WARNING: THIS POST HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING YOU DROOL. =P
If ever you’re in Cebu and consider yourself to be a hardcore glutton (don’t be afraid to admit it, everyone is in their own little way) – then this post is most definitely for you. =)
2 days ago I decided to make up something creative for my usual Sunday long run. In the end, it resulted to me making a route that will pass through all the best edible treats one can have while staying in Cebu. This route was simulated and completed today, January 24.
It would be too good to miss out the following restaurants/food chains that I will mention successively in this post. Wear your shoes and tights, folks, and load up on the petroleum jelly where it’s needed – because we’re running 28.02K worth of concrete, asphalt, hills, and food joints. I’ll be your tour guide for this run, so please hold all questions until the end of the run. Don’t worry, we’re accomplishing this at an easy pace. And we start off at strictly 430AM!
We’ll be starting off first at Sarrosa hotel, heading towards Hernan Cortes, then we go south to M.J. Cuenco. We’ll go straight all the way until Imus Avenue, so watch out for dark spots and small potholes! Upon reaching Maxilom, we’ll make a right, then go up the hills. We’ll be stopping first at Mango Square, though; your first not-to-miss restaurant is in here.
KM5.78: Sunburst Chicken
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get the Sunduo Ribkeel (chicken breast) and Drumstick. Order extra coleslaw and have lots of catsup in hand. Their chicken has a distinct taste from that of Jollibee, McDonald’s, or even Max’s.
OTHER BRANCHES? Definitely. There’s one in SM, Ayala, and A.S. Fortuna.
After this we go down to F. Ramos and enjoy for ourselves a downhill ride until we arrive at Imus Avenue again. The Central Bank of the Philippines at the downtown intersection indicates that we must make a right. Again, we’ll be stopping before we reach the Fuente Osmena rotonda.
KM8.43: Crown Regency Hotel
For those of you who have been to Cebu before, you might recognize this hotel for possessing the world’s first Skywalk and Edge Coaster. But there’s more to that! If memory serves me right, there is a restaurant on the 36th floor aptly named “Cafe 36”. You’ll be greeted by a glorious, sinful smorgasboard of Western and Asian cuisine, desserts include. This buffet is usually packaged with the Skywalk adventure, but if you just want to pig out with class, then this is a good place to do so.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Go for the Western section. Their servings of fish are outstanding. Oh, and load up on the sushi, salmon, yang chow fried rice, and desserts. If you’re lucky, you might even see a chocolate fondue fountain.
OTHER BRANCHES? Sorry, this is the only one.
We go straight down Osmena Boulevard, passing by the rotonda. Watch out for cars. Head straight to the capitol and make a left to M. Velez. Slow down upon reaching the V. Rama intersection. As we’ll be making a right here. We’ll go run the gradual uphill until we reach the northern endpoint of the road – and say a little prayer.
KM11.85: Guadalupe Church
Once we’re done, we make a u-turn back to V. Rama. Peel your eyes for the next stop!
KM12.53: CnT Lechon
Words cannot describe how scrumptious this lechon is. You can eat it even without any sauce! No wonder people from Manila take home kilos and kilos of this delicacy back home. This is by far the best one I’m ever tasted. Should you decide to try this one, don’t consume more than 2 kilos per week, lest you want your arteries to clog. =P
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Order 2 kilos of lechon, stock up on rice, and order a bowl of boiled oysters plus the cold bottle of Saint Michael. Make sure the oysters are boiled though, or you might end up in a hospital, like what happened to me before!
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s a small stall in SM and a big resto down at CIFC. It’s across SM. I prefer the latter because they never seem to run out of lechon there, unlike when you’re in the mall.
We’ll continue down V. Rama. Take note that we’ll be making a left at the second intersection with a stoplight – that’s B. Rodriguez street. We’ll run all the way to Fuente Osmena, but make another stop shortly before reaching it to get ourselves a little snack. =)
KM14.95: Alberto’s Pizza
Pizza lovers, you are bound to like this one for sure. The size of their pizzas are not as big as the ones you usually have in Pizza Hut, Shakey’s, Don Henrico’s, or Yellow Cab. What separates this pizza from the others is its distinct taste. It’s quite hard to describe it, honestly. But suffice it to say that you must try it out for yourself. With regards to toppings, they’re quite generous with it – in fact, it’s OVERFLOWING with toppings. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get their best-selling variant with lots of onions, ground beef, and mozzarella cheese (I forgot what it’s called). You won’t regret it.
