Places to Eat in Vigan
Vigan is known as a star foodie destination – and this refers not only to the restaurants and eateries in Calle Crisologo. Boasting a rich Ilocano cuisine heritage, the city ‘s name has become synonymous with signature dishes like sinanglao, bagnet, and empanada just to name a few.
For some authentic and pocket friendly gastronomic adventure, head to the two main squares in Vigan: Plaza Salcedo and Plaza Burgos. Various stalls and eateries open from 2 pm onwards to let visitors have their fill of sumptuous Ilocano dishes that run the gamut from appetizers to noodle soups. With just 100PHP you can already go a long way. Indulge in some delicious bowls of arroz caldo (rice porridge), mami and miki soups, papaitan (bitter soup with goat or beef innards), okoy (shrimp in flour and egg mixture), rice cakes, sinanglao ( beef innards and skin soup), the ubiquitous grilled meat and seafood, and of course the famous Vigan empanada (turnover filled with bean sprouts, grated green papaya, carrots, eggs, longganisa). We like that they set up benches and tables so you can actually sit down and have some beer, too.
Cafe Uno (1 Bonifacio St., Vigan ) always comes highly recommended when you ask people where to eat in Vigan. Located just a few steps away from Crisologo St., it is perpetually crowded any time of the day so we hope you don't come hungry. We guarantee that their local food is worth queuing for though. By all means try their bagnet, pinakbet (mixed vegetables with shrimp or fish paste), and poqui poqui ( roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and eggs). The setting evokes a nostalgic feeling and what's special about it is that you can order food from the two other restaurants owned by the same proprietor. If dining in a group of 4, PHP350/pax should be more than enough.
Lilong and Lilang is another not-so-secret gem (Brgy. Bulala Centro, Vigan) located in a beautiful garden. It is almost always packed as many tour packages include lunch there but service is impressively fast. We loved their empanada, dinengdeng soup (mixed vegetable with grilled fish) , bagnet sisig, pinakbet, and halo-halo ( shaved ice ). They also have what might be the quirkiest restroom in the region.
Western and International Food
If you've already had enough of Ilocano cuisine, despair not: the Rhyss & Robin's Spoonful of Goodness Restaurants (Calle Luna and Jose Singson St. branches) would be a welcome break. They serve all-day breakfast meals consisting of local dishes like longganisa as well as internationally inspired meals (American, Korean, Italian). We had beef penne and bagnet and coleslaw sandwich and both were superb! Servings are generous and prices are reasonable. Expect to pay anywhere from 150PHP to 200PHP per person.
Los Majitos de Vigan ( Gen. Luna St. cor. V. De Los Reyes, Vigan ) lets you satisfy your craving for some fusion dishes without breaking the bank. They serve a variety of local cuisine with Western influences. We personally enjoyed their nachos and carbonara.
Cafes and Coffee Houses
After all the yummy but cholesterol heavy food, it is time for a proper cup of coffee. Coffee Break sits right in Calle Crisologo and is a welcome hidaway from the heat. They have a nice selection of hot and cold beverages as well as cakes and sandwiches at reasonable prices. We had a machiatto and pistachio cheesecake which was just heavenly.
Another coffee shop located right in the middle of the heritage town is Mocha Blends (Calle Crisologo, Vigan). It's a nice place to chill out after a day full of sightseeing. You can sit back nursing a good cup of coffee while watching the world passing idly by. Coffee and pastries were all looking good but it was hot outside so we opted for iced mocha which was absolutely refreshing.