14 Best Pampanga Restaurants: Culinary Capital of the Philippines

14 Best Pampanga Restaurants: Culinary Capital of the Philippines

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Pampanga restaurants: Abe's Farm and Apag Marangle

The province of Pampanga, located north of Manila around 80KM away, is known as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. It's home to some of the best and award-winning Filipino chefs. The province is also known for Kapampangan food and delicacies  like sisig (chopped pig’s face), morcon (braised meat roll), and tibuk-tibuk (dessert pudding made with carabao’s milk). With so much Filipino food to explore, it’s no wonder Pampanga is one of the top food tour destinations in the Philippines.

Pampanga is also blessed with a rich heritage and stunning nature sights. Top tourist spots in Pampanga include Mt. Arayat day hike, SandBox Pampanga, nearby Mt. Pinatubo, and its many festivals, including the Giant Lantern Festival.

With many Pampanga restaurants to choose from, it may seem overwhelming to choose where to eat in Pampanga when you’re planning your Pampanga food trip. To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the best restaurants in Pampanga and the delicious Pampanga cuisine and Pampanga delicacies that you can try when doing Pampanga tours



14. Aling Lucing Sisig 

Aling Lucing Sisig

Aling Lucing Sisig is not only one of the best restaurants in Angeles, Pampanga, but it also serves arguably some of the best sisig in Pampanga. In fact, the sisig that most Filipinos are familiar with, which uses grilled and chopped pork face as its main ingredient, was created by Lucia Cunanan, also known as Aling Lucing. Many people, including the late chef Anthony Bourdain, like to pair Aling Lucing Sisig with a few bottles of beer.

Aling Lucing Sisig interior

Apart from the sisig, the restaurant is also known for other affordable dishes like liempo (pork belly), tokwa’t baboy (fried tofu and pork), and other grilled food. The food is the star of this restaurant, so don’t expect too much when it comes to its interiors, as it is mostly simple. The restaurant has other branches in Pampanga and other parts of the Philippines, but if you want to visit the main restaurant, head to Glaciano Valdez Street in Angeles.

13. Apag Marangle 

Apag Marangle floating cottages

Apag Marangle has several branches in Pampanga and outside of the province, and the original restaurant in Bacolor is the place to go to if you’re looking for a floating restaurant in Pampanga. It’s not literally floating on water, but the restaurant sits on stilts in the middle of a man-made lake that also doubles as a fish pond. The restaurant also has its own farm where they source some of its ingredients.

Apag Marangle food baskets

In Kapampangan, Apag Marangle literally means to serve food in the field, and with authentic Kapampangan dishes like sisig, betute (stuffed deep-fried frog), and suam na mais (soup with corn, vegetables, and meat) cooked fresh, dining in the restaurant definitely feels like having a meal in a Pampanga farm. 

The restaurant also serves other Filipino cuisine staples like tinolang manok (chicken soup dish), relyenong bangus (stuffed milkfish), and pakbet (vegetable dish). They also have vegetarian options like ensaladang mangga (green mango salad) and ensaladang pako (fiddlehead fern salad).

12. Binulo Restaurant

One of the best restaurants in Clark Pampanga is Binulo Restaurant, which is located along the Manuel A. Roxas Highway. Apart from serving Kapampangan and Filipino dishes like sisig, kare-kare (oxtail and tripe stew in peanut sauce), lechon kawali (crispy deep fried pork), chicharon bulaklak (deep fried pork intestine), pako salad, and tibuk-tibuk (pudding dessert), Binulo also offers grilled U.S. steaks like t-bone and porterhouse steaks, so you can enjoy different cuisines in one meal. 

Compared to other restaurants in Pampanga, the ambiance and interiors of Binulo Restaurant, while still traditional and Filipino, is a bit more upscale, and this is also reflected in the prices of their dishes served, so remember to bring enough cash when dining here. 

If you want to take home Filipino snacks, you can also stop by their pasalubong shop, where you can buy delicacies like lengua de gato (butter cookies) and mamon (sponge cake). 

11. Bale Capampangan

Bale Capampangan buffet

If you’re looking for a restaurant in San Fernando Pampanga that serves authentic Kapampangan cuisine, you should consider Bale Capampangan. While you can order some of their best-selling food like sisig, lechon kawali, and sizzling chicken for take-out, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you take advantage of their eat-all-you-can buffet promo.

For its price, Bale Capampangan can be considered the best buffet restaurant in Pampanga. Here you can enjoy unlimited servings of kare-kare, adobong balut (fertilized bird egg), lenguang baka (beef lengua), halo-halo (shaved ice dessert), and baked kamote (sweet potato).

