Tips on How to Navigate Cebu’s Best Food and Eating Places

Tips on How to Navigate Cebu's Best Food and Eating Places

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Learning about Cebu’s best food and eating places is the best way to start our gastronomic journey to the Philippines. Cebu, known as the Queen City of the South, is not only famed for its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage but also for its diverse and mouthwatering culinary scene. From savory street food to delectable seafood delicacies, Cebu offers a gastronomic adventure that tantalizes the taste buds of locals and visitors alike. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey through Cebu’s best food and eating places, uncovering the flavors and stories behind the island’s culinary treasures.

If you want to rekindle your fire for life again, then Sinulog is the best place to be. Hop into How to Set Your Heart on Fire for Life Again in Cebu for inspiration.

Top Tips for Cebu Food Trip

Navigating Cebu’s diverse culinary scene can be a delightful adventure for food enthusiasts. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your gastronomic journey through the Queen City of the South:

1. Research and Plan Ahead

Before embarking on your food exploration, research Cebu’s top dining destinations, street food markets, and must-try dishes. Create a list of eateries and food stalls you want to visit to ensure you don’t miss out on any culinary gems. Scroll through the end of this post for food and ambiance reviews of some popular restaurants, eateries, and cafés in Cebu.

2. Ask for Recommendations

Locals are often the best source of insider knowledge when it comes to finding hidden culinary gems. Strike up conversations with residents, taxi drivers, or hotel staff to get recommendations for authentic Cebuano eateries and lesser-known dining spots.

3. Explore Different Districts

Cebu is a diverse city with culinary offerings spread across various neighborhoods and districts. Venture beyond the tourist hubs and explore areas like Lahug, Talamban, or Banilad for a taste of local favorites and regional specialties.

4. Indulge in Cebuano Lechon

No culinary exploration of Cebu would be complete without indulging in its most famous dish – lechon. Renowned as one of the best roasted pigs in the Philippines, Cebu’s lechon boasts crispy skin and succulent, flavorful meat. Head to Talisay for the best lechon in the province. It is the most original lechon capital of the country where you’ll see a parade of lechons everyday.

While in the city, you may also opt to visit iconic establishments like ZubuChon (my favourite is always the lechon arroz caldo at Cebu’s airport), Rico’s Lechon, or CnT Lechon. Come and savor this mouthwatering Cebuano delicacy which is often served with tangy dipping sauces and steamed rice. The hanging rice (pusô) is always the best pair for lechon of all time.

5. Try Cebuano Seafood

Make sure to indulge in Cebu’s fresh and flavorful seafood dishes. Head to seaside restaurants like Lantaw Native Restaurant and Fiesta Bay Asian Seafood Restaurant. In the city, try Bucket Shrimps or local seafood markets to savor dishes such as grilled fish, shrimp kinilaw, and seafood soups made with locally sourced ingredients. Click on the links for each restaurant mentioned above for my review.

6. Sample Cebuano Sweets

Cebu is also known for its delectable array of sweets and desserts. Don’t miss out on trying local delicacies like masareal (peanut candy), otap (crispy puff pastry), and dried mangoes, which make for perfect souvenirs to bring back home.

7. Embrace Street Food Culture

Don’t hesitate to indulge in Cebu’s vibrant street food scene. Wander through local markets like Larsian sa Fuente or Sugbo Mercado to sample a variety of affordable and flavorful dishes. Be adventurous and try traditional favorites like ngohiong (deep-fried spring rolls) and siomai.

Larsian sa Fuente

For an authentic taste of Cebuano street food, venture into Larsian sa Fuente. This bustling outdoor food market offers a vibrant array of grilled meats, seafood, and local delicacies. From skewered barbecue to grilled fish and chorizo, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you feast on delicious bites amidst the aroma of sizzling grills and the chatter of fellow diners.


Pungko-pungko, a unique culinary experience indigenous to Cebu, offers a tantalizing array of deep-fried delights served in a humble yet vibrant setting. Found in clusters of makeshift stalls primarily around university areas and busy streets, pungko-pungko offers a budget-friendly feast for those craving flavorful street food. Diners squat on low wooden benches or makeshift tables as they enjoy an assortment of crispy treats such as ngohiong, fried chicken skin, chorizo, and other savory delights, all generously dipped in a tangy vinegar-based sauce.

8. Stay Hydrated and Be Mindful of Hygiene

While indulging in Cebu’s street food delights, remember to stay hydrated by drinking bottled water or refreshing coconut water. While these are readily available, it is still always advisable to bring your own reusable water bottle to save Mother Earth.

Additionally, be mindful of hygiene practices by washing your hands before and after eating or using hand sanitizer when necessary. To aid you with this, check Safe Travels Kit products for your health protection.

9. Enjoy the Experience

Lastly, savor every moment of your culinary adventure in Cebu. Whether you’re dining at a fancy restaurant or enjoying street food on the go, embrace the flavors, aromas, and vibrant atmosphere that make Cebu’s food scene truly unforgettable.

Cebu Food Tours

Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Cebu City Food Tour
Insider Tip: Not recommended for travellers with poor cardiovascular health.

Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Food, Historical and Mountain Tour in Cebu City
Insider Tip: Wheelchair accessible

Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Cebu Food, Culture & Historical Journeys
Insider Tip:
Suitable for all physical fitness levels

Some of Cebu’s Must-Try Restaurants

Fiesta Bay Asian Seafood Restaurant

Fiesta Bay Asian Seafood Restaurant in Cebu offers a delectable array of Asian-inspired seafood dishes.

Bucket Shrimps

At Bucket Shrimps, indulge in succulent shrimp dishes served in buckets, promising a messy yet delightful dining experience.

