Whether you’re out and about enjoying the many natural wonders that can be found in Bohol Island, or spending a day lounging about on the fine white sand of Alona Beach, one thing’s for certain: everyone’s got to eat. Thanks to a thriving tourist economy and a ton of creativity from local entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, Bohol Island is home to some incredible cuisine.
Restaurants in Bohol span a variety of different foods, from traditional Filipino cuisine, to European and Asian fusion, to farm-to-table food, and much more. You can find a meal to enjoy nearly anywhere in the province, whether you’re located in the heart of the capital in Tagbilaran City on Bohol Island or based in the more laid-back, seaside atmosphere of Alona Beach in Panglao Island.
Food is an essential part of any vacation, and backpackers, families, and couples alike have something to look forward to during their trips to Bohol. Below are only a few of the dozens, if not hundreds of restaurants in Bohol Island and Panglao Island that rank among the best of the best when it comes to hearty, delicious cuisine.
Bohol Bee Farm
Take a quick trip over to Panglao Island to enjoy some of the best and freshest of what nature has to offer at Bohol Bee Farm. Located in the municipality of Dauis in Panglao Island, Bohol Bee Farm is actually a privately owned resort that boasts its own restaurant and organic farm. Just off the main highway in Panglao Island, it’s a little bit tricky to get to, but those who persevere are rewarded with some fantastic food and a lovely, rustic atmosphere.
This restaurant serves food that’s unique to Panglao Island, if not the whole province of Bohol. Thanks to its homegrown organic farm, the dishes prioritize freshness and health. Meals are served with nutritious red rice, and salads come with edible flowers that are sure to tickle the palate.
Their grilled fish is especially juicy, and the homemade squash bread is a delicious and filling delight. You can cleanse your palate with some of their carabao milk ice cream, which comes in fun new flavors like spicy ginger and durian. If you want a dining experience like no other, Panglao Island or otherwise, definitely give this one a try.
Panglao Island is home to incredible sights and sounds, but not many tourists know that it’s also one of the best places in the province to tickle your palate, as well. Chief among the many top tier restaurants in Panglao Island is Tarsier Paprika, which is located atop a cliff with an incredible view of the sea and Alona Beach. This one-of-a-kind view makes it a great location for romantic dinners, or classy family affairs.
Fantastic location aside, Tarsier Paprika is helmed by some of the best chefs in the province, and it shows. Making use of the fresh seafood that can so easily be found on Panglao Island, the restaurant serves up incredible dishes. You can start off your meal with their in-house smoked Kingifsh Carpaccio, and then move on to heavier fare like their Seafood a la Plancha and seafood curry. They also have a range of deserts that are sure to top off an already incredible meal, including lemon meringue tart and chocolate truffle cake.
The nightlife is one of the best parts about Panglao Island, and no nightlife is complete without some delicious food. Barwoo is one of the most popular watering holes on the island for a reason, and not least because of its delicious food. If you need somewhere where you can chill out and enjoy a good Asian fusion meal and a drink, then Barwoo is the place to be.
Their Chili Rose Prawn Pasta is a definite favorite, thanks to the creamy sauce paired with the spice and fresh prawns. There’s even heartier fare up for grabs with the Buta Mayo Don, which is a modern spin on a Japanese favorite. If you’re eating with a group, their Spare Ribs Platter is absolutely unmissable, and especially delicious when paired with their homemade cocktails and local Visayan brews.
Loboc River Floating Restaurant
Of course, no list of restaurants in Bohol Island is complete without the Loboc River Floating Restaurant. Unique to the waterways of Bohol Island, there’s nothing quite like the experience of floating down the river while enjoying good food and great music.
The Loboc River Cruise is a buffet lunch that serves mainly local fare, and is great value for money. Nowhere else in the world are you going to find an experience quite like this, so be sure to make the most of it on your trip. The dishes are made using fresh, local ingredients, and the combination of meal and experience is definitely not something you’re likely to forget any time soon.
Want a more relaxed dining experience in the heart of the capital of Bohol Island? Try Persona Mesa in Tagbilaran City. A pocket of minimalist yet rustic Asian cuisine in the heart of the province’s busiest city, Persona Mesa is home to some of the most satisfying food you’re likely to have on your trip to Bohol Island.
You can start off with their vegetarian friendly vegetable springrolls, which are made and served fresh every day. The rolls are usually topped with fresh prawn, but you can easily request for them to be set aside if you’re going for a no-meat day. Persona Mesa puts a delightful spin on traditional dishes like pork binagoongan, and even serves up regional favorites like beef rending. Be sure to try their fun Turon with a Twist for desert, which adds a not-so-typical artistic flair to the typical turon.
Want to indulge your sweet tooth, fully guilt-free? Try out Mosia Café in Tagbilaran City. One of the few artisan cafes on Bohol Island, Mosia Café advocates for responsible and sustainable lifestyles— both in and out of the restaurant. Because their aim is to reduce waste whenever possible, they keep their dessert batches small, which in turn keeps their menu fresh and exciting. Every time you visit, you’re sure to find something new.
If you need a quick bite, their classic chocolate cookie is definitely one for the books. You can also try their decadent brigadeiro cake if it’s on the menu, as it’s definitely a fan favorite. Feeling adventurous? Their hummingbird cake (a banana-pineapple spice cake) is sure to wow you, and you can enjoy your good food with the equally good feeling that you’re doing something to help the community. Proceeds from the café are used to help care for local animals, so one bite can make a big difference.
Laya Restaurant at The Peacock Garden
If you want a hotel type restaurant, then head on over to Baclayon’s Laya Restaurant to satisfy your cravings. Laya Restaurant has an East meets West concept that’s reflected in both their aesthetic and food, which definitely helps coax out an interesting dining experience. It’s also got a historical spin— named for the Filipino word for ‘freedom’, the interiors are filled with memorabilia of the country’s National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
The Filipino pride is evident in their vegetarian friendly gumamela tea, a homemade blend of hibiscus flowers, citrus, and honey that’s sure to become a fast favorite. You can hark back to Rizal’s time in Europe with their pork schnitzel Vienna style, which is the perfect blend of juicy meat and delicious spices. There’s even the opportunity to add your own spin to their dishes with the make your own pasta option, where you can pick from available pastas and sauces to make your perfect blend. Laya Restaurant is the perfect example of coming for the eclectic ambiance and staying for the delicious food.
James Gonzales is a Filipino-American travel enthusiast and writer currently based in the Philippines. After living and working in New York for 10 years, James decided he wanted to see more of the world and leave the city behind. In the course of saving up for what would become an epic trip across Asia, he wrote about previous traveling experiences for various travel websites and publications based in the Lower East Side.
James focused on journeying through the Philippines in the hopes of understanding his roots, and began Daydreaming in Paradise to share his thoughts and experiences. He’s always looking for like-minded travelers to trade stories and swap tips with, and he hopes you’ll join him on his journey.