best places to eat in El Nido

The 5 best places to eat in El Nido | Palawan, The Philippines

El Nido is one of the most famous places to stay in The Philippines, because of its perfect location in the beautiful Bacuit Archipel. However, El Nido is also infamous for food poisoning. In this article, I’ll share my 5 favorite places to eat in El Nido and tips on how to avoid food poisoning.

Big Mama’s

You can find Big Mama’s on the Calle Hama and it’s right on the beach. They serve typical Filipino street food for a great price. Don’t expect anything fancy (you sit on a plastic chair on the beach), but the food is good, cheap and the location is great. The staff is very friendly and will answer all of your questions. I highly recommend ordering the sisig and the adobo at this place.

Lucky Afola

Lucky Afola
There are many places in El Nido that don’t serve Filipino food, and if you’re into burgers or Burritos, Lucky Afola is the place to be. The place looks great, has beautiful furniture and a nice bar. It’s more expensive than the places that serve Filipino food, but they still serve great food for a good price.

Maa’s Grill

Maa’s Grill is probably one of the cheapest places to eat in El Nido. It serves basic Filipino food, and they grill it on the doorstep. It’s very basic but cheap and good. The perfect spot if you just want a quick meal.


Artcafe is probably the most popular place to eat in El Nido, all the tourists go here. It has a great atmosphere, a big terrace, and awesome food. This is one of the few places I dared to drink fresh juices and salads. It is the most expensive place to eat (and to drink), so skip it if you’re on a budget.

Angels Wish

Angel Wish

My absolute favorite in El Nido: Angel Wish (and maybe even my favorite place to eat in all of Palawan!). I was really skeptical when I first stepped into this restaurant because it’s quite dark. But at the oceanside, there is a long table (you’re hanging over the beach) and here you’ll have the most amazing view of the rocks around El Nido. The food is absolutely fantastic. Great coconut sauce and the fish is grilled perfectly. It’s also one of the cheapest places to eat in El Nido, so you can’t go wrong here.

Map of my favorite places to eat in El Nido

Something about that food poisoning

El Nido is known for many cases of food poisoning because tap water is really bad. Here are some tips on how you can avoid getting sick:
– Don’t drink cocktails or drinks filled with ice cubes, most of them are made from tap water. Stick to canned or bottled drinks.
– Buy lots of bottled water, use it also to brush your teeth.
– Don’t eat fresh (fruit) salads. They may seem perfect because of the heat, but there is a big chance the fruits and vegetables are washed in tap water.
– Are you feeling a bit nauseous? Drink Coca-Cola, it helps!

Where to stay in El Nido?

El Nido is a must-see when you’re traveling in Palawan. I can highly recommend this Palawan itinerary for 3 weeks, so you’ll have enough time to explore the island and El Nido.

There are many places to choose from if you want to stay in El Nido. Hostels, basic rooms, fancy hotels, whatever you like! I ended up staying in two different places:
Spin Designer Hostel: a luxurious hostel with great beds, air conditioning, and hot showers.
– Ricos Beach Cottages: Very basic room, but at a great location on the beach with a balcony overlooking the sea. A good breakfast is included.

It’s easy to book anything last minute with

More travel tips for The Philippines

Check out these articles if you’d like to read some more about The Philippines:

Or check out one of these amazing travel guides:

Lonely Planet Philippines

Insight Guides Philippines


As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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