7 Famous Local Restaurants in Cebu

Find out where locals dine for the famous Cebu lechon and tinolang mamsa!

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | June 28, 2017

The culinary landscape of Cebu is endlessly exciting. Every month or so, a new restaurant or food spot opens, keeping diners on their toes. But well after the initial buzz dies down, the restaurants who thrive are those that have captured the Cebuano palates.

From the tried-and-true to the new favorites, here are some famous local restaurants you can’t miss when in Cebu.


1. Rico’s Lechon




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Rico’s Lechon Promenade Mactan branch

Image: Rico’s Lechon


Cebu is famous for lechon (roast suckling pig), and one of the lechon places that locals and tourists frequent is Rico’s Lechon. Customers love their lechon for its crispy skin and well-seasoned meat. Diners can have either original or spicy lechon, then eat it on its own or dip it in their in-house condiment called Suka Lami, which translates to delicious vinegar. At Rico’s there is more than one way to enjoy lechon, from prichon or pritong (fried) lechon, to lechon sisig, lechon paksiw, and more. These in addition to Filipino favorites like Bicol express, calamares, pancit canton, and the like.




2. Laguna Garden Cafe




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Façade of Laguna Garden Café in Ayala Terraces

Image: Laguna Garden Café


For Filipino comfort food in a homey ambiance, Cebuanos turn to Laguna Garden Café. What was once a 10-table carinderia (eatery) in 1979 has turned into a business with eight brands under its name. Laguna Garden is a full-service restaurant which specializes in Filipino cuisine, so one can expect homegrown favorites like sinigang (sour soup), kare-kare (oxtail stew), and chopsuey (stir-fried vegetables).

For birthdays and celebrations, they serve international cuisine through Laguna Catering. The Laguna Group also owns Vietnamese restaurant Lemon Grass, Asian restaurant Ulli’s Streets of Asia, and seafood spot Parilya.




3. Majestic Restaurant




must try local restaurants in Cebu

The modern and well-lit interiors of Majestic Restaurant

Image: Majestic PH


The Chinese influence in Cebu is strong, and this has carried over to local food as well. One of the big names in the restaurant scene is Majestic, which has been serving Chinese food for 29 years. Their house specialty is pata tim (pork leg) with fried bread and their classic bestseller is pancit canton (stir-fried noodles). Also noteworthy is their is no-ice halo-halo made with flavored shaved ice. While their food prices are relatively affordable, they also have set menu packages for the budget-conscious.


4. Isla Sugbu Seafood City




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Fresh catch at Isla Sugbu Seafood City

Image: The Grand Convention Center of Cebu


The island of Cebu is also known for sutukil, in which seafood is cooked in any of three ways: sugba, tuwa, kilaw (grill, stew, raw). Most sutukil restaurants are open-air stalls in public markets, but Isla Sugbu Seafood City aims to offer the sutukil experience in a modern setting. Diners can pick from live seafood in tanks, or fresh catch laid in ice. Their wide selection of seafood includes lobsters, crabs, shrimps, scallops, squid, prawns, salmon, tangigue (Spanish mackerel), bangus (milkfish), and many more. They offer a paluto-all-you-can package which allows customers to enjoy unlimited servings at a flat rate.




5. Orange Karenderia




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Orange Karenderia Parkmall branch

Image: Orange Karenderia


A carinderia (eatery) has street-food connotations, but Orange Karenderia sits in a happy medium between being a whole-in-the-wall joint and a fancy restaurant. The industrial chic setting in this homegrown establishment is approachable and not too intimidating.

Orange Karenderia serves Cebuano food like linarang (sour and spicy fish soup), tinolang dugso/mamsa (fish stew), and inon-unan (fish in vinegar), alongside exotic fare like crispy tuna bihod (roe), bagaybay (tuna gonad). But they are best known for their crispy tuna buntot (yellow fin tuna tail). Their non-seafood items are also worth trying, especially the award-winning Betsy’s Chicken.


6. Casa Verde




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Casa Verde Ranudo branch, now Lim Tian Teng Street

Image: Casa Verde Official Website


For meat lovers, one of the best places to get their fill of meaty goodness is Casa Verde. Though they specialize in American cuisine, the Cebuano owners of this family-owned restaurant have Spanish roots. Starting out as a small canteen in Ramos St. in 2002, Casa Verde has since expanded to become a full-service restaurant with six branches in Cebu and Manila. Customers keep coming back for Brian’s Ribs, a generous slab of baked pork ribs slathered with a smoky-sweet sauce, with a side of rice, corn, and carrots.


7. Abaca Baking Company




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Abaca Baking Company IT Park branch

Image: Abaca Baking Company


A number of breakfast spots have emerged as of late in Cebu City. Leading the pack is Abaca Baking Company. Opened in 2011, Abaca serves artisan breads, baked goods, and pastries which are great for starting your day, or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Their croissants, cinnamon buns, bagels, and vegetable focaccia almost always sell out. For those with a sweet tooth, they have chocolate truffles, lamingtons, and vanilla creme puffs. They also offer breakfast items like pancakes, omelettes, and sandwiches.


Have you tried eating in these famous local restaurants in Cebu? Let us know in the comments section below!


Click the store name links to see their exact addresses and contact numbers.