OTHER BRANCHES? Definitely. Alberto’s is sporadically placed in Cebu. Ask them for the one nearest you.
We’ll go back to Fuente Osmena, make a left at Osmena Boulevard, and have another meet-and-greet with the capitol again. Make a right at Escario and enjoy the rolling path leading to Gorordo. Once we get there we’ll make a left at go uphill, so save your strength. Turn right at JY Square and start speeding, because it’s purehill from this point. Do stop when you see Cebu Northwinds, because 2 restaurants will be there for the taking.
KM19.23: Chika-an sa Cebu
They’re well-noted for all-Filipino food, but with a twist. Some of the viands here are quite spicy and have a tinge of coconut milk, which makes it all the more delicious. =9
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Crispy pata, baked scallops, mongo soup with coconut milk, and kinilaw na tuna. Feel the need for more rice? Don’t worry, it’s unlimited! =D
OTHER BRANCHES? This is the only one.
Just a little after that is its sister.
KM19.26: Golden Cowrie
The said restaurant offers almost the same menu as Chika-an, so if by chance it’s full, you can always drop by here.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Crispy pata and grilled fish. Not sure if the rice is unlimited also.
OTHER BRANCHES? If you need to eat before leaving Cebu, their other branch is located along the airport road.
We’ll go straight down until we make a left at the IT Park. We’ll be stopping frequently here as most of the good food finds are located on this very place. =)
KM19.88: Casa Verde
Literally translating to “green house”, this restaurant offers big servings of Western food at a VERY reasonable price. If it’s your first time in Cebu, you have to try this out.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Bryan’s Ribs. For Php188 you get a huge – and I mean HUGE – plate of barbecued ribs that can be good for 2-3 people, or just 1 if you’re really THAT hungry. =P
OTHER BRANCHES? The other branch I know of is in the 3rd floor of Ayala Center Cebu.
KM19.97: Mooon Cafe (take note, that’s 3 O’s.)
Located at the entrance of The Walk, Mooon Cafe is well-known for its Mexican delicacies. It attracts much people especially during the nighttime because of the al fresco dining experience – and the barrels of beer they offer.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get some chimichangas and mojitos. Don’t worry about getting wasted. The mojitos are not as treacherous as you think.
OTHER BRANCHES? I think this has only one branch.
KM20.53: Patio Ecila
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: After having a party at Loft (a club located right behind it), stay here for a few more rounds and meet new friends. The ambiance is great. Worry not, the beer ain’t expensive.
OTHER BRANCHES? Its sister resto, Bistro Ecila, is located at Ayala Center Cebu, right next to Casa Verde.
KM20.78: Tara’s Cafe and Restaurant
This is the ONLY restaurant I know of that serves a 24-hour buffet. That’s right, their buffet tables are heating up food ’round the clock. If you think Crown Regency is too far for you, then this is your other option. Breakfast buffet is at 179, lunch and dinner buffet go for 249. Not bad, right? Oh, if you plan on going on here soon, make sure you just came from a hunger strike. =P
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Eat EVERYTHING presented to you with a glass of juice. If you don’t end up full after this experience, something’s wrong with you. =P
OTHER BRANCHES? Sorry, this is the sole branch.
KM20.80: Ila Puti
This quaint little restaurant offers a hefty serving of Asian fusion cuisine. Although it does take time to cook some of their treats, it’s worth the wait.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: For starters, mushroom soup with curry and chicken fingers. Then you can either match it with a BIG breakfast that is sure to beat McDonald’s or beef stroganoff pasta. Drink it all down with a glass of semi-sweet calamansi juice.
OTHER BRANCHES? I’m not really sure.
KM21.01: Abuhan Tres
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Pochero. That equates to “bulalo” in Manila terms. =)
OTHER BRANCHES? One is in F. Ramos, aptly named Abuhan Uno. As to the location of Abuhan Dos, I have no idea where it is.
Whew, that was a whole lot in the IT Park, right? We’re not done yet, though. We still have a few more to cover! Let’s exit the IT Park and make a left to Salinas drive. When you see a flyover in the distance, turn left. We’ll be tackling M. J. Cuenco, the final stretch of this run. We’ll head east-bound first to The Crossroads and stop for the following:
KM21.64: La Marea
Primarily a dessert place, this cafe responds to the inner sweet tooth inside our mouths. Upon entry, one can’t help but look at and eventually crave for what they have to offer!
