By Patricia May P. Catan
Main photo by Allan Cuizon
WHETHER you’re a local or foreign tourist, the food scene in Cebu has grown tremendously over the years. And there’s no denying that Cebu is indeed bursting with flavors, tackling diverse cuisines to cater every palate. While Cebu boasts of its white sand beaches, refreshing waterfalls, and majestic mountains that tourists have grown to love, the Queen City of the South has also gained the food hub title, making it popular to locals and tourists alike. There are just countless restaurants to choose from, and we’re giving you a rundown on what’s new around town or what’s best to try out during your stay. Here are five must-try dining places when in Cebu.
T.G.I. Friday’s at Robinsons Galleria Cebu
In here, it’s always Friday, so expect a party of flavors in your mouth with big portions of mouthwatering dishes coming out of the kitchen. Every bite feels like a dance party, whether you’re a meat or seafood lover, courtesy of T.G.I.F.’s diverse selection of food in their American style menu. The restaurant specially takes pride in their Jack Daniel’s Ribs that’s slow-cooked to perfection, drenched with Jack Daniel’s glaze and served with seasoned fries and coleslaw on the side. For those who want a little spice, their Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Pasta is the perfect pick. You won’t leave the restaurant hungry because with so much on the menu — from appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads to desserts — you’re sure to have a full stomach after. Visit their 2nd store in Cebu at the Level 1 of Robinsons Galleria. They are open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.
Café Bougainvillea at Montebello Villa Hotel
Situated within the best garden hotel in Cebu that is Montebello Villa Hotel, Café Bougainvillea reopens with a totally revamped look, not just with their interiors, but the overall menu as well. A delightful addition to their growing property, Café Bougainvillea can accommodate up to 20 people comfortably. The café is a great setting for when you want to unwind over good food with its wonderfully lit space annd open air breeze where the furniture best complements the style and design of the place. Serving European-inspired dishes that’s adjusted to the Filipino palate, Chef Vinz Karlsen, the hotel’s executive chef, shared that the café offers refreshingly light dishes and delectable desserts. With the installment of an open kitchen, there’s now an interaction between chef and guests that showcases their freshly-made dishes and sweets such that of salads, sandwiches, tortilla wraps, crepes, brownies, and cheesecake. Montebello Villa Hotel is located at Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Banilad, Cebu City.
Continuing where they first had the passion for good food at their home’s kitchen, Iñaki and Pepin Martinez transformed their ancestral house into what has now been recognized as Restaurant of the Year in the recently published Best of Cebu 2017. No. 9 is only fitting of the title with its cohesive homegrown menu that features a mix of Mediterranean, Spanish and Latin-influenced cuisine. The restaurant’s modern interiors and old-world facade also deserves praise which transforms the entire ambiance of the place to a cozy and relaxing setting great for a special and intimate gathering. One of the dishes that gained attention is their Fideo Negro made of broken noodles, squid, chorizo, squid ink, and garlic aioli along with their other signature and well-thought-out dishes that’s full of history and flavor. Experience a new dining experience that overflows of love through its preparations at No. 9. They are located at E. Benedicto St., Cebu City.
One meal of the day we often neglect is breakfast, which truthfully, is the most important meal we must take. Well, if you’re not a morning person then you’re just not. But for those who love to wake up extra early for breakfast or those who enjoy breakfast at any time of the day, Café Sarree offers everything you want and more. Dubbed as the Best Breakfast Place in Cebu, this café serves all your breakfast favorites. From the classic and fluffy pancakes, loaded french toast, chorizo rice, angus tapa to shirred eggs, these are only some of the reasons we love breakfast. And what’s best at Café Sarree is that they serve these filling breakfast meals all-day! If you’re not in the mood for breakfast food, they also serve main dishes such as adobo flakes and salpicao, as well as salads and pasta. Café Sarree is located at Escario Central, N. Escario St., Cebu City and Rustan’s Supermarket, Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu Business Park.
Meximama Cocina Latina
Craving for some authentic Mexican food? Meximama Cocina Latina might just be close to what you’re looking for. Recognized as Best Mexican Restaurant in Best of Cebu 2017 is only proof that they’re serving real Mexican cuisine with only the freshest ingredients imported from origin source and put together in the traditional method, adding to its authenticity and quality of each dish prepared. Other than its specialties such as tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burritos, and tortillas, Meximama also serves rice meals and decadent desserts. Plus, all dishes are reasonably priced. Go ahead and get your Mexican fix at Meximama Cocina Latina. They are located at Mactan Newtown and Marina Mall.