Bale Capampangan

The more-than-a-decade old family restaurant also features interior and decor that uniquely Kapampangan, with artwork that shows visitors a glimpse of Kapampangan history and culture. 

If you’re bringing a car or plan to dine with a big group, arrive well before your planned eating time as the restaurant’s popularity means it is usually packed with people. Expect to wait a bit before you find a parking spot nearby and are seated. 

10. Downtown Café 1956

Downtown Cafe

Downtown Café 1956 in Angeles is the more casual sister of another restaurant on this list, Bale Dutung. The café aims to transport diners back to the 1950s, what the owners consider “the good old days.” Although the café interiors can remind you of an American diner (complete with a jukebox), the food served here is distinctly Kapampangan and Filipino.

Downtown Cafe interior

For breakfast, you can try pindang damulag or house-cured carabao meat flakes. For a hearty lunch or dinner, you can try the sisig, caldereta (beef tomato stew), kare-kare, or asadong matua (chicken in tomato stew). Those with a sweet tooth will love the tibuk-tibuk and the leche flan cheesecake.

9.  Matam-ih Authentic Kapampangan Cuisine

Matam-ih food

Many people looking for a Kapampangan restaurant in Pampanga find themselves in Matam-ih Authentic Kapampangan Cuisine. Their menu is extensive, and it may be good for visitors to research what they want to order in advance as the number of options can be overwhelming.

The menu also lists the Kapampangan names of the dishes but with English translations so guests can learn a bit of the language. Must-tries include the ensaladang pako, sisig, binagoongang baboy, and chicharon bulaklak.

Matam-ih interior

While the food served here is affordable and delicious, another noteworthy part of the restaurant is its service. The attendants here are members of Aeta and Abelling indigenous people who are always happy to take your orders, serve your food, and provide you with some entertainment. Fun fact: matam-ih means delicious in the Aeta language.

8. Abe's Farm 

Abe's farm food

Abe’s Farm is a destination in itself. Located in the foothills of Mt. Arayat in Mabalacat, Pampanga, the farm offers guests accommodations and spa treatments in the middle of a lush forest. Visitors can also learn about the life and work of artist and writer Emilio "Abe" Aguilar Cruz in the museum.

Abe's farm interior

The farm’s restaurant serves Kapampangan food, and some of their best sellers include the adobong kamaru (mole cricket), paco fern and tomato salad, sinigang na bangus sa bayabas (sour soup), inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly), spicy sizzling sisig Pampanga, and betute (stuffed frog).

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, Abe’s Farm can help you make it a memorable one.  A special menu may be prepared for large groups (just remember to let the staff know in advance!) and special events may be held at the farm’s spacious lawn.

7. Piccolo Padre 

Piccolo Padre

Those who want to have a nice meal in one of the fine dining restaurants in Pampanga should try Piccolo Padre in Angeles. Located in Prime Asia Hotel, the restaurant is known for its fresh seafood, as well as its pasta, risottos, and steaks. If you’re feeling indulgent, order the Wagyu steaks, the seared tuna, the Maine lobster tails, or the saffron risotto for a truly unforgettable meal. Cap it off with a serving of crème brûlée or tiramisu.

Piccolo Padre interior

Because of its elegant atmosphere, this restaurant is best reserved for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and proposals. Since it is a fine dining restaurant, don’t expect cheap food prices here, but the sophisticated ambiance, excellent service, and scrumptious dishes will definitely make your total bill worth it. 

6. 25 Seeds

25 seeds food

Housed inside a 1920s mansion in Angeles City, 25 Seeds is a farm-to-table restaurant by celebrated Filipino chef Sau Del Rosario. The interiors have been renovated to give it a homey and inviting feel, and the small garden on the property where some of the ingredients are sourced adds to the charm of the place.

25 seeds interior

The food servings here are good for sharing, so it’s best to visit with a big group so you can try the different dishes on offer. If you’re not sure what to get, you can try the tamales Pampaguena (tamales which feature a local and modern twist), wild pacu salad, sisig paella, and rellenong bangus. 

