Batangas is known for its beautiful beaches, snorkel and dive sites, and historical attractions including heritage architecture and lighthouse. Aside from these, Batanguenos are also proud of their cuisine. Aside from the ever-popular lomi and bulalo, it offers a wide range of local dishes that showcase the province’s flavors and traditions.
In this article, we’ll guide you to the best Batangas delicacies that you can use when you’re planning on what to eat in Batangas.
1. Batangas Lomi
Batangas lomi is one of the most popular Batangas food that you should try at least once. It features thick egg noodles cooked in a rich, flavorful broth and comes with different toppings, including pork rinds or pork belly, chicken, shrimp, and/or vegetables. It is often garnished with crushed chicharon (pork cracklings) and sliced boiled eggs.
Batanguenos love to eat it served with a sauce of soy sauce, calamansi, and chili.
When you’re in Batangas, it’s easy to find lomi houses and food stalls across the streets. If you’re looking for tried-and-tested lomi houses, check out Lomi King – the most popular lomi restaurant in Lipa City. Also worth visiting are Corcolon Lomi House (San Jose), Kina Imus Lomi House (Taal), Liam’s Lomi House (Lipa City), and Sizzling Lomi House (Lipa City).
Personally, the best Batangas lomi that we’ve tried is in a regular eatery along the street in Anilao, Mabini. Indulging in a comforting seafood lomi after a swim was fantastic!
Bulalo is a popular dish in Batangas and throughout the Philippines. It is a flavorful beef soup made with beef shanks and bone marrow, simmered for hours until the meat is tender and the broth is rich and aromatic. It is also cooked with cabbage, corn, and other vegetables, making it a delicious and nutritious dish to serve with rice.
Bulalo is one of the best Filipino comfort foods and is particularly great to have during the rainy months.
Some of the best bulalo restaurants in Batangas are Rose and Grace Restaurant (Sto. Tomas) and Jorjhane’s House of Lomi and Bulalo (National Highway).
3. Adobo sa Dilaw
Another one of the best Batangas delicacies that you should try is adobo sa dilaw. It is made with chicken or pork cooked in a tangy, peppery sauce made with turmeric (which locals call “dilaw” or “luyang dilaw”), instead of the soy sauce used in regular adobo. The turmeric gives the dish a distinct yellow color and adds a delicious flavor.
Adobo sa dilaw originated in Taal, and similar to other Batangas dishes, what makes it remarkable is it is easy to make. It’s a staple in many households in this province and served in numerous local restaurants.
Taghilaw is perhaps one of the least-known dishes in Batangas. So if you’re looking for something new to add to your culinary adventure, add taghilaw in your list.
Similar to bopis, it is made of beef or pork innards sautéed in tomatoes, chilies, and onions and then cooked in a vinegar-based broth. It tastes sour and meaty and is often paired with steamed rice.
Innards is not to everyone’s tastes, but if you’re someone who loves these ingredients, then you’ll appreciate the taste of taghilaw.
5. Fried Tawilis
Fried tawilis is one of the most common dishes in Batangas. It is fried until crispy. Most Batanguenos serve it with bagoong Balayaan, green mangoes, tomatoes, and onions. Others prefer it with a white vinegar dip. It’s a great addition to meals or pulutan.
It’s interesting to learn about tawilis. Officially called sardinella tawilis, this species of fish can only be found in Taal Lake. It’s the only one in the Clupeidae family of fishes known to live in fresh water. These fishes started living in the lake when it was shaped during a volcanic eruption more than 200 years ago. Currently, it breeds in the lake all year round.
6. Sinigang na Maliputo
Sinigang na Maliputo is one of most beloved Batangas delicacies. In fact, a local festival called Maliputo Festival is celebrated annually in the town of Nicolas, Batangas, to honor this food source and its contribution to the local livelihood of Batanguenos.
Similar to tawilis, maliputo is a type of freshwater fish that can only be found in Taal Lake. It is rare and often sold with a high price tag in local markets. It is often cooked as sinigang — a sour soup made by simmering the meat in a tamarind-based broth with vegetables such as kangkong (water spinach), radish, and tomatoes. The tangy broth complements the tender fish perfectly.
7. Longganisa and Tapang Taal
Tapang Taal is a Batangas specialty that consists of marinated and dried pork. The meat is sliced thinly, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic, and spices, and then air-dried or sun-dried. Compared to the usual tapa found in the metro, Tapang Taal is sweeter and more garlicky.
