Bounty Hunt Cebu: 7 Food Spots for 7 Days that’s NOT lechon!

Lufee does Cebu Philippines
Bounty Hunt Cebu: 7 Food Spots in 7 Days

Greetings my human companions!

I have returned from blistering Philippines where summer and El Niño temperatures approached the 40 degree celsius mark. No matter. We happen to be in a country compromised of 7,107 islands, overheating problems were quickly tamed by a quick dip in these turquoise blue waters!

Ludicrous Feed does Malapascua Island Cebu
Greetings from Malapascua Island, Cebu!

The province of Cebu is home to the second largest city in the Philippines, Cebu City. Surrounded by numerous islands and islets, Cebu is a popular destination with seemingly endless activities; canyoneering around waterfalls, diving with sharks, pampering with spas, shopping in mega-malls, volunteering with communities, enjoying a night of karaoke and dancing or just plain watching the sunset at the beach. With all this to keep you busy you might have to settle for whatever you can pick up at McDonald’s (or Jollibee).
Fear NOT! I’ve gone through the “rigorous work” of spotting some unique eats to elevate your excursion. What follows is a general guideline if you plan a trip in Cebu with visits to Malapascua Island and Bantayan Island. The ever popular Cebu lechon is also a must try but you’ll find great “Cebu lechon” finds on Google. I used Cebu Republic as my own guide!

Let’s explore other feasts fit for your next Ewok celebration! (FUN FACT: Did you catch the Ewoks speaking Tagalog/Filipino in Return of The Jedi? Listen carefully when they first encounter C3PO!)

Read on!

DAY 1-STK ta Bay!, Cebu City.

Ludicrous Feed eats tuna panga!
Tuna panga or tuna jaw is grilled to perfection. Think BBQ pork ribs but infinitely more tender!

If you’re in the Queen City of the South, you MUST partake in their seafood specialties. There’s no better place for ambiance and filipino cuisine than right here in STK ta Bay!. Located near Mango avenue, the name itself “STK ta Bay!” also has a fun hidden meaning. Stay with me here.
It is an acronym for “SuTuKil ta bay!”.
Which is an abbreviation for “Sugba Tula Kilaw ta bay!”.
A Cebuano phrase roughly translated meaning “Hey Bro! Let’s go have some seafood 3 ways! Grilled (sugba), soup (tula), and raw ceviche-like (kilaw)!”
STK ta BAY!
Tucked away from the main street you’ll be greeted with the aroma and sizzle of grilled tuna on the charcoal BBQ just outside the front door.  As you enter the restaurant you’ll marvel at the old world decor fit for weekend antiqu-ers, yet you’ll dine at a dinner table like you were home. The menu is large enough to keep a large group of varying tastes happy. Regardless of your choice, you must order the baked scallops and the tuna panga! The baked scallops are so incredibly simple, baked over smoky charcoal, with buttery undertones and hints of maple syrup (shoutout to my Canadians eh!). Tuna panga or tuna jaw is a prized cut rarely seen and this one recalls southern bbq with it’s marinade, tender meatiness, smoky charcoal grilled flavor and tangy citrus garnish.
This may be your first time in Cebu and what better way to celebrate than with food! Welcome to Cebu!

DAY 2-J.CO Donuts, Cebu Business Park, Ayala Mall.

LuFee does J. Co donuts!
DONUT miss out on J.CO’s… donuts! Like this Cheese Cakelicious oreo cheesecake DONUT!

If it’s your first time in the Philippines and you have yet to visit Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore, chances are you haven’t heard of J.CO. A relative newcomer to the giants of Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme, J.CO wins me over for precisely the reason I dislike the “other guys”. Where DD and KK rule with overly sweet concoctions, J.CO delivers their donuts in sugary restraint and fluffy-light, mouth-pleasing bites! In fact, the only thing J.CO indulges in are FUN PUN donut names: Avocado Dicaprio, Tira Miss U, Copa Banana, Blueberry More or WHY NUT?.
Visit the chain in Ayala Center Mall after a day of shopping for last minute sunblock and extra swimming trunks, then enjoy the view from J.CO’s “Terraces” outdoor location at night!

DAY 3-Yolk Cafe, Cebu City.

Ludicrous Feed loves a GREAT cup of coffee!
Yolk Cafe impresses with their coffee demonstrations!

