ILOCOS SUR | Vigan’s Empanadahan at Plaza Burgos

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Vigan Empanadahan at Plaza Burgos

About thirty steps away from Vigan Cathedral is a happy place where you can feed your stomach after feeding your soul. The empanada stands at Plaza Burgos is usually where I have my lunch and merienda after hours of walking whenever I visit Vigan City.

Plaza Burgos in Vigan

The so-called Vigan empanadahan sits on the eastern edge of the plaza dedicated to Padre Jose P. Burgos, the Filipino priest who was executed garrote-style with fellow Padre Gomez and Zamora for fighting on behalf of ecclesiastical reforms in the country during colonial times.

The plaza is one of the two major squares in the city, the other one being Plaza Salcedo.


Vigan Empanadahan at Plaza Burgos

Naturally covered from the heat of the sun by century-old (I’m guessing here) trees, numerous stalls selling various street foods line the empanadahan. A quick walk through the open-aired eateries reveals smoking barbecue grills, piping hot bowls of arroz caldo and mami, platefuls of okoy, steaming sinanglao, and of course as its name suggests, Vigan empanada.


Vigan Empanadahan at Plaza Burgos

There are tables and benches set up inside eateries, but my favorite place to have my snacks in is at the tables set under a canopy of trellises. The arbor sits right beside the empanadahan, so you simply pick your choice of street food, pay for it, and then bring it there.

Here, the tables are wider and the area much more airy—no need to battle for elbow room with the locals that flock the place, especially during lunchtime.


Cooking Empanadas at Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

While the town of Batac in Ilocos Norte arguably holds the torch when it comes to empanadas with their Batac empanada, Vigan’s version can definitely hold its own. Cooked and prepared the same way, the difference between the two are its size, color, and crust consistency. Vigan empanadas are slightly smaller, lighter in color, and much crunchier.

I like both, but if someone was to hold my camera and tell me he’ll drop it if I didn’t choose, like right now, I’ll choose Vigan’s empanada in a heartbeat.

Aling Tina at the Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

I don’t usually care where I buy my empanadas when in Vigan City, but during this last trip we were tipped off to get them from Aling Tina’s. It seemed she’s the star of Plaza Burgos empanadahan after being featured by a travel show.

Empanada at Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

My order at this place usually consists of two plates; one for special empanada (₱35.00) and another for special okoy (₱35.00). Each comes with its own bowl of sukang Iloco or vinegar made in the region. It is blacker than your usual Datu Puti variants. A bottle of Coca Cola also fits well with the bill.

Okoy at Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

To be honest though, I sometimes find the okoy at this place to be better than their empanada. I hail from Malabon and I definitely know my okoy, I’ve been eating them since I was a little kid. The ones being sold at Plaza Burgos may be super oily and thinner than what I’m usually accustomed to, but my, are they uber crunchy!

And if their empanada and okoy still leave me a bit hanging, I usually just plunk down a few of these on my table:

Lugaw at Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

Arroz Caldo with Egg (₱25.00)

Miki at Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

Miki (₱25.00)

Isaw at Vigan Empanadahan in Plaza Burgos

Isaw Barbecue (₱5.00 per stick)

Err, if those don’t fill my needs for another round of walkathon around Vigan City, I don’t know what will.

I love everything about Plaza Burgos’ empanadahan; unpretentious, greasy, and flavorful food that won’t burn a hole in your wallets, no matter how hard you try.

Vigan Empanadahan
Address: Jacinto Street, Plaza Burgos, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: 2:00PM to Early Evening
GPS Coordinates Map: 17.574395, 120.388366


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  1. the best reason to go back to Ilocos: Emapanada!

    1. Can't disagree with you on that one, Vigan Empanada rocks! :)

  2. Haha. Twenty seven steps away talaga?

  3. May tour kami sa Ilocos ngayong 15 at ang breakfast namin ay sa Plaza burgos, I think I need to check out their empanada. Hahaha.

    1. Hi Salve, you should check out Vigan empanada! It's a bit oily but really, really good especially if paired with sukang Iloco :)

  4. hello, are food stalls in burgos plaza open at 8am?

    1. Hi, most stalls at Burgos Plaza open from 2PM to evenings :)