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Lakbay Norte 9: Where to Eat in La Union and Pangasinan

Kabaleyan Eatery Pangasinan Cuisine

Where to Eat in La Union and Pangasinan

Lakbay Norte is all about discovering the hidden gems of Northern Luzon, and as with all Filipino outings, it involves a lot of food! Here are some of the places we enjoyed during our 5-day trip.

Where to eat in La Union

Kambak Resto and Grill

Kambak Restaurant
Kambak Restaurant

Address: Namboongan Barangay Road, Santo Tomas, 2505 La Union

Kambak is a play on the English word “come back” and a portmanteau of the Filipino words for goat (kambing) and cow (baka). They specialize in beef and goat dishes, and they do it perfectly, as evidenced by the steady stream of locals dropping by for lunch.

Kinigtot, pinakbet, and bulalo, with guava juice from Locally
Kinigtot, pinakbet, and bulalo, with guava juice from Locally

You have to order their kinigtot, their take on the Ilokano dish, papaitan. It’s made with very fresh beef, cooked with onions and bile. It doesn’t sound appetizing when described, but it has a rich flavor reminiscent to bistek and pairs wonderfully with rice. Do also try their pinakbet, bulalo, and grilled hito (catfish).

Uvas Cafe / Lomboy Farm

Address: 68 MacArthur Highway, Bauang, La Union

Tropical fruit wines paired with cheese, crackers, and nuts
Tropical fruit wines paired with cheese, crackers, and nuts

There’s no better way to savor and sample wines than to spend it looking at the vineyard while nibbling treats from on an artfully plated charcuterie board. Uvas Cafe offers both red and white wines made from the harvest of their vineyards, as well as tropical fruit wines like guapple (a hybrid fruit of large guava and apple), duhat (java plum), pitaya (dragon fruit), and wild blackberry. They also have a small souvenir section, where you can buy wines to take home, as well as jellies, jams, and products made of inabel (local Iloko weaved fabric).

Kahuna Resort

Address: National Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, 2514 La Union

Our lovely beach dinner set up at Kahuna Resort
Our lovely beach dinner set up at Kahuna Resort

Kahuna Resort is right on the beach and we were treated to a dinner on the shore hosted by the DOT Region 1. It was a lovely dinner under the stars, with the sand ticking our feet and the sound of the gently lapping waves. We had squash soup, baked macaroni, breaded fish fillets, roast chicken, pork steak, and steamed vegetables.

Little Surfmaid Resort

Address: National Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, 2514 La Union

Lechon kawali and seafood medley
Lechon kawali and seafood medley

Also on the beachfront of La Union, Little Surfmaid has its restaurant facing the sea as well. Little Surfmaid Resort was the venue for the surfing competition of the 2019 SEA Games. It’s near the Mona Lisa Point, where there is deeper water and higher waves.

They offer delicious local fare like crispy pata, grilled fish, pinakbet, lechon kawali, and seafood medley. You can enjoy these yummy dishes while enjoying the fresh sea breeze and watching jaw-dropping surfing videos on their TV.

Ciano Umok

Address: Palugsi-Limmansangan, Bauang, La Union

Ciano Umok's unbelievably sumptuous halo-halo
Ciano Umok’s unbelievably sumptuous halo-halo

This gallery cafe offers not just inspiring artworks from local artists, but also very inspiring “ice cream” halo-halo. It’s a one-of-a-kind take on the local treat, that you must try if you ever find yourself in La Union. The creamy ice treat is unlike any halo-halo you’ve ever tasted. It’s very rich tasting, without being cloyingly sweet.

Where to eat in Pangasinan

Kabaleyan Eatery

Kabaleyan Eatery Pangasinan Cuisine
Kabaleyan Eatery Pangasinan Cuisine

Address: Old Devenecia Highway, Dagupan, Pangasinan

If you want to try authentic Pangasinense cuisine with a modern twist, try out Kabaleyan Eatery. Chef Ruben Ignacio gives you the true blue Pangasinan experience when eating his culinary creations. You can try their pigar-pigar, pinakbet, tempura squash blossom, bagoong roasted chicken, sizzling balut, champorado cooked in bamboo, and sizzling patupat ala mode.

Lingayen Cafes and Restaurants

Our Pangasinan itinerary was so packed, so the local government of Lingayen hosted a lunch for our group, catered by different purveyors, restaurants, and cafes in Lingayen. The lunch highlights the different cuisine and specialties of each and shows us that there is a great variety of food to enjoy in the town.

Lingayen Lechon Bagoong
Lingayen Lechon Bagoong

Papa Dong’s Restaurant showcased their seafood paella, baked lukan (a shellfish only found in Pangasinan), and of course, their baked bangus. Jas Thai-Fil Fastfood introduced some Thai flavors with their tom yum soup, chicken satay, and pad thai. B&T Restaurant offered Pinoy favorites with a Pangasinan twist, like lumpiag shanghai with alamang and seafood crispy pancit. Chatanoga Grill and Restaurant served some true blue Ilokano pinakbet with grilled tuna panga. Cafe Sentiments have some eclectic selections with their bagoong pizza, kare-kareng mermaid, and tamarind juice. Che-Tsarap Sisig House and Grill Restaurant brought some really amazing Lingayen bagoong longganisa, which comes in both skinless and with skin versions, as well as packets of Lingayen tulapo. Antoninos Cafe brought refreshments like Italian soda and brewed coffee, as well as blueberry cheesecake for dessert. The star of the lunch was Mang Emil’s Original lechon bagoong.

Prima Vista

Address: Alaminos – Bani Rd, Bani, Pangasinan

Prima Vista Rolled palitaw with yema inside
Prima Vista Rolled palitaw with yema inside

The town of Bani is known for their watermelon, and we arrived on the last day of the Pakwan festival. We capped the evening with a dinner infused with watermelon at Prima Vista Restaurant. We had dinuguan with pakwan, Fish fillet, a vegetable dish called baridibud, tinolang manok with pakwan, balbalolang, ar-arusep, pechay salad, pakwan gulaman, and yema palitaw.

Lakbay Norte is an annual media familiarization tour made possible by the NLEX Corporation in cooperation with the North Philippines Visitors Bureau and sponsored by the Department of Tourism – Region 1, Victory Liner, Belo Medical Group, PTT Corporation, Café Amazon, UNILAB, Locally, and Klean Kanteen.

Watch: NLEX Lakbay Norte 9: Best Things to do in La Union, Philippines

Searching for the best hotels and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Pangasinan and La Union? Please follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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Written by Nina Fuentes

Nina Fuentes splits her time between Manila and Bulusan, Sorsogon in the Philippines. She is one of the pioneering female travel bloggers in the country and her blog, Just Wandering, has been recognized as the Best Travel Blog at the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and at the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards. She has recently started Just Wandering Tours, offering customized tours of Bulusan and the province of Sorsogon and offers a unique stay experience in her rustic hut on Airbnb.

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