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Paoay Church and the Street Food Paoay Scene

Street food Paoay

A key part of any visit to the north of Luzon is to Paoay Church. The Saint Augustine Church (Iglesia de San Agustín de Paoay), commonly known as the Paoay Church which was built in 1710 is the oldest in the Philippines. Aside from the god based the tuff the other highlight here is the Street Food Paoay scene, which mostly consists of ice-cream.

Aside from the church Paoay also offers sand dunes, with 4X4 and ATV driving, from where one can also do Paoay Street Food.

What the Paoay Church?

Built in 1710 during the Spanish colonial era the architecture here is not only extremely unique, but due to the government looking after the building it is still very much a working church.

It is also greatly located near Currimao and its beaches, as well as the sand dunes, Vigan and of course Batac, the home of great leaders.

So, while it is not necessarily worth coming just for the church, it is still worth the stopover. One can also take a tacky photo here, as well as buy fridge magnets.

Street Food Paoay

Street food in Paoay can be found at the usual BBQ and as it is Ilocos Nortte, empanada stops. These are by and large similar to the Batac empanadas.

The most famous things to buy here though are iced creams, as well as the local variant known as halo halo. These restaurants and street food stalls wrap around the church, alongside some more slightly upscale western style restaurants to serve tourists.

So, for the most part it is all about Halo Halo. I will give this dish its own article at some point, but it contains iced cream, shaved ice, condensed milk, bits of coconut, jelly and well whatever they’d decide to put in it, which can include beans, or even sweet corn. Similar dishes can be found in West Papua and even Cambodia, but it is in the Philippines where they have perfected it.

Most famous for the street food Paoay scene here is a place called Ilocos Coolers, which served the Paoay variant. Again this is mostly based on the same aforementioned ingredients, but also including whatever syrup you desire.

I personally went for the “double Paoay empanada” that was sold next door. Everyone left happy and full.

And it was not just here that we got to sample the local specialties, with us also seeing Paoay street food at end of the sand dunes. These consisted of vegetable spring roll type dishes, as well as meat/banana pastries served with spicy hot Philippines vinegar.

So, while one may not beeline to Paoay Street Food, with the church, sand dunes and culinary offerings it is again well worth a stop off.

You can read bout the Extreme Philippines Tour here.