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Five Restaurants For The Ultimate Pampanga Food Trip

Article posted Wed, 13 Feb 2019

If there is something that Pampanga is known for, aside from Mount Pinatubo, it’s the Kapampangan cuisine. The region takes its food seriously, and it was pronounced the culinary capital of the Philippines — no small feat in a country with a far-reaching gastronomic history.

It takes about two hours from Metro Manila to Pampanga by car — just enough time to get hungry. And while you get hungry, we prepared a list so that you don’t have to. These five restaurants will show you what to eat in Pampanga, and give you a bit of everything from the kitchens of the region.

Aling Lucing’s Sisig — Angeles City

Aling Lucing created the iconic sisig in the 1970s when she invented the recipe using various leftover pig parts. Since then, she has been titled the sisig queen. We asked the same question; what exactly is sisig? It’s a dish of fatty pork bits served on a sizzling hot plate, but the word itself originally meant the Kapampangan way of cooking meat with acidic seasoning.

Reservations are accepted
Glaciano Valdez St. Angeles Pampanga
+63 45 888-2317

Sisig

Café Fleur — Angeles City

Café Fleur ran by chef Sau del Rosario, takes particular pride in Kapampangan dishes in French flair. The avant-garde setting at this colonial-style building in Angeles City presents the perfect atmosphere to enjoy its famous tamales Pampangueña (coconut cream kakanin, which is a collective term for traditional tidbits in the Philippines). The Kapampangan tamales are wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed. This deconstructed snack gets its creamy, buttery texture from the fresh coconut cream and fine rice flour. And if that’s too heavy for you, go for the smoky tinapa fish truffle mousse. Pair it with their pan de sals, Filipino bread rolls, and you are in for a treat!

Reservations are accepted
L-463B Miranda St., Brgy. Sto. Rosario, Angeles City
+63 45 304-1301

Binulo restaurant – Clarkfield

Binulo is the indigenous Aeta method of cooking food inside bamboo. And all the Binulo dishes are served from the bamboo stalk where they were cooked in. The restaurant is best known for serving authentic Kapampangan cuisine and grilled steaks imported from the United States. There are a few signature dishes on the menu — paco (fiddlehead fern) salad, pangat na ulang (giant freshwater shrimps in a creamy, sour broth) — but it stays firm to the roots of the cuisine. And save room for their pititian with atsara; crispy, glorious, golden rinds of pork served in a basket together with pickled papaya relish.

Reservations are accepted
Bldg. 6410-6413, Manuel A. Roxas Hwy, Clark Freeport, Mabalacat, Pampanga
+63 45 499-2238

Matam-ih – Clark Freeport Zone

Matam-ih means delicious in Aeta dialect. The language of the Philippines’ earliest known indigenous inhabitants who live in the isolated mountainous parts of Luzon. Matam-ih is widely known for its authentic Kapampangan cuisine and unique dining experience with local celebrities. All the servers are Aetas, and they have adopted stage names of popular superstars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Regine Velasquez. You can find both exotic and traditional regional dishes such as kare-kareng iking baka (oxtail and tripe in peanut sauce) which is usually served with fermented shrimp paste, Bagoóng. The tender meat and crisp vegetables lead to a very satisfying meal.

Reservations are accepted
E Jacinto, Clark Freeport, Clark Special Economic Zone, 2023 Pampanga
+63 45 499-2382

kare kare, filipino oxtail stew

Susie’s Cuisine – SM City Clark

Susie’s Cuisine opened in 1972, and it specialises in Pampango kakanin. Some of its signature delicacies include the maja blanca (delicious coconut cream pudding) and the Filipino crème caramel, leche flan (caramel custard pudding). They serve an incredibly long list of sweet treats, and even if it’s all Hebrew to you, or all Kapampangan in this case — you won’t go wrong with any order. They have cassava cake, biko kalabasa, duman pinipig, kalamay ube, sapin-sapin and their famous tibok-tibok (maja), and tibok mais.

No reservations accepted
SM City Clark, MA Roxas Highway, Malabañas, Angeles, Pampanga

Filipino creme caramel leche flan

With a catalogue of unique culinary adventures, Pampanga proves itself as one of the best places to dine like a king.