Apart from the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier, one of the first things that come to mind whenever Bohol is mentioned are its floating restaurants.
These restaurants offer travelers the opportunity to feast on local dishes while cruising on Loboc River, one of the Philippines’ cleanest rivers. Guests are also treated to cultural shows and musical performances.
Using local materials like nipa and bamboo, the open air barges pass through greenery and local villages, starting at either Loay – a town that rests at the mouth of the Loboc River – or Loboc town proper.
Tours usually take about an hour to an hour-and-a-half and are available for both lunch and dinner. Those who opt for night cruises get the added pleasure of witnessing fireflies that have made the river their home.
There used to be just one restaurant catering to such tours in Bohol, but as interest grew over the years, two other restaurants have followed suit.
Here is the list of the three floating restaurants in Bohol and their offerings.
Rio Verde Floating Restaurant
The pioneer in Bohol’s floating resto industry, Rio Verde Floating Restaurant is renowned across Loboc. One of the highlights of this cruise is the opportunity to meet the Ati Tribe, an indigenous group that hails from Panay.
Foodies can choose between an ordinary buffet and a high-end buffet. The high-end buffet takes place in pawikan-inspired barges that can accommodate 50 to 60 diners. Smaller groups can reserve smaller barges, which are built like a calamay, one of Bohol’s delicacies. These are where the ordinary buffet is served.
What food to expect: Both buffets offer traditional Filipino dishes, a salad bar, soup, fruits, desserts, pork, fish, chicken, and seafood. Dishes include ginataang langka (jackfruit in coconut milk), Pinoy barbecue, calamares, and fried chicken.
Price: P550 for regular buffet
- Business name: Rio Verde Floating Restaurant
- Address: Poblacion. Ubos, Tagbilaran East Road, Loay, Bohol
- Contact: (038) 538 9196
- Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/VcatC5Pehw9JDLVB6
Candijay Del Rio Floating Restaurant
Like Rio Verde, Candijay Del Rio employs native wood, nipa, and bamboo for its barges. Walls are decorated with a local weave called “amakan”.
What food to expect: Compared to Rio Verde, Candijay Del Rio’s menu is more flexible, offering the option to order ala carte. Items include noodle dishes, snacks, desserts, and seafood. Bestsellers include salad na pipino, crispy pata, and sizzling sisig. Alcoholic beverages are also available.
If you’re coming with a group, you can choose to order group set meals, called Del Rio’s Bila-o Blowout. These come with a large bottle of soda and a variety of meat and vegetable options that are good for sharing.
- Business name: Candijay Del Rio Floating Restaurant
- Address: Lungsod-daan, Candijay, Bohol
- Contact: 0935 253 2813
- FB page: https://www.facebook.com/CandijaydelRioFloatingRestaurant/
- Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/zuNMr2xmE4gBwrMp9
Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto
This floating restaurant is renowned for its festive performances. Folk dance such as tinikling is routinely offered, and guests are always encouraged to participate. Food is served buffet-style. Drinks are charged separately.
What to expect: As traditional Loboc floating restos go, this one also serves homegrown comfort fare, with a good variation of pork, chicken, vegetable and seafood items. Staples include pork barbecue, buttered chicken, chopsuey, coal-grilled fish, guso salad, mangga’t bagoong, cheesy puso, ginataang langka, and tropical fruits.
Price: P650 for buffet
- Business name: Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto
- Address: Loay Interior Road, Loboc, Bohol
- Contact: +63 999 582 4655/ (038) 537 9460
- Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/vnMuqM784UjahAFC9
How to Get There
From Tagbilaran City, head to the Tagbilaran City Dao Integrated Bus Terminal. Buses, jeepneys, and vans are available to take you to Loboc in an hour or less.