5. Café Fleur by Chef Sau del Rosario 

Cafe Fleur food

Those who want to try different cuisines should visit Café Fleur by Chef Sau del Rosario in Angeles, Pampanga. Inside the ancestral house in Angeles, Pampanga are three concept restaurants. The ground floor hosts the café which serves snacks and desserts inspired by Chef Sau’s travels. On the same level is Leh-Leh, a restaurant that serves Thai food. You’ll find Bâbo, the Kapampangan restaurant, on the second floor

Cafe Fleur exterior

All three dining places have the same menu, so you don’t need to worry about moving from one area to another to try everything on offer. Must-tries include the tamales Pampanguena, pad thai, sisig, crispy pork belly and truffled macadamia kare-kare, and the bibingka (native rice cake) cheesecake. Don’t forget to make a reservation before heading here, as it is usually packed with many diners.

4. SOUQ Pampanga

SOUQ Pampanga food

Inspired by souqs or marketplace in Dubai, SOUQ Pampanga's interiors will instantly transport you to the Middle East. Don’t be fooled by its looks, though. SOUQ Pampanga serves Kapampangan and Filipino dishes with a modern twist, like their crispy pancit Tagalog with lechon kawali, crispy pork kare-kare, beef brisket kaldereta, and buko pie. They also serve international dishes, so those traveling in a large group will find it easy to find a dish to match everyone’s preferences.

SOUQ Pampanga interior

When visiting SOUQ Pampanga, guests should also pay attention to the furniture, as it also serves as the showroom of More Than a Chair, a furniture shop in Pampanga. If you like the chair you’re sitting on during your visit, there’s a chance that you might be able to buy it. Of course, each piece of furniture guests buy is taken back to the shop for refinishing so you can add it to your home good as new.

3. Rainforest Kichene by Chef Vince Garcia

Rainforest Kichene

If you find yourself in San Fernando, Pampanga, do yourself a favor and drop by Rainforest Kichene for lunch or dinner. The farm-to-table restaurant is known for its mix of international flavors that are perfect for small celebrations. In fact, the restaurant has three dining areas, all of which can be used for private gatherings.

Rainforest Kichene

The food here looks as good as it tastes as each dish is plated elegantly. You can choose from four different types of paella (including a vegetarian option) and five different cuts of USDA-certified Angus steak if you want a hearty and rich meal. Other options include smoked Spain baby back ribs, Mediterranean lamb shank, seafood alfredo, and Japanese wild mushroom soup. Cap off your meal with a serving of tiramisu or blueberry cheesecake.

2. Denlim’s Kitchen 

Denlim's Kitchen

Those who want to try the food at this much sought-after private dining space in San Fernando, Pampanga may have to plan their visit weeks or months in advance as it sometimes takes that long to get a reservation. It’s not only locals who you’ll find on Denlim’s Kitchen’s waitlist, but even those from outside the province who are willing to travel for hours by road just to have a meal here.

Denlim's Kitchen

The place itself is simple but quirky, as it literally looks like a kitchen with a dining area. But the food served here is remarkable in terms of flavor, plating, and innovation.

Denlim's Kitchen

Dennis Lim, the owner and chef, actually prepares the food in front of the guests as he explains each dish. Some of the dishes that guests have enjoyed are the summer salad, sisig spaghetti, shrimp with truffle cream, and liempo sa pugon wrap.

1. Bale Dutung 

Bale Dutung

For the best food in Pampanga, reserve a table at Bale Dutung in Angeles, Pampanga. Dishes are created by Chef Claude Tayag and are categorized in different degustation menus, including one that was created in honor of the late chef Anthony Bourdain, who once visited Bale Dutung and featured it in his show.

The Anthony Bourdain menu includes the ensaladang pako, lechon tortilla, sisig babi, and tibuk-tibuk. There is also the Kapampangan menu, which has the inasal na manok at Claude 9 talangka rice, adobong pugo, and kare-kareng laman dagat. Since the menus include several courses, it is best enjoyed with a large group.

As it is a private dining space, all guests must reserve a table in advance. This also ensures the freshness of your food. Guests will also have a feast for the eyes, as the property is lush with greenery, and the indoor dining spaces are filled with artwork and antiques.  

Taste the Best Kapampangan Cuisine at These Top Pampanga Restaurants

Downtown Cafe

Filipino cuisine is a mix of different flavors and Kapampangan food is a good introduction to all of that. Even if you’ve visited all the famous restaurants in Pampanga from this list, you won’t run out of other options. From Susie’s Cuisine, Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy, and the Original Razon’s, the restaurants in the province not only offer native delicacies in Pampanga, but they also provide you with the energy you need when exploring Pampanga tourist spots.

Kapampangan food is only one of the reasons why you should visit the Philippines. If you are planning your vacation in the Philippines, check out our all inclusive vacation packages and vacation packages for couples for a more comfortable and hassle-free trip.

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