A taste of Ilocano Dishes at the Newly Opened Metro Vigan Cafe

by Carol Ranas
12 minutes read
Who haven’t heard of the famous “Bagnet” from Ilocos?

Ilocandia cuisine is very interesting. Bagnet, Longganisa, Empanada, Pinakbet and Sinanglao are some of the famous dishes at Ilocos Sur. I was very excited to try these dishes during our gastronomic trip up North.

Metro Vigan Inn (through Powercomm) had invited us bloggers to have a taste of Ilocandia cuisine at their newly opened restaurant, Metro Vigan Cafe. Metro Vigan Cafe offers Asian Ilocano cuisine. Though my knowledge on Ilocano cuisine is limited only to Bagnet, It was an awe how many creative dishes you can make use of Bagnet.

Here are some of the menu items at Metro Vigan Cafe that you surely wouldn’t want to miss if you are in Vigan:

WARNING: A LOT of Food photos ahead that will make you salivate. You’ve been warned.

Here are some of the appetizers and sides you can choose from Metro Vigan Cafe:


Poki Poki is made of scrambled egg mixed with grilled eggplant. It is somewhat similar with tortang talong (without the ground meat)


Instead of the usual pork wrapped inside the spring roll, this type of spring roll makes use of house made longaniza which gives it a subtle savory taste. Order this for this is the best appetizer option in my opinion.


This chopseuy is a chicken dish with meaty meat and vegetables. It looked different than your typical chopseuy, for it is too starchy and strikingly white-ish in color. I can’t figure out what’s different in this dish, but it was not that appetizing.


This is the traditional Filipino noodle with ingredients of vegetable and/or chicken/squid balls. It reminded me of how my dad cooks pancit canton. My dad makes the best pancit canton (in my opinion), so this is definitely top of my fave list.


Their fried rice is made of Vigan chorizo combined with chinese chorizo, which makes it a Filipino breakfast staple. Order this and the Crispy Bagnet and your tummy will be thankful.

Metro Vigan Cafe also offers a lot of yummy and filling local main dishes:


Sinanglao is a hot and hearty soup that is a local cuisine in Ilocos. It is like an Ilocano version of sinigang and papaitan combined in one dish. The soup has a quite bitter taste (like papaitan) and a sour aftertaste (like a sinigang would be). But none the less, the dish was deliciously good.


It is a must try to have their house specialty braised duck and tomato stew with secret herbs and spices. The pato tasted just like chicken and the meat was tender, it falls off from the bones.


Their bulalo was the bomb. The rich flavor of beef broth, bones along with crunchy vegetables makes this dish an instant hit. Be sure to check your blood and cholesterol level first before consuming this,.


This dish is made of steamed tilapia stuffed with fresh tomatoes, onions and ginger. What I particularly liked about Ilocano cuisine is the KBL (Kamatis, Bagoong at Lasona) side that is somehow incorporated in almost all their dishes.


This dish is deep fried pig trotters and knuckles that comes with a soy-vinegar dip. The crispy pata lack luster in comparison with the crispy bagnet. Don’t get me wrong, this dish is crunchy and yummy as well, it’s just that Bagnet always have that special place in my tummy.


Metro Vigan Cafe’s version of original chicken taste similar with Classic Savory chicken. It was indeed savory and yummy, perfect with their fried rice.


This dish is made of pan fried cat fish and grilled eggplants, stewed in smoked coconut milk. I am not fond of coconut milk on dishes, but this is surprisingly delicious. The catfish was soft and tender that blends well with the grilled eggplant.


Malaga is a classic ilocano fish that is abundant in the Ilocos region. Malaga is steamed on top of fresh tomatoes, onions and ginger. What makes the dish delish is the sauce which has a unique and taste flavor taht goes well with the steamed fish.

The highlight of Ilocandia cuisine is their famous Bagnet. Metro Vigan Cafe incorporated Bagnet in our favorite Filipino dishes which made eating more fun. Here are some of the variatons of Bagnet we’ve tried:


After our long trip up north, we were greeted by these babies. Metro Vigan Cafe’s Bagnet Burger is the bomb. Banget with lettuce, tomato and dressing was a good welcome treat.


This dish is made of chopped crispy bagnet with secret spices top with egg, garnish with mayo. As you have read in my previous food post, I don’t eat sisig unless it’s the crunchy version. This sisig became my favorite, Bagnet bits made into sisig with the right amount of spiciness? Yum!


Kare Kare is a Filipino favorite vegetable dish. But for me, I don’t like Kare Kare because of its peanut sauce. I was hesitant to try this, but Bagnet and Bagoong, two of my favorites, I indulged. Matro Vigan Cafe’s version of Kare Kare was different, in terms of its sauce. Their peanut sauce was tasted less peanuty and more tomato-ish.


Bagnet is a classic Ilocano dish which is everyone’s favorite, even those who are not supposed to have it. It is deep fried pork belly crisp to perfection. Ilocanos sure know how to make this dish crispy and at the same time juicy, without drying its meat. I loved nibbling those crispy skin and munching those juicy fatty meat.


This pinakbet is one of the Ilocanoes favorite vegetable dish, garnished with crispy bagnet chunks and theor signature fish sauce. Pinakbet just got a lot yummier with the prescence of thos crispy bagnet chunks. Yum!

I can say, that weekend was implodingly scrumptious. I never imagined I can eat that much amount of Bagnet in one weekend. I was conscious of my cholesterol levels, bu Bagnet was too yummy that I didn;t even think about it while munching on those crispy skin. I am grateful for Metro Vigan Cafe for introducing me to the wonderful Ilocandia cuisine. My first experience with the cuisine did not disappoint. You definitely made my tummy explode with happiness in just 2 days.

Metro Vigan Cafe
Bayubay Norte, San Vicente, Metro Vigan
Contact No: (077) 674-0448

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