Tasting food from different places is like knowing their culture in its deepest form. What they served on the table describes their lifestyle and the environment they belong to. Exploring Davao Foods is just that!

Most of Davaoeño’s dishes are easy to cook and not as complicated as any other dishes. It is because this place serves as a trading spot in Mindanao, some people are too busy to spend hours in the kitchen, they said. Local people tend to cook foods that can be served easily without any complications. They also loved to experiment and combined two different dishes to make them their own. This goes to show how creative Davaoeño is when it comes to their cooking techniques!

So if you’re looking for food to eat while you are in this beautiful province, you are in the right place! Keep on scrolling and prepare to crave for their mouthwatering Davao dishes!

Key Takeaways

Davaoeño’s taste buds are very diverse. They have seafood dishes, meat, vegetables, and even finger foods for special occasions. Here are some of the foods that you should try when you visit the province:

        • Durian
        • Cacao and Chocolate
        • Kinilaw
        • Sinuglaw
        • Law-uy
        • Kalderobo
        • Chicken Binakol
        • Imbaw
        • Grilled Squid
        • Pakfry


Image Source: Authentic Food Quest

Davao is not just famous for its beautiful islands and tourist spots, it is also famous for having delicious dishes and goodies. In fact, Davao is dubbed as the Durian Capital Of The Philippines because of producing different goodies out of their famous fruit– Durian.

Many Filipinos would agree that eating Durian is not for the weak. It takes a lot of courage to swallow its slimy texture. It also produces a not-so-pleasant smell that people couldn’t take! But on the contrary, it still depends on who is eating it, because some find it very delicious and can eat it as a raw fruit! But nonetheless, Davañoes are very considerate and try to produce snacks and desserts that will suit your preferences!

If you love candies, they have Durian Candy for you. If you love tarts, they also have a Durian version of it. They also have Durian Ice Cream and Durian Cookies! You will eventually forget the smell of the King of Fruits of Davao because they offer lots of goodies with it as the main flavor. And there are many more local goodies out of this famous fruit that you should try. Be sure to have a taste of any of those and buy some for your family as pasalubong!

Cacao and Chocolate

Image Source: Esquire Philippines

Aside from Durian, Davao is also known as the Chocolate Capital of the Philippines! This is where 80% of Cacao came from. They also exported and distributed to other countries, making the Philippines known for having delicious Chocolates and Cacao beans. Infact, Malagos Chocolate, the well-known Cacao Farm in Davao, has now 56 international awards in total! A very well-deserved recognition because they are serving high-quality beans from scratch! You can taste the hard work of their workers in every bite of your Chocolates. They are known for producing Tree-to-Bar Chocolates.

When you visit the province you can try visiting their Chocolate Museum, which is also included in my Davao Tourist Spots blog. You can make your own Chocolate there or buy some Chocolate goodies from their store. But if you have no plans on going to Malagos, you can still have a taste of their Chocolate Products because it is available in Davao’s local markets and pasalubong centers. Be sure to drop by and buy as many as you can!


Image Source: The Kitchn

Now, let’s go on with some of the Davao Foods that are great in pairing with rice! First, we have the Kinilaw! If you are a sour-lover and eat everything with vinegar, then this food is definitely for you!

Kiniliw is one of the common dishes served in every Davao household. It is easy and does not take too much time to prepare. Yes, PREPARE because this dish doesn’t need fire to cook! A unique soured-fish dish that you will surely enjoy! You can pair it with rice or eat it as your pulutan while drinking your favorite alcohol. When you visit Davao, be sure to explore the place and find restaurants that serve this dish.

But if you want to try doing it on your own. You can definitely do so! Bring Davao Foods to your home by following these simple steps.


Kinilaw Davao

  • First, cut a raw fish into small chunks. Preferably Tuna. Clean using 1 cup of vinegar and drain afterward.
  • In a glass bowl, put ginger, onion, lime juice, or calamansi juice and ½ cup of vinegar. Mix it together then add the fish chunks.
  • Put seasonings based on your liking. You can add salt, chili for added spice, and ground pepper.
  • Cover the glass bowl with plastic and chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then serve and enjoy!


Image Source: Ang Sarap

This next dish is like the level up of Kinilaw, Sinuglaw is the combination of Sinugbang Baboy (or Liempong baboy in local terms) and Kinilaw. The sour taste of Kinilaw and the grilled and tender taste of Sinugba will definitely make your mouth watery! They also added cucumber to make it more fresh. You can pair it with a bowl of rice or make it your pulutan.

We can say that Davaoñeos love Kinilaw so much because they make an upgraded version of it! Well, they love it for a reason. So don’t miss your chance and taste it on your own. Try Sinuglaw when you visit Davao!


Image Source: Ang Sarap

If you are a vegetable lover or a vegetarian by heart, this next dish is created just for the people like you!

