Famous Sorsogon Delicacies and Cuisine

Exploring Sorsogon’s Food Scene

Food is a staple in every culture. One would often find that unexpected places have hidden gems in their culinary landscape—Sorsogon proves precisely that.

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Photo taken from What to Eat PH website

While known for its lush forests, hot springs, and whale shark sightseeing, Sorsogon is also a rich treasure trove of agricultural products. From the pili nut, lauded for its distinct flavor and versatility and is one of the main ingredients in Bicolano dishes and delicacy, to the abundant fresh seafood harvested from its coastal waters, Sorsogon has much more to offer and deserves the spotlight.

Sorsogon’s Culinary Heritage

To truly appreciate Sorsogon’s food culture, one must understand its historical and cultural roots. The province is home to people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Bicolanos, Visayans (due to its proximity to nearby Samar island), and indigenous groups, each contributing distinct flavors and cooking techniques to the local cuisine. 

Sorsogon’s culinary identity is deeply intertwined with its history, shaped by centuries of trade, migration, and colonial influences.

The Spanish occupation left an indelible mark on how Filipinos prepare food, and Sorsogon is no exception. Many traditional dishes bear the imprint of Spanish flavors, with local adaptations that reflect the region’s ingredients’ availability. Additionally, the Bicol Region, to which Sorsogon belongs, is known for its affinity for spicy food, a taste profile that sets it apart from other Filipino culinary traditions.

Beyond the classic dishes, Sorsogon is also gaining recognition for its contemporary culinary scene. Local chefs and food enthusiasts blend conventional flavors with modern techniques, resulting in innovative dishes pushing traditional Bicolano cuisine’s boundaries. This dynamic evolution reflects the region’s openness to experimentation while preserving its cultural roots.

Sorsogon’s culinary repertoire is a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of its people. The region’s unique recipes are a harmonious blend of traditional preparations and modern interpretations, appealing to locals and visitors seeking a delicious food adventure.

Bicol Express

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Photo taken from What to Eat PH website

One iconic dish encapsulates Bicolano’s love for spice: Bicol Express. A pork-based stew characterized by a rich coconut milk base infused with local chili peppers, Bicol Express is a fiery but creamy, flavorful concoction. 

The dish’s name is a nod to the Bicol Express train, emphasizing its speedy and intense impact on the taste buds. Once tasted, Bicol Express will surely leave a memorable impression with its bold and unique flavors.


Another culinary gem and unique cuisine in Sorsogon is laing, made from dried taro leaves simmered in coconut milk, chili, and various spices. These ingredients go through a slow cooking process, allowing the flavors to meld and create a rich and creamy dish with a hint of spiciness. 

This dish can have variants and is sometimes added with pork belly or cooked in the pinausukan (smoked) way. Laing is a mouthwatering delight and a cultural symbol, showcasing the creative use of local ingredients.

Local Delicacies


Apart from the popular Pili Nut Brittle, a local delicacy called Hinagum is a must try local favorite. This brown rice dessert cake make of a rice variety called Hinagum or Hinagom. The dessert recipe is quite simple. It is made from freshly harvested rice, pounded to bits using a mortar mixed with other ingredients and roasted in a big pan. After roasting, it is once again subjected to another round of pounding and slowly mixed with coconut meat and brown sugar. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.


Another  favorite made from simple ingredients of ground  glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and anise seeds. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaf and boiled for about an hour and a half over low fire. Best taken in with coffee or tea.


This a delicacy similar to the cassava cake. It’s mixture is primarily made from grated cassava, blended with coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, and pili nuts.

Pili Nuts

The pili nut, native to the region, is a particularly significant ingredient in Sorsogon’s cuisine. Its buttery, creamy taste and crunchy texture make it a sought-after snack and a key component in many local dishes. 

From pili tart and pili nut brittle desserts to pili-infused savory dishes, the nut plays a central role in showcasing the region’s culinary creativity. It also makes a great pasalubong or souvenir in one’s travels from Sorsogon!

Malunggay Pandesal

Malunggay (moringa) pan de sal puts a twist on the traditional pan de sal, a staple at every Filipino family’s dining table. Pan de sal is a yeast-raised bread created by rolling the dough in fine bread crumbs before it rises and is baked. 

In Filipino culture, it is paired with various types of food, such as butter, jam spreads, cheese, peanut butter, eggs, hotdogs, bacon, and more. Some even go as far as dipping the pan de sal into their morning coffee or chocolate drink.

Now, malunggay pan de sal in Sorsogon offers a similar experience. While malunggay can taste bitter, it does not affect the bread’s overall taste, making it kid-friendly.

Street Food Experience in Sorsogon

One must explore the bustling markets and vibrant street food culture to fully experience Sorsogon’s culinary scene. The local markets, such as the Sorsogon City Public Market, offer a sensory feast of colors, aromas, and sounds. Here, farmers and vendors showcase the regional agricultural bounty, from fresh fruits and vegetables to seafood and spices.

Street food stalls, ubiquitous in Sorsogon, offer a taste of the province’s culinary delights in an informal and convivial setting, often through the task-to experience. 

Tusok Tusok to Taho

Tusok-tusok is an umbrella term for street food consumed by taking a skewer to pick up pieces of food and then dipping it into a sweet, spicy sauce or a mix of both.

From taho, a soybean curd with sweetened syrup and tapioca pearls, to kwek-kwek, deep-fried quail eggs coated in orange batter, these snacks provide a quick and affordable way to savor local flavors. 

Famous Sorsogon Delicacies

Bounties from the Sea

Sorsogon’s coastal location also makes seafood a street food highlight. Grilled prawns, fish balls on sticks, and other delights are expertly prepared and served to locals and visitors. The aroma of smoky grills and the sight of fresh catch draw in passersby, offering a taste of marine bounty in every succulent bite.

Street food not only satisfies the palate but also provides a glimpse into the daily lives and unique and delicious tastes of the people of Sorsogon. Beyond the flavors, the street food experience celebrates the community and their communal spirit. 

Delicacy, Native delicacies, pili trees, delicious delicacies
Photo taken by iSawRed, from Unsplash

Locals gather around street food stalls, sharing meals, stories, laughter, and companionship. The atmosphere is lively, creating a sense of togetherness as people from all walks of life partake in the culinary delights that define Sorsogon’s streets.

Exploring Sorsogon’s food scene is not only a gastronomic, sensory journey; it is an immersion into the heart and soul of a province that takes pride in its flavors, traditions, and the warmth of its hospitality.

For those willing to go on the adventure, Sorsogon’s culinary food and delicacies, all in its spirit and diverse flavors, await.

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