Upon completing the diving program, tourists often ask a legitimate question: where can one find delicious food and where to go for further entertainment?

After all, we travel to a country not only to dive but also, of course, to savor the local cuisine and explore attractions.

While the Philippines may not be as diverse culinarily as, say, Thailand, there are still delightful and enjoyable places to be discovered.
The first thing worth trying in the Philippines is Lapu-Lapu – small groupers grilled to perfection. There are numerous recipes for preparing this fish, but all of them are consistently delicious.

Lapu-Lapu can be grilled with garlic, baked in a foil packet with vegetables, but in my opinion, the most flavorful option is grilled grouper with a sweet and sour tomato sauce. Chinese food enthusiasts, who appreciate a good meal, specifically travel here to try this dish. I highly recommend experiencing this culinary delight.

You can order Lapu-Lapu at almost any restaurant in Alona, but it's advisable to go there quite early, as this fish is quickly sold out. It's best to order the fish between 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM because it might be unavailable later. The price of the dish depends on the weight of the fish and ranges from 1000 to 2000 pesos.


Another dish in the Philippines that I recommend trying is Beef Soup or Bulalo. Despite its simplicity, this dish is incredibly flavorful. It is slow-cooked for 5-7 hours and served with boiled vegetables and a large piece of bone-in meat.

This dish is especially good for those who may have had a bit too much to drink the night before. The price per serving usually ranges from 50 to 80 pesos.
The third dish that we highly recommend trying is scallops. If you are a fan of seafood, you will enjoy this dish. Scallops are usually grilled in the shell.

Prices for scallops can vary, but overall, they are not too expensive.
In restaurants on Alona, you will also find other seafood options such as shrimp, lobster, clams, squid, and various types of fish. They are all laid out on ice, waiting for your selection. Cooking methods vary, but grilling, stewing, and boiling are commonly used. One of the highly recommended dishes is stuffed squid. If you enjoy exotic dishes, you might want to try sea urchin roe, but keep in mind that this dish may not be suitable for everyone.

When choosing shellfish, pay attention to the smell. If the sea scent is mixed with other aromas, it may indicate that the product is not fresh. For fish, the gills should be bright, intense red, and the eyes should be clear without cloudiness.

However, it's important to understand that Alona experiences high restaurant traffic, and, as is common in resorts worldwide, there may be instances of "second freshness" with some products.
Let's talk about hidden and delicious gems on the island. I choose restaurants based on my personal food experiences, and I'd like to share my discoveries with you. While tastes, of course, vary from person to person, I'm confident that you'll enjoy these recommendations.

On Panglao and Bohol, there are numerous places where you can eat well and enjoy quality cuisine. I can't list them all, but these restaurants are a good starting point for your gastronomic tour.
The family restaurant "Odessa" offers an extensive menu of grilled seafood.
The first place I'd like to recommend is located at the Odessa Hotel, not far from our dive center. Here, you can enjoy excellently prepared fresh seafood.

I recommend trying all the dishes, but especially the marlin and tuna steaks – the best I've ever had. The scallops are also noteworthy – after trying them here, I started cooking them at home, and my son eats 3-4 servings. Additionally, be sure to try the grilled shrimp.

However, if you're in a hurry, this may not be the place for you. The service is somewhat slow, with much of the time spent on conversation and savoring the food. It's a family restaurant where the same person plays the roles of waiter and chef. The ginger root infusion here is also simply amazing.

The price for lunch/dinner ranges from $30 to $50.
Great Italian cuisine in the authentic restaurant "Vanilla Sky."
And, of course, I cannot fail to mention the Italian restaurant Vanilla Sky, the best on the island. Here, you can enjoy exquisite pizzas with homemade cheese, meat simmered in wine, and other dishes that are simply impossible not to love.

The desserts here will also not leave you indifferent. And having a cup of delicious freshly brewed coffee in the morning is pure delight.

The restaurant is located beside our dive center, and the prices here are quite affordable - ranging from 2 to 10 dollars.
"Molly Bistro" - an atmospheric place in Panglao
Molly Bistro is a highly authentic place that offers dishes featuring seafood, chicken, pork, and beef.

Everything is delicious, but the prices are slightly above average, ranging from 10 to 50 dollars per dish.
For enthusiasts of Korean cuisine - "Kuya Restaurant"
Kuya Restaurant, which translates from Tagalog as "older brother," specializes in Korean barbecue.

Here, you will be served with a gas stove, a special skillet, and plenty of thinly sliced pork and beef, along with various side dishes. You'll grill the meat on the skillet yourself, just the way you like it. The process is engaging and a lot of fun, especially for a group.

For two hours, the amount of meat and side dishes is unlimited, and the cost is only $10 per person.

Currently, there are many Korean restaurants with barbecue setups on Panglao, typically offering pork and beef with dressings, and sometimes even seafood. If you're interested in this type of format - up to 2 hours of unlimited meat and side dishes for a fixed fee per person - you can look for these establishments using the keyword: Samgyupsal.
One of the most popular Asian cuisine spots in Panglao - "BARWOO"
BARWOO Restaurant offers exquisite Korean cuisine, ranging from shrimp spaghetti in creamy sauce to the island's truly best barbecue pork ribs.

The restaurant is highly popular, and often, you may need to wait in line to get in. Prices range from $7 to $15.

When it comes to children and the spiciness of Filipino cuisine, almost every restaurant has a children's menu. If not, there are regular kid-friendly options like pasta or chicken.

Filipino cuisine is generally not very spicy, which might come as a surprise to some.
However, if you enjoy some heat, almost everywhere will offer a small chili on the side to add some spice to your dish.

Nick Zotov
Always happy to show you the best places in Panglao and Bohol!