When I was researching for foods to try in Batanes, two stood out: coconut crab and flying fish. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try both when we were there because they were not in season. In our three days in the northernmost island province in the Philippines, we tried a variety of restaurants to taste what the local food scene has to offer. Curious about where to eat in Batanes? Read on!
Where to eat in Batanes
6 to 8 Panciteria
A small nondescript eatery near Marfel’s Lodge. This is where we had our first meal in Batanes. This place was recommended by a friend because of their pancit. Having not yet eaten either pancit cabagan or pancit batil patung, I don’t know which of the two is the main inspiration for this Basco version. Made with miki noodles, beef slices, vegetables, and a topping of fried garlic, it was also served on a bed of sauce. Best eaten with a sprinkling of calamansi!
Our pancit was made-to-order so we called it in before getting on our North tour. The place may be small but has a good ambiance because of the wall murals. One serving of the pancit is more than enough for one person and is affordably priced.
This is the in-house restaurant of Octagon Bed and Dine. It started out as an octagon shaped restaurant that later on added an inn. They serve local Ivatan cuisine as well as famous Filipino dishes.
Tired from the day’s activities, we were searching for a restaurant nearby our accommodation for our dinner. Octagon Restaurant was walking distance from Marfel’s. And visitors won’t surely miss it because of the lights inside and the entrance. They have an outdoor seating that faces the West Philippine Sea, Basco port, and Naidi lighthouse. We opted to sit inside though because it was already dark outside. We ordered chop suey and fish sinigang, both of which we enjoyed immensely. Inside the restaurant, feast your eyes on the art and wooden pieces while waiting for the food.
Beachside Restaurant in front of Savidug Breakwater
Lunch in Sabtang Island was by the roadside, in nipa huts facing the beach. The food was ordered ahead of time and costs 300 per person. We were first served turmeric rice, a staple in Batanes. Rice is mixed with turmeric powder during cooking giving it a yellowish color and taste distinct from regular steamed rice. Main dishes consist of the Batanes version of adobo, sauteed vegetables, and steamed fish. Lunis, unlike the other versions of adobo, is served dry. Sauteed vegetables consisted of upo and ampalaya. Steamed fish, is topped with onions and soy sauce with sesame oil. We were also given sweetened banana slices as dessert.
D’Island Lodge and Restaurant
Walking distance again from Marfel’s Lodge, this overlooked restaurant is tucked away inside a gas station. From the looks of the interiors, the restaurant seems new. We ordered mixed vegetable tempura and pan-fried tuna steak. Serving time took around 15 to 20 minutes since we were the only customers.
Located in Bgy. Uyoy, Mahatao, Paulvana’s was where we took our last lunch in Batanes. Our tour guide made a reservation before we departed for our South tour. We placed a request for native dishes.
The restaurant has a native décor and simple interior with wooden chairs and tables. And walking distance from Mahatao Church. Our meal consisted of Lunis, Venes, Uved, Igado, Rice and Kamote fries. Lunes is the Batanes version of adobo, without the sauce. While Venes is the Ivatan version of Laing. Meanwhile, Uvod is meatballs made with a combination of ground meat, and banana heart, served in a hearty broth. Igado is pork slices served with carrots and pineapple in a sweet sauce. Kamote fries were for dessert.
Due to the landscape, rice is not widely grown and eaten here. Tubers, root crops, and corn are more popular here. So if you’re looking to bring home pasalubong (souvenir), you’ll commonly see products made from turmeric, garlic, ginger, shallots, ube, and kamote.
Aside from the coconut crab and flying fish, you can also try the lobster (locally known as payi), and other fish like mahi-mahi and dorado.
Other restaurants worth checking out are Pension Ivatan, Bunker’s Café and Fundacion Pacita, which were all closed when we were there due to different reasons.
For more of Batanes, check out: BATANES 3 DAYS GUIDE
What do you think?