What to eat in Tuguegarao and Nueva Vizcaya

Travel Food Guide: What to eat in Tuguegarao and Nueva Vizcaya

A food trip discovery with Boy Kanin Tuguegarao, Pancit Batil Patong and Pancit Cabagan by Billy Jacks Panciteria and G&B Restaurant, Hotel Carmelita’s Culinare and Acustico, Alcala Milk Candy, Lighthouse Cooperative Ybanag Food Products’ Chicha-rica, Chicha-rabao along Tuguegarao Diversion Road, G&B Pasalubong, and Gelyne’s Bibingka and other Cagayan foodie thru #BoyKaninTuguegarao

boy kanin tuguegarao

This is a sponsored post. Pasalubongs are not sponsored. All opinions are mine.





28 September 2019, Cagayan – Foodamn Philippines goes to Cagayan Valley Region and Nueva Vizcaya. We’ve been in Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya several times but the Tuguegarao town is something new to discover. As we anticipate what to eat and what are the best things to do in Cagayan. We listed down some of must-haves and where to possibly get them, and yet unplanned decisions seems a great way to feed our unusual gastronomic feat.

The travel took us an estimate of nine hours, more like uninterrupted driving. We did a single stop over and headed straight to our first destination, the Tuguegarao City. Sharing with you some of our DIY culinary tourism in Tuguegarao, parts of Cagayan, and selected areas in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya.

Chicharon kalabaw. We saw a local street vendor carrying bulks of chicharon kalabaw (carabao rinds or carabao skin crackling) and macaroni chicharron separately in front of the hotel we’re staying in. Cheaply priced per “takal” using a small plastic container to scoop the chicharron. An order cost P25 [$ .50] with 1.5 takal and he puts it inside a plastic labo with sprinkled Ilocos vinegar. Probably one of the best experiences we had. Clearly, his goods were not an old stock and was processed and cooked in a clean manner, its color were clear beige and though it’s not sealed, it retains the chicharon crisp. Though we cannot bring them as pasalubong due to packaging method. We suggest when you bump into him or similar vendors here in Diversion Road, talked to them to schedule a day before your departure and bring a pack of zip locked to stock your “sulit” and guilt-free chicharon kalabaw. While the macaroni chicharon is an alternative to people who avoid less-fat, they are called macaroni as it resembles the macaroni pasta which are both made from flour.

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
macaroni and chicharon kalabaw

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
chicharon kalabaw P25

Flavored carabao chicharon. You can buy pre-packed chicharon kalabaw in Florida bus terminal and Lighthouse Cooperative, both situated along the Diversion Road. These are available in regular, garlic, and spicy versions at P40/pack [$ .80].
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
spicy chica-labaw P40 from Florida bus terminal
Pancit Batil Patong. When in Tuguegarao you will never miss an opportunity to grab the town’s popular pancit, typically there were strips of panciteria along the main road, each has its own cooking style. Pancit Batil Patong is the Northern Luzon’s signature stir-fried hand-pulled home-made noodles, cooked akin to how we prepare pancit canton. Nowadays miki is commonly used as an alternative to thin-noodles. “Batil” means beaten egg and “Patung” means toppings. The original recipe is served with topped carabeef, fried egg, lechon karahay, chicharon, liver and bean sprouts; and, sauce (egg drop soup in beef broth) and chopped onions with soy sauce, vinegar, calamansi and garlic chili oil.

Billy Jacks Panciteria (2014). The first batil patong we had was from Billy Jacks Panciteria along Buntun Highway in Tuguegarao City. “Dabadabest” P100 [$2] is the overload version. The serving is good for 2 persons, what we don’t like about it was the chorizo slices, me to be specific, it changed the overall taste. I was looking for the traditional “lasa” of the local dish. For starter, you can order “Super” P80 [$1.60] instead, without the chorizo. As for the ambiance, the target market of this establishment was more inclined to young people and mostly group of travelers. They have this rasta and beach-feel-good interior, and is situated along the highway. We don’t know as to why the locals recommend them, instead of the restaurants or even carinderias with the original recipe. Maybe because Billy Jacks is still considered new in the game and making hype among young people.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
Dabadabest. pancit batil patong version from Billy Jacks P100

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
Super, pancit batil patong version from Billy Jacks P80
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
chili garlic, fresh chopped onions, calamansi, and sauce (egg drop soup) 

Billy Jacks
Buntun Highway, Tuguegarao City. 3500 Cagayan-Apayao Road
Tel. No.: (078) 304-1888


G&B Restaurant. Another version of pancit batil patong we tried which is way better from the previous one we had and uses the original thin noodles. G&B is originally a pasalubong stop over a few meters from the restaurant. They are located in Tuao South, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya. We also had Pancit Cabagan, the pancit canton of Cabagan, Isabela. Both pancit platters didn’t have the carabao beef, instead, the batil patong is topped with beef while the cabagan is topped with pork. Almost the same ingredients except that cabagan is served with soup (beaten egg soup broth). They might taste better but the carabeef is missing, that’s the essence of batil patong and cabagan.

