November 1, 2018

Epic Pampanga Food Crawl: 7 Places Where You Can Fill Your Tummy When in San Fernando

Pampanga is generally agreed and known as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. Many of the home cooked dishes that gets served in our households like tocino, sisig, halo halo, pancit palabok, morcon, kamaron, buro etc., have roots to Kapampangan cuisine. Not to mention many of the Philippines’ revered culinary experts, restauranteurs and chefs hail from Pampanga like: Chef Sau Del Rosario, Chef Claude Tayag, Larry J. Cruz, The Razons, The Hizons and others.




I have visited parts of Pampanga one too many times and I have tried some of its well-known places to eat. But not until last weekend that I got to experience a gastronomic journey of epic proportions with my blogger friends during the Giant Lantern Festival Bloggers Tour which was organized by the City Government of San Fernando (Tourism Promotion and Caravan Sub Committee) together with the Giant Lantern Festival Foundation Inc.Yalla Book of Coupons and San Fernando Lantern Makers Association.

I have done food crawls before but this is by far the most epic of them all! 7 restaurants around San Fernando Pampanga! Can you even believe that? Well you have to, because this is as real as it gets. Below are the 7 restaurants home-grown in San Fernando that you should visit the next time you’re in Pampanga.


First Stop: L.A. Bakeshop
The perfect first stop for this epic food crawl! We arrived in San Fernando at around 8-9AM and our first stop was LA Bakeshop which was very fitting, since what they have to offer, served as our breakfast. L.A. Bakeshop has been baking since 1985 and known as the home of the original Pinoy cheese bread.




They have four branches in Pampanga serving different kinds of fresh breads and pastries for customers to enjoy in store or to-go. LA Bakeshop also offers good coffee and Batirol chocolate drink. My personal favorites are their cheese bread, cheese roll and Spanish bread. Their Spanish bread is by far the best I've tried.




Address: McArthur Highway, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga
Contact Nos: 0916 262 3098, 0921 460 3724, (045) 436 0133
Email: la_bakeshop1985@yahoo.com
Facebook: facebook.com/la.bakeshop1985/
Instagram: instagram.com/labakeshoppamp/



Second Stop: Parmisano’s
Would you believe it if I tell you that the restaurant’s name isn’t a derivative of Parmesan cheese? Well, the resto’s name is actually the last name of the owner. Quite catchy and clever if you ask me because it totally sounds like Italian. Parmisano’s offers fusion Italian-Kapampangan flavors with a lot of home-style cooking infused into it.




This model-house turned into a stand-alone restaurant along KM 78 Mac Arthur Highway invokes such homey feels that makes dining here feels like you’re anywhere but home. Parmisano’s menu revolves around pizzas, pasta and chicken. Must try is their Shrimp Bisque Fusilli which is Parmisano’s Italian take on Pancit Luglog (aka pancit palabok). This al dente fusilli pasta is combined with creamy shrimp sauce, topped with onion leeks, whole shrimps pieces, boiled egg and chicharon bits. I also loved their Chicken Skillet and Lengua & Beef Salpicao.




Address: KM 78, Mac Arthur Highway, San Agustin, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Contact Nos: 045 4027639
Facebook: facebook.com/Parmisanos
Instagram: instagram.com/parmisanosbistro



Third Stop: Meats and Match
This farm to table place is the perfect place for you to satisfy your carnivore cravings. And of course I meant that in figurative language haha! Who could ever resist tender, juicy, succulent steaks sizzled to perfection? Bet you can’t can you?




Must try is their 2-Piece Pork chop Grilled Gourmet. Man those pork chops are so tender! All of us can’t believe we were eating pork chop as they’re almost buttery soft! Easy to slice and easy to chew! To balance that out also order their Asian Salad, it’s healthy, flavorful and full of texture from those fried vermicelli noodles. Meats and Match’s chicken wings are not to be missed as well.




Address: McArthur Highway, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga
Contact Nos: 0998 988 8917
Website: http://meatsandmatch.com
Facebook: facebook.com/meatsandmatchdolores/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/meatsandmatchph



Fourth Stop: Roberto’s
First of all, let me say sorry that I don’t know anything about Roberto’s before this food crawl even though they have a branch in SM Marikina which I frequent because I live nearby. Ok, moving on. Roberto’s is one of the loveliest restaurants I’ve been to. It’s an old 1950’s house turned into a restaurant filled with the owner’s collections of knick-knacks through his travels. I mean if you’re looking for an IG-worthy place to dine at when in San Fernando, this is your stop. Every nook is perfect for the ‘gram and you’ll have those stock photos good for a month.




