Must-try spots in Angeles City’s foodie landscape
Despite numerous delectable regional dishes in our 7,107 islands, Pampanga is still best known as the culinary capital of the Philippines.
So, we hit the road and headed to Angeles City — Pampanga’s city of angels — to taste authentic Capampangan cuisine as well as new additions to its culinary landscape, as suggested by our extra special food guide: celebrity chef Sau del Rosario.
Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy at Sisig
San Andres St., Angeles City
The late and great Aling Lucing invented the addictive concoction we now know and love as sisig, but beyond her kitchen, there’s another must-try place to experience Pampanga’s signature dish.
Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy at Sisig is a no-frills joint along San Andres St., but do not let the humble façade and plastic chairs dissuade you.
When we visited Mila’s on a Thursday night, it was packed with diners — despite the power outage that hit the city that night.
As their name suggests, Mila’s is famous for Tokwa’t Baboy (fried tofu and chopped pork with a seasoned soy-vinegar sauce), a staple in drinking sessions anywhere in the Philippines.
And of course, their Sisig (grilled and chopped pork face — yes, face) is a must-try. Served on a sizzling plate, the pork is just the right amount of charred when it gets to your table. Devoid of bells and whistles, Mila’s sisig keeps the Capampangan way alive: tasty, simple, and deliciously addictive.
Make sure to also try Mila’s Tocino BBQ (tangy and sweet grilled cured pork) and Chef Sau’s personal favorite, Mila’s Beef Caldereta.
Miranda St., Angeles City
After you’ve tried Pampanga’s classic fare, head to Café Fleur for some “avant-garde Capampangan” dishes.
Conceptualized and opened by our food guide, Chef Sau, Café Fleur is the culmination of his travels and training abroad.
His quaint and chic restaurant — located in the beautifully restored 1898 Narciso home in the heritage district — features dishes highlighting the familiar and nostalgic flavors of Pampanga, mixed with his French-Asian flair.
Apart from Café Fleur, the ancestral home also houses Babo and Leh-Leh, two other concept restaurants by Chef Sau, and managed by business partner Chloe Cauguiran.
Café Fleur is a foodie haven, so make sure to come back several times to try their Capampangan
Tamales, Crispy Okoy and Shrimp, Tinapa Mousse (addictive), Chef Sau’s signature Macadamia Kare-Kare with Crispy Pork Belly (as sinfully delicious as it sounds), and any cake they have in the stand. And I mean, ANY CAKE.
Just last month, a few days after his birthday, Chef Sau opened his newest restaurant in the city – 25 Seeds.
Catch chef Sau’s specially made dish exclusively for Expat Travel & Lifestyle magazine’s “Urban Revival” issue. Coming to news stands soon!
Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich Eatery
Jesus St., Angeles City
Pampanga is definitely more than sisig and local fare. Angeles City is also home to a vibrant array of foreign-themed restaurants.
Just behind Café Fleur is a restaurant with an industrial feel that offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine simply called Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich Eatery.
Created by former Nobu New York chef Rex Soriano and his Vietnamese wife, Banh Mi offers tasty Vietnamese fare — and Chef Rex’s experience at the prestigious Nobu New York leaves no wonder to the extraordinary nature of their offerings.
Make sure to try their Goi Gah (fresh chopped salad with chicken and egg noodles), Pho Bo (beef pho with the works), BBQ Pork Banh Mi (BBQ pork with pickled vegetables in a baguette), and fresh Spring Rolls with their lip-smacking roasted peanut sauce.
If you’re looking for a place to walk off the calories you’ve devoured in Angeles, this next’s one’s the perfect place.
Museo ng Kasaysayang Panlipunan ng Pilipinas
Sto. Entierro cor. Miranda St., Angeles City
History buffs and enthusiasts will get a crack out of this one.
Sitting near the center of the heritage district, the Museo ng Kasaysayang Panlipunan ng Pilipinas (Museum of Philippine Social History) opened in August 2015.
The museum is housed in the Pamintuan Mansion, built by Mariano Pamintuan and Valentina Torres in 1890 as a wedding gift to their son, Florentino.
According to its website, it “provides a glimpse of Filipino social history in the past and today. It offers an exciting panorama of Filipino life and culture, before and today, that uniquely describe the Filipino.”
To date, it has nine well-curated galleries about Filipino life, spanning from the typical Filipino dining room and kitchen to the enigmatic Philippine mythological creatures, to architectural styles across the country.
Walk-ins are welcome. To arrange group visits, call (045) 304-4042 or email mpshnhcp@
One day in Angeles City is definitely not enough to experience the best it has to offer and a tour around the province will reveal more culinary treasures than one can expect, but if you’re looking for a good place to start this delicious and full-filling journey, you can never go wrong with the city of angels.
By CHING DEE