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
 pancit batil patong version from G&B Restaurant

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
 pancit Cabagan version from G&B Restaurant

G&B Restaurant
Tuao South, Bagabag, 3711 Nueva Vizcaya
Mobile No.: 0932-858-6165
Operating hours: 8AM – 10PM

G&B Buko Pie [24 hours open]. A one-stop shop for pasalubong right before G&B Restaurant (coming from Cagayan/Santiago Isabela route). Production of different kinds of pies are made at this branch, a legit Vizcayano products. They sell buko pie and pineapple pie at P85 [$1.7] per box, while mango pie and ube pie is at P100 [$2]. We managed to buy ube yum at P60 [$1.2] per rectangular food container. They have all sorts of sweets (bibingka, cassava cake, macaroons, tart, oatmeal raisin bar, silvanas, crinkles, and cookies) ranging from P70 to P160. Street vendors sell “tupig” at P100 [$2] per 3 bundles, plus request for “patikim” for sampling. What makes these kakanin different from Pangasisnan/Tarlac? They are neat-looking, less burnt, and uses young coconut strips.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
buko pie from G&B P80
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
buko pie from G&B P80

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
pineapple pie from G&B P80
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
bibinga from G&B P75

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
bibinga from G&B P75

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
ube from G&B P60

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
tupig from G&B P100/3 bundles
G&B Restaurant
Tuao North, Bagabag, 3711 Nueva Vizcaya
Tel. No.: (078) 332-2136


Boy Kanin [24 hours open]. If you’re familiar with Boy Kanin in Manila or any of its provincial branch, the last week September , they recently open their first 24-hour dine-in branch adjacent to Hotel Carmelita along the Diversion Road in Tuguegarao City. The design and planning of this branch particularly the facade was inspired by Tuguegarao’s namesake “Gateway to the Ilocandia and the Cordilleras.”
Boy Kanin Tuguegarao
From L-R: Mr. Ronald Allan Callao, Mr. Tristan Soriano and his family, with Boy Kanin mascot. 

Mr. Tristan Soriano, the franchisee behind Boy Kanin Tuguegarao mentioned “He expect Boy Kanin branch in Tuguegarao to maintain its price stability and continues to offer Cagayeños a competitive meal as well as a dining place projected with sleek atmosphere. He further emphasized that consumers these days look for a joint with catchy ambience, that [the concept of the store] draw his interests  to join Boy Kanin family, aside from the fact that it offers reasonable eats…. one of his favorites from Boy Kanin menu was the tapa or tapsilog.

boy kanin tuguegarao
sisig rice from Boy Kanin Tuguegarao

boy kanin tuguegarao
BK crispy pata  from Boy Kanin Tuguegarao

boy kanin tuguegarao
BK boy fiesta from Boy Kanin Tuguegarao
boy kanin tuguegarao
chilled salabat  from Boy Kanin Tuguegarao

A good place to have an affordable Filipino meal whether you’re on a budget or wants a quick grub. They say this branch is a work in progress, the first time the franchise restaurant transformed to a polished interior highlighting the distinct image of Boy Kanin brand. The upscale look makes use of the attic as it presents a feel-good spot for diners. Millennials and “hugot” crowd can totally relate to a space where they can spend time dilly-dallly around while enjoying happy, comforting food from BK. Try our personal favorites like the BK boy fiesta which is good for two to three persons, sisig rice, pinoy burrito, BK crispy pata, tapsilog, boy lugaw, chilled salabat and among others. With wide selection of Filipino “pang-masa” meals available 24/7, the fast-food has an easy and secured access.
boy kanin tuguegarao
symbolic dining area o Boy Kanin Tuguegarao

boy kanin tuguegarao
"salampak" or floor seat style 

boy kanin tuguegarao

Boy Kanin Tuguegarao
9 Diversion Road, Tuguegarao City, 3500 Cagayan
Email: marketing.boykanin@gmail.com
Website: https://www.boykanin.com/


Lighthouse Cooperative (since 1998). Lighthouse Cooperative is a retail and wholesale distributor of manufactured products of Tuguegarao. Located in Luna Street corner Taft Street, the group resell mostly Tuguegarao made products from processed food such as tapa (marinated carabeef), and Ybanag brand chichi-rabao, chichi-rica, cassava cracker, peanut brittle, carabao milk candies or pastillas. Their in-house products are made by Ybanag Food Products.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
chicha-rica fro Lighthouse Cooperative P40 or Florida bus terminal

Luna Street corner Taft Street Centro 02, 39 Luna St, Tuguegarao, 3500 Cagayan
Closes 5PM
Tel. No.: (078) 304-0635