Cuisine at Roberto’s is more on Filipino-American dishes with focus on prime steaks. The price of the steaks here might be on the steeper side but expect nothing but quality meat. For burger fans, Roberto’s Double Smoky Mushroom & Cheese Burger will definitely thrill you. If you’re going to ask me though, It’s so pretty and relaxing here that I’ll probably stay for the coffee, the cake and the ambiance.




Address: Mac Arthur Hwy, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital,
Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga,
Contact Nos: +63 998 9888914
Facebook: facebook.com/RobertosPH/
Instagram: instagram.com/robertosofficial



Fifth Stop: Café Noelle
Ahhhh… I just love Christmas and wouldn’t it be nice if people is always in the spirits of Christmas? This is the idea behind Café Noelle. Noelle is the name of the daughter of the owner Chef Judy Uson, who was born around Christmas time. She told us she and her family wants their customers to feel like it’s Christmas everyday whenever they visit the restaurant. True indeed, there’s a lot of dainty, shabby-chic and Christmas decors all over the place.




Café Noelle’s menu revolves around the owner’s family’s heirloom comfort food/dishes. One good example is their Chiffonelle Cake that she said is around a hundred year old recipe passed down to generations. This Chiffonelle cake is so airy, light and has the right amount of sweetness that will surely warm your heart. Other notable dishes are the super creamy Thai Seafood Curry and the Tinapa Fried Rice which includes smoked bangus rice, deep fried pork belly, sunny-side-up egg and fresh tomatoes.




Address: Greenfields Square, MacArthur Hwy,
Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga
Contact Nos: 09175374521
Email: cafenoelle@gmail.com
Website: www.cafenoelle.com
Facebook: facebook.com/cafenoelle/
Instagram: instagram.com/cafenoelle/



Sixth Stop: The Orange Bucket
I’m allergic to seafood, like literally. I have a love-hate relationship with seafood but it’s one of my favorite food in the whole wide world. I just always need a pop of my anti-histamine and I’m good to go! The Orange Bucket is the ode to the world famous “Boiling Crab” and an offshoot of the owner’s brainchild Crowing Chicken Restaurant. Seafood and other meats are locally sourced as well.




We got to try both their Cajun flavored Boiling Seafood In A Bucket and Seafood Tray. The former contains steamed or boiled soft shell crabs, shrimps and mussels in Cajun-style blend of signature seasonings in spices served in a bag (placed in their popular orange bucket to preserve the flavors. The latter is a mixture of seafood, squid, veggies with tuna steak/red snapper cooked in Cajun/Creole seasonings. They also offer Ribs and Asian fusion dishes. Their ribs have the fork-tender meat that they fall off the bones.




Address: Erazone Square, Kalahi Business Road, San Isidro,
San Fernando, Pampanga
Contact Nos: (045) 402 2611, (0906) 246 8000, (0998) 850 7750
Email: info@theorangebucket.ph
Website: http://theorangebucket.ph
Facebook: facebook.com/TheOrangeBucket/
Instagram: instagram.com/the_orange_bucket/



Seventh Stop: 4MD’s Manukan at Ihaw-Ihaw
Whew! Our seventh and final stop of this epic Pampanga Food Crawl didn’t want to be outdone! Before they sent us off back to Manila our dinner was a feast of all things grilled and home-grown Kapampangan dishes by 4MD’s. The name of this grill was taken after the 4 children of the owners and we got to meet one of them. All of their grilled meats are good and we all went after the grilled hotdogs once the last person to take a photo was done. That surprised me to find a grilled hotdog in a restaurant menu, but it’s actually a comforting eat because it makes you feel like a kid hehe.




I loved their original sisig recipe made of pork ears and face and without all the added fanfares of egg and mayonnaise. (Kapampangans cringe over that just so you know guys hahaha!). It is the LEGIT sisig! And their Buro at Mustasa is the ultimate ending to this dinner. Nothing speaks Kapampangan cuisine like fermented shrimps!




Address: MacArthur Hwy, Dolores,  San Fernando, Pampanga
Contact Nos: 045 9633283
Facebook: facebook.com/4MDs-Manukan-at-Ihaw-Ihaw
Instagram: instagram.com/4md_manukan/

There you have it folks a day of eating different and rich Kapampangan flavors hitting our palate dish after dish! If this post doesn’t prove that Pampanga is the culinary capital of the Philippines, then I don’t know what is! This is just a preview of what Pampanga can offer your taste buds and I’m sure as heck as excited to try more the next time I find myself in this part of Luzon.






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