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Foodies Guide To El Nido – Must Try Dishes And Local Cuisine

El Nido, a tropical haven in the Philippines’ province of Palawan, is renowned for its magnificent beaches, clean waters, and jaw-dropping limestone cliffs. Yet, visitors to this lovely location are drawn there for many reasons than just the beauty, including the cuisine. With a wide selection of dishes and regional cuisine that are sure to tempt your taste buds, El Nido is a food lover’s paradise. This foodie’s guide to El Nido will discuss some of the local cuisine and must-try meals that you shouldn’t miss while there. 

Fresh Seafood

Since El Nido is a coastal town, it should come as no surprise that local cuisine frequently features fresh seafood. El Nido offers a wide selection of seafood meals, including grilled fish, seafood stews, and seafood pasta dishes. Grilled squid, shrimp in garlic butter, and fish sinigang, a sour soup made with fish and vegetables, are some of the most well-liked seafood dishes. A sort of woodworm called “tamilok,” which is gathered from mangrove trees and eaten uncooked with vinegar and onions, is another local delicacy that you can taste. 


A traditional Filipino cuisine called adobo adobo is created with meat, typically chicken or pork, that has been marinated in a sauce comprised of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic before being stewed in the same sauce. Adobo is a staple in the Philippines and is available at practically all of El Nido’s eateries. Rice and veggies go nicely with this rich and savory entrée. 


In the Philippines, lechon, or roasted pig, is a common meal that is frequently offered at festive occasions. The pig is roasted over a fire for a number of hours, producing crispy skin and juicy, tender meat. Lechon is a dish that is offered in restaurants and by street vendors in El Nido. If you enjoy beef, this dish is one you should try. 


Filipinos love the sweet treat known as halo-halo, which is composed with shaved ice, sweet beans, fruits, and a variety of other toppings like ube (purple yam) and leche flan (custard). It’s a cool, sweet treat that is ideal for El Nido’s hot, muggy climate. 

Philippine Cashew Nuts 

Cashew nuts, which are cultivated on the island and are regarded as some of the best in the world, are a specialty of Palawan. At El Nido, cashew nuts are available in a variety of preparations, from roasted and salted to used as a garnish on ice cream and other delicacies. As a dipping sauce for grilled meats and vegetables, cashew nuts can also be tried. This sauce is produced by pulverizing the nuts into a paste. 


The raw fish or seafood used in kinilaw is marinated in vinegar, lemon juice, and seasonings. It is a form of Filipino ceviche. It’s a tasty and energizing dish that seafood fans will adore. You may discover kinilaw in El Nido made from a range of fish, including tuna, shrimp, and squid. 


A variety of vegetables, including eggplant, bitter melon, and okra, are cooked in a stew with tomatoes, onions, and shrimp paste to make pinakbet, a vegetable meal. It’s a delicious and nutritious recipe that’s ideal for vegans and vegetarians. 

In essence, El Nido is a culinary haven with a wide selection of dishes and regional cuisine that are sure to please any palate.


Explorar Treehouses El Nido will feature 69 tree-house villas with private plunge pools surrounded by 360-degree untouched, lush mountain terrain overlooking shimmering sea views. The resort will also feature a permaculture farm and garden, a bar and guest area in ‘The Exchange’, a social space for guests to connect which is unique to the Explorar brand along with Spa and wellness utilising local and natural products.

Opening 2025.