Cebu knows that the way to this girl’s heart is through her stomach. From Michelin-starred restaurants to roadside treats, Cebu is here to WOW us with its gastronomic gifts. Here are my favorite food finds in the city:
Larsian sa Fuente
Meat on a stick has a special spot in my heart. Charred to perfection, dripping with oil and its own juices, doused in spicy soy sauce and paired with puso (steamed rice wrapped in coconut leaves)— Larsian just seems to gets me. This barbecue-style food park have pork, seafood, chicken and more pork. There are plenty of food stalls to choose from, Suite 16 is the top pick. This unpretentious food hall is best for all our barbecue cravings.
Fuente Osmeña, Cebu (10AM-2AM)
If you’re like me and you have midnight urges for bone marrow and chewy tendons, Kusina Uno is right for you. Open 24 hours, this humble place is perfect for a an after-drinks grub. Imagine slurping on the broth of their pochero after a few beers (or with a few beers). Or slurping the bone marrow out of their sizzling pochero. The sizzling pochero is meant for 2-3 people (no judgement if you want to have it on your own). I had the beef ribs as strongly advised by the waiter because of its smaller portion (bless him, he doesn’t know my eating capabilities yet). The gravy is superb, the meat is tender— I finished those ribs in a heartbeat and I want some more. Damn, I should have ordered the sizzling pochero.
ND, F. Cabahug St, Cebu
The Pig and Palm
Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton’s first restaurant in the Philippines is a sure hit. This modern tapas restaurant beautifully makes traditional, simple dishes into innovative and genius creations. Their pork belly had the crispiest skin you and I can ever get our hands on, and its buttery smooth mashed potato is the perfect pair. Ended my meal on a sweet note, with their matcha cheesecake with raspberry, yuzu and white chocolate. It was simple yet complex—the textures and the flavors combined together makes it a masterpiece. They also make excellent cocktails, and the service is topnotch. I’m planning my next visit already as we speak.
MSY Tower, Pescadores Rd, Cebu Business Park, Cebu (Tues-Sat 930am-12am)
One does not simply go to Cebu and not have lechon. If you’re allowed to eat only one thing in Cebu (which is a tragedy, really) lechon must be it. And Rico’s Lechon is IT. Its crunchy pig skin and its juicy, herby flesh brings you close to the gates of heaven. Lucky you, heaven is just around the corner. They have several branches in the city.
F. Cabahug St, Cebu City / Axis Entertainment Avenue – Vibo Place, N. Escario St, Cebu City (Mon- Sun 10am-10pm)
Siomai sa Tisa
I saved the best for last. My love for meat rolled in a ball, dunked in chilli sauce and eaten roadside prevails. If you too enjoy no-frills, dirt-cheap, crazy good pork dumplings, head to Barangay Tisa and fill your belly with little balls of happiness. At night, it gets really busy (I was loving the vibe, though), but expect a wait. There are several siomai stalls in the area, trick is to check out which one has the longest line of people. Wala’y Tugpahay was one one them, and the crowd did not let me down. It was soooo good.
816 Katipunan St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu (open almost 24 hours)
Sunburst Chicken (fried chicken) SM City Cebu
Casa Verde (ribs) #69 Lim Tian Teng Street, ( formerly V. Ranudo ), Ramos, Cebu
Abaseria (crispy roasted pork, ginisang monggo, chili adobong talong, choco-durian cake) Gen. Lim St, Cebu
Matias (barbecue) A. S. Fortuna St, Mandaue City, 6014 Cebu
Abaca Baking Company (breakfasts) Crossroads Mall, Gov. M. Cuenco Ave, Cebu