Photo (left) by TNTS Boodle Fight & Seafood House
Bohol Island is a province situated at the center of the Visayas region that is flanked by Cebu Island on the east and Southern Leyte Island on the west. Bohol resorts are internationally recognized for their white powdery sand, pristine waters, and almost year-long summer weather. Its most famous tourist destination is Panglao Island, an islet located on the southwest tip of the main island that has a 54 km coastline. It is a well-known diving and snorkeling spot and is dotted with many Bohol beachfront resorts.
Bohol is known for natural attractions such as the Chocolate Hills, a collection of cone-shaped hills made of limestone, and the Tarsier Sanctuary, home of one of the smallest primates in the world. For those spending a few days or weeks in this tropical island, there's plenty of options on where to eat in Bohol. There are many Bohol restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines that range from local Filipino favorites, Italian dishes, and international fare.
Here are a few must-try Bohol restaurants that you should check out during your vacation in this tropical paradise in the Philippines:
Photo by Quinale Beach Bar
Located on a beachside property along Anda Beach, about 100KM from Tagbilaran City, Quinale Beach Bar stands on a coastline that boasts of some of the softest powder-like white sand in the region. Coupled with crystal clear blue waters and beautiful sunset scenery, it's a great place to enjoy tropical island living at its finest.
The beach bar serves no-frills local dishes that include fresh seafood, rice pairings, soups, and cocktails. The budget-friendly menu includes breakfast standards such as ‘bangsilog’ (milkfish and egg with fried rice) and ‘tocilog’ (sweet cured pork with egg and fried rice) that come with complimentary coffee, while local coolers such as local beer, fruit shakes, and halo-halo (a Filipino dessert of mixed local sweets topped with shaved ice and evaporated milk) are perfect for warding off the tropical heat.
Serving Asian fusion dishes along with breakfast meals and seafood favorites, Prawn Farm Restaurant can be found inside Island City Mall and other locations in Tagbilaran City. It is a popular local restaurant where families get together during the weekend to enjoy the extensive lunch and dinner buffet spread served in a comfortable, spacious, air-conditioned restaurant styled with modern interiors.
They offer a large selection of seafood dishes that include fish, shrimp, and squid that are typically grilled fresh, while the main course includes decadent Filipino standards like sizzling bulalo (beef shank soup) and kare-kare (meat stewed in peanut sauce). Other selections include appetizers, soup, noodles, vegetables, desserts, and delicious beverages.
Photo by TNTS Boodle Fight & Seafood House
TNTS stands for “Too Nice to Slice Cake”, and while this restaurant began as a bakery and cake shop, TNTS Boodle Fight & Seafood House is also famous for their budget-friendly “boodle fight” menu where various types of food are placed on top of banana leaves covering the table, large enough to serve as much as 10 or more people. Those who participate in a “boodle fight” typically eat with their hands and enjoy the lively company of friends and family over a communal meal.
Located at the corner of VP Inting avenue and Dauis Junction in Tagbilaran City, this no-frills restaurant serves Filipino cuisine, fresh seafood, and refreshing beverages in a casual setting. At the front, you’ll find the cake shop, the perfect place to have a dessert after a satisfying meal.
Photo by Chicken Ati-Atihan
Located in Ma. Clara St. Tagbilaran City, this restaurant’s house specialty is the Chicken Ati-Atihan, a grilled chicken barbecue dish marinated in a mixture of special local spices that is served with a tangy side dish called atchara (pickled unripe papaya) paired with unlimited rice. It was named after the Ati-Atihan, one of the best Philippine festivals that celebrate the indigenous people of Kalibo, Aklan called “Ati”. This chicken dish is widely regarded to be the best in Bohol and is frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Other local dishes served at Sinugba (grilled) ni Abdul Chicken Ati-Atihan include soup, seafood, pork, and beef Filipino favorites, vegetables, a wide selection of beverages, and desserts.
Photo by Barwoo
Barwoo is a tropical Asian bistro that serves Korean cuisine with a twist. Located in Alona Beach in Panglao, their specialties include fusion dishes such as the Spare Ribs Platter, a dish marinated in homemade barbecue sauce and served with a side of fries and salad, and the Jjambong Pasta, a spicy seafood noodle soup served Korean style. Those who prefer less spicy options should try the Mango Wings or the Honey Garlic Butter Prawn, both of which are best eaten with Seafood Fried Rice.
Photo by Barwoo
This bistro has an extensive beverage selection, with refreshing shakes, tropical juices, cocktails, and alcoholic drinks that include rum, whisky, beer, and wine, with imported and local options available. The servings are typically large and meant to be shared with a group.