After your Filipino-friend-recommended-classic-Jollibee-breakfast but before you leave Cebu City for the other islands, enjoy a beautiful breakfast and coffee at Yolk Cafe! A short drive from Ayala Center Mall, on a small side street sits this beautifully decorated, Instagram-ready restaurant.
I’m no expert coffee aficionado but I do enjoy a great cup of coffee. You’ll be hard pressed to find a coffee that’s not instant coffee in Cebu. Enter Yolk Cafe! Not only can you choose between 3 methods of preparation (french pressed, aeropress and v60), your barista arrives at your table explaining the intricacies of your coffee from the timing, sediments, oil, temperature and your particular coffee bean! All before breakfast!
The food selection delights with brunch favorites inspired by local ingredients. My choice was the Pumba Eggs Benny. Eggs Benedict on Italian crusty bread stuffed with locally flavored pulled pork and topped with hollandaise sauce married with calamansi (a local juicy,sweet citrus). Brilliant!

DAY 4-Ocean Vida, Malapascua Island.

Ludicrous Feed does Ocean Vida views and foods!
Seafood pizza and Red Horse beer on the beach!

When travelling to Cebu you might have heard whispers of some of the greatest diving spots in the world! You’ll be remiss if you skip on Malapascua Island! Home to the cute, tiny, and rare thresher sharks, you’ll find them grooming near Monad Shoal just off the coast of Malapascua Island. A day of diving will undoubtedly work up an appetite. Surprisingly, there’s no shortage of choices for this tiny island where even roads are sparse. You can dine like we did at Ocean Vida and accompanying accommodation, Buena Vida resorts. Catering to both local Filipino and visiting foreigner flavors, I enjoyed both! Breakfast buffets included brunch regulars like bacon and eggs, freshly squeezed local juices (READ: TROPICAL!) and chef’s creations like their pumpkin scramble! Wind down the day at their beach front tables and enjoy ice cold beers or cocktails. We leisurely munched on beautifully grilled seasonal vegetables, a special chicken adobo on rice and a seafood pizza!

DAY 5-Anika Beach Resort, Bantayan Island.

Ludicrous Feed does Anika Beach Resort
Danggit dried fish is a specialty of Bantayan Island!

If all you want is to lounge on silky white sandy beaches then book a stay on Bantayan Island. While the Santa Fe centre has some interesting choices from authentic Italian cuisine to classic Filipino pulutan (think Filipino tapas) perhaps you would enjoy basking in the serenity of silence just a few minutes away at Anika Beach Resort. Bantayan Island is very famous nationwide for their danggit; a salted, sun-dried and fried rabbitfish. Small little crisps that are equal parts salty and seafood savory. Like an ocean bacon, you’ll find it regularly paired with eggs and garlic rice for breakfast! Equally delicious is the pusit or dried fried squid. It is the envy of overseas Filipinos worldwide so, as they say, “When in Rome…” eat as the Filipinos do!

DAY 6-Mexi Mama, Mactan, Cebu.

Ludicrous Feed does Mexi Mama
Mexi Mama is mexican fare with a Filipino twist!

There’s no shortage of Filipino options throughout Cebu, but maybe you’re craving something different. Mexican even? Many will point to Maya Mexican Restaurant as their restaurant of choice and they’d be right! A sultry ambiance, great service and even better food, I have never made a bad choice when eating here. Perhaps you want something less fancy (read: peso conscious) Mexi Mama comes to the rescue! It can be argued that Cebuano ingredients make it more unique!
I love a good fish taco and Mexi Mama does not disappoint! The delicious soft corn tortilla wraps were perfecly paired with the flaky crispy fish, pico de gallo and calamansi (think a sweeter lime). My local guide Prue enjoyed the pork chops on rice with local mango-pineapple-jalapeño salsa and local friend Pinky had the orange marinated baby back ribs! What a delight to enjoy with 3 locations and best of all, incredibly budget friendly!

DAY 7-Yakski Barbecue, I.T. Park, Cebu City

Ludicrous Feed does Yakski BBQ!
Deliciously barbecued Cebuano style chorizo! Sweet, smoky goodness!

Do you love local street food? I do too! So when my local guide-friend Prue suggested we eat, she suggested Yakski Barbecue so we can enjoy street food in an outdoor table setting complete with table service; the perfect place to catch up, converse and EAT!
The menu comes complete with all the skewered local street BBQ favorites, pork marinated skewers, Cebu chorizo skewers, chicken skewers, and tuna belly by weight! Step out of your comfort zone and try barbecued chicken gizzard, chicken liver, chicken heart and, my favorite, chicken skin! Piled high on top of steamed white rice it reminds me of family barbecues in our backyard! The BBQ marinade is classic Filipino full of tangy sweet flavor that makes it the perfect match for neutral fluffy white rice! Your taste buds will thank you!

These are just a tip of the iceberg for foodies visiting Cebu!
Did I miss anything? Do you have better suggestions? Reply in the comments below!

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