Monday, August 05, 2013

Ilocos Norte: Your guide to the best Ilocos empanadas

Ilocos Empanada - Batac, Ilocos Norte
Much has been said about the Ilocos empanada. Note that there are two distinct varieties, namely Batac and Vigan, the differences of which, I've written about before. But in Ilocos Norte, there are several places to get really delicious empanada aside from in Batac.

Ilocos Empanada - Batac, Ilocos Norte
Where to find the best empanada in Ilocos Norte is no contest since Batac has always held that honor. Glory's Empanada is the most popular. In Batac, you can order different combinations of empanada ingredients: papaya, monggo, egg, longganisa and even hotdog. Some choose vegetarian. While others double the longganisa or egg or even double both! The Jumbo Empanada has all ingredients plus hotdog. But they also serve a lot of street food in Batac if you want more than just empanada.

Ilocos Empanada - Laoag, Ilocos Norte
In Laoag City, aside from the Dap-ayan ti Ilocos Norte which is the place most tourists go to for empanada, there are four empanadaan which you might find interesting. The first one is JM's Empanada at the Laoag Airport which many locals recommended to me because the longganisa is really tasty! It's just a few meters from the airport terminal building. So you could walk over as soon as you arrive or enjoy empanada right before you leave.

Ilocos Empanada - Laoag, Ilocos Norte
There is Mildred's Empanada, a small cart with tables right beside the Laoag City Public Market. Another place we discovered is along P. Burgos, near the corner of Gen. Giron Street. It's right beside Balay da Blas. They smoke the longganisa before adding it to the empanada.

Locals also recommend the empanadaan near PLDT which is Elvie's Sweet Empanada (tricycles will know where this is) since they use sweet longganisa or hamonado instead of the garlicky derecado.

Finally, Johnny Moon Cafe in Laoag serves Dinardaraan (Dinuguan) Empanada which you might want to try if you are looking for something different.

Ilocos Empanada - Bacarra, Ilocos Norte
Finally, just a few minutes from Laoag, there are two empanadaan in Bacarra. What makes their empanada worth the visit is the crust which is extra crisp and crunchy. You can see and taste the difference! You'll find them in Barangay 11 Santa Filomena 1, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. Just ask for directions, the locals surely know where they are. Note that they are open only from 3 to 7 p.m.

Did I miss any other interesting empanadaan in Ilocos Norte?
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