A guide to Cebu lechon that matters
Text: Deneb R. Batucan
Illustration: Winston Cangsuco
Succulent meat that’s riddled in spices and freshly chopped from a lovely pig’s belly — that’s one mouthwatering and savory sentence that you could only wish be real and on a plate near you. People rave about Cebu’s roasted suckling pig like it’s made of gold and tastes like a dream. Probably no other part of the country has people so passionate about a regional dish that reigns king at all fiestas and salu-salos all over the Queen City.
For a place that has the best pig, it naturally has many lechon places. Know more about the go-to places for a fix of your favorite lechon.
Hailed as SunStar Best of Cebu’s Best Lechon in 2016, 2014 and 2013, this crowd favorite produces fine quality lechon that always leaves you satisfied. Their pigs are roasted meticulously in a blazing bed of coal and coated with a special dressing that leaves the meat flavorful and — most important of all — the skin crisp. Their spicy lechon is a must try, with flavor that zings and keeps you wanting for more rice.
Key ingredients: Lots of garlic, leeks and sprinkled with love and passion
Price: Original at P595 per kilo; spicy at P640 per kilo
Branches: The Ridges, Mabolo; Airport Road, Lapu-Lapu City; Axis Entertainment Avenue, N. Escario St.
If this was a race, CNT would be the humble competitor that does its best in everything and always delivers. They won the SunStar Best of Cebu 2015 Best Lechon and is very much deserving of the title with its juicy, tender meat and extra crispy skin.
Key ingredients: Salt, garlic and spring onion and a coating of soy sauce to the skin
Price: P500 per kilo
Branches: North Reclamation Area, Guadalupe, Ayala Center Cebu, SM Seaside City
House of Lechon
Bringing in Carcar lechon to the city, House of Lechon brings in rightly spiced lechon with very crispy skin, which equals to a perfect meal. Even when it comes with a serving of sauce, eating the lechon alone is enough to lather one’s taste buds with flavor.
Key ingredients: Salt, garlic, spring onions, vinegar
Price: P650 per kilo
Branches: Acacia St., Kamputhaw, Cebu City
Serving traditional roasted hogs for more than 30 years, Alejo’s is also one of the most recommended places for a fix of this favorite Filipino dish. Every part of Alejo’s lechon is seasoned to perfection, its flavor clinging into all parts of the delicious meat.
Key ingredients: Salt, pepper, onions and garlic
Price: 450 per kilo; Starts at P3,800 for a whole lechon
Branches: Salvador Ext., Labangon
If you think of Carcar, you’d think of locally made shoes, busy streets and scrumptious lechon. Known as a purveyor of Cebu’s most delicious lechon, Carcar has become a destination because of their ability to produce luscious and flavorful roasted pigs that are cooked the native way.
Key ingredients: Salt, garlic, scallions, abubuyna, pasyutis and vinegar
Price: Starts at P3,000 for a whole lechon
Branches: Carcar, Cebu
Talisay City is one of Cebu’s lechon destinations. Their lechon is so good that they actually made a festival celebrating its rich cultural heritage that centers on the good old lechon de Talisay. It’s one of Cebu’s most delicious festivals to date, with more lechon you could possibly devour.
Key ingredients: Salt, spring onions, peppercorn
Price: Starts at P3,500 for whole lechon
Branches: Talisay City
Scrumptious, tender and juicy native lechon—this is what Ayer Lechon would always deliver to its patrons. Roasted the traditional way, Ayer Lechon does lechon the Cebuano way, which is heavily spiced and the skin always with the right crunch.
Key ingredients: Top secret
Price: Varies from P3,500 to P7,000 for a whole lechon
Branches: Main Branch at 777 Banilad across Country Club; SM City Cebu; i2 Building, IT Park; Mactan Cebu International Airport