One of the first things we do when we arrive in a new city/town/village is ask the people who live in the area where they eat. We usually choose these places first over recommendations from online reviews (like tripadvisor, yelp, etc.). We assume the places that the locals go, are the places we want to eat.
This usually works out in our favor, and that was definitely the case in El Nido! Two restaurants were recommended to us by our first hostel owner, a liquor shop owner, and a guy we chatted with on the beach: Marber’s and Squido’s.
Out of all the El Nido restaurants we ate at during our week here, these two remained our favorites and are the two I would highly recommend to anyone planning a trip to El Nido.
Dine with a View at Marbers
This was by far our favorite restaurant in El Nido. The selection of delicious food, service and its prime spot on the beach lured us back at least once a day. My favorite meal here was the Filipino breakfast: rice, meat and vegetables for 80 pesos. The burger and fries for 120 pesos was a close second.
The owners were extremely kind and friendly and welcomed us with open arms each time we showed up. They also were able to run our credit card and give us cash when we ran out.
- Its spot (literally) right on the beach couldn’t be better.
- The prices are very affordable.
- The menu is large and they had just about everything on it.
- The owners and servers were extremely welcoming and inviting!
Enjoy Soup and Curry at Squidos
The best part of Squido’s is the range of food. I ate an incredibly well seasoned onion soup that I declared the best onion soup I have ever had. Squidos is on the corner of the main street in El Nido and is easily spotted. The restaurant is pretty closed, leaving the atmosphere kind of dark; It was perfect for a rainy day, but not the place to go if you want to sit in the sun and stare at the ocean.
At dinner time this place fills up fast and there was typically a wait, though breakfast and lunch they were usually pretty open. The only downside to Squido’s was the very slow service, but the food was worth it, so if you have some time to kill, this is definitely a restaurant to check out.
- Onion soup and curries come highly recommended
- Affordable prices
Breakfast at El Gordo’s Action Adventures
The only reason we ended up eating here was because we stayed at El Gordo’s hostel for the first two nights. The breakfast was so incredibly delicious we came back another day just to eat the food. Everything is bought from the market in the morning and Gordo (or his wife) cooks it up fresh and hot for you.
We ate the eggs, bacon, potatoes and bread for 100 pesos each time, and though simple, it was extremely tasty. To add to the amazing food, the deck at El Gordo’s looks out on El Nido town, and is an awesome place to chill out at for a little while.
- Incredible view of El Nido town
- Fresh, homemade and delicious food
- Individual French Press coffee with your breakfast
*If you aren’t staying at El Gordo’s and want to eat breakfast let him know the day before so he can get the ingredients in the morning. Contact him through his website.
Gourmet Lunch on an Island Hopping Tour
The lunches that are served on the island hopping tours are nothing short of amazing. Grilled fish and grilled chicken, mussels and clams, fruit and vegetables, dips and sides the food was plentiful, fresh and delicious. Lunch on the island hopping tour was my favorite meal of our trip. All of the boats had similar looking meals; whatever tour company you go with the food should be excellent!
- All you can eat
- Food cooked right in front you
- Great selection
- Included with price of the tour
Here are some other eateries worth checking out:
Very cheap, very delicious and very fresh. The bread, cinnamon buns, cookies, and siopao were tasty and cheap. We never spent more than 30 pesos at the bakery.
Next door to Marbers on the beach, Sea Slugs has a large selection of food, particularly seafood. Great vibe, good service and cheap food for such an excellent price. A full meal of crab costs 200 pesos.
This Italian pizza restaurant comes very highly rated, and the line out the door each night proves its worth it. Brick oven pizza is cooked in front on the main road and the restaurant is in a loft up above. It is an intimate environment with excellent service. The pizza is thin crust and ranges from 300-400 pesos. One pizza was good for two people.