Where to Eat in Ilocos: Herencia

Although almost every restaurant in Ilocos carries pinakbet pizza on their menu, it’s a fact that this famed Ilocano delicacy was originally served at Herencia Restaurant. So on our Ilocos tour after visiting the historical Paoay Church, we opted to stop for while and get lunch at this nearby restaurant to try their famous pizza.


To be honest, pinakbet is one of my least favorite viands of all time. I’m not a veggie snob in general, but I don’t really like string beans and okra, especially if there’s not much else in the dish but them. The only reason I wanted to try the pinakbet pizza (395PHP) was to level up on my Ilocano food adventure.

When the pizza came, it looked really appetizing! It was a good size too. There were 3 of us on this day including our tour guide, but one order was enough for us. We ate the pizza drizzled with some bagoong sauce and chili sauce which were readily available on our table.



So how did I find it? Well, it was good enough for me to get more than one slice, but not so much to see myself craving it again after this experience. It was worth a try, but at the end of the day, I still prefer Italian toppings on my pizza.

Looking back, I wish we could’ve gotten a sampler pizza (450PHP) instead so we could have tried one other flavor. The sampler pizza gives you a choice of 2 flavors on one pizza. Aside from the iconic pinakbet, Herencia also serves the following Ilocano pizzas: Ilocandia, chicharon, dinuguan and gamet. (Trivia: gamet is a unique seaweed product of Burgos, a municipality in Ilocos Norte.)

On this visit, I also got an order of their Special Herencia Miki (85PHP). I was disappointed on the presentation of this dish. It looked really sad when it was served. It looked oily and the bagnet and chicharon bits were all at the bottom, soggy. Maybe I’m just being a brat here, but it’s far different from a photo I saw online from another tourist. Theirs had crispy bagnet and chicharon pieces on top, and even had spring onions as garnish. Oh well, we did come at lunch hour so the kitchen was probably busy. Presentation aside, I found the broth of this dish very rich and flavorful! The noodles were a bit hard for my taste, but still enjoyable.


I would still recommend visiting this place if you want to try out Ilocos’ pinakbet pizza. Nothing beats being a part of history and enjoying the famed dish at nowhere else but its birthplace!

Herencia Restaurant
Location: Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines (right across Paoay Church)

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