7 of the Best Restaurants in Camiguin Island in the Philippines
Scattered around Camiguin island are some of the best restaurants that we came across. Not only on Camiguin itself, but in all the Philippines. And this isn’t just us who are saying that the restaurants are so good. In fact, there are a few restaurants which have been given awards. One of these is ‘La Dolce Vita’ restaurant and has been given the title of best 25 pizzas in the Philippines.
One of the popular restaurants with both domestic and western tourists is J&A Fishpen. A bistro that sits right beside a lagoon, J&A serves the best grilled fish and sides such as fried calamari and shrimps. Simply delicious. And if you’re into healthy food, we happened to stumble on a couple of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. These restaurants will all be listed in this Camiguin Restaurant Guide.
Western Tourism influence is minimal in Camiguin, so to find so many great restaurants definitely came as a surprise. We can say that during our 1 week trip on Camiguin, seeking out the best restaurants was one of our favourite activities.
We loved the food so much that we decided to create this guide about Camiguin Food and The Best Restaurants In Camiguin.
- Hayahay Cafe’ – best for lunch, light snack – $$$
- Checkpoint – best for dinner – $
- La Dolce Vita – best for lunch, dinner – $$
- Local Eatery near Ferry to White Island – best for breakfast, brunch – $
- J&A Fishpen / Lagoon Bistro – best for lunch – $$$
- Rico’s (local grill) – best for dinner – $
- Kurma – Eco Beach Lodge – best for breakfast – $$
- Camiguin Sunset Lounge at Medano Island Resort – best for sunset & beer
Hayahay Cafe' for healthy food
Hayahay Cafe’ is a cozy hip cafe just outside Mambajao tourist area. The cool Cafe’ located on the side of Camiguin’s ring road has a great combination of healthy, vegan, vegetarian and even some meats. The highlight of this Cafe’ are the fusion meals influenced by Israeli food. We tried the shakshuka. Must say this was the best. However if you just drop by for a light snack, Hayahay has quite a selection of easy going snacks like smoothie bowls, shakes, veggie meals along with a selection of hot teas. Hayahay is where you should be heading if you want a taste of that homemade goodness.
Hayahay is on the side of the ring road, somewhere between Mambajao tourist area and the airport. The place isn’t that obvious to spot. Just keep your eyes open for a large court yard with a basketball pitch. Hayahay is right in front. If you’re using Google.maps or Maps.me both have the exact location.
Checkpoint Restaurant on Camiguin best for grilled meats
Checkpoint is a nice restaurant with a terrace seating area. Or outdoors where you get to choose your own food and watch the chef grill everything on the side of the road while you sip on a 1 litre Red Horse beer. Checkpoint was our go to restaurant when we didn’t want to cruise around at night in search of a restaurant. The menu is mostly local. However with the selection of grilled meats such as chicken, pork and even steaks, it is very similar to what us westerners are used to.
We found that sitting outside was very interesting. We would order a couple of grilled skewers, rice and grab a beer. And if we wanted more, I would just pop over and see what else was on display, and within 5 minutes the food would be right in front of us, freshly grilled.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are loads of dogs wandering around. This is if you stay outside. We ended up with around 5 dogs all staring at us with those puppy eyes. We did feed some of them but that only made more come over to our table
La Dolce Vita for the best pizza and pasta on the island
Located on the main road and directly in front of Camiguin Airport, La Dolce Vita is a restaurant you can’t miss. Not only you are bound to see the place, but you should definitely try this Italian restaurant. La Dolce Vita has a selection of Italian antipasti, pizzas, homemade pasta and also a couple of second dishes. All the pasta dishes are great. However, if you want a taste of authentic Italian food, go for the fresh pasta dishes. Homemade pasta has a different texture and holds much more of the sauces flavour making every bite soaked in your favourite ingredients.
I must say, everything on the menu is good and I would be lying if I were to recommend a dish over an other. However, La Dolce Vita is known for its pizza. The traditional brick oven pizza has got this restaurant into the list of the Philippines top 25 pizzas year over year.
Local Eatery near Ferry to White Island Camiguin
Local eateries are always a great option especially if you’re in a hurry. Not only the food is cheap but is also fresh every day. And if you go early morning, even better, everything will still be hot. Plus you also get to immerse yourself that much more into the local culture.
I don’t have the name for this place but it’s straightforward. The eatery is outside the port where boats to White Island dock. There are 2 eateries side by side, I am referring to the one on the left. I came across this eatery by chance one early morning and only went in to buy a coffee. I walked into the bustling shop with 3 ladies all cooking different dishes. I just couldn’t help myself and although the food is rather heavy for early mornings I sat down and ordered two dishes.
Local eateries aren’t always appealing I must admit. But they do serve the best food which is always freshly cooked each morning. Pork, sausage, fried eggs, boiled eggs these are the most common dishes. Other places have a broad selection including noodles, chicken, liver and sometimes even spring rolls. For 2/3 Euro, me and Jacqueline would get 4 or 5 portions of different dishes and a side of rice each. The only problem is that the food is pre-cooked so will be cold later on during the day.
J&A Fishpen Restaurant for seafood and grilled fish
If you ask a local in Camiguin for a good restaurant, they will all point out J&A Fishpen. And if you asked us this would also be a place that we highly recommend. J&A Fishpen is a bistro on the edge of a lagoon. What is interesting here is that you can actually go fishing from the restaurant’s terrace and catch your own meal.
The menu is fish based and also has a selection of shell fish depending on seasonality. We came twice to J&A Fishpen and both times had the parrot fish and deep fried calamari with sides of rice. I’m not really into fish except for shell fish like shrimps, crabs and even calamari. But the fish we had here was definitely one I enjoyed. The fish was grilled from the outside and milky tender inside with a delicate taste. And for the calamari? Oh well, I’m sitting here writing about those calamari and drooling over. Those were the best that I ever had.
Rico's Grill for juicy grilled pork
For a good, filling and inexpensive meal, try Rico’s in Mambajao tourist area. Rico’s is a typical Filipino grill and serves cuts of pork rotisserie. Like other local eateries, Rico’s has various other sides and grilled tasty skewers. We ordered pork rotisserie. The pork skin on the outside keeps all the pork juices inside and adds that bit of crunch to every bite. However, I had misjudged the portions and ordered a pork each. This was definitely a mistake and we ended up with way too much food. So just keep in mind that although prices are inexpensive, the portions are big.
Kurma Restaurant at Eco Beach Lodge Camiguin for vegetarian food
Kurma Eco Beach lodge is one of the best reviewed seafront accommodations in Camiguin. Besides offering freediving lessons, yoga lessons and various other activities, Kurma has the most creative menu on Camiguin. With a menu mostly consisting of vegetarian food, the concept of Kurma is to promote healthy eating through genuine and fresh local ingredients.
Kurma is located at the end of a path and off the main road. This isn’t a place that you’re just going to come across. Instead, you have to go there specifically, or you may just happen to be booked at their place. Now that would be amazing. After all, this accommodation does have an excellent review score.
Camiguin Sunset Lounge at Medano Island Lodge
After a long day exploring Camiguin there is nothing better than to relax by the sea while the sun slowly drowns into the ocean. And Camiguin Sunset Lounge is an ideal spot to sit back and relax. Although you won’t be directly facing the sun, you will still get a great sunset. Instead of setting right ahead of you, the sun sets further away creating beautiful hues and ever changing colours as the sun slowly fades away. This lounge is also located in the tourist area of Mambajao which is likely where you will be staying.
I know this post is about food but I can’t say much here. We would only pop over for a sundowner. I just thought of mention this place since it is the perfect spot to end the day.