11 BEST Ilocano Foods You Must Try!

Let’s discover the 11 Ilocano Foods You Must Try When in Ilocos and where to eat.

Ilocano Foods

Ilocos offers a lot of things, from heritage sites to sceneries and beaches.

But more than these attractions, locals are just as proud of the thriving food scene in the region. With unique flavors they have made their own, it’s no wonder that Ilocano cuisine has built up its fanbase over the years.

Pinakbet  – Best Vegetable Ilocano Cuisine

Ilocano Foods
Photo: Cuisine de Iloco Restaurant

The vegetables are mixed and cooked in bagoong (fish sauce). While some people like to add shrimp, bagnet is a fantastic addition to this dish. Bittermelon, eggplant, okra, kabocha squash, and long beans are the essential ingredients of pinakbet; these vegetables are typically grown and planted in the backyards of Ilocano home gardens.

Bagnet – Best Meat Ilocano Cuisine

ilocano foods
Photo: Foodtale Philippines

The most delectable triple-cooked pork belly you’ll ever try is called bagnet. This mouthwatering pork dish might take up to a day to prepare. The pork is boiled, sun-dried, fried once, and then fried once more! The ideal augmentation of KBL (Kamatis-Bagoong-Lasona). Tomato, onion, spring onions, and fish paste in English.


ilocano food
Credit: Yummy.ph

Ilocano food favorites like igado are made with pork tenderloin and organ meat like the heart, liver, and kidney. The word “Higado” is a Spanish word that means “liver,” hence the requirement that the liver is included in the components. It is cooked with carrots, peas, and bell pepper. This is among the best Filipino cuisine offered.

Poqui-poqui or Poque-poque

ilocano food
Photo: Cuisine de Iloco Restaurant

Essentially comprised of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and eggs, poqui poqui is a traditional vegetable meal from the Ilocano people.


ilocano food
Photo: Kawaling Pinoy

This recipe deviates from the authentic, frequently using pork maskara, liver, and innards.  Because of some concerns, mayonnaise has become a popular substitute for pigs’ brains in the traditional Dinakdakan.


ilocano cuisine
Photo: Ansarap.net

This dish is indigenous to the Filipinos in the Ilocos region. It is made of cow’s ears and internal beef organs.   Sinanglaw is usually prepared as a hot, flavorful soup, which accounts for its popularity throughout the rainy season and from November to February when the Philippines experiences its coldest weather.


ilocano cuisine
Photo: Panlasang Pinoy

A delicious and savory dish from the Ilocos region is called dinengdeng. It combines fresh vegetables cooked with fried fish in a broth seasoned with fish paste. For a simple yet tasty daily meal, serve it with rice.

Ilocos Longganisa

ilocano food
Photo: When In Manila

A famous breakfast sausage in the Ilocos region that is heavily spiced and garlic-infused. It will give your day a kickstart. In-fact. This delicious sausage’s aftertaste is well-known. This garlicky sausage will still taste good days after you’ve eaten it since its intense flavor.



Sticky rice, or diket, is a staple ingredient in the Ilocano special merienda.

Ilocos Empanada 

ilocos empanada

This vibrant orange, a crispy pancake, is typically eaten as a “merienda” or snack. Still, it is filling enough for a complete meal. It is made of rice flour filled with unripe papaya, beansprouts, eggs, and sausage meat—season with sukang iloko, a spicy vinegar to entice your taste buds.


ilocano snacks
Photo: Tagalog Lang

The Filipino rice cake, known as tupig, often spelled intemtem or kangkanen, is from the Ilocos region. It is created from powdered glutinous rice that has matured slightly after soaking, coconut milk, brown sugar, and young coconut strips.


ilocano merienda
Photo: Silverbagpacker

Chicken stock, Miki noodles, and annatto powder make this Ilocano noodle soup. The Ilocos-style Miki noodle soup is typically topped with ground bagnet and served with boiled eggs (which they refer to as “chicharon”).


Ilocaknows.com is a website run by people who likes to travel, food and write whatever that interest them.

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