Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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Cebu's Best Places to Eat

Eating the local food is learning their culture gastronomically. Cebu has a lot to offer! I have been eating in different places and restaurants for a year and half since 2015 when I decided to live in Cebu and these are my recommendations.



The Local Foods

In the picture, the foods are Cebu's corn, puso (wrapped rice in a banana leaf), Carcar's Lechon and chicken inasal. This was taken when I had my first team building with my co-workers during my first month in Cebu.

  1. Cebu 's Lechon


 Carcar's lechon is for me the best lechon among all the lechons I have tasted. 

Carcar's lechon has special spices and herbs inside that you will just eat it without a foreign/external sauce. And I don't feel any pang at the back of my neck. Whenever, I eat lechon in Manila, I feel I have high blood pressure. But, with Carcar's lechon, I just continually munch on and savor the flavor.

Location:
Carcar is located in the southern part of Cebu island, An hour and half travel from Cebu city.

How to get there:
Go to Cebu South Bus station and ride a bus in going to Carcar.

Price:
Affordable - priced by kilo
  • Alternative: lechon restaurant in the city

I recommend Ayer's Lechon Restaurant, if you don't have time to go south of the city.

Location:
There are branches in SM City at the top floor; Elizabeth Mall or E Mall which is located next to the Cebu South Bus terminal and; in Mactan International airport departure domestic area where you can have a delivery from Cebu to NAIA airport which you will pick it up.


  • My opinion only:


I dislike the taste of the other lechon house that some people recommend - CNT. The reason? It is so oily and no herbs inside when it is roasted so the flavor is just pork and needs to dip in sauces.



Crabs and shrimps eaten at Manna Sutukil Food House

     2. SUTUKIL


SU-TU-KIL means Sugba, Tula or Tuwa (Tinola) and Kilaw -  the different types of cooking which in English -- Grilled, Stewed and Ceviche (cold raw fish dipped in acidic flavors like vinegar or calamansi /lemon)

Cebu is a tropical island that foreigners expect to eat fresh seafood.

Manna Sutukil Food House

Manna Sutukil Food House is the best sutukil restaurant that I've visited. When you get there, a lot of celebrities have been there as you can see from the pictures posted there. Also, it has been reviewed by South Koreans to be a great place to eat seafood. Take note that when Koreans have a favorite place or something and they have recommended it, almost all will follow. And it was not bad for us, my then-boyfriend and his friend about the food.

Location:
Beside Mactan Shrine in Lapu Lapu City, Mactan Island

Price:
Reasonable - Pricey (if you order King Lobster)

AA's BBQ baked scallops, sinigang and four season juice in a pitcher.

AA's BBQ's bake scallops

AA's BBQ - not bad for almost all food. I personally like baked scallops and their sinigang. I had a student that he liked the seafood but in Vietnam was much better. haha. Also, I had a Korean friend who likes to travel to Cebu and he always eat at AA's BBQ for the grilled pork and chicken and pork barbecue.

Location:
This restaurant is located in Lahug near JY Square, near Plaza Independencia in M.J. Cuenco Ave. and so much more. But these places that I've mentioned are more commonly known to tourists as these are near IT Park and going to Busay and near Pier 3 which is the dock for most Visayan islands ferries and jet, respectively.

Price:
Affordable

  • My opinion only:

Larsian's -   There are a lot of sellers that they will urge you to buy from them which I was kinda annoyed. I am very particular with the cleanliness in terms of the place because the seafood and pork meat were openly displayed so I was not satisfied. But, this has been regarded as a tourist spot for foreigners trying local seafood. Maybe you can try it out and see and taste for yourself.

Location:
It is located Fuente Osmena circle almost near Chong Hua Hospital.

Price:
Affordable - you can negotiate for a discount


   3. Tisa's Siomai

Tisa is a place where they make the popular dumpling, siomai. Siomai is a Chinese dumpling that eventually became a part of Filipino cuisine. Cebu has had a lot of Chinese traders and lived for a long time in Cebu.
Tisa's siomais are very cheap and you will eat it with puso. What is puso?

Location:
in Barangay Tisa.

How to get there:
if you are in Ayala Cebu Mall, there is a terminal going to Labangon. 12L is the number written on top of the jeep. The route will pass by Tisa.
12L route can be seen on this link. This link is the jeepney code when you commute around Cebu island, usually around the city center.