Law-Uy or also known as Utan Bisaya is a vegetable dish from the Visayas Region, that was also adopted in Davao. This food is very easy to cook and only includes boiling techniques. You can find this dish in any local restaurant or carinderia in Davao. You can pair it with white rice and some fried fish as the main dish. Having healthy dishes, just like Law-Uy, becomes famous in Davao as many locals love farming and eating vegetables. Eating this dish is like knowing the lifestyle of many local Davañoes and tasting their usual meal in their everyday life.


Image Source: Foreign Affair

Prepare your tummy because this next dish will surely make you crave for it!

Adobo is the favorite food of every Filipino, yes I’m generalizing, because who isn’t? In fact, it is also one of the famous dishes to cook in every Filipino household. But in Davao, they have this food called Kalderobo, it is a combination of Adobo and Kalderata! Yes, you read it right, Adobo and Kalderata in one! It is like a dream dish to try and enjoy with your newly cooked white rice. Your tummy will surely burst from eating it non-stop.

In terms of cooking, this dish is a bit complicated and takes a lot of time to prepare. Because it is a combination of two dishes, you will literally need to cook Adobo first before making that Adobo into Kaldereta. It is a continuous process of cooking two dishes. But all the hard work will be paid off because the meat becomes extra tasty! You can really taste the flavor of Adobo and Kaldereta combined. If you visit Davao it is a must to try this dish. No more reasons, just go and have a dig of it!

Chicken Binakol

Image Source: Ang Sarap

This next dish is not originated in Davao but because they love the dish so much locals consider it as their own, this dish is Chicken Binakol!

Chicken Binakol is like the famous Tinola, you can familiarize it because of the same ingredients as Sayote and Chili leaves. But what makes it unique is the presence of Coconut Juice and Coconut meat! Yes, your fresh buko can also be a dish. It is a unique food experience to try on! A hot bowl of Chicken Binakol is perfect to pair with hot white rice! Perfect for the rainy season just like now.

When you visit Davao, try finding this dish in any of their restaurants! But if you want to try cooking it on your own, we have this step-by-step recipe for you!


Chicken Binakol Davao

  • In a hot pan, sautee ginger, garlic, and onion. Sautee for a minute until it becomes translucent. Add Chicken meat and season it with ground pepper and fish sauce. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • After that, add Coconut juice, lemongrass, and Sayote. Mix it together and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the Coconut meat and green chili. Let it simmer again for 5 minutes then add chili leaves.
  • Let it cook. You can season it with salt if the taste is still not enough for your liking. After that, you can now serve it and enjoy it!


Image Source: RedDoorz

Davao is an island that is surrounded by bodies of water, and our next dish is one of the advantages of living in this kind of place. Having seafood available for the locals, they created this wonderful dish called Imbaw.

Imbaw is a Clamp Soup perfect for the rainy season. Sipping the hot soap with the taste of clamps makes it more perfect. It is also easy to cook and only includes sauteing and boiling the ingredients. Preparing it will only take at least 30 minutes. You can pair it with rice or eat it as a soup. It depends on your diet. There is no right or wrong in eating this dish. Taste the beauty of Davao and its natural resources by trying this delicious food!

Grilled Squid

Image Source: Lutong Pinoy Recipe

Davao is indeed rich in seafood so this next food is another seafood to try on– the Grilled Squid!

Just by the look of it, especially paired with soy sauce and chili, you can say that it is perfect in every Inuman. You can pair it with rice but definitely better without it. It is grilled with its very own barbeque sauce and some seasonings. Tasty and delicious that you can enjoy! Closing your eyes while eating is a must!

You can try it anywhere, but eating it in front of the beautiful island of Davao is a different experience. If you visit one of their beaches, be sure to order Grilled Squid and try it on your own!


Image Source: Escape Manila

Our last Davao Food is Pakfry. Yes, another combination of food that you should try. Obviously, Davañeos loves to level up some cuisines and combine different dishes with one another.

Pakfry means Fried Paksiw. You will literally cook Paksiw and then fry it to create a more unique dish. Locals love to pair it with a bowl of rice and some dipping sauce. It is perfect if you love fried food! Try Pakfry when you visit Davao, they have this food place called The Pakfry King, you can visit that place to get the perfect experience you are aiming for. But if you want to learn how to cook it on your own, we have prepared an easy guide just for you!


Pakfry Davao

  • In a pan, put the tuna fish, ginger, garlic, onion, and 1 cup of vinegar. Simmer it until the fish is well-cooked. This is a process of cooking Paksiw.
  • Next, after the Paksiw is cooked, remove the Tuna Fish and drench it into the fried seasonings and breading.
  • Deep fry it in hot cooking oil until it becomes golden brown. After that, Pakfry is ready to serve!

And these are the Davao Foods that you should try when you visit the province! If you want to have a glimpse of the culture of Davaoeño, get a taste of their famous local dishes and you will surely understand their culture even more! Enjoy your vacation and make sure that your tummy is well-fed!