Naga City is one of the urbanized locations at the Bicol Region and is the best city-stop if you happen to climb Mount Isarog, wakeboard at CWC (Camarines Sur Wakeboard Complex) or go island hopping and survive Caramoan. As for me, being obsessed with Bicol cuisine, Naga City is the nearest authentic city to go on a food trip. Naga has never disappointed me with these spicy food that my taste buds are always willing to die for!
Coming from a 3-day vacation and mapping expedition to the islands of Caramoan, we passed by Naga City to check out the Bicol dishes I always wanted. If you like spice and chili and you happen to be in the Philippines, the Bicol region is the way to go. As the siling labuyo (en. chili pepper cultivar) is grown locally over the region having chiliness of about 100,000 scoville units and the hottest chili in the Philippines, there is no other place to get authentic Filipino chili cuisine but in Bicol. Naga City is the nearest urbanized city in the region nearest the Philippine's capital.
Naga City is about 9 hours bus ride away from Manila or roughly 45 minutes away on air.
Here are some of the food you can check out in Naga City:
Coming from a failed attempt to eat toasted Siopao last year as they are already out of stock, I finally got to try it for the first time at Naga Garden at Panganiban Drive near Plaza Rizal (coordinates 13.62310N 123.18539E). Siopao is a Chinese delicacy with bun made of liquefied rice and baked with filling of either bola-bola (dry pork meat shaped like a ball with salted egg at the middle) or asado (sweetened glutinized soy pork meat). But Naga City has a twist to this Chinese deli. Instead of steam cooking it, it was fire-toasted. Check it out for Php 20 a bun.
Halo-Halo with Cheese on top
Halo-halo is an authentic all-Filipino milk shake made up of crushed ice, evaporated milk beans, purple yam, flan, and more. But it is DJC Halo-Halo on Penafrancia Avenue near Plaza Quince Martires (coordinates 13.62372N 123.18579E); which invented to add cheese on top of it and the variation made this halo-halo on top of my list, having a sweet tooth too. The main branch of DJC is at Tiwi, Albay but Naga City is the nearest from Manila to where you can check it out. Indulge with their biggest halo-halo serving at Php 95
Eat Bicolano Cuisine with a Family Home Ambiance
Family dining with great ambiance? Check out Red Platter at Magsaysay Avenue (coordinates 13.63117N 123.19721E) and they offer all-Filipino cuisine including those are not from Bicol. And aside from Bicol dishes, all fall in love with their cakes and sweet desserts. Price range is about Php 200 per meal per person.
|Laing Cordon Bleu|
Other food tripping establishments
Magsaysay Avenue is the the night life center of Naga City with food strips along the road at day time and bars for booze at night time. While the restaurants at the city's center (by the Plazas) at Panganiban and Penafrancia Drives are fastfoods for authentic Bicolano cuisine and pastries such as the 3N Bakery and Biggs Diner.
Our side trip to Naga City is after we have concluded our mapping expedition of the Caramoan last December 26-30, 2013 in our advocacy to ensure that a Filipino must not be a stranger to his own motherland.
Google Maps (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)
How to use for your Navigation System (link)