The 10 Best Restaurants And Cafes In Cebu, The Philippines
As one of the Philippines’ most developed regions, Cebu’s restaurants bring together the best of varied regional dishes – and we’ve picked out 10 of the best for cultural dining.
Image courtesy of Cebu
Restaurant, Asian, Philippine, $$$
Zubuchon, General Maxilom Avenue | Image Courtesy of Azabu Restaurant
Almost everyone who goes for a meal at Zubuchon comes out raving. With lechon (whole roasted pig) as the specialty, this is a place for real carnivores. Here, the staff take a whole pig, baste it on a stick, and slice off juicy pieces of meat for hungry diners. Guests can choose from serving sizes of a full, half, or quarter kilograms of meat, as well as which part of the pig to consume. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Zubuchon Platter, which is a large platter of finely-spiced pork.
Azabu Restaurant specialises in traditional Japanese cuisine in a modern, upscale setting. The restaurant takes its name from a district in Tokyo, and prides itself on offering authentic dishes not available at other Japanese restaurants in the city. The menu focuses on teppanyaki and sushi, but other Japanese favourites like tempura, noodles, and edamame are also features. In addition to staples like tuna nigiri and squid sashimi, there are also numerous creative house rolls, such as the ‘Island Roll’ with salmon, tuna, mango, and white cheese. Seating is available in a minimalist dining area, or at the sushi and teppanyaki bar where diners can watch their meals being prepared.
Restaurant, Bar, Italian, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Perched on top of Nivel Hills, Anzani offers gourmet fine-dining along with scenic views of Cebu. The menu mainly focuses on Italian dishes, combining locally-sourced Filipino produce with ingredients brought from Europe, North Africa, and other parts of the world. An olive garden found behind the restaurant adds an additional Mediterranean flair to the dishes. Menu highlights include the black ink fettuccine, with crawfish, bacon and green asparagus in white wine sauce; and the cumin-crusted Chilean sea bass on red onions confit, with a cherry tomato broth and fried capers. The dishes pair perfectly with the restaurant’s superb selection of fine wines.
Opened in 1991, this small, family-run restaurant is known for its home-made Filipino cuisine. A favourite of locals and tourists, Café Laguna’s menu features regional dishes from across the country, along with a few international options. All the dishes are made with care and attention to detail, which is shown in their rich flavours. Try the crispy tadyang (beef ribs) or the puto-bumbong (sticky rice served with grated coconut and sugar). The décor is simple, and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, leading to the opening of several other branches across the country.
Canvas Bistro Bar Gallery is one of the first modern Australian restaurants in Cebu. Run by an Australian chef and his Filipina wife, the menu is rich with a selection of salads, pasta, sandwiches, seafood, and steaks dishes. Try the hearty beef and onion pie; or the pork medallions in grain mustard sauce with tiger prawns and pesto fettuccine. The restaurant’s décor is chic and industrial, with grey tones complemented by the pops of colour created by the artwork on the walls. A great selection of wines and Australian beers completes the experience.
Casa Verde is an American-style eatery that serves up classic American comfort food, from beef burgers to hearty pastas. Opened in 2002, the restaurant’s name comes from the owners’ Spanish heritage and the colour of this family-run chain’s original branch building. The interior is quirky and relaxed, mixing Americana and traditional Filipino décor. Specialities include tenderloin tips and eggs, marinated in a sweet and savory sauce; and the seafood carbonara made with shrimps and squid in a creamy white sauce.
Golden Cowrie, Don Gil Garcia Street | Image Courtesy of La Maison Rose Cebu
One of the best places in the city to sample traditional Filipino fare, Golden Cowrie presents a menu of dishes that reflects all regions of the country. The menu offers plenty of options for meat-eaters, from sweet chili chicken to fried tadyang (fried beef ribs); but caters equally well to vegetarians with dishes like eggplant-based adobong talong and tinunuang nangka (jackfruit slices cooked in coconut milk with onions and spices). The restaurant’s welcoming atmosphere is designed to evoke the simple comforts of a family dinner.
La Maison Rose Cebu is an authentic French restaurant that features classic French food, including steaks, baguettes and plenty of wine. The restaurant’s name means ‘the pink house’ in French because this easy-to-spot restaurant is set in a big pink house; inside, the décor is charming, featuring all sorts of pastel colours and other subtle details that complement the ever-present French theme. After you’ve had your fill of tasty hors d’oeuvres followed by a delicious main course, you’ll find yourself lingering around to finish a bottle or two of wine.
A local favourite in Cebu, STK ta bai! is not-to-be-missed when visiting the island. The long name may be difficult to remember, but this well-loved seafood restaurant is almost always full on weekends. There are some vegetarian options, but the real speciality here is good old-fashioned fire-roasted meat and seafood. There’s a great selection of pork, including the pork belly, but it’s the seafood that made this restaurant famous. Don’t miss the crispy tuna belly which is cooked on a charcoal grill; and the hot and spicy calamares, which is calamari fried in a spices and topped with chilies.
Vienna Kaffehaus brings the flavors of Vienna, Austria’s culinary capital, to Cebu. The menu includes an excellent selection of Austrian specialities, including gulaschsuppe (paprika beef soup) and brathuhn (deep-fried chicken with aromatic spices). In addition to these hearty dishes, the restaurant offers light options and more than 11 brewed varieties of coffee, inspired by the coffee culture of Austria. The café area includes a comfortable reading corner where diners can browse a selection of newspapers while sipping their coffee. This successful restaurant now has several locations across the Philippines in addition to this original location in Cebu.