Photo by Nina Fuentes
Are you the type of tourist who would make a beeline for the nearest fastfood joint on an out-of-town trip? If you are, don’t do it in Roxas City.
Keeping up with its official national title—seafood capital of the Philippines—Roxas city offers a huge variety of fishes, including lapu-lapu (grouper), maya-maya (snapper), bangus (milkfish), tilapia, gindara (cod fish), and even pagi (sting ray) and pating (shark). You can also find lots of shellfish here: oysters, clams, mussels, crabs, and shrimps. All of these are within reach, so you don’t have to worry too much about the bill after you clean off your third dish of crab.
But to the meat-eaters: Roxas city hasn’t forgotten about you! Delicious chicken, pork barbecue, liempo—find it all here, as well!
Read on and see which food you should try when you’re in Roxas city.
While you are spoilt for choice of any kind of seafood in Roxas city, this is your chance to indulge in what would otherwise be very costly elsewhere. A kilo of fresh prawns at the Teodoro Arcenas Trade Center costs around Php 550 (around 12 huge pieces), while fresh shrimp is only Php 150. Buy them to take home where it’s easily double the price. Or head to the food court right beside the market and have the shrimp cooked the way you want for a small fee.
[Also check out Boracay's comfort food]
Oysters are perfection when baked, grilled, or fried, but there is absolutely no comparing it when it is eaten fresh. Unlike in restaurants where oysters are served on fancy plates, an order of oysters in Roxas city will give you a small basin full of the shellfish, without much fuss. Biting into the fresh oysters gives you a surprising burst of both salty and sweet flavors. Be sure to heed the locals’ warning before tucking into your oysters: don’t indulge in them on an empty stomach.
Photo by Nina Fuentes
This local kakanin is made of simple ingredients: malagkit (glutinous rice), coconut meat, and sugar. The rice is roasted twice, and ground to a fine powder. It is mixed with the other ingredients and pounded, using the traditional wooden mortar and pestle. The resulting mixture is divided and rolled into bite-sized pieces. Baye-baye is sweet, but not sickeningly so. It’s the perfect snack to munch on while touring the city.
Here’s your chance to find out of native chickens are more flavorful than the commercially raised chickens that urban creatures are used to. You can try it in the small eateries or carinderia around the city. Try in a dish similar to tinola, cooked in broth and ubod ng saging (the tender flesh inside the trunk of a banana tree) or binakol sa pasok (the chicken cooked whole inside bamboo).
Though not a local chain, Ramboy’s is fast becoming a favorite among the locals. From neighboring city Kalibo, in the province of Aklan, Ramboy’s specializes in lechon manok and liempo. For hearty appetites and no concerns about cholesterol, order the liempo and you will be greeted with a generous serving of pork belly, glistening in oils and juices. Each bite will leave you groaning in ecstasy and reaching for the next piece of heaven.
[Also check out our itinerary for your Sagada Food Trip]Marc’s Barbecue
Definitely homegrown, Marc’s Barbecue has been an institution in Roxas City since 1969. Now housed in Bitoy’s Balay Barbekyuhan along Baybay beach, this is an ideal go-to place when you’ve grown hungry after activities down by the water. Take a breather and bite into tender pieces of pork on a stick, with a flavor that’s very distinctly Pinoy (read: it’s very sweet).
Don’t leave Roxas City without having a taste of the pastries at Mamaita’s Café. While the café has a multitude of sweet offerings, it’s the small tarts called the pastelitos de mangga that keep people coming back or ordering for more. An heirloom recipe that has gone down four generations, the pastelitas are small bite-sized tarts with a crumbly shell and a sliver of mango preserve in each.