Similar to Tapang Taal, Longganisang Taal has a strong garlicky flavor and lots of fat.
Tapang Taal and Longganisang Taal are usually served with fried rice and egg, along with native dipping sauce (vinegar or soy sauce with onions, calamansi, and fresh chili). Have it for breakfast or any time of the day along with kapeng barako and you’re good to go!
8. Sinaing na Tulingan
Sinaing na Tulingan is one of the most popular Batangas delicacies. It is made with bullet tuna (locally known as “tulingan”), a type of saltwater fish found in coastal towns in Batangas. The fish is slow-cooked in a clay pot with kamias and salt. The resulting dish is salty and delicious, perfect with steamed rice.
This dish has a long shelf life, even without refrigeration.
9. Gotong Batangas
You may already be familiar with goto, a type of rice porridge served from breakfast to midnight. Gotong Batangas is different. Instead of glutinous rice, this soup is made with beef tripe and innards and then topped with green onions.
Gotong Batangas is served with steam rice, along with hot chili and calamansi. A comforting soup enjoyed all year round, it is one of the best Batangas dishes you should try.
10. Bulanglang na Gulay
Batangas has an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, and so it’s no wonder you’ll find this healthy vegetable stew in this province. It is made from a medley of veggies such as squash, papaya, sitaw (string beans), sigarillas, okra, and eggplant, which is boiled and then seasoned with bagoong isda (anchovy paste) or patis (fish sauce).
Batangas-style bulanglang na gulay is similar to bulanglang in Pampanga. It is often served with rice and other fried dishes.
11. Tamales Ibaan
Tamales is one of the heritage dishes passed down by the Spaniards during the Spanish colonial period. The best tamales in Batangas is found in the town of Ibaan (hence “tamales Ibaan”). It is a savory rice cake dish made with ground rice, coconut milk, and various fillings such as chicken, eggs, peanuts, and annatto which gives it a rich reddish color. The mixture is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed until it becomes firm and fragrant.
You can easily find tamales Ibaan in local markets. Not to be confused with tamales Taal, which is a type of rice snack or “suman sa lihiya.”
If you love classic dinuguan, wait til you taste sinunggaok! Sinunggaok is a regional version of dinuguan served in Batangas and other nearby provinces. What makes it different is that instead of offal and entrails, it uses pork meat as main ingredient. Sometimes chicken or beef is also used. Tomato is used to sour the dish and chunks of papaya are also added for extra nutrition.
This savory dish is one of the must-try Batangas delicacies you should know about.
13. Pinais na Dulong
Pinais na dulong is one of the most-beloved food in Batangas. It is made of dulong (also called dilis or anchovies) slow cooked in a claypot and then wrapped in banana leaves. It is served with a squeeze of calamansi and slices of tomatoes on the side.
As with other Batangas delicacies in this list, it is often eaten with rice.
14. Afritadang Batangas
It’s often said that no fiesta in Batangas is complete without afritadang Batangas. This delectable stew is made of pork and various vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, red bell pepper, and green peas, cooked in a thick, flavorful sauce.
Nilupak is one of the most popular snacks in Batangas, particularly in the town of Agoncillo. Batangas-style nilupak is made of mashed cassava, ground peanuts, peanut butter, condensed milk, rice crispies, and coconut.
It is healthy and filling and a great addition to your merienda favorites.
Suman is one of the most popular Batangas food, and it is often eaten as merienda or bought as pasalubong for family and friends. Batangas suman is essentially sweet and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. It is best served warm, sprinkled with brown sugar and grated coconut.
Pair it with a cup of hot tsokolate or kapeng barako for a perfect and filling merienda.
17. Bagoong Balayan
Bagoong Balayan is a well-known product of Batangas. This condiment makes for a great food souvenir from your trip to the province.
The town of Balayan produces the best-tasting dilis (anchovies). This is used to make the bagoong. Typically, dilis, galunggong, or malansi is fermented in tapayan jars for 6 hours to produce that sharp, salty sauce that Filipinos love.
Use the Bagoong Balayan as a flavor enhancer or dipping sauce. For those who enjoy bold and salty flavors, it can be a delightful addition to their culinary repertoire, especially when exploring the distinct flavors of Batangas cuisine.
These are just some of the best Batangas delicacies that you can try when visiting this province. Do you have other Batangas dishes to recommend? Let us know in the comment section below!
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).