While in Cebu, you will most likely be looking for some good places to eat. Most of the hotels and beach resorts in the area include a complimentary breakfast and a variety of lunch and dinner menu items. Outside of that, there are many restaurants, grills, bistros, cafes, and chains to choose from in Cebu. Each one serves up delectable dishes and refreshing drinks that will ensure to please your palate.
Typically, Filipinos usually eat three meals a day, almusál (breakfast), tanghalían (lunch), and hapúnan (dinner) plus an afternoon snack called meriénda.
Starting in early history, Filipinos originally prepared food by boiling, steaming, or roasting. The main ingredients were the usual livestock such as kalabaw (water buffaloes), baka (cows), chickens and pigs, and different kinds of seafood. Later, Asian influences brought rice to the table, which is usually the main staple of every meal, even today. Other Asian cooking styles became prevalent in the Philippines with the use of toyo (soy sauce) and patis (fish sauce), as well as the method of stir-frying and making savory soup bases.
The original Spanish settlers brought with them hot chili peppers, tomato paste and sauces, yellow corn and methods of sautéing with garlic and onions, which eventually found their way into traditional Philippine cuisine. They also started using vinegar and spices to preserve foods due to lack of refrigeration. Adaptations of Spanish dishes became common and are still found today in Filipino dishes such as arroz valenciana, longanisa, and adobos.
Cebu Restaurants of Typical Filipino Flavor
Most prevalent, of course, are the traditional Filipino restaurants that serve up authentic Filipino foods.
Their traditional dishes comprise of fresh and dried seafood, lechón (whole roasted pig), longganisa (Philippine sausage), tapa (beef jerky), torta (omelet), adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar), kaldereta (goat in tomato stew), mechado (beef or pork cooked in tomato sauce), pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce), afritada (pork or beef simmered in a tomato sauce with vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep-fried pig's leg), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (pork, fish, or shrimp in tamarind stew), pancit (stir-fried noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls).
Filipinos in Cebu, called Cebuanos, use common core ingredients in their traditional dishes that include coconut milk, sambal, cumin, chilli, curry, and/or lemon grass.
Cebu Restaurants with International Cuisines
Besides the traditional Filipino dishes, there are many restaurants that serve international dishes with a variety of tastes and flavors. There are also many popular fast food chains throughout the Philippine Archipelago.
To help show what is available, we have listed some locations in Cebu where many restaurants and fast food chains can be found that have great food with good menu selections. Most of them are very close to the Cebu Hotels and are either within walking distance or short taxi ride, just tell the driver what restaurant you would like to go to and he will drive you there for about 55-75 pesos.
Restaurants in Ayala Center Cebu Mall
Located in Cebu Business Park, Ayala Center Cebu is considered as the premiere shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Cebu. The mall has several high-end stores and a chain of local and international restaurants. It opened in November 1994 and is owned and operated by Ayala Malls. Here you will find a large selection of places to eat, all with different menu options.
Restaurants in SM City Cebu
Located in Cebu City, SM City Cebu is an expansive mall that also houses premiere shopping, dining and entertainment options. It is the 4th largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 11th largest shopping mall in the world. It opened in November 1993 and is owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings, the country's largest shopping mall owner and developer. Here there are many choices in places to eat, anywhere from fast food to fine dining.
Your Best Bet for Cebu Restaurants
The above locations are your best bet in finding the type of foods you are searching for when new to Cebu. They offer plenty of choices and have a good mix of local and international favorites. Below are some of the places you will find.
More Adventurous? Check Out These Cebu Restaurants!
Besides going to the malls to find good places to eat, there are single restaurants that provide a fantastic dining experience. Below are some of our favorites. Just mention the restaurant name to the taxi driver and away you go.
Olio' - Steak and Seafood
Kagura - Authentic Japanese Cuisine
Blu Bar and Grill - Best City Views - On Top of Marco Polo Hotel