Pampanga’s Best: Must-Eats in PH’s Culinary Capital

By A Not So Secret Life and Randomly Candid

Just like Iloilo, Pampanga is popular for its delightful gastronomic attractions, making it known as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines”.

Kapampangan food is famous among tourists because of the one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience it leaves on everyone’s palate. Pampanga has a lot of native flavors to choose from. But to give you an idea, we’ve decided to make a list of some of the local dishes that are a guaranteed must-try aside from the popular Batute (frog) and Kamaru (crickets).


It is believed that Sisig is an original Kapampangan dish that has already been part of Pampanga’s rich history.

Unlike the usual sisig that we commonly see in carinderias and restaurantsthe original recipe of the Kapampangan Sisig was a vegetable salad.  It was only later on when meat was added to the recipe until it became purely meat made of chopped pig face and ears.

Aside from pig face and ears, chicken liver and pig brain are also mixed to the dish to make it more flavorful. It is best when topped with lots of onions and seasoned with calamansi.


Pako or Fiddlehead Fern is abundant in Pampanga’s wild. It was inevitable that a dish with pako as the main ingredient would be invented.

Pako Salad is one of the local dishes which is purely Kapampangan. It’s a green salad featuring pako, usually mixed with tomatoes and onions and topped with salted eggs. A drizzle of vinaigrette completes the Pako Salad experience.


Probably one of the most popular Pinoy dishes, Tokwa’t Baboy is best tasted in Pampanga. This dish, which is made of golden fried tofu with pig ears, gets its flavor from the home-made soy sauce which balances the rich taste of the meat. It also comes with celery and tomatoes on top, making the dish extra mouthwatering and flavorful.


If there is one home-cooked dish that will never disappear in every Filipino table, it would be Sinigang. Every province in the Philippines having its own version of the sinigang is testament to its popularity.

Known for its sour soup, the usual sinigang we know uses tamarind or kamias to achieve its sour taste. In Pampanga, their version of sinigang uses guava or bayabasas as the souring agent. It sounds weird, but it doesn’t taste weird at all once you try it.


This might be a challenge to many, but for the Kapampangans, it’s just another local dish served even in restaurants.

Kuhol or golden apple snails are usually found in the rice lands of Pampanga. And to make use of them, they concocted “Ginataang Kuhol”.

Basically, the snails are cooked in coconut milk just like other ginataan dishes, then it is mixed with spices such as ginger, garlic, pepper and chili. Sometimes, they also put bagoong or shrimp paste for a more adventurous taste.

Pampanga has a lot to offer when it comes to food. And they are all just waiting for your indulgence!


With Cebu Pacific offering direct flights to and from Iloilo and Clark daily, this Weekend Sidetrip is just a flight away! Book your next adventure in Clark now and #MakeFirstMomentsHappen!