This well-appointed restaurant is located along Panglao Coastal Road, Tawala, and is one of a few places in Bohol that serves authentic family-style Italian recipes. Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast is helmed by Chef Giuseppe Genco, from whom the restaurant is named. This Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast offers typical Italian fare that are well-loved by the Filipino palate. With local favorites like Carbonara, Bolognese, and Lasagna, they also have an extensive antipasti menu along with a wide selection of pizza flavors for cheese lovers, meat-eaters, and seafood enthusiasts.
Food is served in a modern building with glass walls and an enticing open-style kitchen inside. Their wine selection is substantial, and a glass or two are perfectly paired with the pasta dishes. An al-fresco dining area is available for those who prefer dining whilst surrounded by greenery, while a shed and large umbrellas ensure guests are safe from the heat of the sun.
For non-meat eaters exploring Panglao Island, Bohol, you should check out Luna Rossa Vegetarian Italian Restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant that serves a variety of Italian dishes in an al fresco setting. It is one of a few of its kind in the area that offers a delicious meatless alternative to the usual Italian fare.
Their Spring Lasagna is made of homemade pasta sheets filled with pumpkin, mushroom, and eggplant instead of ground beef, while two tomato-based pasta dishes such as Pasta Norma and Spaghetti Soy Meat use a combination of eggplants, carrots, celery, and onions. Aside from the delicious Italian dishes, they also serve desserts as well as a wide selection of wines to complement their main courses.
Photo by Coco Loco
Located in Población, Anda, just a few meters away from Quinale Beach, Coco Loco is a family-owned cafe/restaurant that is known for its house specialty, the coco burger, a beef alternative that uses a burger patty made of grated coconuts that is said to taste just like meat. Its rustic interiors and wooden accents blend seamlessly into the surrounding tropical island atmosphere, while its vegan selections give non-meat eaters more options to dine with their meat-eating companions while exploring Bohol.
Other must-try dishes include the hummus and veggie burgers, while non-plant food meals like pork barbecue ribs and chicken couscous are also local favorites. They offer homemade ice cream, with the chili flavor coming in highly recommended by regulars. Drinks include refreshing shakes, juices, iced tea, and Coco Loco cocktails, as well as craft beers.
This Tagbilaran City restaurant has spawned many branches throughout Bohol, a testament to its immense popularity among its local clientele. Payag serves familiar Filipino cuisine and comfort food that extends to their laid-back Filipiniana-inspired interiors and wooden furnishings, complete with capiz shell windows and kitschy chicken decorations that can be found throughout the restaurant.
Payag has an extensive Filipino menu that includes seafood dishes, main courses with a choice of pork, chicken, or beef, noodles, beverages, and desserts. They specialize in grilled pork or chicken dishes paired with rice plus tangy atchara (pickled unripe papaya) and sauce on the side, while other favorites include binakhaw (fish ceviche), sisig (a stir-fried or sizzling dish made of pig’s face), sizzling beef steak, and sinuglaw (combined grilled pork belly and fish ceviche), and halo-halo (a dessert of mixed local sweets topped with shaved ice and evaporated milk) served in a freshly opened coconut husk.
Photo by Buzzz Cafe
As one of Bohol Bee Farm’s in-house dining options, Buzzz Cafe is a beachfront spot that is the ideal place to hang out and cool off with a glass of halo-halo (a dessert of mixed local sweets topped with shaved ice and evaporated milk) or ice-cold cocktails while enjoying the seaside view. Aside from delicious desserts, Buzzz Cafe also serves a wide selection of snacks, a la carte, or buffet meals, and local favorites made from ingredients sourced from their very own organic garden and farm.
Photo by Buzzz Cafe
Fresh seafood from the nearby sea is bountiful, and gastronomic delights like pasta, rice dishes, and vegetarian fare may be enjoyed at the dining room, upstairs lounge, or by the seashore. There’s also a stall selling products such as honey, muffins, bread, and bottled spreads which were all made in-house.
Photo by Loboc Riverwatch Floating Restaurant
Many visitors say that it’s not a full-fledged Bohol visit without the Loboc river watch tour. This unique experience offered by Loboc Riverwatch Floating Restaurant allows guests to enjoy a sumptuous array of Filipino dishes as the water vessel slowly cruises down the jade-colored waterway. You’ll be passing by thick foliage, mangroves, and interesting sights while munching on delicious food and bonding with fellow passengers along the way.
