Kaon Ta! A Cebuano’s Guide on Where to Eat in Cebu
Located an hour and a half away from Manila by plane, Cebu is known for its pristine beaches, heritage sites, and really, really good food. The province serves a culinary adventure that's bliss for any food enthusiast. The best part? You don't have to look far to see where to eat in Cebu. Many excellent choices start at the province's capital, Cebu City, the Queen City of the South.
Must-Try Restaurants in Cebu City
While succulent lechon (roasted pig) has become synonymous with Cebu, the city has much more to offer to keep you indulging practically every hour. It has a bustling local food scene that offers diverse flavors, whether you're craving classic dishes or eager to try something new. Here's a list of restaurants in Cebu that will make you go, kaon ta!
La Fortuna Bakery
Like most Cebu travelers, you likely have Magellan's Cross beside Basilica del Santo Niño on your travel itinerary. Add La Fortuna Cafe Bakery for coffee and baked goodies to your pilgrimage.
This local Chibuano (Chinese Cebuano) fave draws the crowd for its best-selling hopia, ampao, tikoy, piyaya, and a diverse selection of bread. Add torta (cupcake-like bread using fermented coconut wine), ampao (sweet puffed rice), and maci (mochi-like pastry filled with crushed peanuts and sugar) to your pasalubongs.
A four-minute walk from Magellan's cross, La Fortuna Bakery is near the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at Legaspi Street, Cebu City.
If you love Spanish colonial architecture with a twist, head to Cava, a beautifully restored ancestral house with modern and glam interiors. Dinner is the best time to soak up the ambiance and indulge in Sous Vide Pork Belly, the popular Mac & Cheese, or the Shellfish and Harissa Barlotto (scallops and shrimp).
If you're not up for a full meal, drop by the speakeasy for tapas and Cebuano-inspired craft cocktails like Tagay and Mutiara Moringa.
Cava is located at Circa 1900 compound in Sanjercasvil Road, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City.
Lantaw Seafood and Grill
Any where-to-eat-in-Cebu list has to include Lantaw Seafood and Grill, a well-loved restaurant by Cebuanos and visitors alike for the last decade. This seaside dining spot offers a great introduction to Cebu's sutukil fare.
Sutukil stands for "sinugba" (grill), "tinuwa" (broth), and "kilaw" (the Filipino version of ceviche). Lanaw's sutukil offerings include Tuna Panga and Tinolang Halaan (clam broth cooked with garlic, ginger and onions). You may also want to try Sinuglaw, a combination of pork sinugba and kinilaw fish like tuna. Other crowd faves are Adobong Saang (conch shells), Fried Bakasi (eels), Buttered Crabs, and Crispy Pata.
Lantaw Seafood and Grill has two branches: Il Corso, North Parking Area, South Road Properties, Cebu City (18-25 minutes away from SM City Cebu) and Day-as, Cordova, an hour away from Cebu City by private car.
After a city tour, take your hungry belly to Cur8, a modern Asian restaurant with an Art Deco aesthetic. Cur8 specializes in hearty rice bowls, such as Cambodian Chicken Curry with Mango Salsa and Beef Brisket Adobo. Other palate-pleasers include Salmon Soba Noodles. Meaty Bao Buns and Dragonfruit Kinilaw (scallops, shrimp, and coconut in aged ponzu).
Cur8 also serves a high tea set of freshly baked pastries and sandwiches from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you get there at cocktail hour, you can craft your own gin and pair it with desserts like the pretty-in-pink Dragonfruit Cheesecake or cacao-rich Tablea Cake.
Cur8 is located on the ground floor of the Banilad Town Center at Gov. M. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City.
With enchanting indoor spaces, including an impressive vaulted ceiling, La Parisienne delivers one of Cebu's loveliest backdrops for romantic dinners and proposals.
The luxurious Parisian vibe comes with French-inspired meals, such as Caprese Bruschetta, French Onion Soup, Osso Buco, and Panna Cotta. But it also has pizza, cheese and wine that pair well with friends who love to gossip amid dramatic and moody lighting.
Fifteen minutes from Ayala Center Cebu, La Parisienne is located at 371 Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City.
A list of where to eat in Cebu can only be complete with a recommendation of lechon, the province's iconic dish with its perfectly crispy skin and tender meat. Every Cebuano has their favorite that you can fill up a listing of five quickly.
Some of the most popular ones are Zubuchon (Anthony Bourdain called the lechon here "the best pig ever"), Rico's Lechon, and CNT in Ayala Center Cebu. If you end up near Gaisano Grand, walk along Jai Alai Street to find budget-friendly lechon stalls beside each other!
Lechon-hungry folks will even travel to Carcar, about an hour and a half from Cebu City. The town is famous for its slow-roasted pig that uses epazote or pasyote, a Mexican aromatic herb, for its stuffing. Fortunately, House of Lechon specializes in Carcar lechon and has branches in Cebu City.
Stress-Free Food Crawl
Get a local eSIM or physical SIM card for your phone to organize your list of where to eat in Cebu anytime. On Google Maps, yellow stars mark the locations you save, making it easy to see nearby bussin' restaurants wherever you are.
Globe has a new Traveler eSIM that you can install via the GlobeOne app (yup, no need to insert a physical SIM on your device). It comes pre-loaded with 20 GB of mobile data connection valid plus calls and texts to all networks for 15 days.
Whether you get the Traveler eSIM or the physical SIM card, both ensure access to vital local apps, from navigation tools to ride-hailing services, to keep your vacation as stress-free as possible.
Discovering where to eat in Cebu can be challenging because there are many options. But that also makes exploring the province a fun and delicious experience. You just need a bit of planning and a powerful SIM on your mobile to enjoy Cebu's unique flavors and culture.