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expat08

Best Restaurants in Cebu

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Headshot

Only decent burger in Cebu I know of is Brother's at BTC.

I like Burger Joint

 

Try Dong Juan. I think you'll both be pleasantly surprised.

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easy44

Food is pretty good there. Not amazingly perfect but it's good food.

 

...but very expensive. For the prices they charge it should amazingly perfect.

 

Only decent burger in Cebu I know of is Brother's at BTC.

 

 

I believe they were so good they went out of business at BTC.

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expat08

Tinderbox is overated. It's the aura of being American, American look, American feel and American Food..........and for it .....sucks but it's edible.

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USCebuana

I like the Grand Majestic for Chinese food. The prices are reasonable.

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shamgod41

...but very expensive. For the prices they charge it should amazingly perfect.

 

 

 

I believe they were so good they went out of business at BTC.

Not surprised. Their burgers were about double the price of McDonald's and service was slow since it was made to order.

I believe they're Manila based though, so they're probably still up North. Too bad, hard to find decent burgers in Cebu.

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KeithAngel

Not if you listen to Headshot

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dark knight

Can’t disagree with udonthani about the quality in cebu. There's a milion people here and there are places a 10th of this size that are much better. All good restaurant locales have at least these things in common:

  1. Diversity in restaurant prices, styles, cuisines, ambiance, locations
  2. Customer appreciation for quality over quantity, at all price points.
  3. Customer appreciation for innovation and authenticity over imitation and localization
  4. Lots of creative, hands-on restaurateurs who drive the scene to greater heights.

 

This explains the comparatively poor restaurant offerings in Cebu where all of the above are scarce. There are simply too many people whose mantra is “value for the money” and too many restaurants who cater ,or at least appear to cater to that mentality. Often they are employing gimmicks of some kind or masking their quality in various ways. The ownership's main drive is to franchise and expand rather than to focus on quality. They kick back and then they put minimum wagers up front with little hospitality training, who don't know the food,and have no stake in the company. This works for hot dogs and things like that, but it does not scale up.

 

While seriously outnumbered, there are some place in Cebu that I feel are going against the norm, in some way. These places, and their main customer bases may not tick all 4 criteria above, but in my opinion these places clearly stick out from the rest.

 

Italian: Giuseppe’s on ML ( often copied, still the best for Sicilian and pizza)

Pan Asian: Spice fusion in SM ( diverse menu, hard to go wrong)

Filipino: Café Elysa, in the Par-ian ( they have other cuisines also, but not as great)

Thai/Viet: Little Saigon Big Bangkok in Guadalupe (authentic and very cool spot)

Lechon: Zebuchon ( maybe not the best, but they are innovators)

Lechon manok: Joule’s in talamban ( follow the smoke near the blue gym)

Chinese: Choi city in BTC ( corporate but easily the highest quality)

Burger: None! ( I wanted to like Dong juan’s but honestly had to discard the meat, Blue Z was best while it was around)

Spanish: Corner table in the Gallery ( fantastic…before it closed)

Cajun/creole: Blue Zydeco in Crossroads ( before it closed)

Mexican: Maya in Crossroads ( can’t wait to cross this off the list)

Burrito: Burrito bar in BTC ( just ok really but they have a very focused concept)

Japanese yakiniku: Tajimaya in Crossroads

Japanese sushi: Chibori in IT park

Indian: Taste of India, near Grand Convention and Waterfront hotel ( forget the popular items from back home like tikka masala, they excel in less western-ized food)

Hotel food: None! These should never count as restaurants and buffets at 1000 pesos are still buffets.)

Mediterranean: Cyma in Ayala ( anzani should be here but their food cannot match their ambiance because they cannot or will not simplify their vision)

Filipino BBQ: can’t recommend one over any other, AA is sort of Ok.

American Barbecue: Little Saigon Big Bangkok in Guadalupe (somehow they also make smoked pulled pork, this is what I mean by creativity)

American Ribs: Everything Yummy in Talamban ( falls off the bone)

Carenderia : R and R in Guadalupe. (don’t care for anything but the grilled items and the eggplant torta but ambiance is comfortable and you can people watch)

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easy44

There are simply too many people whose mantra is “value for the money” and too many restaurants who cater ,or at least appear to cater to that mentality.

