The growth of Cebu’s dining scene shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, with new concepts constantly being introduced, and existing restaurants evolving themselves, all to adapt to a more adventurous—if not sophisticated— palate.
We take a look at some of the most promising establishments worth checking out this year.
BLU Bar & Grill
With its sophisticated ambiance and majestic views of the city, it’s no surprise how Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s BLU Bar & Grill has remained a favorite spot among locals and foreigners for the longest time. Last year, they went through renovations, with the new BLU Bar unveiled just right in time for Christmas season.
While it’s still the same BLU people know and love, the changes vastly improve the overall experience—the most notable being a bigger and chicer indoor area which can now be closed off in case of bad weather. And while you’re at it, indulge in a plate of the spicy gambas before washing it off with the Chocolate Martini made from Cebu-grown cacao by Ralfe Gourmet.
- Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
- Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills
- 6332. 253 1111
The Clove on the Quay
The Cebu Yacht Club is becoming one of the best places to hang out when in Mactan, especially with the opening of several new restaurants in the past few years. More recently, the Yacht Club welcomed the newest member of the family, The Clove on the Quay.
The most gorgeous view of the sunset serves as the backdrop for thirst-quenching cocktails (happy hour starts at 4:00 p.m.), and then nightfall transforms it into an uber chic bistro serving Mediterranean and North African fare. Big groups will love the Spice Trade Platter which includes beef kebabs, tikka masala, grilled prawns and vegetables, and Sultan rice pilaf. My personal recommendation would be the immensely tender and flavorful Boeuf Bourguignon.
- Cebu Yacht Club, Mactan Island
Considering it’s is from the same man behind Ilaputi, we’re looking forward to Jan Rodriguez’s newest venture. Set to open sometime after Sinulog (crossing fingers), The Weekend is brimming with the promise of new flavors and dishes sure to be instant favorites.
Already, Zee Lifestyle had a preview at last November’s holiday potluck feature, with Jan serving us Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower with fresh carrot and jicama sticks, and a blue cheese dip; as well as the Faux Gras made of bacon fat and pureed bacon. It also has a selection of cocktails with… interesting names, but that’s for us to know and you to find out when they finally open.
- The Greenery, Mabolo
League Sports Bar
Judging from the photos alone, League might be the most legitimate sports bar in Cebu just yet. Having opened recently, it boasts of a warm and comfortable ambiance that everyone— whether sporty or otherwise—would immediately feel at home at. We also spot billiards and foozball tables in the middle of the industrial-chic decor, so while we’re not watching the latest sports on the television, we can always just hang out and have fun playing games.
- Panagdait, Mabolo
Coffee & Comfort Cafe
Coffee & Comfort Cafe goes beyond being just a coffee shop. It’s also a study center, which is perfect considering its location. The environment is also conducive for meeting clients and doing freelance work. Of course, the main highlight of the place would be the delectable creations of Miles Semblante, who’s been seen more in chef whites than elaborate costumes in recent years. People have been singing praises about her French toast with caramelized bananas, while the Choco Bacardi Frappe proved to be a hit over Sinulog weekend.
- 12 Borromeo Arcade, F. Ramos St.
Tim Ho Wan
When is Tim Ho Wan in SM Seaside City Cebu opening? Your guess is as good as ours, considering when we poked around, we couldn’t find a definitive answer either. But we’re putting the Michelin-star restaurant on this list anyway, simply because we’re so excited to have our fix of their famous steamed pork buns that we can only cross our fingers it’ll finally open this year.
- SM Seaside City Cebu
La Vie Parisienne
Who doesn’t know La Vie Parisienne? Famous for its croissants as much as it is for those iconic pink cherry blossom lighting fixtures, it’s become a popular hangout among locals and visitors over the years. Sometime last year, they added a chic extension that just may be their most stylish area just yet. With dome-like ceilings and pretty chandeliers, it’s a new dimension to La Vie Parisienne that bolsters its Instagram-worth reputation, while offering a new experience to its patrons.
- Gorordo Avenue
Shaka Hawaiian Restaurant
Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian… heck, even Lebanese. Name it, and chances are Cebu has it. What was remarkably absent was Hawaiian cuisine—a gap that the Pages Group of Restaurants was all too happy to fill up with their latest venture, Shaka. The place is hard to miss; after all, it basically dominates one block of Cebu I.T. Park, incorporating the existing terrain for one charming ambiance. It all but reminds me of my childhood dreams of having a treehouse. Pineapple fans rejoice! Shaka utilizes the fruit into majority of its dishes in so many unexpected ways, you’d find yourself coming back for more.
- Cebu I.T. Park