Up for grubs - SunStar

Up for grubs

Where in Cebu would you take Anthony Bourdain?

Text: Micah Almazan


When Anthony Bourdain visited Cebu and tasted our lechon, it was a big deal. A few years later, his rendezvous with our town saw the light of day again when that one article about “Cebu’s favorite lechon” was published. Don’t play coy; you know what I’m talking about. Having said that, while the much celebrated roasted pig is tied to our identity as Cebuanos, our beloved island has so much more to offer. Aside from well-respected restaurants, Cebu is crawling with hole-in-the-wall destinations and street food for your guilty pleasures. I asked a few of my friends what local food spots they would recommend to Mr. Bourdain if ever he comes for a second visit.

3-Course Snack

Location: Main gate of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Magallanes St., Cebu City

Find the best street eats in one corner at a school’s gate in downtown Cebu. Start off with some peanuts for P5 per serving (smallest size), which come in 3 flavors: hot and spicy, sweet and crunchy, and the plain salted. Next, move on to kwek kwek (deep-fried orange quail eggs) at 3 for P10, and tempura (not the Japanese dish) at 5 for P20 for the main snack. For dessert, grab a stick of banana-q or pinaypay (sugar-coated fritters) for P10 each. — Carla Adlawan, Writer

Ned Nanay’s Grill

Location: Don Mariano Cui corner Jasmin Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City

When you feel the urge for barbecue, nothing beats Ned Nanay’s. Meat is always fresh, never frozen, not even half-cooked. From perfectly basted chicken thighs to the basic pork barbecue crowned with a slice of succulent pork fat, everything is divine and meticulously done. There’s also a short order menu for those who crave for some calamari or tinola. — Carlos Canga, Designer

Tropic Fruit Bar

Location: E-Zone, Mabolo

This unpretentious store sells what just might be the best fresh fruit shakes in the city. They’ve got a great selection of the easy staples (apple, mango, banana) and seasonal delights (watermelon, pineapple, avocado, strawberry). What I love about their shakes is that they’re never too sugary, the consistency is just right, and you actually taste fruit. I’m partial to the guyabano shake; it’s a delicious mix of sweet and sour and has enough fiber and riboflavin to keep a health-nut happy. — Nina Alcoseba, Freelance Writer

Monbi’s Halo-Halo

Location: Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City

Summer in the islands is just around the corner so Anthony Bourdain should never pass the chance to try Monbis’ special halo-halo. Located in a busy neighborhood that’s also home to the equally famous Siomai sa Tisa, you’ll find a little cafe along the street serving this ice-cold treat. But what really makes this different from all the other halo-halos I’ve tried is its very fine shaved ice and smooth blend of ingredients. Ordering one might be a little hassle for some because of the long queue but I can definitely say it’s worth all the wait and price you pay. — Ilene de Vera, Model

Tagala Chicken Butterfly

Location: Across the University of San Carlos – Talamban Campus (USC-TC), Talamban, Cebu City

First thing that comes to mind is Tagala Chicken Butterfly. It’s something that I always go back to for a quick chicken fix that always satisfies my craving. I drown that piece of chicken in their signature sweet and sour sauce and pair it with pusô (hanging rice), which I also dip in the sauce. You can also ask for a generous amount of their crispy chicken batter crumbs to add that extra crunch to your Tagala experience. — Sarrita Pimentel, Restaurateur

Lumpia ni Senyang

Location: Behind Saint Alphonsus Catholic School (SACS) in Opon, Lapu-Lapu City

Lumpia ni Senyang is a local eatery must-try famed for its fried-to-perfection spring rolls. Considered an island staple in Poblacion, Lapu-Lapu, the popular eatery has been around for almost 30 years, enticing non-island folk and islanders alike to visit as frequently as possible. Manang Senyang offers a daily lethal combination of lumpia filled with bean sprouts, giant pusô (hanging rice) and their famous hot sauce. — Keiza Empleo, Web Content Writer

Pang Panga

Location: A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City

Pang Panga is a favorite rendezvous for me and my friends. Once we get our midnight Korean food craving, there’s no second guessing; we head there right away. Our usuals include sizzling spicy pork cutlet and ramen, which are served with four staple side dishes. If we’re feeling a little extravagant, we’d go for the samgyeopsal and the shrimp sashimi. Pang Panga is a low-key grub house that does not disappoint. — Mic Kindica, Musician/Architecture Major

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