Really? I would maintain that is something that should be a cornerstone of any restaurant, whether it's fine dining or carenderia. In other words, I expect value (quality) to correlate to the amount of money I'm spending. Expectations are vastly different for each end of the spectrum. Is there something wrong with that?

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ellenbrook2001
dark knight are you a food writer? or a gourmet or a international master chef??? i do not agree with you some you have mentioned are crap or you looking for cheap meal too fill up you belly hes not my type at all i only go for very very tasty gourmet food cook too perfection if not i never come back, the other day i have been recommended a restaurant good for they curry ,so did order they curry was shock the curry was a chicken leg over plenty American rice then a tomato curry sauce not red curry was yuck couldn't believe a bad was?????????????i still looking in CEBU too eat a very good RISSOTO once in EUROPE did eat the best RISSOTO with smoked salmon and brie cheese woww so juicy the best i never had, i cook for my self now for special occasion.
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shamgod41

dark knight are you a food writer? or a gourmet or a international master chef??? i do not agree with you some you have mentioned are crap or you looking for cheap meal too fill up you belly hes not my type at all i only go for very very tasty gourmet food cook too perfection if not i never come back,

 

Really? I thought it was a pretty well thought out comment and list. Sounds like a Foodie. I've been to some of those places and agree with his/her assessment. Giuseppe's for example, that place kicks ass.

 

Dark Knight's bar is higher than my own, in Cebu, I have zero expectation for "Creativity" -- I justwant it to taste good. And I have no idea what this means: "Customer appreciation for innovation and authenticity over imitation and localization" -- I just want it to taste good.

EDIT: Okay, I misread, I thought DK meant the restaurants should have "Customer appreciation" etc. He actually said the "Locales." Though, I've been to some obscure Mexican fishing villages that have basic food, but the ingredients were super fresh and cooked to perfection that I'd match against any food on the planet. It's tough to beat a sea bass that was in the ocean swimming merrily two hours before you're eating it. Not sure how creative or innovative the cooking was. But that's a topic for another day. DK's list is good.

Edited by shamgod41
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expat08

Can’t disagree with udonthani about the quality in cebu. There's a milion people here and there are places a 10th of this size that are much better. All good restaurant locales have at least these things in common:

  1. Diversity in restaurant prices, styles, cuisines, ambiance, locations
  2. Customer appreciation for quality over quantity, at all price points.
  3. Customer appreciation for innovation and authenticity over imitation and localization
  4. Lots of creative, hands-on restaurateurs who drive the scene to greater heights.

 

This explains the comparatively poor restaurant offerings in Cebu where all of the above are scarce. There are simply too many people whose mantra is “value for the money” and too many restaurants who cater ,or at least appear to cater to that mentality. Often they are employing gimmicks of some kind or masking their quality in various ways. The ownership's main drive is to franchise and expand rather than to focus on quality. They kick back and then they put minimum wagers up front with little hospitality training, who don't know the food,and have no stake in the company. This works for hot dogs and things like that, but it does not scale up.

 

While seriously outnumbered, there are some place in Cebu that I feel are going against the norm, in some way. These places, and their main customer bases may not tick all 4 criteria above, but in my opinion these places clearly stick out from the rest.

 

Italian: Giuseppe’s on ML ( often copied, still the best for Sicilian and pizza)

Pan Asian: Spice fusion in SM ( diverse menu, hard to go wrong)

Filipino: Café Elysa, in the Par-ian ( they have other cuisines also, but not as great)

Thai/Viet: Little Saigon Big Bangkok in Guadalupe (authentic and very cool spot)

Lechon: Zebuchon ( maybe not the best, but they are innovators)

Lechon manok: Joule’s in talamban ( follow the smoke near the blue gym)

Chinese: Choi city in BTC ( corporate but easily the highest quality)

Burger: None! ( I wanted to like Dong juan’s but honestly had to discard the meat, Blue Z was best while it was around)

Spanish: Corner table in the Gallery ( fantastic…before it closed)

Cajun/creole: Blue Zydeco in Crossroads ( before it closed)

Mexican: Maya in Crossroads ( can’t wait to cross this off the list)

Burrito: Burrito bar in BTC ( just ok really but they have a very focused concept)

Japanese yakiniku: Tajimaya in Crossroads

Japanese sushi: Chibori in IT park

Indian: Taste of India, near Grand Convention and Waterfront hotel ( forget the popular items from back home like tikka masala, they excel in less western-ized food)

Hotel food: None! These should never count as restaurants and buffets at 1000 pesos are still buffets.)

