It’s time again to recap our favorite restaurants of 2014. As per tradition, we asked you what your favorite restaurants were for 2014. We also weighed in on our writers to give us their personal list. Then through a process of deep reflection and introspection (not really), we came up with this list below.
It should be said that there were some places that didn’t make the list despite raving reviews from readers. The main reason is because we haven’t tried it yet. Here are a few notable spots: Meximama, Carnivore, Bintana and Oriental Spice Gourmet. Rest assured that those places are in our personal to-try list for 2015.
This year’s list has a good mix of hole in the walls and expensive places. We’ve added short description and links to blog posts about the restaurants. If you want to learn more about a certain place, click through to see the blog post. You can also check out our favorite restaurants from 2012 and 2013.
There was a time in the middle of the year when everyone was raving about this, at the time, new food kiosk in Banilad Town Centre. Everyone was lining up for Jafar’s Shawarma. These days the lines are much more manageable and the wait is not nearly as long, but the flavor is still there. For us, it’s a favorite for a quick dinner.
Warning: Before visiting Chop Chop Food Centre, make sure you bring along an iron tongue. You’ll need it to brave all the spicy food you are about to eat. Whenever we eat there, it always seems like every dish in the menu is spicy. Try ordering this combo – Sambal Sotong Squid and Sambal Fried Rice for hot goodness and iced milo to quell the spicy.
When friends get together, expect Pizza Republic to be their first stop. It’s the first place in Cebu that allows you to customize and create pizza of your choice. You could say it is a pizza lover’s haven. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to make their own pizza and add their own creative mix into it? What’s your favorite pizza mix?
While pricey for a carenderia, Orange Karenderia is actually a really financially sensible night out. Grilled dishes range from P28 for barbecued pork to P170 for bangus. Pescatarians would thrill over the fresh fish, but everything on the menu is good, including the vegetable side dishes. Opening this year in new premises just off Salinas Drive (right beside Pizza Republic), the place is often filled to the brim with people looking for the deep fried buntot (tuna tail), though you can opt for something healthier like the steamed fish, which is equally scrumptious.
Tokyo Table has clearly become one of the favorite buffet restaurants for Cebuanos. It has a perfect combination of yakiniku and eat-all-you-can. You can enjoy the thrill of the grill, but still be assured of enough variety in case you still feel hungry. Contrary to what most people think, Tokyo Table isn’t limited to just Japanese dishes. They serve a variety of cuisines plus the desserts (especially the cheesecakes) are unbelievably abundant!
When Brique first opened, you would see a line of people outside waiting for their turn to get a table. We soon realized why. Casual and rustic ambience, great personable service and, of course, delicious food all make for a combination worth lining up for. They really do have something for everyone. Even if you close your eyes and randomly pick something from the menu, you will likely get something very very good.
We’ve made a mistake here at Zerothreetwo. We’ve been eating in Pearl Meat Shop for years and failed to mention it in any of our blog posts. This ends today. Don’t expect fine dining and a fancy place, the best description to the ambience would be kinawboy style Korean dining. You don’t come here for the interiors. You come here to eat Korean beef mixed with fresh cabbage and your choice of chili and herbs.
Southeast Asian food is known for its balance of flavours: sweet and salty, spicy and sour. Phat Pho brings them all with a herby freshness. Their many comforting flavours are married in a deliciously, oil-light way with the Chinese and French influences of Vietnamese cooking. The Pho dishes are the perfect start as an informal meal with friends before a big night out at Crossroads. Don’t miss the delectable Goi Cuon (rice paper rolls) either! Plus, our Manileno friends can enjoy the goodness of Phat Pho as it opened in Serendra earlier this year.
Here’s a telltale sign we loved Everything Yummy. There was one weekend when we ate in the restaurant three days in a row; Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and Sunday lunch. They’ve got lots of good food, but we kept ordering the Champion Chops – a juicy 400g French cup pork chop. In short, it was heavenly.
When the rainy days hit, we keep coming back to Fung’s Noodle House. There’s nothing better than sipping a bowl of Beef Brisket Soup Noodles while listening to the steady pitter patter outside. At 88 pesos per bowl, it’s incredibly affordable. A bowl of soup and dimsum should be good for most people. If you want more, they’ve got plenty of other Chinese food in the menu. HINT: Get the Siao Long Pao.
With a name like Fat Cow Burgers and Malts, how can you not give them a try? It’s a little more pricey than your average burger, but it is well worth it. Where else can you get a Wasabi Burger, True Blue Burger (blue cheese) or any of their special burgers? One time they were serving Avocado Pepper Jack Cheeseburgers. How can you not give that a try?
*Special thanks to Shaira Berame and Stefan Garcia for co-writing this list.