The foodie scene in Tacloban City is underrated. Most people think that Guiseppe Italian restaurant is the only exciting foodie place in the city. I was so excited to explore the different flavors of Tacloban. I'm planning to share it with people via a Food trip/ Heritage/ Sangyaw Festival Tour of Tacloban next year. In the meantime, let me share with you the top 10 foodie secrets of Tacloban.

1. Rafael Farms Garden Restaurant

Rafael Farms is a cross between Sonya's Garden in Tagaytay and The Farm @ San Benito. Named after the adopted son (or grandson) of entreprenuer Rene Tampi, Rafael Farms is my vote for the best restaurant in Tacloban City. Rene started with a restaurant in Tacloban called "Join Us". It is a favorite meat place in the city and popular for ready-to-cook food and supply of meat.

A set menu only costs P220 which gives you a choice of salad; a side dish of green rice, potato sticks or sweet corn; a main course of pork, chicken, fish or baby back ribs, dessert and drinks. In Manila, P220 is the average cost of one gourmet dish. Check out the rest of the menu @ Rafael Farms.

From the Sandwich Bar, Drinks, Desserts, Barista Specials
Rafael's Farm Special Treat (P220), From Grandma's Recipe Box, Noodles from East and West
Family Favorites: Cool and Light, Grilled Pork from our Barbecue Pit, Chicken, Seafoot, Marinated Steak.

You can conveniently visit San Juanico Bridge which is only approx. 20 minutes from the farm.

Rafael Farms
Brgy. Pagsulhugon, Babatngon,
LeyteTelephone: +63 915 9200325 or +63 53 -325

Inside the main dining area, the ambiance is characterized by crocheted tablecloths, wooden/ garden chairs, seats covered with banig, and artwork-for-sale all around the dining area.

I would also recommend the big servings of Halo Halo ala Rafael Farms for merienda!

2. Rizal Avenue Barbecue Stalls and Aling Manang's Native Chicken.

If Bacolod is Manukan country, Tacloban is Barbecue country! Eating barbecue at night is an experience you shouldn't miss.

There are two recommended barbecue places to go. First, is the Baldevia Siblings's Barbecue stand along Rizal Avenue near the Tacloban Market. They use a special kind of marinate for their barbecue which is served with a special kind of vinegar. I have eaten in the RTR plaza, or the barbecue places near the bay, the Baldevia's barbecue stands out to be the best.

Second, I would recommend Manang's Native Chicken barbecue stand. You can see Manang's stall along Justice Romualdez at night. She serves a special kind of native chicken barbecue that only she can provide.

Don't miss to eat these Tacloban longganiza. It is sweeter and more meat than fat.

3. Ocho Seafood Grill
Cristina Gonzales would probably agree that this is the best fresh seafood restaurant place in Tacloban.

Eating baked scallops is one of the guilty treats when you visit Tacloban.

Ocho grill is a modern seafood paluto restaurant where you order from a fresh display of seafood and specify how you want it cooked.

Don't forget to order the fish skin chicharon that I've only seen in Ocho grill.

Ocho Seafood & Grill
Sen. Enage Street, Tacloban City
Telephone: +63 53 325-4171. 523-8808

4. Sunzibar

Mayanne Wenceslao's Sunzibar is a cozy secret mexican restaurant in Tacloban. Sunzibar is famous for their nachos and rum ribs. They are proud of home-made fresh ingredients they use for their dishes.

Sunzibar Menu
Starters and Appetizers, Pastas, Sopas and Ensalada and Sandwiches
Pork barrel, Chicken Run, Rice, Beef, Beverages

Nachos (P88). Chessy, crunchy, and dripping with goodness! Everybody's all time favorite!

Rum Ribs (P325). "Our ribs are so tender, the meat falls off the bone. Our ribs are so good, people keep coming back for more. It comes with 2 glasses of iced tea, salad and rice which means more people can share"

It is almost a hole-in-the-wall restaurant and there is some kind of thrill in finding this resto.

SunziBar. Good Food Always.Burgus St. +63 53 523-4565

5. Cafe Urbana
Cafe Urbana, Santo Nino St., Tacloban City
Cafe Urbana Menu:
Dips and Starters | Salads | Paninis and Sandwiches | Pasta | Bakes | Ala Carte Main Dish | Sweet Temptations | Coffee Corner

I was pleasantly surprised to find a modern cafe restaurant that serves filipino and french fusion at less than P200 per meal. Jitka with her french husband, decided to setup the cafe to cater to the local urban crowd and occasional tourist. If you are looking for a dessert place in Tacloban, try out their flourless chocolate cake or their french hot chocolate.

Baked Fish Marinara (P155). Baked seasonal fish, with basil-tomato sauce topped with cream cheese. Served with rice.

French Gateau au Chocolat (P65). A flourless chocolate cake. Sinfully good!

French Hot Chocolat Chaud (P65). French Hot Chocolate

(to be continued… Tacloban City — Top 10 Foodie Secrets of Tacloban (Part 2))