Bigg’s Diner, Que Pasa, Red Platter, White Bean Cafe, Graceland, and Bob Marlin, any of them sounds familiar to you? Well, if you have been to Naga City in the province of Camarines Sur, Bicol Region, you have surely encountered atleast one of the eateries that we mentioned. In our first-ever trip to Naga City as a family, we were lucky enough to EATSplore Naga and have 6 Tasty EATSperiences in 2 Days. Yes, you read that right, we ate at 6 different restaurants in just 2 days. It was a really short time to EATSplore what Naga City has to offer but we assure you that after this EATSperience, you would surely want to travel to Naga and EATSperience these restaurants yourself.
EATSplore Naga – 6 Tasty EATSperience in 2 days!
Day 1 Stop No. 1: Bigg’s Diner
A visit to Naga and the Bicol Region won’t be complete without dining at the iconic Bigg’s Diner, a fast casual dining concept with innovative products and excellent service. For 34 years and counting, Bigg’s Diner has been serving up some of the country’s most amazing fried chicken and ribs. Today, Bigg’s Diner has 15 branches all over Bicol Region and one branch in Lipa City. The company is looking ahead to their 40th year in 2023 and they are aiming to have 40 branches at that time. We certainly hope that they would have at least 1 branch in Manila even before 2023.
Big, juicy and crispy fried chicken! No gravy needed. This behemoth plate of fried chicken stuffed us full in no time.
This beautifully butchered piece of baby back ribs by Bigg’s is worth all the billboards all over Naga. It was really tasty and tender. This bestseller will surely make anyone lick their fingers after eating. Amazing stuff, Bigg’s!
Their other dishes such as cordon bleu and angus beef strips are worth a try as well. The iconic Bigg’s Diner will not be an icon if it weren’t for the high quality of food that they have been serving for 3 decades now. It has become a place for celebrations, gatherings, meetings and just simply dining to have a good meal. We are hoping that Bigg’s Diner will make its way to Manila in the near future so that more and more Filipinos can EATSperience their awesome food.
Day 1 Stop No. 2: Que Pasa
Que Pasa is just beside Bigg’s Diner in Barlin St. and is located just in front of Porta Mariae. This beautiful Hispanic restaurant was built in ruins and has preserved some of the parts really well. Its walls were painted by Bicolano painters. Our visit to Que Pasa transported us back in time and back because of its wonderful blend of old and new. Before we forget, Que Pasa is also owned by the Bigg’s Group which means that they know their food really really well.
Since we tried Que Pasa right after we devoured the feast that Bigg’s Diner prepared for us, we were only able to try their succulent ribs. If the ribs at Bigg’s were already amazing, Que Pasa’s ribs tasted even better. It was sweet, smoky, and fall-off-the-bone goodness! Amazing stuff.
Day 1 Stop No. 3: Red Platter
The humble beginnings of Red Platter made us EATSperience food cooked with love. A mother’s love for her children and for cooking was what fueled the success of this household name in Naga. Together with the other brands, the owners of Red Platter, have thought of putting up other restaurants that can cater to different markets.
Without any hesitation, this is the BEST local-flavored pizza in the Philippines. We would gladly go all the way back to Naga for this Red Platter Bicolano classic. Creamy, spicy, and meaty. It’s everything we want and more in a pizza.
The Bicol Express was really spicy and authentic. It literally had more shrimp paste and sliced chili than pork. The pinangat was extremely rich and filling. These two Bicolano favorites are best eaten together to complement each other’s flavors.
Aside from the Bicolano specialties, other dishes like their kare-kare is worth a try. The creamy and nutty stew, that is kare-rare, required us to eat lots of rice. Their homemade dishes made us really full yet we do not regret having room for dessert. As for dessert, their cakes are really really good! Pistachio sansrival and Chocolate mousse cheesecake were our favorites!
Day 2 Stop No. 1: White Bean Cafe
White Bean Cafe
With its white walls and dainty interior, located at the ground floor of a hotel, White Bean Cafe is perfect for those who want to chill and have a relaxing time right at the center of Naga.
The laing quesadilla was a combination of sweet and spicy flavors. Sweetness from the cheese and spiciness from the laing. The bicol express linguine was a good fusion, however, we would prefer if it had a stronger flavor and kick from the bicol express.
Day 2 Stop No. 2: Graceland
Graceland is the sister company of Red Platter. If Red Platter is more of a restaurant, Graceland is the fast food eatery. The eatery features lots of different set meals perfect for those who are on-the-go. It is also considered as Naga’s food, bread and pastry shop. As they house the Baker’s Plaza, which is also owned by the same owners of Red Platter and Graceland. Remember when we mentioned the owners putting up other restaurants that can cater to different markets?
Both sets were really filling. And we were so happy to see that we could have our usual favorites lechon kawali and adobo, paired with local specialties. Strong and spicy flavors from both the bicol express and the laing, which we really loved! This EATSperience was SO BICOL!
Day 2 Stop No. 3: Bob Marlin
One of the highlights of our Naga trip was, learning about how these restaurants started. The story and the success behind these popular eateries. With its heirloom recipes, Bob Marlin serves comforting dishes from a mother’s love for cooking. Throughout the years, the concept changed from a family restaurant to a restaurant that can cater to a younger crowd. This restaurant can cater to all ages—families, couples and friends. The indoor area is perfect for family gatherings, while the outdoor area is perfect for friends who are into drinking while having good food. Isn’t it interesting to see how ones love for cooking turn into a crowd favorite?
This made us eat so much rice! The stew was smooth and aromatic with lots and lots of tender slices of beef. If you wanna go the more adventurous route in your Naga food trip, you gotta try this one!
The BEST Crispy Pata in the whole wide world! Our friends have been raving about Bob Marlin’s Crispy Pata ever since they found out we are heading to Naga and they were right. This Crispy Pata tasted like it was roasted first before being fried. Therefore, its skin was SUPER CRISPY and its flesh was EXTREMELY TENDER. Never ever miss this when you go to Naga!
Laing of course was another dish that we really loved. And leche flan for dessert sealed the deal. Creamy and smooth leche flan with just the right amount of sweetness. Our Bob Marlin EATSperience was one for the books.
Stuffing ourselves for 2 days in Naga was worth every calorie intake. As we have EATSperienced first-hand the quality dishes each restaurant offered. What we loved about this trip was that each restaurant had local specialties, showing pride of what they are known for. And how the families of these restaurants share their love for food to the people of Naga. It was one wonderful EATSperience to remember. From the hospitable people that we have met, to the amazing food that we stuffed ourselves with. We surely would want to come back to Naga and EATSperience more. That’s it for this food-filled edition of EATSplorations! ‘Till next time!