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Brownie cups. Nuff said.
OTHER BRANCHES? None, sorry.
This is one of the few restaurants that is recommeneded by the Department of Tourism. You’ll know why when your gorge in their fares. It’s quite pricey, though, but if you’re after the experience, go for it.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Try out any pasta variant with a glass of wine.
OTHER BRANCHES? None as well.
Let’s exit The Crossroads and head eastbound again. Upon seeing Banilad Town Center, make a right and look for this:
KM23.32: Spice Fusion
Much like Ila Puti, they also specialize in Asian fusion cuisine. As a confession, my officemates and I would default to this place when we can’t think of anywhere else to eat – it’s also good to try out this one.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Clam chowder, black pepper udon, stir fried radish cake, and pork belly. Get a roti as an appetizer.
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s another branch at the north wing of SM.
Now we exit Banilad Town Center and head left to A. S. Fortuna. Just deal with the little uphill path going to the following:
This restaurant offers a real taste of Italy. It can’t be seen easily, but when you do visit this place, you’ll be wanting to savor their pasta, pizza, and gelato.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Carbonara, pasta marinara, quattro formaggio pizza and baked fish fillet. Truly sumptuous! =9
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s only one of them.
KM23.92: Hola Espana!
Craving for something Spanish? You’ve come to the right place. This restaurant offers nothing short of Spanish cuisine, from paellas to tapas – and even the best wines from select countries. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get a black paella with extra mayonnaise, roasted pata, and some chorizos roasted in olive oil and garlic. Match that with your drink of choice – preferably a beer. The Spanish love to drink beer, so you might as well yourself. Hehehe!
OTHER BRANCHES? A more suitable location can be found in The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu.
Let’s go down a little bit to find this baby right here.
KM24.06: The Gustavian
When you want to define class and distinction, this restaurant has got it all. From foreign cuisine to imported alcoholic drinks from all over the world, this one is sure to amplify your dining experience. Of course, such class and distinction does come with a price, so make sure you’re financially armed before entering. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Go for the alcohol and taste their beers and alcohol mixes. You will end up drunk, though, but the memories will be all worth it.
OTHER BRANCHES? Yes! Should you need a shot before boarding your plane back home, there’s one before you reach the airport.
Let’s go back to the starting line and finish this run, shall we? But first, we’ll pause to check out this other place.
KM25.75: Cafe Georg
Providing a ‘homey’ feel, this restaurant serves a lot of people every single day. Their salads, pastas, rice meals and desserts are sure to provide a wonderful taste to the palates.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: As an appetizer, have the mozzarella dip with spinach. Your main course can either be Singaporean-style steamed fish, carbonara, or Hungarian sausage with a small notch of salad on the side. For your dessert, make sure to get a slice of chocolate decadence. It was awarded as one of the best desserts in Cebu. Imagine a small slice of semi-fudgy chococake cake with whipped cream on top. Yummy, right? =9
OTHER BRANCHES? Only one I know of. It’s offshoot, ‘Oh Georg!’, can be found inside Ayala Center Cebu, near Metro Department Store.
After all that, let’s run back to where we started. At the intersection, make a left to Juan Luna, another left at F. Cabahug, and head back to the condominium. But wait, it ain’t over yet. There’s one more restaurant we haven’t seen!
Also providing a ‘homey’ feel, this restaurant is managed by a family, and primarily caters Filipino food to village residents living near it. Sometimes it does get closed down for special occasions, but when it’s open, it’s worth your time to visit it. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Order their monggo, grilled squid, and a plate of bangus. That should be enough to keep your belly satisfied.
OTHER BRANCHES? None. This is the only one.
Congratulations, we have just completed the Cebu Food Run! Now keep in mind the restaurants I have mentioned the next time you go back to the Queen City of the South. I hope I had stimulated your appetite! But alas, I cannot really chow down on these as much as I want to, for I am engaged with my running group’s Biggest Loser Challenge. As such, I have no choice to default to this:
As parting words, I leave you with the following: Bakit masarap ang bawal? Kasi masarap talaga siya! =P
Here’s a map of the route…
And my splits. I’m quite surprised that I ran this one at a fast pace. =O