Price:
Cheap - starting from 3 php

   4. Puso

Puso (the sound O is short and fast with a sudden end when you pronounce - like piko - the Filipno game--hopscotch) is a rice wrap in a banana leaf and usually hang it in the food cart or street food store (pungko-pungko in Cebuano) It is very cheap that you can buy at the price starting 3 Php. Puso rice style started at the early years when the ancient people wanted to preserve their rice when they would travel by sea to another island.

Location:
anywhere in Cebu

KVS Food Hauz menu of that day. The mini-restaurant that serves home-cooked Cebuano dishes.

KVS Food Hauz - the house's garage that is becoming popular with their home-cooked Cebuano dishes, especially their binignit.

  5. Nilat-an

Nilat-an is like Nilaga (boiled/stew). But they usually use pork and fish. So it is Nilagang Baboy and Nilagang Isda. The real difference from Tagalog's style is they put squash (kalabasa) and moringa (malungay) in it. It took me 6 months to accept the taste as I was accepting the Cebuano's culture.

KVS Food Haus is a mini-restaurant (carinderia) located in the garage of a well-to-do family in Mabolo in Cebu. So, I guaranteed that they serve clean and delicious and has a great service as at times they surprise eaters with free desserts. Prices are ranging from 5 Php  to 30 Php per serving.

Location:
El Gusto Drive in Mabolo, near Cebu R Hotel

How to get there:

  • Ride 03B jeepney if you are coming from Sto. Nino Basilica and walk to S Cabahug St. going to El Gusto Drive and you can see an open garage  of the owner's house after 3 lots from the left side. or;
  • Ride 04L jeepney if you are coming from Ayala Cebu or SM City and alight at S.Cabahug St.

Price:
25 Php/ bowl

Store Opens at:
10am-2pm; 5pm -9pm

  6. Binignit

Binignit is like the Ginataang Bilobilo of the Tagalogs. Ginataan is from the word gata, meaning coconut milk. So, the ingredients of binignit are coconut milk, sticky rice and other root crops such as  sweet potato (kamote), taro (gabi), purple yam (ube) together with fruits like jackfruit (langka), saba bananas and sago pearls.  What I found amusing was when it is Good Friday (Catholic Christian's special day) they cook and eat this. In KVS Food Haus, they once a week put it in their menu. It is best when it is hot, however, you can also eat it when it is cold.

Price:
25 Php/ per bowl.

  7. Ngohiong

Ngohiong is a Chinese delicacy that turned out to be a part of Cebu's cuisine. It is similar with Vegetable Spring Roll but is fried. What I like about this is there is a special sauce that is a good pair to enjoy the flavor of the food. The best ngohiong and its sauce is from a co-worker who sold lunch food to the academy that we both worked with. I will ask permission if she would like to be messaged and order of her specialty ngohiong with the special sauce.

I think I saw Hukad Restaurant's having ngohiong but I haven't tried it.

Ngohiong Express is what I tried but it was cooked too oily. Though, you can check it for yourself.

Location:
Juan Luna Ave. near New Era Inn and in front of PLDT center.

How to get there:
Ride 04L if you are coming from Ayala Cebu Mall and SM City Mall.

Price:
Cheap - 10 php/roll

Restaurants of Cebu 

My favorites:


Casa Verde's best ribs

Casa Verde's steak


1. Casa Verde

The best ribs awarded by Sun Star Cebu is Casa Verde. A lot of foreigners keep on coming back to this restaurant in different branches.
I also like their steak which you can choose how it is cooked; Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Medium Well-Done and Well-done.

Location:
Branches are as follows:

  • the main branch in Ramos Street near Crowne Regency Hotel (the fully neon lighted hotel in Cebu City), 
  • IT Park Cebu - The Walk area
  • Ayala Cebu Mall - Terraces area
Price:
Reasonable - starting from around 100 Php - 800 Php



The before expansion and renovation of La Vie Parisenne photo

The newly renovated and expanded La Vie Parisienne. The outside is the best hang out place during night time.

2. La Vie Parisienne

The French place in Cebu has wine and cheese, pizza and bread restaurant with a very cozy and elegant ambiance . It is so nice to chat with friends with some wine and cheese. The place is Instagram-able! Price is a bit expensive as their ingredients and products are imported from France.

Location:
It is located in Lahug, along Gorordo Ave and it is just beside the Embassy of France.

How to get there:
Ride 04C from Ayala Cebu Mall

Price:
Reasonable - for breads and pastries - starting from around 30 php
 for wines  - starting from around 200 Php
 for pizza  - starting from around 300 php

Marco Polo Hotel's Pizza

3. Marco Polo's Pizza


It was considered as the best pizza for the South Koreans. So, when we, my Korean husband, his friend (also a Korean) and I tried it, it was indeed a pleasure to munch their pizza.

