We’ve all been in this situation; A friend/relative/alien visits from out of town and guess who is tasked to show them around? You. Historical spots are out of the question because, let’s face it, you weren’t paying attention in history class – you don’t even know where the Magellan’s Cross is (downtown in front of the City Hall near Sto. Nino Church). All you want to do is make them appreciate some of the truly Cebuano stuff that can’t really be found anywhere else. Where can you bring them!?! You can’t go where you usually go coz hanging out in a coffee shop in front of a computer is hardly something you can do only in Cebu.
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– How can you experience Cebu without trying the smokey sticky sugba experience called Larsians? It’s a collection of stalls selling grilled barbeque items like pork, chorizo, chicken, betamax, adidas, chicken skin, puso, all the good stuff! You can find it beside Chong Hua Hospital in Fuente Osmena Circle.
– Eat the deeeelicious chicken and chicken skin in Sunburst. Dip it in a worcestershire sauce and UFC Banana Ketchup mix. Don’t ask me why we do this. All I know is Cebuanos have been making this sauce mix ever since and I haven’t seen it done anywhere else. These outlets are found all over Cebu.
– Many Cebuanos who have lived outside the island always crave for a bowl of Pork Steamed Rice. It’s a meat mixture of rice, pork tenderloin, shrimp, green peas and different sauces. The distinct taste can’t seem to be copied by others outside. Luckily in Cebu there are many restaurants to choose from: Harbour City, Dim Sum Break, Tsim Tsa Tsui – all easily located in various parts of the city. Check SM City Cebu or Ayala Center Cebu.
– Siomai lovers have to eat Siomai sa Tisa. There’s siomai all over Cebu, but many will tell you that the best is all the way in Tisa, Labangon – hence the name. For the uninitiated, Siomai is pork fat mixed with different spices. It’s cheap, filling and delightful. You can find stalls all over Cebu claiming to be the original Siomai sa Tisa but are lacking in comparison. Most jeepney and taxi drivers know where it is. Don’t hesitate to ask them to bring you there.
– Veteran visitors of this island always make it a point to stop by Casa Verde. They all want one thing, the baby back ribs. Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing baby about it. Riding on the success of the ribs, this restaurant has made a name for itself. Originally starting out as a make shift restaurant inside an old house in Ramos, they have since expanded and now you can find them in Ayala Center and IT Park Lahug.
– For the luscious savory sweet tooth, we are obligated to point to La Marea. Take a bite from anything in their menu. If you aren’t smiling while chewing the little drop of goodness in your mouth then you have no soul. Everything in their menu is quality; from their best seller the Warm Brownie Cup to the Brazo de Mercedes. These are located in The Walk IT Park and in Crossroads Banilad.
– How can we have a list of Must Do’s without mentioning Lechon? It goes without saying that Cebuano Lechon is the best in the Philippines – ‘nuff said. You won’t find us drenching the meat with Mang Tomas. Try the spicy Lechon in Rico’s Lechon, it’ll burn your tongue to deliciousness. If your tongue can’t take it, you can’t go wrong with Zubuchon.
– Move around from Vudu to Penthouse – While not as diverse and plentiful as Manila, the nightlife in Cebu has its fair share of standouts. For the clubber, Vudu and Penthouse are staples in the party scene. For anybody who wants to sit down, have a conversation and listen to good music (very Cebuano) Outpost Resto Bar.
– The envy of our Northern brothers and sisters in Manila, Cebu enjoys easy access to clear blue waters and white sand islands. As a result of this, Island Hopping Adventures are a mainstay for barkada outings. A favorite island destination is Pandanon, but many choose to anchor their boat in the middle of the ocean and enjoy the sea air. Here’s a good list to help you on your way to Island Hopping.
Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list. If you think we missed anything, feel free to suggest in the comments below. Help people give that friend/relative/alien an experience they will never forget.