Mediterranean: Cyma in Ayala ( anzani should be here but their food cannot match their ambiance because they cannot or will not simplify their vision)

Filipino BBQ: can’t recommend one over any other, AA is sort of Ok.

American Barbecue: Little Saigon Big Bangkok in Guadalupe (somehow they also make smoked pulled pork, this is what I mean by creativity)

American Ribs: Everything Yummy in Talamban ( falls off the bone)

Carenderia : R and R in Guadalupe. (don’t care for anything but the grilled items and the eggplant torta but ambiance is comfortable and you can people watch)

 

 

Excellent Review.

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dark knight

Really? I would maintain that is something that should be a cornerstone of any restaurant, whether it's fine dining or carenderia. In other words, I expect value (quality) to correlate to the amount of money I'm spending. Expectations are vastly different for each end of the spectrum. Is there something wrong with that?

 

 

Absolutely nothing wrong with value for the money at all and in fact that is exactly what the goal of every purchase should be. My argument, which was not well expressed, is that the concept of “value for the money” here in cebu does not mean getting what you pay for. Rather, for the average restaurant customer, it translates into getting a lot of food for a low’ish price. Restaurants know this and they respond with buffets, unlimited this or that, and other gimmicks that cater to this idea.

 

Where does this leave quality in the equation?

 

It is calculated by the customer only after quantity and price, never before, and that is why quality is not high in Cebu.

 

Even though people believe they are getting quality, my argument is that they cannot get it AND high quantity AND Low price. Something has to be compromised for the equation to balance and in Cebu, it is almost always quality. There are locales at similar economic levels that can balance these 3, but conditions exist there that are rare in Cebu.

 

The places I listed before I think are doing the best at balancing these, and they range from very cheap to not so cheap. And they all provide good value for the money.

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dark knight

dark knight are you a food writer? or a gourmet or a international master chef??? i do not agree with you some you have mentioned are crap or you looking for cheap meal too fill up you belly hes not my type at all i only go for very very tasty gourmet food cook too perfection if not i never come back, the other day i have been recommended a restaurant good for they curry ,so did order they curry was shock the curry was a chicken leg over plenty American rice then a tomato curry sauce not red curry was yuck couldn't believe a bad was?????????????i still looking in CEBU too eat a very good RISSOTO once in EUROPE did eat the best RISSOTO with smoked salmon and brie cheese woww so juicy the best i never had, i cook for my self now for special occasion.

 

E--I've had many bad experiences like you've described also and that's why I'd like things to change. Let's just agree to disagree on the good places in Cebu. Maybe you can share some of your favorites, I certainly don't claim to know them all, just those i listed.

 

Risotto--best i had in cebu was giusseppe's pumpkin and mozzarella. I am sure he's open to making you salmon and brie, just give him a day in advance.

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shamgod41

Absolutely nothing wrong with value for the money at all and in fact that is exactly what the goal of every purchase should be. My argument, which was not well expressed, is that the concept of “value for the money” here in cebu does not mean getting what you pay for. Rather, for the average restaurant customer, it translates into getting a lot of food for a low’ish price. Restaurants know this and they respond with buffets, unlimited this or that, and other gimmicks that cater to this idea.

 

Where does this leave quality in the equation?

 

 

#1 turn off for me is the "All you can eat" sign; Or as said in the Philippines, "Eat all you can."

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Raptor

Abaca Boutique Resort & Restaurant

 

Abaca provides a full service California-Mediterranean inspired restaurant and bar featuring the cuisine of Australian Chef, Wade Watson. Wade's experience includes postings in Toronto, Sydney, Vancouver and Hong Kong.

 

The award winning restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner.

 

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Special Occasions only perhaps, as it is touch expensive (for Philippines from Php1,000 per head typiclly, depending on what is oprdered and what you are drinking), but worth it for food quality, taste and class ambiance and decor.

 

Stay off the wine and cocktails, order a Pizza, it is not as expensive, if you just want to sample the place, and check it out.

 

Be careful who you bring there, they don't serve rice.

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