Location:
Marco Polo Hotel - Nivel Hills, Cebu Veterans Dr,, going to Busay, Cebu

How to get there:
Taxi is better because Marco Polo is a 5-star hotel. But you can also try to be adventurous by riding a habal-habal in front of JY Square Mall and just alight at the front gate of the said hotel.

Price:
Reasonable


Curry Shrimps eaten at Bucket Shrimps, Cebu

Bucket Shrimps' way of eating - with Manila paper bib and using plastic gloves

4. Bucket Shrimps


For all those who love to munch shrimps, Bucket Shrimps is the best spot. You can choose the flavor of your shrimps: Cajun, Garlic and Curry. It is only P390 a bucket. Don't worry about having your hands and clothes messy as they have plastic gloves and Manila paper bib.

Location:
near Metro Sports Center and between Tree Shade Spa and Tonyo's, in Salinas Dr. near IT Park and Waterfront Hotel.

How to get there:
Ride 04L jeepney from SM City Mall.

Price:
Reasonable - 390 php per bucket of shrimps

For my brother's family who travelled to Cebu to celebrate his birthday, I let them taste KauKau's menu

KauKau Fusion Restaurant's seafood pasta, buffalo wings and ribs. Something to die for!

5. KauKau Fusion Restaurant


I discovered the place when my former roommate invited me to eat there as her brother was a resident performer of the restaurant. Beach is their main theme as the interiors are designed with a surfboard, ropes, beach wallpaper and the toilet room is a must to check it out.
The flavors of the dishes are so mouth-watering. I kept on recommending this place to my foreign students and also my friends. And, same as me, they loved it.

Location:
No. 57 Extension St.,, P. Almendras St., near F.Cabahug St. Mabolo.

How to get there:
Ride 03A jeepney if you are coming from Sto. Nino Basilica and alight at P. Almendras St.

Price:
Reasonable - starting from 200 php

Another restaurants for Korean food lovers


Did you know that Cebu is like the second home of Koreans? Thus, there are so many Korean restaurants.

4.15 Dining Room's samgyeupsal best paired with soju as a drink! Daebak!

1. 4.15 Dining Room

The place is clean and the setting is like the typical Korean street restaurant (as what my former Korean student said). I liked their samgyeupsal (grilled pork belly) and naengmyun (cold noodles).

Location:
FLC Center, 888 Hernan Cortes St, Mandaue City near San Vicente Village

How to get there:

Ride 03A jeepney, alight after the last stop located near Cityscape Hotel and walk to FLC Center building - just turn left as you see San Vicente Village.

Price:
Reasonable

Todam's Bulgogi with side dishes.

2. Todam Korean Traditional 

Almost all of my former Korean students ate in this restaurant and recommended it to other new students of the academy that I had taught. I also tried their bulgogi dish. It was delicious. Plus, the setting is similar with the traditional Korean restaurants that you can choose to eat in two table settings: the Western style (table and chair) or the Eastern style (small table and wooden floor).

Location:
in the curve part of F. Cabahug St. near Shakey's

How to get there:
Ride 03A jeepney and tell the driver to stop near Shakey's along F. Cabahug St.

Price:
Reasonable


There are so many dishes to satisfy your palate as Cebu is a melting pot of different cuisines.
These are just some of my bests. It is up to you to try others!

Enjoy eating and thank you for reading my blog post.

You can also check my other links about Cebu:


  1. Travel to Bacolod from Cebu by bus and ferry.
  2. Catch the sunrise or sunset at Osmena Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu
  3. Experience scuba diving in Mactan Island
  4. See Cebu City's best places

and other nearby islands:

  1. Tour around Mambukal Resort in Negros Occidental near Bacolod
  2. Learn the art and history of Silay City in Negros Occidental
  3. Get yourself a Philippine passport in Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Bacolod
  4. Travel to Guimaras from Cebu, Bacolod or Iloilo by bus, ferry and boat
  5. Island hop and tour to Guimaras Island
  6. Discover Kalanggaman Island
  7. Stay in Bacolod's hotels that are near to DFA -Bacolod in Robinsons Mall

and in Manila/ Luzon:

  1. Ride the bus from NAIA terminal 3 in Manila going to Alabang
  2. Get birth, marriage and/or birth certificate and also CENOMAR via online 
  3. Travel to the Science City of Munoz in Nueva Ecija
  4. Stay in Lucena City in Quezon Province



Ready your stomach, set your budget, go munch on Cebu's best dishes and share food to others and also your review about your food experience.

All the best!

Sarah


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