300-500 per person
  • Facebook: 1956 Downtown Cafe by Bale Dutung

08. pampanga downtown cafe by bale dutung menu interiors

A vintage style restaurant serving Filipino food with Claude Tayag’s twist. Specialties include talangka rice, Kare Kare, Duck Dishes and Hito Pork Belly Adobo. The Crispy Bagnetta, a hefty serving of deep-fried pork rolled up like donuts, looks really good, but was a bit on the salty side.

09. pampanga downtown cafe crispy bagnetta

We really liked the Trianggulos (Fried samosa with spinach, tinapa, kesong Puti and pili nuts served with Tomato Sofrito Dip) and Crispy Aromatic Duck (served with Chinese pancakes, mango salsa and hoisin sauce). They also sell bottled products here by Claude Tayag including buro (fermented rice sauce).

10. pampanga downtown cafe crispy aromatic duck

Cafe Fleur by Chef Sau del Rosario

  • Address: L-463B Miranda St. Brgy Sto. Rosario, 2000 Angeles City
  • Type of cuisine: Filipino/Kapampangan fusion
  • Price range: P125+ up for desserts & drinks
  • Facebook: Cafe Fleur

11. pampanga cafe fleur

A cafe with pretty interiors that serves Kapampangan cuisine with a twist inspired by Chef Sau del Rosario’s travels. I wasn’t able to try their main dishes but the place is a good option for desserts and hot chocolate. We tried the Tamales Pampanguena, a modern take on a dish made traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. This version uses coconut cream, ground rice flour, annatto, quail egg, and peanuts.

12. pampanga cafe fleur tamales pampanguena

Since it was raining during our food trip, the Tsokolate Batirol (which came in Green Tea. Chocnut, Polvoron and Sili Flavors) were great. They also have interesting desserts like Brazo de Calamansi, Salted Egg Bibingka Cheesecake and Lechemon (Leche Flan + Mamon).

tsokolate batirol cafe fleur by chef sau pampanga

pampanga cafe fleur food trip group shot

Cafe Fleur also has a small concept eatery called Leh-Leh, which serves Thai Comfort Food and Babo, a more elegant dining area specializing in Avant-Garde Kapampangan cuisine on the top floor of the same house.

13. pampanga cafe fleur leh leh thai comfort food

Historic Camalig Restaurant: Home of Armando’s Pizza

  • Address: 292 Sto. Rosario Street, Angeles City, Pampanga
  • Type of cuisine: Pizzeria
  • Price range: P150-P400/pizza (depending on size)
  • Facebook: Camalig Restaurant

14. pampanga historic camalig restaurant

Situated in a two-story Spanish-colonial bahay-na-bato structure, the Historic Camalig Restaurant specializes in hand-rolled crispy crust pizzas with native toppings, the original recipe of which was pioneered back in 1973. Try the Doy’s Kapampangan (longganisa, salted duck egg (ebun buru), onion and pickle relish or Armando’s Pizzas: Marco’s 3-Way (sun-dried tomatoes & kesong puti in three Filipiniana flavors: tuyotinapa & classic chicken adobo). They also serve Baked spaghetti smothered with rich red and white sauces, deep-fried chicken wings and Kamias Shake.

15. pampanga historic camalig restaurant kapampangan pizza

Didi’s Pizza

  • Address: 237 MacArthur Highway, Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines
  • Type of cuisine: Pizzeria
  • Price range: P100+ up for pizzas
  • Facebook: Didi’s Pizza

A favorite among locals, Didi’s Pizza is a homegrown pizza parlor founded in 1970. They’re known for their fairly priced pizza and pasta dishes, burger and fries, American and Filipino specialties and novelty Pizza Burgers.

