Any visitor to the Queen City of the South knows that Cebu Province is home to a rich collection of sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes. The political, economic, and cultural hub of the Visayas, Cebu is home to an incredible array of experiences that are sure to satisfy any traveler’s hunger— literally. In this guide to where to eat in Cebu, we show you our Cebu food favorites.
Exploring Cebu City and its environs means that you’re in for a treat in more ways than one. With so much to see and do, it’s impossible to get bored on a trip to Cebu. Visitors to Cebu Island and the rest of the province can enjoy nature’s wonders, explore the city, and relax on gorgeous beach all in one trip.
While everyone’s experience of travel can be different, if there’s one thing that holds true it’s that even the hardiest traveler needs to fuel up. There’s nothing better than feeding your body and your mind, and that’s something that a lifestyle destination like Cebu can offer travelers in spades.
Below, we’re highlighting some of our favorite restaurants in Cebu province. From big local names to fusion restaurants to seafood paradises, visitors to Cebu are spoiled for choice when it comes to food. Here are just a few of our picks to make that choice easier.
Best Restaurants in Cebu City
Cebu City isn’t called the Queen City of the South for nothing. The beating heart of the province, and one of the most populated cities in the region, it’s a hub for travelers, workers, and residents to enjoy. One of its greatest appeals is, of course, its fantastic selection of restaurants.
Cebu has always had a place as a melting pot of cultures, as evidenced by the role it’s played in Philippine history. This has carried over into the present through the range of restaurants that call Cebu City home. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in Cebu, and there’s never a better time than now to experience it all.
House of Lechon
You can’t talk about Cebu City without talking about lechon, of course. While lechon is a favorite nearly everywhere in the Philippines, most of the country agrees that Cebu City does it best. There’s just something about Cebu City’s lechon that makes it shine above the rest— the tender, juicy, flavorful meat and the crisp and golden red skin just can’t be replicated anywhere else.
And of course, if you’re talking about Cebu lechon, you can’t forget the most famous lechon restaurant of all: House of Lechon. House of Lechon is known for producing some of the most delicious lechon in all of Cebu, which is definitely saying a lot given the province’s incredible reputation. Mixing elegant, casual dining with fantastic flavors and recipes, House of Lechon is the place to go if you want to try the region’s specialty.
What sets House of Lechon apart is their attention to detail. Not only is the lechon itself stuffed with fragrant herbs and roasted to a perfect crisp, but even the sauce is made from the drippings for a more cohesive profile. It’s got that perfect Cebu lechon bite and then some, making for an unforgettable visit.
But that’s not all. House of Lechon serves amazing non-lechon dishes, too, like fresh baked scallops, kinilaw, and other favorites. There are several branches throughout Cebu City, so you can take your pick of where you want to sample some of the best lechon Cebu has to offer.
La Vie Parisienne
Cebu City is a multicultural hub with a rich history, so it’s no surprise that that kind of history extends to its restaurants as well. La Vie Parisienne is one such example. Located in Lahug in Cebu City, La Vie Parisienne brings the delicacies of French cuisine all the way to Cebu City.
This is one restaurant where your sense of sight is going to be as satisfied as your sense of taste. Entering the premises, you’re greeted to gorgeous architecture that marries modern elegance with natural beauty. It’s soothing, luxurious, and a fantastic meeting of East and West— perfect for a romantic dinner, or a celebratory family lunch.
La Vie Parisienne is known for its delicious food, and the selection is enough to satisfy even the most picky foodie. You can get the authentic French cuisine experience in nearly every option imaginable: from entrees to the deli shop to the bakery to the wine selection. This restaurant has got it all, and is a definite must-visit if you’re craving some good European food.
The restaurant shines especially for its wine selection, so be sure to ask the La Vie Parisienne staff about what they recommend. If you’re looking for a touch of European elegance in Cebu, this is the place to be.
If there’s one thing Cebuanos know how to do, it’s eat well. Its location in some of the most diverse waters in the world make it an excellent home for seafood lovers, and the entire Cebu province is of course known for their excellent pork dishes. If you’re not sure where to start, the Golden Cowrie is the best place to go if you want to experience the whole variety of Cebu food, and then some.
The Golden Cowrie has established itself as one of the premiere restaurants in Cebu, and it’s definitely not hard to see why. This restaurant perfectly encapsulates why eating in Cebu is so good. With fresh seafood, distinctive yet familiar recipes, and a diverse selection that nevertheless captures that unique Cebuano spin, there’s no better place to experience authentic Cebu food.
Try their baked Bantayan scallops and Zarzuela de Mariscos for a taste of some of Cebu’s freshest seafood, with that unique touch that you just can’t find anywhere else. There’s something for vegetable lovers too in Golden Cowrie’s famous vegetarian sisig.
Want something a little bit heartier? Try their Pocherong Katag, which is the Cebuano version of bulalo, and enjoy some rich bone marrow with a side of bread and onion jam. And of course, nothing quite beats their famous Crispy Pata, which has a perfect crispy crust but juicy meat. Overall, Golden Cowrie’s extensive menu and fantastic dishes make it a must-visit for the foodie who wants to try a little bit of everything.
Cebuanos are spoiled for choice when it comes to the best lechon in the Philippines, and Rico’s Lechon is a prime example. If you’re on the lookout for the best restaurants in Cebu, chances are you’ve come across this gem. Cebu is well known for its fantastic lechon restaurants, and Cebu City in particular is the place to be if you want to enjoy this Filipino favorite.
Rico’s Lechon is famous for bringing some of the best lechon in the Philippines to the table. Its original Lechon de Leche is world-class and internationally-recognized, with tender meat, crispy skin, and that special flavorful twist that only Rico’s can offer.
The lechon you’ll find here is simple yet unforgettable, with a recipe that focuses on the basics: garlics and leeks. While the full Rico’s recipe is obviously a trade secret, the end result is something that you’ll want to brag to your friends about. There’s nothing more memorable than a simple dish done excellently, and that’s what Rico’s Lechon is all about. No stop in Cebu is complete without a visit to this holy site of lechon, that’s for sure.
James Gonzales is a Filipino-American travel enthusiast and writer currently based in the Philippines. After living and working in New York for 10 years, James decided he wanted to see more of the world and leave the city behind. In the course of saving up for what would become an epic trip across Asia, he wrote about previous traveling experiences for various travel websites and publications based in the Lower East Side.
James focused on journeying through the Philippines in the hopes of understanding his roots, and began Daydreaming in Paradise to share his thoughts and experiences. He’s always looking for like-minded travelers to trade stories and swap tips with, and he hopes you’ll join him on his journey.