The culinary landscape of Cebu is endlessly exciting. Every month or so, a new restaurant or food spot opens, keeping diners on their toes. But well after the initial buzz dies down, the restaurants who thrive are those that have captured the Cebuano palates.

From the tried-and-true to the new favorites, here are some famous local restaurants you can’t miss when in Cebu.


1. Rico’s Lechon




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Rico’s Lechon Promenade Mactan branch

Image: Rico’s Lechon

__fb_share__



Cebu is famous for lechon (roast suckling pig), and one of the lechon places that locals and tourists frequent is Rico’s Lechon. Customers love their lechon for its crispy skin and well-seasoned meat. Diners can have either original or spicy lechon, then eat it on its own or dip it in their in-house condiment called Suka Lami, which translates to delicious vinegar. At Rico’s there is more than one way to enjoy lechon, from prichon or pritong (fried) lechon, to lechon sisig, lechon paksiw, and more. These in addition to Filipino favorites like Bicol express, calamares, pancit canton, and the like.




2. Laguna Garden Cafe




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Façade of Laguna Garden Café in Ayala Terraces

Image: Laguna Garden Café

__fb_share__



For Filipino comfort food in a homey ambiance, Cebuanos turn to Laguna Garden Café. What was once a 10-table carinderia (eatery) in 1979 has turned into a business with eight brands under its name. Laguna Garden is a full-service restaurant which specializes in Filipino cuisine, so one can expect homegrown favorites like sinigang (sour soup), kare-kare (oxtail stew), and chopsuey (stir-fried vegetables).

For birthdays and celebrations, they serve international cuisine through Laguna Catering. The Laguna Group also owns Vietnamese restaurant Lemon Grass, Asian restaurant Ulli’s Streets of Asia, and seafood spot Parilya.




3. Majestic Restaurant




must try local restaurants in Cebu

The modern and well-lit interiors of Majestic Restaurant

Image: Majestic PH

__fb_share__



The Chinese influence in Cebu is strong, and this has carried over to local food as well. One of the big names in the restaurant scene is Majestic, which has been serving Chinese food for 29 years. Their house specialty is pata tim (pork leg) with fried bread and their classic bestseller is pancit canton (stir-fried noodles). Also noteworthy is their is no-ice halo-halo made with flavored shaved ice. While their food prices are relatively affordable, they also have set menu packages for the budget-conscious.


4. Isla Sugbu Seafood City




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Fresh catch at Isla Sugbu Seafood City

Image: The Grand Convention Center of Cebu

__fb_share__



The island of Cebu is also known for sutukil, in which seafood is cooked in any of three ways: sugba, tuwa, kilaw (grill, stew, raw). Most sutukil restaurants are open-air stalls in public markets, but Isla Sugbu Seafood City aims to offer the sutukil experience in a modern setting. Diners can pick from live seafood in tanks, or fresh catch laid in ice. Their wide selection of seafood includes lobsters, crabs, shrimps, scallops, squid, prawns, salmon, tangigue (Spanish mackerel), bangus (milkfish), and many more. They offer a paluto-all-you-can package which allows customers to enjoy unlimited servings at a flat rate.




5. Orange Karenderia




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Orange Karenderia Parkmall branch

Image: Orange Karenderia

__fb_share__



A carinderia (eatery) has street-food connotations, but Orange Karenderia sits in a happy medium between being a whole-in-the-wall joint and a fancy restaurant. The industrial chic setting in this homegrown establishment is approachable and not too intimidating.

Orange Karenderia serves Cebuano food like linarang (sour and spicy fish soup), tinolang dugso/mamsa (fish stew), and inon-unan (fish in vinegar), alongside exotic fare like crispy tuna bihod (roe), bagaybay (tuna gonad). But they are best known for their crispy tuna buntot (yellow fin tuna tail). Their non-seafood items are also worth trying, especially the award-winning Betsy’s Chicken.


6. Casa Verde




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Casa Verde Ranudo branch, now Lim Tian Teng Street

Image: Casa Verde Official Website

__fb_share__



For meat lovers, one of the best places to get their fill of meaty goodness is Casa Verde. Though they specialize in American cuisine, the Cebuano owners of this family-owned restaurant have Spanish roots. Starting out as a small canteen in Ramos St. in 2002, Casa Verde has since expanded to become a full-service restaurant with six branches in Cebu and Manila. Customers keep coming back for Brian’s Ribs, a generous slab of baked pork ribs slathered with a smoky-sweet sauce, with a side of rice, corn, and carrots.


7. Abaca Baking Company




must try local restaurants in Cebu

Abaca Baking Company IT Park branch

Image: Abaca Baking Company

__fb_share__



A number of breakfast spots have emerged as of late in Cebu City. Leading the pack is Abaca Baking Company. Opened in 2011, Abaca serves artisan breads, baked goods, and pastries which are great for starting your day, or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Their croissants, cinnamon buns, bagels, and vegetable focaccia almost always sell out. For those with a sweet tooth, they have chocolate truffles, lamingtons, and vanilla creme puffs. They also offer breakfast items like pancakes, omelettes, and sandwiches.


Have you tried eating in these famous local restaurants in Cebu? Let us know in the comments section below!


Click the store name links to see their exact addresses and contact numbers.



Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.

food restaurants in Cebu Cebu City

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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