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Food & Cuisine in Cebu


Cebu City has a wide choice of restaurants as well as cuisine, and most dishes are realistically priced. Although there are no specified dining or drinking areas in the city, most of the common and popular eating hotels and restaurants are found in the Ayala district. Apart from being an island paradise, Cebu is also a fashionable and trendy city with many wonderful restaurants to choose from, catering to a wide variety of tastes and budget.

Cebu has a wide range of cuisines to offer locals and tourists. Chinese, Continental, Fusion, Italian, Korean and Japanese food are readily available apart from other international cuisines like American, Indian, Spanish and Thai.

Food & Cuisine in Cebu

Ayala Mall and IT Park are the best places to dine, especially for tourists. Ayala, in fact, has a food extension with over 15 eateries. It is also credited with two grocery stores that have huge sections of imported food. The IT Park has over 20 popular food outlets with most of them functioning 24 hours a day. Both Ayala and IT Park offer free WI-Fi for the business diner.

Those fond of fast food can have a good time eating at the innumerable street food stalls in the city, which offer the local snacks and delicacies at cheap prices. Traditional Filipino Marinated Pork or Chicken Barbeque sticks must definitely be tried. Equally delicious is ‘Halo-Halo', which is a refreshing mix of grated ice, sweet beans, tropical fruits and ice cream.

Those willing to try out local Cebuano dishes can pick from some eateries that offer Goodah-Gud, Neo-Neo, Ang Manok ni Senor Pedro and CNT Lechon. The first three are actually a selection of fresh seafood and meat that can be grilled, steamed or baked. A grouping or a combination of dishes in Cebu is called ‘Su-Tu-Kil' for ‘sugba' (grilled food), ‘tula' (for soup based dishes or with broth and ‘kilaw' (for raw and soaked food or food that is pickled in vinegar). The Ang anok Ni Senor Pedro is immensely popular with the locals for its rotisserie chicken. The CNT Lechon is said to be the largest Cebu-based franchise offering the popular Lechon Cebu or suckling pig.

Chinese food is quite common to the Cebuano food lifestyle as a majority of the Cebuanos are partially Chinese. Apart from that factor, various other communities also enjoy Chinese food.

The fruit stalls in front of the Chong Hua Hospital are said to be the most popular in spite of their steep prices. More than three hundred boxes of fruit are sold here everyday. So don't keep away because of the prices. The quality here is the best you can find.

The high-end food market is becoming more prominent in Cebu. This is vastly so because of the innumerable choices made available for tourists and visitors. Visitors have become more selective about what kind of food to eat and where. Some prefer a simple restaurant with good edible food at reasonable rates. Still others would like to dine in a restaurant with the perfect ambience and equally quiet surroundings.

Filipino cuisine has the distinction of being influenced by the different cultures in its history. So you are bound to find a pinch of Arabic, American, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Malay and Spanish tastes in Filipino food. Unlike Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, Filipino cooking makes use of very little spice.

Of course that does not mean that Filipino food tastes bland. Filipino food makes more use of garlic, onions and ginger instead of spices to add that extra flavour to dishes. Another feature of Filipino cuisine is that many dishes are prepared painstakingly over a long period of time. This method of cooking brings out the flavour of food instead of using spices to do the same.

Beer is popular in all the local bars and restaurants. San Miguel Beer is the most well known local brand of beer (along with its many variants). Other international brands available include Pale Pilsen, Budweiser, Heinken and Corona. These can be found in the bigger bars. Local hard liquor is also available with brands like Rhum and Ginebra, which are a type of Gin. Other popular native varieties of liquor are Lambanog and Tuba, which are made from coconut sap.

Tuba is fermented coconut sap and can be had straight. It is also sometimes distilled and taken in the form of Lambanog. Lambanog is presently marketed both locally and world-wide in its concentrated base form as well as in the form of drinks with flavours like bubble gum and blueberry.