WHERE TO EAT: 8 Must-try Food in Zamboanga City

Food Trip Zamboanga City
Zamboanga City Food Trip

Looking for best places to eat in Zamboanga City?

Whenever I travel, a destination becomes more personally special when I get to have a taste of its local cuisines. So, every time I visit places, I make sure that I get to experience its local dining scene. During my recent visit in Zamboanga City, I got to taste some of its well-loved and popular dishes and delicacies. Here's my list of "8 Must-try Food in Zamboanga City."

Must-try food in Zamboanga City

8 Must-try Food in Zamboanga City

1. Knickerbocker

The knickerbocker is a famous dessert/snacks in Zamboanga City. It is a delightful mix of fresh fruits, jellies, condensed milk and topped with strawberry ice cream. The knickerbocker is a refreshing dessert that has been a long time favorite among Zamboangeños of all ages. How does it differ from the conventional halo-halo that we used to know? The fruits (watermelon, mango, pineapple, melon, apple) that are in the Knickerbocker are all fresh! Yey!

WHERE TO EAT: There are many restaurants in Zamboanga City that offer this yummy snack-dessert. But if you want to have a taste of the authentic Knickerbocker, head to Paseo del Mar, during sunset until midnight and experience food adventure by trying out some of the local favorites including the famous knickerbocker at Palmeras Restaurant for only Php 65 pesos per glass. If you wish to have it anytime of the day, it is also served in the main branch of Plameras Restaurant along Pasonanca Road, Zamboanga City.

Must-try food in Zamboanga City

2. Satti

Satti is a breakfast dish of marinated, skewered and grilled meats, served with "puso" (rice wrapped in coconut leaves) then mixed with thick sweet and spicy curry-like sauce. Every time I visit Zamboanga City, I never miss having this for breakfast. But it is also good to have it any time of the day. This is certainly a must-try when visiting Zamboanga City!

WHERE TO EAT: There are many Satti Houses in Zamboanga City, but the most recommended is Jimmy's Satti House along Pilar Street, Zamboanga City.

Must-try food in Zamboanga City

3. Lokot-lokot

Lokot-lokot is a local delicacy found in Zamboanga City and other parts of Mindanao. It is called by the locals as "jaa", "lokot-lokot", "Zambo Rolls," or "tagaktak", depending on where you find this delicacy. This crunchy dessert that is made from rice flour, sugar, oil and water is one of the popular pasalubong to bring back home after a visit from Zamboanga City.

WHERE TO EAT/BUY: Pasalubong Centers, Airport, Barter Market. Cost is about 60-70 pesos per pack.

Must-try food in Zamboanga City

4. Pianono from Tsokolate

Pianono is a miniature chiffon cake roll with custard filling. I knew pianono from childhood and it has been a favorite bread of mine. So, when I knew that pianono is one of the best-sellers at Tsokolate by Linfood, I got so excited to have a taste of it. What makes it different from the usual pianono is that it is filled with rich chocolate filling instead of custard filling. A perfect way to end any meal at Tsokolate.

WHERE TO EAT: Tsokolate by Linfood along NS Valderosa Street (near Lantaka Hotel and BPI), Zamboanga City.

Where to eat in Zamboanga City

5. Chicalang

Chicalang is a snack food in bilao or packed in plastic usually sold by street vendors in Zamboanga City. It is a local delicacy in Zamboanga and other parts of Mindanao (maybe called in other names) that is made from glutinous rice shaped like a twisted donut or pilipit. It is fried and then coated with flour and caramelized sugar. We got to try it when we had our afternoon snacks at Vista del Mar Beach Resort.

WHERE TO EAT: Vista del Mar Beach Resort along Labuan - Limpapa National Road, Zamboanga City. It is sold for 90.00 pesos per plate of 8-10 pieces.

Where to eat in Zamboanga CityWhere to eat in Zamboanga City

6. Sulu/Tausug Native Pastries

Collectively called "Bangbang Sug," these yummy and freshly-cooked native pastries from Dennis Coffee Garden in Zamboanga City are really a must-try! I suggest that you order their Bangbang Samplers which include native pastries such as Apam, Panggih-panggih, Daral, Putlihmandi, Palikambing and Jualan. And oh! Pair it with Sulu Coffee, and you're all set an awesome food trip in Zamboanga City!

WHERE TO EAT: Go to Dennis Coffee Garden along Labuan-Limpapa National Road and order their Bangbang Samplers for 50 and 55 pesos each.

Restaurants in Zamboanga City

7. Saging Prito

During our stay at Lantaka Hotel, we got curious when we saw many people eating fried Saba for afternoon snacks. So, we decided to give it a try. Lantaka Hotel's Saging Prito is basically the usual fried saba that we used to know. But what makes it special at Lantaka Hotel's Restaurant is the dip or the sauce that comes with the fried saba. The dip is made from a distinct kind of "latik" or sweet coco jam called "halaya." Yum, yum!!!

WHERE TO EAT: Lantaka Hotel's Restaurant located along NS Valderosa Street, Zamboanga City. A serving costs 88 pesos (+taxes).

Restaurants in Zamboanga City

8. Curacha in Alavar Sauce

This Zamboanga specialty have put the region in the culinary map. When one hears of Curacha or Deep-sea Crabs, the name Alavar Restaurant and its signature Alavar sauce come to mind. The delicious Curacha dish served in rich savory sauce is definitely a must-try when visiting Zamboanga City. The curacha is sinfully delicious and tasty!

WHERE TO EAT: Alavar Seafood Restaurant along Don Alfaro St, Tetuan, Zamboanga City.

Food trip is a must-do when visiting Zamboanga City! Save this post, share it to your friends and let this serve as guide for an awesome food adventure in Zamboanga City!

Did I miss anything? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.


As a progressive city, Zamboanga has a wide array of hotels and resorts that tourists and travelers can stay at. Whether it's a budget hotel, a pension house, or mid-range 3-star hotel, you can find a room that will fit your budget and needs.


READ MORE: Zamboanga Travel Blogs


Thank You For Sharing!

SHARE this on Facebook SHARE this on Twitter


  1. It is actually called in Zamboangueño as "Sicálañg" and NOT 'Chicalang', then "Saguiñ Frito" and not Saging Prito.

    Ypushpuld have also try other Zamboangueño's Delicacy such as the:Alfajor, Rebosao o Rebosado, Torón. Then other Zamboangueño's foods like Estofado, Chupa Culo, Paella, Valenciana, et.al.

  2. Thanks for sharing and visiting mi Ciudad de Zamboanga

  3. Where's the popular pastil of the tausugs??

  4. Wheres the popular pastil of the tausugs?

  5. Muchisimas Gracias for featuring Zamboanga!

  6. Also try Andi's Satti in Tetuan it is becoming more popular nowadays.

    The tausug coffee at Dennis coffee garden is the best! It so smooth not too strong and it does not leave a sour aftertaste like most coffees out there.


Looking for Budget Travel Guide Blogs, Hotel Reviews, and Sample DIY Itineraries?
Welcome to Pinoy Adventurista, "Your Next Ultimate Adventure Starts Here!"

Pinoy Adventurista is one of the Top Travel Blogs in the Philippines and the World. In 2013, he visited all the 81 provinces in the Philippines.