Not everyone relies on swimming and engaging in exhilarating water activities to ensure an amazing seaside vacation. There are people like us who simply bask in the beauty a coastline can offer. We listen to the symphonic crashing of waves on the beach and the chirping of birds, take in the salty air and feel the pleasuring pinch of the mighty sun.
A tourism estate like Lio in El Nido, Palawan, is the ultimate paradise for “sensory” people like us.
The 325-hectare estate boasts of an exquisite view of the vast ocean with a middle ground of towering limestone cliffs and a foreground of perfectly fine sand.
So, what else is there to do for people who simply like to enjoy the scenery? Go on a food crawl.
Lio Tourism Estate, an integrated resort community owned and developed by Ten Knots Philippines Inc. (a subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc.), houses a total of 14 food merchants each with their own specialties. Here are our recommendations.
1. Dive into the best seafood at The Red Crab Alimango House
Start off your food crawl by diving into the best the sea has to offer: fresh seafood. Red Crab in Lio offers food items exclusive to the El Nido branch. Try the creamy Crab Bee Hon, a flavorful symphony in your mouth. Also worth trying is the mixed seafood bucket, which has four variants: Salted Egg, Butter Garlic, Chili Cajun, and Crab Roe Adobo.
2. A slice of Italy at Pizza and Amore
For a break from seafood, head over to Pizza and Amore for some light but flavorful Italian pizzas baked to perfection in a brick oven. A bite into its Quattro Formaggi (four cheese) and Prosciutto e Funghi pizzas will transport you to the beaches of Sardinia, Italy.
3. Cleanse your palate with ice cream at D’Factory
After all that, you’ll need a palate cleanser. Make your way to D’Factory and have some delicious homemade ice cream. Suggested flavors are Coffee and Caramel Oreo.
4. For vegans, there’s Fat Choy Asian Seafood Restaurant
The vegan-friendly Fat Choy Asian Seafood Restaurant has appetizing Mapo Tofu—it’s so fresh, the tofu melts in your mouth. Try also the Fried Crab with Typhoon Shelter Style.
5. Homey feel at El Nido Grill
El Nido Grill is one of the coziest restaurants in Lio. You can feast on its grilled liempo (marinated and grilled to perfection—an absolute winner), spicy squid and garlic-butter shrimps.
6. String together some souvenirs at Bead Café.
At this point, you’d want a break from all that food. Head to Bead Café and take your time as you sip a warm cup of joe. Bead Café is called such because the coffee tables have countless beads that you can string together to make necklaces and bracelets.
7. Sangria at Jungle Bar
As the sun sets, sip sangrias while munching on croquettes and vegan chicharron at Jungle Bar. It also has tender sliders and savory tacos.
8. Cap off the food crawl at Manille Beach Bar
The perfect way to forget about how many pounds you may have gained on your food crawl is to relax and have a few drinks at Manille Beach Bar. It offers refreshing cocktails made with the Philippine Craft Spirit line of Destileria Limtuaco. There’s live music to enjoy—sing and dance while you’re at it.