Teaño Alcala Milk Candy (since 1930). One of our must-haves is the Alcala milk candy. We never anticipate the shops around the city closes early, we were in search for pasalubong at around 6PM. Some locals are even clueless where to pin point pasalubong shops/centers, our only shortcomings is that we were not able to visit the nearest public market during the day, it was included in our list of priorities. Still we managed to acquire an Alcala milk candy by Robero at P100 [$2] per 3 packs. We knew this brand was at some soft a knock off but we have no choice but give them a try. We were told that the Teaño Alcala was the original maker, since it became popular in Alcala town, several versions came out with matching cloned carabao-inspired logo. Alcala town I think is a few hours more from Tuguegarao. We came to know the story of Alcala pastillas through a family friend, whose grandparents - the purveyors of carabao milk candies. When we got home from Tuguegarao, our neighbor from Alcala, Cagayan gave me a pack of this:
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
Teaño Alcala milk candy

I never mentioned I just came from Cagayan and brought home the fake ones, not literally fake but more like lesser quality. When you make comparison of both brands, you’ll get the taste and the texture of a pure carabao milk. Anyway, here is the address in case you are curious.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
Alcala Robero milk candy, P100 for 3 packs 
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
another version dubbed as Alcala's Best, Edna's 

Teaño Alcala Milk Candy
78 Baculod, Alcala, Cagayan 3507
+63998-996-5663
tamcbb168@gmail.com

Manila branch
18 Lions Road, Mandaluyong City
Tel No. 531-0045
CP Nos.: Temy – 0906-233-8205, Lorna – 0917-847-6110


One town, one product (OTOP) store in Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. A one-stop shop pasalubong from Nueva Vizcaya, here they have array of bottled preserves with the likes of: several brands of ready-mix turmeric tea, guava jelly, peanut butter, peanut garlic, guyabano tea, bagoong isda, Ilocos vinegar and even coconut oil used for body massage. Aside from food, they sell native products, Benguet-made apparels, souvenir shirts, accessories and trinkets and different species of plants.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
One Town, One Product (OTOP) store along the highway of Sta. Fe


Culinare and Acustico. Culinare is a café with fusion of Filipino and Italian fare. Known as a pizza place and KTV hang-out years back before they progressed into Hotel Carmelita. While the Acustico bar is lounge area with live music located at the back side of Hotel Carmelita.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
pizza from Culinare, Hotel Carmelita 

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
cappucino from Culinare

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
fruit slices from Acustico, Hotel Carmelita

what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
cocktail tower from Acustico, Hotel Carmelita
Hotel Carmelita
9 Diversion Road, Tuguegarao City, 3500 Cagayan
Tel. No.: (078) 844-7027
Email: reservations@hotelcarmelita.com.ph
Website: http://www.hotelcarmelita.com.ph/


Exotic food in Cagayan. Abalin from Itawes, also abaleng or tateg; salagubang in Tagalog, is the larva of the abal-abal or beetle. Abalin as well as the matured one called Assimmawa is a popular delicacy of the Ibanags, Itaweses and the Ilokanos in Cagayan and other areas in Cagayan Valley. Have you tried the rice eel, river eel, and even the monitor lizard? Cagayeños will never go hungry, during the dry or wet season, they have been creative in finding food in so many ways. Our great-grandfather came from Zambales and as a child we saw how the locals eat the salagubang, palakang -bukid (farm frogs) and ganta or grasshoppers vigorously. For them, it is indeed part of their daily lives and consume it normally just how you eat your chickens.

Have you been to Aggao Nac Cagayan celebration? A trade fair and display of Cagayan local commodities particularly showcasing what’s new and how the entrepreneurs innovate their existing products. From the recent feast, part of the dishes exhibited includes: agurung freshwater shellfish, buguey shek, steamed rice eel with dried sili black bean sauce, fried frog with cucumber, bayawak truffle pasta, nigay fish in coconut milk, bicol expressgolden apple snail, river eel meat balls, among others.


Laoya. We regret to try Laoya, it said this dish is similar to Bulalo except that it is made of carabao meat. Most carinderias offer Laoya together with kambing dishes.

Native delicacies. Every provinces in the country has signature “suman” or an abundance of kakanin or rice cakes in this agricultural region, the pawa  (or kakanin ng Piat, Cagayan) is glutinous (malagkit) ground rice delicacy sweetened with crunchy ground peanut fillings in steamed buns. Bamboo cakes more known as Sinabalu and Tinubong, are considered the two of the most treasured rice desserts in Cagayan. And then here’s the list for us to discover on some other days: Pinassuk, Pinataro, inatata, putumaya, pakumbu, inafiyan, patupa, dila-dila among others.
what to eat in tuguegarao and nueva vizcaya
some of Tuguegarao kakanin we've tried are: biko, palitwa with filling, and kutsinta 

Until our next stop to Cagayan.





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