One thing I can just about guarantee to any foreigner that visits the Philippines is you will miss your native foods. That’s not to say that good western food is not available here just hard to find. There are certain grocery stores that have some western brands but you will pay more for them most of the time because they are imported. For example I regularly go to a certain store when I desire western brands. One of the recent visits I saw some Ragu spaghetti sauce that I really liked and it was almost double the price of what I could buy it for in the states. The good thing for me is I spent about 4 years as a cook in a Mexican-Italian restaurant so I know how to make my favorite ethnic foods from scratch. This has saved me quite a bit of money.
You will find that in the big cities like Manila finding restaurants that serve western foods will be quite a bit easier. These cities have many more western visitors and the demand is there to support starting them. That will not be the case when you travel to any of the surrounding islands like here on Panay Island. Cebu is also a quite large city and has western restaurants also but not as many as Manila.
Of course what is most plentiful is Filipino foods but its easy to find most all other Asian foods also. Most any mall will have a Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurant in the food courts.
For those of you who may be hooked on American fast food. You will be sorely disappointed. They do have McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Jollibee (which is British in origin I think) and I have even seen a Kenny Rogers Roasters once. The problem lies with the fact that they cater to the Filipinos which is only natural. In doing so the hamburgers leave something to be desired by western standards. One thing I found to be a little humorous is. Have you ever seen a McDonald’s in the states that serves spaghetti? They all do here. The Filipinos really like their spaghetti and there will not be any fast food place that does not serve it. Its not Italian spaghetti either. Its Filipino style which consists of a really sweet sauce usually with hot dogs as the meat source.
Beef lovers will probably be disappointed also. You can buy good beef but the cattle here are not raised like they are in the states and the marbling of the meat is much less which will most likely mean the meat will be somewhat tough. For example I bought a 1.5 kilo piece of ribeye cut from one of the local bulk stores for a very good price.It was 455 pesos which is about $10 USD. I will get roughly 5 one inch thick steaks out of it when for the same price I would maybe get 2 in the states probably only one. The taste of the meat was great but even after a bit of tenderising the bigger part of the ribeye cut was still a bit tough. Next time I will go all the way with the tenderising of the meat and I’m sure it will be more tender.
For the most part anyone who enjoys Asian foods will be happy with the foods here. I have always liked the Chinese and Japanese restaurants in the states so I adjusted very well.