The Original AA BBQ

The Original AA BBQ in Cebu is renowned for its mouthwatering grilled barbecue dishes, capturing the essence of Filipino street food.


Kogi-Q offers an interactive Korean barbecue dining experience in Cebu, where diners can grill their own meats to perfection.

Chika-an sa Cebu

Chika-an sa Cebu serves authentic Cebuano cuisine, providing a taste of local flavors in a cozy dining atmosphere.

Casa Verde

Casa Verde is a beloved restaurant in Cebu known for its hearty American comfort food, including their famous Brian’s Ribs.

La Vie Parisienne

La Vie Parisienne offers a charming French-inspired dining experience with its selection of pastries, bread, and wines in Cebu.

La Maison Rose

La Maison Rose exudes elegance and serves exquisite French cuisine, creating a memorable dining experience.

World Pizza: Around the World in 80 Pizzas

Embark on a culinary journey at World Pizza, where you can savor unique pizza flavors from around the world in Cebu.

Some of Cebu’s Must-Try Cafés

Café Tiala Princess Room

Step into the whimsical ambiance of Café Tiala Princess Room in Cebu, where every corner is adorned with princess-inspired decor, creating a magical dining experience.

Café Noriter

Café Noriter in Cebu offers a cozy and artsy atmosphere, perfect for catching up with friends over a cup of coffee or indulging in their delicious menu offerings.


Quench your thirst with refreshing and innovative milk tea creations at Dakasi, a popular cafe in Cebu known for its wide variety of flavors and toppings.

Cebu’s Food Festivals and Events

Siomai Festival sa Tisa

Siomai Festival sa Tisa in Cebu celebrates the beloved dumpling dish with various vendors offering a wide array of siomai flavors and styles, attracting food enthusiasts from all over.

Sinulog Festival

Sinulog Festival in Cebu is a vibrant and colorful celebration that honors the Santo Niño through lively street dances, processions, and religious rituals, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and devotion of the Cebuano people. Hop into How to Navigate the Philippines’ Grandest Mardi Gras for more about Sinulog Festival.

Plan your Cebu Food Trip Now!


Cebu is accessible by air and sea. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (IATA: CEB) serves as the main gateway, welcoming flights from major cities across the globe. If you prefer a scenic route, ferries connect Cebu to neighboring islands.


Given the province’s popularity, it’s advisable to book accommodations well in advance. Cebu offers a range of options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Consider staying in the city centre for convenient access to Cebu’s top dining places. Here’s a list of accommodations around Fuente Osmeña Circle which is at the very heart of Cebu City:

double bed hotel room for sinulog festival
Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Crown Regency Hotel and Towers

Located right by Fuente Osmeña Circle, this hotel offers a central location with easy access to everything Cebu. It has various room options and amenities for a comfortable stay.

hotel room for sinulog festival participant
Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Cebu Holiday Plaza Hotel

This hotel is centrally located in Cebu City, making it convenient for both business and leisure travelers. It’s situated in the heart of the city, providing easy access to key attractions, shopping centers, and business districts.

Cebu City accommodation
Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Skyblue Hotel

A hotel known for its comfortable accommodations, Skyblue Hotel is within proximity to Fuente Osmeña Circle, offering a pleasant stay for world travellers.

budget hotel for sinulog festival
Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Fuente Oro Business Suites

This hotel is conveniently located near Fuente Osmeña Circle and provides a budget-friendly option with comfortable accommodations. It’s a good choice for those looking for value.

Cebu hotel room
Photo Grabbed from Expedia

Elegant Circle Inn

A budget-friendly option with a focus on providing essential amenities, Elegant Circle Inn is located near Fuente Osmeña Circle, making it accessible for street food in Cebu.

For more accommodation options in Cebu, visit The Ultimate Guide to Budget-Friendly Accommodations in Cebu.

What to Pack

When packing for a trip to Cebu, it’s essential to consider the tropical climate and diverse activities the region offers. Be sure to pack lightweight and breathable clothing such as cotton shirts, shorts, and dresses to stay cool in the warm weather. Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes or sandals for exploring the city streets and natural attractions like waterfalls or beaches.


Since Cebu is known for its stunning beaches and underwater treasures, remember to pack swimwear, sunscreen, and snorkeling gear for enjoying the crystal-clear waters. Check out the following swimsuits for discounts:

  • Price: $19.99
  • Retail Price:$35.64
  • Price: $12.99
  • Retail Price:$35.49
  • Price: $22.99
  • Retail Price:$34.03
  • Price: $24.99
  • Retail Price:$33.24
  • Price: $12.99
  • Retail Price:$32.65
  • Price: $22.99
  • Retail Price:$30.12

Additionally, it's wise to bring insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes, especially if venturing into more rural areas. When in the Philippines, try Fascino Citronella Mosquito Repellent Body Spray which is made from locally-grown Citronella grass in Misamis Occidental.

Lastly, include travel essentials such as a hat, sunglasses, a reusable water bottle, and a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes and memorable moments of your Cebu adventure.

From the iconic flavors of lechon to the vibrant street food scene and innovative dining concepts, Cebu's culinary landscape is a true reflection of its diverse culture and heritage. Whether you're a food enthusiast seeking authentic local flavors or a curious traveler eager to explore new tastes, Cebu offers a culinary journey that promises to delight and inspire. So come and set your heart on fire for life again in Cebu!

For more things to do in Cebu aside from food trip, hop into The Ultimate Guide to Top 7 Things to Do in Cebu.

Check my review on Cebu's must-try food, restaurants and cafés in the following posts:

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