El Nido is currently the jewel in the crown of island hopping in Palawan, so what is the food and drink scene? Well it turns out the restaurants in. El Nido scene is not only pretty good, but also fairly eclectic.
Here’s The Street Food Guy Guide to El Nido’d restaurants.
What the El Nido?
El Nido is a small town about 5 hours drive from the capital of Palawan Puerta Pincessa.
It is predominantly a tourists town, with most people here working in the sector. Said tourists were predominantly Western, but now more Chinese come here now and the restaurant scene has changed a lot since Covid-19.
Where to eat in El Nido?
While El Nido is pretty big the crux of the action happens on the main street, which is also where the island hopping goes from. Therefore and while there are other places that do food, we are centering life around here.
And yes this means we are very much not counting the riduculoolus new McDonald’s that has opened.
The 7 Best Restaurants in El Nido for 2023
For this we have decided to not just list 7 great El Nido restaurants, but basically give a spectrum to help cover your breakfasts and dinners fro the 4-5 days you might go island hopping.
Best Breakfast in El Nido at Template
Template is actually just off of the pedestrianized area, but still on the main drag. It has been going for 8 years an I know the owner! Breakfast from just 200 PHI )$4) and lots of choice. Dinner here is also decent.
Best local food in El Nido at Bundatan
One of the few old school Filipino restaurants in El Nido that is still left. They also serve the best seafood in El Nido, with the squid being to die for. Couple this with the sea view and you have a nightlife treat.
Do not though order the cocktails unless you like things strong, or bad. I had the worst Bloody Mary of whole life here…….
Best Food Truck in El Nido?
Well it is a restaurant called Food Truck rather than a food truck, but they have a large swath of Asian food here, such as Pad Thai and Japanese dumplings, which I really enjoyed.
Weirdly you can only run a tab if you sit at the bar and the waiters won’t take your order.
Best Japanese food in El Nido at Osaka Castle
OK, so as far as I know the only Japanese restaurant in El Nido, but one which I~ gave a try. Not the best Japanese food o9n the planet, but more than decent when you consider you are on a tropical island.
Best Ukrainian food in El Nido at Odessa Kitchen
Random restaurants for random times! I first met these guys when they opened in 2019 and th menu has not changed much, although the price has gone up. Essentially if you like Ukrainian food they have a lot of stuff that goes well with vodka. Also the only real option for craft beer in El Nido.
Best late night dining in El Nido at Shawarma House
Its a Keban shop that stays open until after 4 am, at least from my experience. It is drunk food that does not rival an English kebab, but more than does the job. There is also a 24 hour breakfast and burger cafe that has been here for eons, but I was put off of here by the loud local drunk clientele.
And street food El Nido?
Sadly decidedly lacking, another big change from 2019. This may have something to do with the fact that Palawan has gone all clean freak, or that foreigners are maybe not that into street food as much as the locals do, who knows? But, as The Street Food Guy I had to at least check what was there out.
So, I ate not one, but two balut, not ideal, but at least I did some El Nido street food.
Roll on 2024