16. pampanga didi's pizza

Abe’s Farm

  • Address: 98 Livestock Village, Barangay Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga
  • Type of cuisine: Filipino/Kapampangan
  • Facebook: Abe’s Farm

abes farm pampanga interiors 01

Pampanga is also well-known for its exotic dishes. One place you can try it is Abe’s Farm, a resort and spa with a heritage house restaurant nestled at the foothills of Mt. Arayat. For those who want to try something exotic, try the betute or deep-fried frog, which comes with small servings or pako (fern and tomato salad), chicharon bulaklak and Spicy Sisig Pampanga. They also serve very good Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas and Binukadkad na Pla-Pla served with buro.

abes farm pampanga betute

Prado Farms

  • Address: KM 94 -95 Jose Abad Santos Highway, Prado Siongco, Lubao, Pampanga
  • Type of cuisine: Kapampangan
  • Facebook: Prado Farms

prado farm pampanga 03

Prado Farms is a family-run artspace and farmhouse that serves healthy homemade Kapampangan treats sourced from the farm. Specialties include pistou (diced potatoes, ham, ground pork sautéed in eggs, garlic and onions, served with homemade kesong puti, longanisa, and pandesal), fresh salad and “Sa-Le” a local tinola of duck soup that was served with duck-stuffed and arugula fed lechon (roasted with a duck wrapped in lemongrass inside its belly). Visits are by reservation.

17. pampanga prado farms lechon soup

Apag Marangle

  • Address: Main branch is in Bacolor, Pampanga though they have a branch in Marquee Ayala Mall Park, Angeles Exit North Luzon Expressway, Angeles City, Pampanga
  • Type of cuisine: Filipino/Kapampangan
  • Facebook: Apag Marangle

pampanga exotic food apag marangle frogs

Another place where you can try exotic dishes and authentic Kapampangan dishes is Apag Marangle, a popular dining destination among locals and nearby residents of Bacolor, Pampanga. Bestsellers at he restaurant which gets its name from the Kapampangan term for “food laid on the fields” include Nasing Marangle (fried rice with bagoong & pork), bringhe (local version of palla), betute (deep-fried frog) and ginisang camaru (sauteed mole crickets).

pampanga apag nasing marangle rice pampanga exotic food apag marangle camaru mole crickets


Kabigting’s Halo-Halo

The pride of Arayat, Kabigting’s Halo-Halo makes use of mashed beans, corn and carabao’s milk pastillas.

pampanga kabigtings halo-halo

Susie’s Cuisine

When it comes to native delicacies and pasalubong, Susie’s Cuisine is always a favorite. Take home a tray of their assorted kakanin or tibok-tibok, the Kapampangan’s version of Maja Blanca which makes use of carabao’s milk.

pampanga aling susie's cuisine tibok-tibok

Sanikulas Cookies

Chef Lillian Borromeo or “Atching Lillian” is known for her Kapampangan dishes and pastries like Sanikulas (San Nicolas cookies), made of arrowroot (oraro) flour, sugar, and eggs and formed with traditional wooden molds. She runs “Kusina ni Atching Lillian,” a restaurant in Parian, Mexico, Pampanga where she offers breakfast and lunch buffet for her guests and baking demos.

pampanga atching lilliane's sanikulas


Chicharon or pork cracklings are another favorite pulutan among Pinoys. You can easily buy this all around the metro, but the first class Chicharon with Laman (more solid and tasty than the puffy airy variants) comes from Guagua, Pampanga. Deadly, but yummy.

pampanga chicharon

Pinatubo Craft Beer

The First Craft Beer Microbrewery in Angeles City, named after the destructive Mt. Pinatubo, serves variants of beer including Dark Angel, Crown Lager, Golden Nectar, Twister Ale, Craft Sunrise Wheat, Brainstorm IPA and Magma Bock. Their new bar is located on Yukon Street near the Clark area. Read more about Pinatubo Craft Beer here.

pinatubo craft beer brainstorm IPA cubao x

NOTE: I know that there are lots more popular places in Pampanga including Everybody’s Cafe, Angeles Fried Chicken, 19 Copung Copung Grill, Tollhouse and more that I haven’t tried yet. There’s only so much you can eat in a weekend and I look forward to going back for the next food trip. What other restaurants in Pampanga can you recommend?


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