Best Eats + Restaurants

The Culinary Paradise of Cebu: Where to Begin? (Part 1)

A First-timer’s Guide to Affordable Food Hopping in Metro Cebu

By: Peter Parcon | July 10, 2016
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Due to changing quarantine measures, the activities, destination/s, store/s, establishment/s featured in this article might be temporarily prohibited or closed under the latest government policies. LGUs might also implement health protocols and travel requirements. Please get in touch with the establishment/s before visiting. Stay safe!

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Cebu can be a culinary paradise for foodies who are going to the Queen City of the South whether for business or pleasure. Restaurants dot the landscape of Metro Cebu, from small hole-in-the-wall eating places to upscale establishments. These places have satisfied the gastronomic cravings of locals and foreigners alike.

With so many restaurants to choose from, we don’t want you to regret not being able to visit some of the most famous ones. So dive in and check out our list of some popular yet affordable restaurants in Metro Cebu that you should try on your visit.

Isidra Comfort Cantina

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Enjoy good food at affordable prices at Isidra Comfort Cantina.

Photos from Isidra Comfort Cantina

The name of the place gives you an idea of what it has to offer: comfort food. Isidra Comfort Cantina is a hole-in-the wall restaurant located in a quiet neighborhood in the city. People come to this place because of its homey atmosphere as well as its delicious meals at reasonable prices. Isidra Comfort Cantina offers a mix of Filipino and international dishes like Champorado and buwad, homemade pancakes, grilled pork belly, and fish fillet with marinara sauce. One ongoing promo at Isidra Comfort Cantina is the Eat-All-You-Can Daily Lunch Buffet for PhP149, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Breakfast meals are also served starting at PhP65.

The best time to drop by the place is just before noon as the place may be jam-packed for the lunch buffet. Parking may be a challenge since there is only street parking. You should also take note that the place is closed on Sundays, which means it may be crowded during lunch on a Saturday.

Location: Corner of Don Mariano Cui and Jasmin Streets, Cebu City
Price Range: PhP45 to PhP550
Operating Hours: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Monday to Saturday
Cuisine: Filipino/International
Contact number: (+6332) 263-1101

Joed’s Lutong Hapon

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Joed’s Lutong Hapon's Interior

Photo from Writer

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Enjoy authentic Japanese food at reasonable prices at Joed’s Lutong Hapon.

Photo from Joed's Lutong Hapon

If you are looking for a taste of authentic Japanese food that is also budget-friendly, Joed’s Lutong Hapon is the place to be. While it is a no-frills Japanese restaurant, Joed’s Lutong Hapon can easily satisfy the craving of diners for yakisuba, sushi, maki, and ramen. The restaurant offers fast service and the staff can effortlessly answer any questions of their guests about their food. It should be noted that it is the first Japanese restaurant without air-conditioning in the city. Nevertheless, it does have a number of electric fans to provide customers relief from the humidity.

Take note that the restaurant only offers street parking, which means you should be at the place at around 6:00 PM. While the traffic along the road tends to get heavy around this time, there are several side roads you can use to get to the restaurant.

Location: Panagdait Street, Mabolo, Cebu City
Price Range: PhP45 to PhP350
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM, daily
Cuisine: Japanese
Contact number: (+63) 943-570-7419

Sunburst Fried Chicken

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Sunburst Fried Chicken at IT Park is open for breakfast at 5:30 AM.

Photos from Sunburst Fried Chicken

Sunburst Fried Chicken is Cebu’s answer to Kentucky Fried Chicken. The restaurant has been serving its delectable and crispy fried chicken to Cebuano diners for more than three decades now. Aside from its signature fried chicken, the menu of Sunburst is filled with other chicken dishes, including Chicken Ala King, Chick ‘n Crackers, chicken asparagus soup, and chicken potato salad, among others. They also offer Filipino favorites, such as crispy pata, sinigang na hipon, sizzling bangus, and grilled pork chop.

The best time to drop by the restaurant is around 10:00 AM because the lunch crowd normally comes in at 11:00 AM. Sunburst Fried Chicken is also a good place for breakfast since it is the only outlet that opens at 5:30 AM. The Calyx IT Center offers enough parking space for diners at the back of the building.

Location: Calyx IT Center, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
Price Range: PhP88 to PhP999
Operating Hours: 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM, daily
Cuisine: Filipino
Contact number: (+6332) 239-4804

Larsian Fuente

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Larsian Fuente is packed with diners nearly every night

Photo from Larsian Fuente

The love for grilled food is innate in Filipinos, and Cebuanos are no exception. Another culinary institution of Cebu, Larsian Fuente is one place any tourist should not miss. The place offers different grilled food items, including pork, chicken, squid, and fish. You should note, though, that while the food is cooked in an open area of the place, some of the smoke still enters the dining area. Larsian Fuente can also become somewhat humid by noontime, but some stalls have electric fans to provide relief from the heat.

Consider when you visit that only street parking is available and it may be difficult to find a slot after 6:30 PM. The best time to enjoy a meal at Larsian Fuente is at noon because the place gets packed out at night.

Location: Don Mariano Cui Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City
Price Range: PhP5 to PhP65
Operating Hours: 24 hours, daily
Cuisine: Filipino

10 Dove Street

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

affordable and must try restaurants Cebu City

Have a taste of gourmet food at friendly prices at 10 Dove Street.

Photos courtesy of 10 Dove Street

Originally located in the middle of a subdivision, 10 Dove Street is one of the best-kept secrets of Cebu. Serving gourmet food at reasonable prices, 10 Dove Street offers set meals with prices ranging from PhP275 up to PhP350. The set meals offer diners a choice of salads, sandwiches, entrées, and desserts. The ambiance at 10 Dove Street is elegant while the waiters and waitresses are charming and attentive.

If you’re driving to the place, you won’t have to worry about parking because there is ample parking space at the Oakridge Business Park where it is situated. Since the restaurant only has a few tables, thus can only accommodate a small number of guests at a time, it is advisable for you to drop by early or call them for reservations.

Location: Oakridge Business Park, A. S. Fortuna Street, Mandaue City
Price Range: PhP70 to PhP350
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, daily
Cuisine: Filipino
Contact number: (+6332) 418-1010

While there are a lot more restaurants in Cebu, this short list can give you an idea of where to eat when you are in the metro. What other restaurants would you like to visit when you are in the Queen City of the South? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
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About Peter Parcon
After leaving spending 16 years of his professional life in the academe, Peter decided to try his luck in the world of online freelancing. For the past eight years, he has been creating content for clients all around the world. He can work on just about any topic - from tattoos to technology and food to finance. He dreams of visiting every island in the archipelago some day.
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