There are several buffet and plated menu options available, all offering Filipino favorites like rice dishes, fresh seafood, main courses that include grilled fish, sisig (a stirfried or sizzling dish made of pig’s face), soy chicken, and caldereta (tomato stewed meat dish), as well as desserts like buko pandan (sweet dessert of coconut and screw pine leaves in condensed milk) and sweetened banana. The boat is equipped with its own toilet, washing area, and long tables to accommodate many guests, with a live band serenading you throughout the cruise.
Photo by Donatela Resort & Sanctuary
One of two in-house restaurants at the Donatela Resort in Panglao, Tarsier Paprika is perched on a cliff, standing at the water’s edge overlooking the Bohol Sea. It offers a lovely panoramic ocean view that may be enjoyed either on the open-air veranda or at the comfort of an air-conditioned dining area inside. The upscale restaurant offers modern European fare, serving fine dining cuisine infused with local flair, and is a popular choice for romantic getaways or to celebrate milestones.
Photo by Donatela Resort & Sanctuary
The Seafood a’la Plancha comes in highly recommended: it is a dish composed of the day’s freshest catch, typically a large grouper, served grilled with Italian olive oil and paired with rice and sides. The usual fine dining main courses such as Lobster Thermidor or Rack of Lamb are in the menu, along with delicious appetizers, pasta dishes, soups, and desserts.
Photo by Shaka Cafes
A popular crowd-drawer, Shaka Bohol is a must-try restaurant that originated from the shores of Siargao Island, and with it, the surf town’s laid-back vibe and food that is fresh, organic, and preservative-free. They pride themselves on knowing how to make delicious meals entirely out of superfoods, mindful of each ingredient’s health benefits and impact to your well-being. This vegetarian restaurant serves delicious, clean-tasting food made from organic fruits and vegetables along with a variety of loose leaf teas, smoothies, and fresh juices.
Photo by Shaka Cafes
The burgers are a house favorite and vegan, while the buns have gluten-free alternatives that are available upon request. Their colorful smoothie bowls are made out of fresh tropical fruits with homemade granola, while their breakfast is best enjoyed with any one of the coffee options on the menu.
Photo by Gerarda's Family Restaurant
This homegrown family restaurant can be found in Tagbilaran City, with two other branches in Panglao and CPG in Bohol. The original Gerarda's Family Restaurant stands on an ancestral home built by the owner’s Chinese-Filipino forbears, with interiors that feature antique furnishings, wooden floors, and fine silverware along with modern amenities such as air-conditioning and upscale lighting fixtures.
Photo by Gerarda's Family Restaurant
The menu includes sumptuous Filipino favorites with a twist: House specialties such as seafood kare-kare (peanut stew) and dinakdakan (grilled pork parts in lemon and onion dressing), are tweaked slightly to appeal to the local tastebuds, while Boholano house specialties such as 'nilaw-oy (vegetarian soup) and kinampay (purple yam jam) are also crowd favorites. The owner’s Chinese heritage is evident in other must-try dishes like Chow Pat Chin (mixed vegetables sautéed with seafood and meat), Chow Mien (savory egg noodles), Egg Drop soup, Soft shell crab, and rice bowls.
Photo by Department of Tourism
At the top of our list is Bohol Bee Farm, another Bohol must-eat restaurant that serves tasty, wholesome food in the popular beach town of Panglao. It is one of the first places in Bohol to offer hearty meals made from organic ingredients at a time when farm-to-table options in the island were few and far between.
Photo by Bohol Bee Farm
Their colorful dishes are presented with unexpected but delightful details, such as edible flowers on salads or sweet potato bits on top of red rice. They also offer unusual but tasty ice cream flavors like spicy ginger, tomato, malunggay (moringa), and pandan (screwpine). The restaurant serves healthy food like chicken glazed with honey and pasta dishes garnished with herbs that are all sourced directly from the farm. It is surrounded by lush greenery, which perfectly complements the wooden interiors and the al-fresco rustic ambiance.
Check Out These Top Restaurants in Bohol
Aside from its beautiful scenery, colorful marine life, and majestic natural attractions, Bohol also has its fair share of cultural sites, historical landmarks, and centuries-old stone churches that are worth visiting. Bohol also has a host of world-class resorts nestled along its white sandy coastlines, making this island province one of the best tropical destinations for beach-loving travelers.
A variety of cuisine awaits the most discerning palates throughout Bohol. It has restaurants and food outlets that offer a wide selection of seafood delicacies, Italian dishes, local Filipino delicacies, Asian favorites, and other international cuisines, all of which can be found in this top tourist destination. Read our article on the top tourist spots in Bohol and the top tours and activities to help you plan your trip. You can also check out our article on the best budget-friendly resorts in Bohol.