Camiguin is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking destinations I have ever visited. I didn’t expect to fall in love with the island, but after exploring its many natural wonders, landmarks, and historical treasures, I was completely enamored. This tiny island “born of fire” has become my definition of paradise, and what it offers its visitors is truly priceless. What you get, apart from the unforgettable experiences and amazing adventures, is the chance to taste some of the freshest, most inventive, and delicious dishes in the Philippines. And nope, your choices are not only limited to Filipino cuisine–I was able to try an incredible range of restaurants that were so surprisingly good. From vegetarian to Italian, Vietnamese to, of course, Filipino, Camiguin did not disappoint. Here are the five best places to eat (in my opinion) when you happen to find yourself in beautiful Camiguin.
1.) Kurma Eco Beach Lodge
Barangay Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin / FB: @KurmaFreeDiveCamiguin / M: +63916 469 8912
I have to admit, being vegetarian never appealed to me until I tried the food at Kurma Eco Beach Lodge. The dishes here are inventive, locally sourced from the island and totally delicious. Of course, I am still not a vegan (I don’t think I can ever be one) but I did enjoy their vegan dishes. This says a lot, because most of the time I opted for their vegetarian dishes over the meat-laden ones, which are also delicious. To be clear, Kurma also serves meat and regular dishes for us meat-eating folk, but its good to know that vegetarians have options when they travel to Camiguin. Their amazing menu is by talented chef Ai Tacastacas, who constantly applies her unique creativity to making healthy dishes that satisfy the tastebuds. The result is an fresh offering of soulful, rustic dishes that the whole family or barkada will enjoy. Kudos to the amazing people behind Kurma, for inspiring their guests and spreading good vibes to everyone who drops by (hello Diggi and Valerie, Marine, Ai and Robert). Tip: Don’t forget to try their breakfast buffet–they have a fresh assortment of healthy crowdpleasers like banana nut muffins, cheese spreads and homemade peanut butter. Also, they can make your group an incredible boodle spread for a fee. This usually includes the freshest grilled seafood served with noodles or rice–ask them about this!
2.) La Dolce Vita Camiguin
Camiguin Circumferential Rd (439.58 mi), Mambajao, Camiguin / FB: @LaDolceVitaCamiguin / M: +63936 100 4733
Who would’ve thought I would find one of the best Italian restaurants in Camiguin?! Seriously, this establishment may be better than most of the Italian restos I’ve tried in Metro Manila (it is really that good). Each bite was heavenly, and yes, I broke my keto diet for this and it was so worth it (absolutely no regrets here). Their menu consists of mainly pizzas and pastas, but these are more than enough to keep you satisfied. The flavors are just fresh and delicious–everything is handmade from scratch with no extenders or preservatives, which is why they taste so good. As I was told by the owner, Alessandro, these are recipes from his grandmother in Italy, which is why the flavors are just so authentic. Don’t leave Camiguin without trying La Dolce Vita, anyway, it is quite near the airport.
3.) Guerrera Rice Paddy Villas and Restaurant
4.) Northern Lights
Agoho, Mambajao, Camiguin / FB: @CamiguinNorthernLights / L: (088) 387 9566
For the best ice cream, look no further than Northern Lights. They have the creamiest, most flavorful ice cream that seriously beats most commercial ice cream brands out there. My little family and I ate this everyday while we were in Camiguin (all diets were broken, unfortunately) and since then no other ice cream has enticed us. We always compare it to Northern Lights now, which is why we’ve been wanting to go back to Camiguin. The secret is that they use fresh cream/milk from Camiguin’s dairy farms, and use only natural ingredients (natural is always, always better). Their flavors range from chocolate, vanilla, ube and durian. My favorite is DURIAN, which is so surprising, because I don’t eat the fruit (I really cant stand the smell). Northern Lights ice cream is rich, creamy, and so good–enjoy this everyday while you’re in Camiguin. Oh, and they also serve great pizzas at this resto. Be sure to give it a try!
5.) J&A Fishpen Resort
Taguines Lagoon, Benoni, Camiguin / FB: @J&AFishpenResortandRestaurant / M: +63917 633 0415
If you’re looking for Pinoy, lutong-bahay dishes, this restaurant is for you. They do simple dishes like grilled liempo, buttered shrimp, steamed crabs, sinigang na hipon, and grilled fish really well, and you don’t end up with a crazy bill after. We always seem to end up here before leaving Camiguin, so I associate this with our last few hours in Camiguin. It’s a great way to say goodbye though, because the food is pretty good. The view isn’t bad either–it’s a great place to take that last family or group photo.
Have you been to Camiguin? Where did you eat? I would love to hear from you. Share away your favorite restaurants from the island so that my little family and I can try it the next time we are there.