Food is the basic necessity of man. As such, it is part and parcel of our daily living. What better way could there be when we dine together and share food with our loved ones? I find it a great way to bond with my family, relatives and friends through food tripping. This activity could either be done at home in our dining table or we could also have some variety like eating out in famous restaurants at that. Cebu has a lot to offer when it comes to palatable cuisines of all sorts. Being the center for trade, commerce and tourism in the Visayas Region, one would have a wide array of choices in Cebu when it comes to best selling restaurants to fill our stomachs to the brim. Let me name top 10 restaurants in no particular order:
One of the most visited restaurants my family and I would love to go every time we would want to dine out for birthday celebrations, visit of a relative in Cebu, homecoming of a loved one abroad or simply for bonding purposes, Golden Cowrie is always included in our options. It is one of the most popular seafood restaurants here in Cebu with many branches available in strategic locations across metropolitan Cebu such as SM, Ayala, Lahug, AS Fortuna, Robinsons Cybergate, Mactan Marina Mall and Park Mall that makes it readily accessible for people from northern and southern part of Cebu. Golden Cowrie Native Restaurant anchors its beliefs in the family since dining with loved ones is deemed to be most enjoyable and highly nourishing. They serve native cuisines which are mainly seafood dishes such as sinugba, calamares, baked scallops, tinola, sinigang and many more at an affordable price with the assurance that quality and cleanliness is maintained. They also serve unlimited rice which can really make each member of the family be filled to the brim. Due to its popularity, one of the major setbacks we usually encounter is that, it took us time to be accommodated. So i suggest if you plan to dine in Golden Cowrie, you've got to be there not when you are at the verge of hunger so you will not be disappointed at waiting long. Besides, a hungry man is said to be an angry man. Your anger at the experience might cause you not to avail of their sumptuous line of native dishes. But even then, Golden Cowrie will always be one the best here in Cebu.
3. Casa Verde
Casa Verde is a Spanish word for "green house". At the onset, it is a only small canteen that caters to residents of it's 2nd floor dormitory with some college students nearby. Word-of- mouth is one powerful tool to market a product or service. True enough, people who had an amazing dining experience at the said canteen back then spread the good experience and recommended it to their family and friends until Casa Verde became a full scale restaurant. It has 3 branches in Ramos, Ayala and IT park. It opens Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. It is a locally owned chain of American style of restaurant which offers american food with huge servings making it good for group dining then. Hence, i had the opportunity to dine in Casa Verde Ramos restaurant together with my colleagues still in my previous employment during one of our food trip moment. I must say it was a good dining experience with good foods, quality service, comfortable atmosphere at a reasonable price. Among their must try are their best-selling ribs, mouthwatering steaks, sumptuous pasta and palatable desserts. So if you haven't had a Casa Verde experience, try it and you will surely keep coming back. I even would love to try their branches in Ayala and IT Park. I would very soon.
4. AA's BBQ
Since I studied in UP Cebu Lahug way back college, I first tried AA's BBQ in their Lahug Branch during our Christmas Party celebration with classmates. It was a worthwhile experience because you will get to choose from the wide array of food you want from pork, chicken and seafood. Then you could also request the barbecue dishes you want according to your preference. It was truly delicious yet it comes at a very reasonable price. Student i was at that time, i don't usually spend lavishly on food alone since I spared most of my dime for my studies. As I was already working and stayed in Bacayan Cebu, I have been a frequent eater of their AA's BBQ Banilad Branch which is more accessible on my end. AA has not changed at all since my first try. They're still serving good tasting foods. My family keep coming back here whenever we celebrate birthdays out. What makes it more amazing is that AA's management would give out souvenir items for the birthday celebrator such as t-shirts or banana float whenever they would know that you are there celebrating birthdays. They now have 8 branches spread all over the city in strategic locations of: Lahug, AS Fortuna, Guadalupe, Plaza Independencia, Minglanilla, Pardo, North Reclamation Mandaue, Pusok Lapu-lapu City. I highly recommend AA's BBQ and it is definitely a must try experience.
5. Mooon Cafe
The love of food brings endless possibilities. If one loves to eat together with loved ones, you will eventually venture ample restaurants to do away with the monotony. Another favorite destination of Cebu restaurants that my family has been to is Mooon Cafe. It is a Mexican-inspired restaurant with 5 branches here in Cebu located in: Ayala Terraces, IT Park, Robinsons Cybergate, Guadalupe and Park Mall Mandaue. I have experienced Mooon Cafe Ayala thrice already and Mooon Cafe IT Park once. I definitely loved their food, their staff all dressed in Mexican attire, the ambiance and the interior designs of the restaurant is fantastic as well. I don't really have to go outside of the country just to have a taste of foreign foods. Its is definitely a must-try for visitors of Cebu both local and foreign alike because their restaurant is built not only on good food. But more so with a genuine passion and commitment to satisfy their customers the best way they know how.
Another lavish food trip experience I had this year was my first ever TGIF treat from my then friend who is now my boyfriend together with our common friend. He works in Davao and visits Cebu from time to time. Whenever he pays visit here in Cebu, we usually go on a food trip, mostly his treat: lucky me. Anyway, TGIF stands for Thank God It's Friday. They're open on a daily basis though and not just on Fridays. The restaurant is located in G108 Garden Level Ayala Center, Cebu. TGIF is an American casual dining experience with a cozy, laid back and fun ambiance. The decors all around the place were truly eye catching and child friendly alike. There were super heroes, airplanes, spaceships, cars as seen in the picture provided below and many more that are truly appealing to younger ones and the young at hearts like me. Their personnel were friendly and accommodating too. Meanwhile, the food was superb and palatable. The baby back ribs we ordered was truly the best. The sauce was great and it was very tender and very tasty to the bones Nevertheless, the price was skyrocketing. Well anyway, quality comes with a price more often than not. Basically, the money you will shell out will be definitely worth it. It was a worthwhile experience for me not just because i was with someone i value but also because the total package of the restaurant was superb.
