We’re incredibly excited for the growing food scene in Cebu. More new restaurants continue to pop up, but there’s something to be said about the true Cebu Classics, the staples that we keep coming back to.
Here are a few Cebu classics – flavors of home we’ve learned to love all these years:
Siomai sa Tisa
Many varieties and copycats have popped up over the years, but the original Siomai sa Tisa still takes the cake for the most popular siomai in town. You’ll just have to brave the crowd, but it is worth it.
Our Manila brethren crave for ngohiong. I should know— I’ve hefted about a pound of Chinese Ngohiong from Cebu to Manila like a pro over the years. Like Tisa, there are many ngohiong spots in Cebu, but the one in Junquera is still the one to beat in terms of crunch and flavor. Domeng’s in Guadalupe comes a close second though.
Ribs at Casa Verde
I remember my first trip to Casa Verde’s original branch near Velez. There was a hot guy sporting aviator shades and a sling on his arm. I’m pretty sure he melted every slice of Death By Chocolate in the room (another Casa Verde favorite). Since then, Casa Verde has been associated with lovely dinners out with friends and wonderful gatherings over huge juicy ribs.
Steamed Fried Rice at Dimsum Break
One of my friends ordered “steamed rice” in New York, thinking it was like Dimsum Break’s. She got the surprise of her life when she literally got plain steamed rice. Dimsum Break’s home grown rice toppings are incomparable. It’s a simple dish (pork, shrimp, green peas, onion, garlic, soy sauce, worcesteshire sauce, corn starch and pork broth – according to this blog), but it tastes just like home.
Halo-halo at Ice Castle
My memories of Ice Castle are lovely. Growing up in Mactan, my dad used to drive us all the way to Raintree Mall for halo-halo and mais con hielo. What kid didn’t love the little cute umbrellas on top of their halo-halo? And of course there were parfaits and other cold delights perfect for our hot summers.
Warm Brownie Cup at La Marea
Soaring to popularity on the strength of their warm brownie cup, La Marea is a sweet-tooth’s heaven. Many first experience their famous dish, but they soon discover that the other desserts are wonderful too.
The Larsians Experience
The crème de la crème of Cebu’s street food scene, Larsian is almost synonymous to Cebu itself. Tourists and locals alike flock this barbecue mecca at the heart of the city. We love everything about it: the smells of meat cooking, puso hanging every which way, the laughter of barkadas catching up over great and cheap food.