Places to eat in Legazpi
Unlike its neighbouring countries, the Philippines are not exactly known as a foodie destination. However, the Bicol Region – Legazpi included – is extremely popular for their spicy and creamy culinary adventure. They take their food industry seriously, so much so that the government even launched a program called "Culinaria Albay" designed to guide tourists through a delicious maze of regional dishes teeming with hot chili peppers or coconut milk. Fortunately, you don't have to be part of any program to have the same mouth-watering experience.
Follow the locals and head to Hepa Lane (Quezon ave Legazpi Port District,Legazpi City, Albay), so called because of the certain health risk you're taking eating cheap and delicious food that may not always be so clean. Please eat in moderation. For as little as PHP50, you can feast on classic Pinoy street food such as isaw (chicken intestines), chicken pop, fries, fish balls and a lot more.
Alternatively, you can visit a local market and you're bound to see street side vendors selling snacks such as banana fritters and other rice based delicacies.
For reasonably priced and authentic Bicolano cuisines, make sure to drop for lunch at Sibid-Sibid Restaurant (328 Penaranda Extension) that serves seafood and traditional dishes such as pinangat (taro leaves with coconut milk), bulalo (beef soup), and fish bicol express with coconut milk and lots of green chillies. Besides the lip-smacking meals, the full service restaurant has an interesting interior made of bamboo and wood.
If you're feeling extra famished, you may try the lunch or dinner buffet over at Waway's (Penaranda Extension | Penaranda Extension, Legazpi, Luzon 4500, Philippines), located just across Sibid-Sibid. The last time we were there, the buffet costs only PHP250 for an eat-all-you-can gastronomic feast. You can even make your own halo-halo (shaved ice).
For dessert, we strongly suggest to visit Colonial Grill (F. Imperial St | Albay 1/F Pacific Mall, Legazpi Luzon 4500, Philippines). They serve all the classic Bicolano dishes, too, but people really flock here to try their innovative ice cream selection. Their sili ice cream is to die for! If you're not too crazy on fiery flavours, you can try other variants such as cucumber, taro, ginger, burnt rice, calamansi, pili, and a lot more.
Western and International Food
If you're feeling homesick and maybe want to take a break from gata (coconut milk) and pepper infused dishes, you might wanna pop in at Bigg's Diner – the city's biggest food chain beating even McDonald's and Jollibee. Designed after American diners complete with memorabilia on the wall, Bigg's is not your run of the mill fast food chain – they have an enormous menu selection consisting of Fiipino, Italian, and American fare.
In the evening, dive in to Vintage Garage Bar and Diner (VLB7 Building, Alternate Road, Legazpi City Luzon 4500, Philippines). It's a bar and music lounge featuring vintage motorcycles and bikes all over. It's the perfect place to grab a beer, burger and fries after a long day.
Cafes and coffee shops
The Koffee Klatch de Legazpi Co. ( F. Aquende Dr., Kawit-East Washington Drive, Barangay 16, Legazpi City Luzon 4500, Philippines) is a popular hangout and gets especially packed at night. They have an excellent food and drink selection at an affordable price and the vibe is really popping.
Diver's Cafe in Embarcadero is another cool place to get your caffeine shot from. They also sell diving equipment. (Ground Floor, Celebration Plaza, Embarcadero de Legazpi, Legazpi City, 4500 Albay)
Bicolanos really love their coconut milk and hot chili but even if you're not a fan, there are plenty of delicious choices in between that will surely satiate your hunger at any time.