Ilocos sits in the northwestern part of the Philippines and is said to have one of the country’s strong culinary traditions. Ilocos, located at the northern tip of the Philippines is bordered by the China Sea. It is home to many World Heritage Unesco sites as well as several National Historic Landmarks. Ilocos food is surprising, delicious and exotic all at the same time. You will surely love the food apart from the accommodating Ilocanos.”

I know everyone is excited about this and I am too. I am enlisting here the top favorite and authentic Ilocos food. I am so greateful to present to you the dishes that I am always craving for since I migrated in Italy. So let us get started. ☺️☺️☺️


1. Longganisa– Vigan Food Speciality
Vigan longganisa, also known as the Ilocano longganisa, is a Filipino pork sausage originating from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. It is a type of de recado longganisa. This has been the favprite longanisa of Filipinos. Vigan longanisa is an Ilocano sausage delicacy with plenty of garlic and spices in the mixture. The way to describe its taste is, it is spicy, salty, tangy and garlicky. So if you are used to the taste of sweet meat like a traditional longganisa, then you might think twice before cooking this sausage. To make this sausage more authentic, use Iocos' vinegar or native vinegar. But if there is none available, using cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar will suffice. To make your breakfast delightful, you can serve this with fried rice and fried egg.

Courtesy Flickr/ lethologically

2. Bagnet– Deep Fried Crispy Pork Cracklings
"Diet no more." That is what I always say to myself whenever I eat this bagnet- deep fried pork. The Ilocano Bagnet is also known as Chicharon Baboy or deep-fried pork meat. It is pork belly deep-fried in its own fat. Once fried, it is air dried up to drain the fat. The process is repeated over and over until the pork reached is maximum crispiness. I love it! I can eat this from breakfast, lunch up to dinner. Yes! This crunchy fried pork is very famous in the Philippines.

Courtesy Flickr/ NCCA Official

3. Pinakbet– Famous Mixed Vegetable Ilocos Food
Pakbet Ilocano or pinakbet is a popular vegetable dish that originated from one of the northern provinces of the Philippines, Ilocos. Pinakbet is a very healthy stew of vegetables and pork. And Ilocanos have adapted a way of cooking it by layering the vegetables in the pot. This dish is all time favorite. You will never complete your Ilocos jouney without giving a shot on this dish. Pakbet is cooked in a clay pot called “Palayok” and Anchovy sauce (bagoong isda) is used to add flavor. Pakbet is a dish that is really worth trying. By the way, having an extra cups of rice around might help. MAybe extra 1 cup or 2 cups? hahahaha

Courtesy Facebook/ Lutong Bahay Recipe

4. Okoy- Shrimp Fritters from Vigan, Philippines
These delicious treats are crispy shrimp fritters cooked in their shell in a glutinous rice batter and shaped into a round form. These fritters are garnished with fresh shallots and a mix of garlic and chili peppers. The unique flavors come to life when dipped in an Ilocos style vinegar called sukang Iloco. The first time I tasted this is when I studied in University in Vigan City. Just right infront of Plaza Burgos in Vigan, there are vendors of food including ukoy. You'll love it!

Courtesy Pinterest/ Filipino Foods & Recipes

5. Batac Empanadas – Sunning Orange Empanadas
Batac is the oldest town in the Province of Ilocos Norte and was founded in 1587 by the Augustinians. The city is famous for the Batac Empanadas which are considered some of the best in the country. There is even an Empanada festival that takes place every year on the 23rd of June. One of the most striking characteristics of the Batac empanada is its bright orange color. The empanadas are deep-fried and stuffed with green papaya, chopped up longganisa sausages and hard-boiled eggs. The orange-colored dough is made of rice flour and the color comes from the use of annatto seeds. Annatto is popular in South America and is used as a dye, medicine, and as an ingredient in many foods. It is a natural food coloring and makes for a fun eating experience. Just imagine your pizza flipped together from edge to edge. Vigan has version of this dish but if I am to compare the two, I would go definitelly eat the original one- Batac Empanada. That is empanada! mmmmm yummy!

Courtesy Pinterest/ Filipino Recipes Portal

Enjoy your food and don't forget to share!!!