Best Eats + Restaurants

Fusion of Cultures in the Cebu Restaurant Scene

Check out these popular hangout places in Cebu for expats.

By: Peter Parcon | July 16, 2016
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Cebu is home to a thriving community of expats who are mainly in the Queen City of the South for work. Just like the locals, our foreign friends also find it necessary to recharge their batteries at the end of the workweek. While there are a good number of places where expats normally hang out, the following are the more notable bars and restaurants where they can simply sit down and relax or have a night full of fun to relieve their stress.

Marshall's Irish Pub Bar & Restaurant

Marshall's Irish Pub Bar & Restaurant takes pride in being the only authentic Irish pub located in the middle of the entertainment hub of Cebu City. Marshall’s offers authentic Irish food as well as Filipino dishes with an Irish twist. Customers typically hang out to watch football games while having a bottle or two of their favorite Irish brew. The place is normally packed when big games of some of the major European football leagues are being played.

popular hangout in Cebu for expats

Cebuanos can get the luck of the Irish at Marshall’s.

popular hangout in Cebu for expats

The bar and liquor selection at Marshall’s

Photos from Marshall's Irish Pub Bar & Restaurant Facebook page

While most of the clients at Marshall’s are foreigners, there are also a good number of locals who drop by just to experience what it’s like to visit an Irish pub. Happy hour at Marshall’s runs from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, when most of their local beer is priced at PhP50 each. This is the best time to visit the place to get the best bang for your buck. Their menu items start at PhP210 for the Hawaiian Omelet and can go up to PhP1,290 for their Surf N Turf grilled dish. There is a suitable area for parking inside the Mango Square complex.

For first-time visitors, it is important to make sure to be aware of your belongings when you stay at the al fresco section of the restaurant since a good number of people typically pass through the place. Marshall's Irish Pub Bar & Restaurant is easy to spot because it is situated along the road at the Mango Square complex. Just tell the taxi driver to take you to Mango Square, and look for the pub, which is right beside National Bookstore.

The Social Cebu

While The Social Cebu can be considered a newcomer in the restaurant scene, it has created quite a hubbub in the industry. The Tadcaster Hospitality Group is the outfit behind The Social Cebu, which is the first venture of the Singapore-based company in the Philippines. Its laid-back atmosphere makes The Social Cebu a good place to hang out late in the afternoon or early in the evening. The menu has a good mix of European and Australasian dishes along with some traditional Filipino food.

popular hangout in Cebu for expats

The Social Cebu has a laid-back atmosphere

popular hangout in Cebu for expats

The Social Cebu draws inspiration from New York for their industrial vintage décor.

Photos from The Social Cebu Facebook page

Even though The Social Cebu is a great place to hang out, its menu items are rather expensive. Prices start at PhP120, which is the price for one scoop of their Home-Made Ice Cream, and goes up to PhP850, which will get you a serving of the Grilled Rib Eye. For sports enthusiasts, the place has a number of large-screen TVs where they can watch games while sitting on a cozy leather couch.

The Social Cebu is located at the fourth floor of the new wing of Ayala Center Cebu, across Blackbeard’s Seafood Island and beside Brique Modern Kitchen. The best time to go to there is at around 7:00 PM just before the dinner crowd comes in. Since the place is located at the fourth floor, parking would not be a problem, unless there is an event in the mall.

Maya Mexican Restaurant

Maya Mexican Restaurant is part of the Abacá Group of restaurants. Maya offers a unique blend of Mexican cuisine and dishes from Hispanic-American communities living in California. It was intended to be a casual restaurant as well as a tequila lounge. The price range of the dishes is between PhP195 for the Sopa de Tortilla Con Pollo and PhP995 for the Bistec Ranchero.

The place comes alive every Wednesday to the tune of Cuban salsa music. The Cebu Salsa Club holds free salsa lessons to anyone interested in learning the Cuban salsa. While the party starts at 9:00 PM, the place does get crowded as early as 8:00 PM. Due to this, it would be advisable for you to reserve a table for the event. You can also come in early and have dinner at around 7:00 PM and hang around until the party starts. There is ample parking in front of the restaurant, which is located at the Crossroads Mall in Banilad, Cebu City.

One thing to consider when visiting Maya Mexican Restaurant for Salsa Nights is the crowd. Since the event is popular among expats living in Cebu, it is advisable to go there early if you don’t have dinner reservations.

Getting to Maya Mexican Restaurant is easy. If you are coming from the Ayala Center Cebu area, just go straight along Governor M. Cuenco Avenue and turn right to Crossroads Mall, which is right after a gasoline station. Maya Mexican Restaurant is located at the end of the driveway close to K1 Family KTV. If you are coming from the north, you can go along Governor M. Cuenco Avenue and turn left at the mall, which is located a few meters after The Tinderbox Restaurant.

Cebu City has become a melting pot of different cultures from other parts of the archipelago as well as other countries around the world. This has resulted in an exciting fusion of cultures, enabling expats to experience and appreciate the culture of Cebu, and also enjoy in hangout places and savor food similar to what they have at their home countries.

Do you know of any of other awesome places for expats in Cebu? Cue us in at 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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