7. Cafe Laguna
Cafe Laguna had it's humble beginning from the owners roots who had the penchant and love for cooking. Having been exposed and raised from a lineage of culinary enthusiasts, it eventually made the owner Lita Urbina develop the same passion for cooking. Furthermore, she just did not keep that passion to herself when she decided to open up a restaurant last 1991 in Lahug serving Filipino food with a distinctive taste incomparable to this day. Since then, they've grown, expanded and opened more branches in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Currently they have two branches Cebu located in SM and Ayala as well as to neighboring regions in Visayas and Mindanao. Aside from their restaurant, they also accommodate catering services. They showcase authentic Filipino cuisine and they are committed to also extend their expertise beyond the favorite Filipino dishes to include a variety of world cuisine to address the unique needs and wants of everybody. One of the trademarks of Cafe Laguna is their puto-bumbong which is mostly loved by Cebuanos. It is a sticky rice called“tapul” that is steamed and served with grated coconut and sugar. They offer a whole lot more. Try it for yourself. For reservations or inquiries contact Café Laguna Ayala Cebu (032)231-0922, Café Laguna SM Northwing (032)236-4132, or Laguna Garden Café (032)233-8602 to 03. Basically, I had the opportunity to come to Cafe Laguna thrice already. One of it was a big gathering in celebration of Christmas Party of my cousin who worked in a real estate company. It was superb and truly a blast experience. I would surely love to get back there. They have captured the hearts of Cebuanos and tourists alike by proving to people that the best way to anyone's heart is through delicious cooking. Kudos to Cafe Laguna for being one of Cebu's best.
The word chika means to chat, to talk or to converse. Whenever people are at the dining table, it is a perfect avenue for one to chika, chat or converse with one another perhaps to catch up with what's latest. Chika-an is a restaurant where you can truly dine and have a chit-chat with people you're with over Cebuano cuisine in an ambiance of an old Filipino home. Over the many years they have existed and established a well reputable name in the food industry, the restaurant has built a tradition of great tasting Cebuano dishes developed to perfection. Thereby meeting the need of every Filipino families to be filled physically and to develop emotional bonding. They have established three branches in areas namely: Salinas Drive Lahug, Parkmall Mandaue City and Northwing SM City Cebu. My family and I have been to their branch in SM Cebu for about thrice already. Their menu ranges from tasty soup and noodles, delectable salad and appetizer, juicy meat serving, piquant seafood, nutritious serving of vegetables, delightful desserts, beverages and many more. this is truly one of Cebu's best dining experience.
9. Abuhan Restaurant
"Abuhan" is a Cebuano term for kitchen or fireplace. But contrary to the heat a fireplace could give you, Abuhan is a cool getaway for group of friends and family to have a dining spree and enjoy a delicious treat of authentic Filipino food. They have been serving its' delicious home cooked Filipino dishes for more than 30 years. They have three branches in Cebu namely: Abuhan Uno located in F. Ramos Street Cebu City, Abuhan Dos in 176 F. Ramos Street Cebu City near Robinsons Mall and finally Abuhan Tres situated in Unit 108 i2 Building Asiatown IT Park, Lahug Cebu City. Being in the industry for quite a number of years already, they have been renowned for their famous mouth watering Pochero (Cebuano's version of Bulalo) along with its' Sizzling Pochero. For a soup lover like me, i find it a delight that their Pochero soup is refillable. Furthermore, they also serve Filipino native cuisines such as Calamares, Sizzling Squid, baked Scallop, Grilled Pork Belly, Chicken Pandan, Kinilaw na Tanguige, Lechon Liempo and a whole lot more. For the vegetarian people they serve Chopseuy, Adobong Kangkong, Ampalaya Guisado, Pinakbet, Sauteed Vegetables with Tofu and many more. One of the fringe benefits they offer to their customers is that when you reach your bill to Php 1, 500.00 you will get a free appetizer of your choice which is an amazing treat from them.
10. STK ta Bay sa Paolito's Seafood House
STK is an ancestral home that turned into a widely visited restaurant by locals, celebrities and famous personalities. They do have a set of photographs of famous visitors in the restaurant as proof of how widely acclaimed they have become. STK by the way stands for Sugba, Tuwa and Kilaw. They offer delicious seafood and among their specialties is the very appetizing Baked Scallops and Tuna dishes - Panga and Belly. The ambiance of the restaurant is unique because it evokes history with all the antique furniture, religious icons and memorabilia collected within the passage of time. The restaurant is located in Capitol area of Cebu. Since the place is far from the busy streets of Cebu, you better ride a taxi cab so you won't get lost as most of the drivers are already familiar where is this restaurant situated. Indeed, you wouldn't want to miss this food trip whenever you have the chance to be in Cebu as it gives you a taste of delicious and tasty Filipino food at a very affordable price. What are you waiting for? Come and be mesmerized.
Indeed, Cebuano's are fun-loving and food-loving just the same. Basically, our love for food is one of the indulges that brings pleasure not just to Cebuano's but almost to everybody. Hence, the Cebuano cuisines from the different restaurants mentioned here are truly must-tries for all. Take time to experience dining at it's best in any of these. You will surely love being filled to the brim.