Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Top 10 Things to SEE, DO or EAT in Dagupan City

Did you know that the word Dagupan comes from the word 'Nandaragupan'? It means - a place where people meet. It's probably because Dagupan City is a city rich in natural resources due to its proximity to both the sea and rivers. People had a natural affinity for the place as it is an ideal location to trade and meet people.

So, this coming Bangus Festival, come to Dagupan City so we can all continue to live the Dagupan City spirit of coming together. Celebrate the Bangus Festival with us, celebrate our City with us. We welcome you!
Celebrate with Dagupan City from April 8 - May 1!

Now, there is already so much to do in Dagupan City based on the Bangus Festival Calendar, but should you ever find any lulls (unlikely), or maybe you'd like to try things on your own (you should!), then here's my...

Top 10 List on the Things to SEE, DO or EAT in Dagupan City:
1. SEE the McArthur Landing Site in Bonuan Gueset. (See, even McArthur came here! Take a Bonuan Blue Beach jeep, ask where to get off to get to McArthur Landing Site. Walk a bit, and don't forget to watch out for the giant.)
Yes, he landed here too, that guy!
2. SWIM at the Tondaligan Beach, the favorite beach of the Dagupeños. (Take a Tondaligan jeep, ask to get off at the Japanese Garden.)
3. WATCH the sunset at Bonuan Blue Beach. (Take a Bonuan Blue Beach jeep, ask where to get off to get to McArthur Landing Site; it's in the beach.)
4. VISIT the Dagupan City Museum at the town plaza. (Near the St John's Cathedral, infront of the Post Office; built after the 1990 Earthquake.)
Finally, the City gets a museum after the 1990 Earthquake.
5. ROAM the Dagupan City Fish Market to appreciate the bounty of our seas. (Behind PNB, near the Pantal River; you might enjoy the haggling and all.)
6. EAT at the following restaurants:
  • Matutina's (The original branch in Tondaligan Beach, near the Japanese Garden; everything is good!)
One of the favorite dishes at Matutina's. 
  • Pinkie's (For cakes, at Perez Blvd. cor. Mayombo District, near 5 Star Bus Station)
  • Jam Sweet Jam (For Chicken Saté and rice meals, at Malued District)
  • Dagupeña (For their Bangus Dishes, at Calasiao/Sta. Barbara Highway)
  • Panaderia Antonio (Home of the homegrown franchise success, the Plato Wraps, at Tapuac District)
  • Pedrito's (An old-time favorite, known for its chicken saté, tarts and sliced bread; also at Tapuac District)
  • Rubi's (Favorite place for siopao, also at Tapuac District)
  • City De Luxe (Best pancit in town, in AB Fernandez Ave., or at Lucao District) 
  • Giorgio's Pizzeria (Our favorite local pizza joint; the best chicken and pizzas in town! Ride a downtown/Bonuan jeep, get off along Arellano Bani.)
  • Siapno's Restaurant (Used to be frequented by celebrities; I hope they're still doing well; come for their Inihaw na Bangus; located in Bonuan Gueset.) 
7. TASTE our favorite pulutan invention, the Pigar-pigar, served at the city's public market turned bar/restos in the evenings (along Galvan St.; must-try! And bring me along! hehehe!)
Pigar-pigar, one of the best dishes to come out from Dagupan
since the Bangus. :) Don't miss it! 
8. CRUISE around the city's beach or rivers by hiring a boat (This is not done on a commercial basis, but I've always thought we should have one coz I really like our rivers; happily, I heard the city government will start cruises on the upcoming Bangus Festival! Hope they do this regularly. All to help promote the preservation of our rivers.)
9. RIDE a calesa around the city at night (This is a relatively new introduction to the city, and it's quite cool! Never mind the horse poop.)
10. BUY Dagupan City products for pasalubong. Ideal pasalubongs are the following:
a. Bangus - Be it the Daing Boneless Bangus, Bangus Tinapa, the Bangus Shanghai, Bangus sardines, and the Bangus Belly. Make sure it's authentic Bonuan Bangus. (Ask the vendor to pinky swear it's Bonuan Bangus, hehe. Otherwise, bring a local to help you buy. But in general, our people will be honest if you ask.)
Think about it: Eat all you can Bonuan Bangus! Woohoo! :)
b. Bagoong - Mostly made in Lingayen. Bring home some for that Kare-kare, Bagnet or mangga. Mmmhmmm!
c. Puto, Kutsinta, Pastillas and Bocayo - They're from nearby Calasiao town, and also the best puto/kutsinta/pastillas/bocayo around. I see a lot of them being sold in Katipunan and Pasig. The UP Subol Society sells them too every year in UP Diliman.
Calasiao Puto: The whitest puto.
d. Tupig - You'll notice a lot of them are being sold in Urdaneta, but there's plenty of stalls selling them too in Dagupan.
This is by no means exhaustive. This does not include the much newer places to go/see/eat at in Dagupan. I listed mostly the ones I grew up with, as that is the character of Dagupan City I'd like you to know first, and then you can proceed with the new ones. Plus, I only limited the list to 10, which as you can see is already a liberal 10. :)

Enjoy my city!

For hotel accommodations, see bottom of post on the Bangus Festival.
To my Kabaleyans, need your help! Send your comments for any more suggested things to see/do/eat in our city. :)

Book Recommendations:
Pangasinan, 1572-1800.
The Cattle Caravans of Ancient Caboloan (Interior Plains Of Pangasinan)

City Map:

View Larger Map


  1. is CTN going to DAGUPAN CITY? or went na?

  2. might go pa lang. i'm hoping to be able to bring ClubTravelNOW!™ there. will send word out when it's settled. :)

  3. there are a lot of stuff we can do in dagupan and even for dagupan!

  4. I'm @ Dagupan right now & will take ur advice...trying to surprise my wife who is along with me for a short vacation.

  5. I'm in Dagupan right now along with my wife for a short vacation. I am not local but my wife is... so I'm going to take your advice and will try to surprise her... hope it will work.. :D

  6. Hello Tristan,

    Thanks for your post. I've always wanted to see what's in Dagupan so will definitely bookmark your site and hopefully I get to visit before the year ends.


  7. can i ask something ?? where could be the best place for me and my husband to have this lovely dinner date ?? somewhere there would be nice sorrounding, with good music ,,,while having the best red wine ..and with a lovely dancing floor ..? hope i could get your reply as fast as possible,,, it will be by tomorrow night .. thanks

  8. hi hiran, sorry for the late reply. hope you had a great time in dagupan. in any case, i am not aware of a place in dagupan where there is both dancing and red wine. did you find one? you'll find a great many places to eat and drink, but somewhere else to dance, like mint bar. mint bar is new and would probably be closest to what i think you had in mind. it's in the city center.