Located in the northern Calamianes islands of Palawan, Coron is an idyllic tropical destination that lures travelers far and wide with its incredible seascape crowned with soaring karst cliffs. Coron Town on the Busuanga mainland is homebase for most visitors who venture to Coron Island and other smaller islands on day excursions for beach-hopping, snorkeling and scuba diving.
With the growing popularity of the destination, the past decade has seen an economic boom with more and more dining establishments popping up in town. For a convenient way to get around Coron and the rest of Busuanga Island, I recommend renting a scooter from Mico Motor Rental (+63 9554325751), located behind McDonald’s. Here are the newest hotspots to eat and drink:
Inspired by the Filipino hut or bahay kubo, as its name suggests, El Kuvo exudes a rustic yet contemporary atmosphere with its thatch roof and bamboo light fixtures. They serve pizzas, pastas, soups, salads, burgers, and meaty mains. Their kebabs are best-sellers, especially their fusion dish chicken inasal kebab (₱379). For local flavor, they also have some classic Filipino dishes like chicken adobo and pork kare-kare. Being on an island destination, I was particularly drawn to their seafood dishes, so I ordered Grilled Catch of the Day (₱429), which was tuna served with mashed sweet potatoes, and a virgin cucumber gimlet mocktail (₱189) – a match made in paradise!
A stone’s throw away from El Kuvo is another open-air restaurant aptly named AlFresco, which offers breezy rooftop dining overlooking Coron Island. It’s an excellent spot for sunset cocktails to late-night bites. Their fusion menu features signature burgers, rice bowls, and mouthwatering appetizers like smoked paprika hummus (₱340). The “Tuna Passion” section, however, is a highlight, including their take on the Hawaiian classic tuna poke (₱380) – a generous bowl of marinated fresh raw tuna loin cubes served with mango, shiitake and roasted nori, then dressed with a honey soy sauce and sriracha sauce.
If you need a place to eat or drink while working online, MC Cafe & Bar, located conveniently along the main road traversing Coron Town, might just be the perfect spot. They have a good selection of coffee drinks – served hot or iced – like my favorite iced Spanish latte (₱169). These are best paired with their popular all-day breakfast plates like eggs benedict (₱535) or pork Lucban sausage (₱230). Pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches also feature on their menu. When the sun goes down, flip over to the last page for their list of refreshing cocktails.
Ahoy, coffee lovers! Another recent addition in town is Kaulayaw Coffee, a Filipino chain from Antipolo City, Rizal that takes pride in serving “ethically sourced, and locally grown” coffee. This cozy coffee bar is located at the ground floor of AJ Coffee & Bed. They have an extensive menu of coffee offerings with poetic local names – like Irog (Sagada beans espresso, ₱139) and Dapithapon (drip made from exclusive beans, ₱99). These include espressos, drips, cold brews, and espresso-based hot or iced drinks. Non-coffee beverages are also available, such as fruit-based drinks, kombucha, and craft beer.
Vegetarian and health-conscious diners will rejoice at Fresh Bites, a vegan-friendly snack bar located next to Calamianes Eco-Experience, one of the eco-tourism pioneers of Coron. This newly reopened cafe serves a travel-inspired menu of sandwiches, smoothie bowls, and savory bowls, together with coffee, fresh fruit juices, shakes and slushies. Most items are vegan, and selected ones are gluten-free or dairy-free. Allergens are clearly indicated in the menu. Among their crowd favorite are the Himalayan falafel over hummus (₱220) and the Osaka bowl (₱260), made with tofu, brown rice, and shredded assorted veggies and drizzled with special teriyaki sauce.
Headquarters for Coron Brewery, The BrewHouse is an open-air beer bar specializing in locally brewed craft beer. Newbies can opt for a sampler of five different kinds of craft beer for only ₱400. The bestseller is the Irako IPA (₱180 for 400 mL & ₱220 for 500 mL) – a tropical American IPA with a bitter finish. Enjoy your drinks with pub chow like pork schitzel (₱390) or European sausage platter (₱1,150).