Culture

These Cebu Restaurants Remind Us of Our Childhood

We’re really turned into suckers for nostalgia. You can see it in the homages, recurring trends, and remakes that are part of pop culture (and Tiktok!). Personally, though, my favorite way to look back is with food. The Cebu restaurants we grew up with are still very much thriving in today’s dining scene—and remain strong crowd favorites.

Everyone has their own picks, of course. And this list could go on and on, depending on what decade you grew up in and in what area of Cebu you lived in. But I dare anyone to say these Cebu restaurants aren’t at least near the top of their lists. If they did, then they’re definitely lying.

Steamed Fried Rice from Ding How/Harbour City/Dimsum Break

It may not be authentic, but there’s really nothing like Cebu dimsum. Most of us probably don’t even remember the first time we tasted this restaurant chain’s Steamed Fried Rice. It’s become so ingrained into our collective cultural psyche that it feels like it’s always been part of our diets.

The dish, which has savory sauce poured over warm rice, can feel like a comforting and familiar hug at the end of a busy day. It’s a meal on its own—but why eat here if you’re not going to have it with Spring Rolls and Quail Egg Siomai?

Chicken Crackers from Sunburst

On days that are particularly crazy, I always find myself craving Sunburst. Their seasoned Fried Chicken is the perfect comfort meal, dipped in your own personal concoction of banana ketchup, liquid seasoning, and hot sauce. But though the Fried Chicken is their main offering, the Chicken Crackers are the real star of the show.

The Chicken Crackers are perfectly crispy and coated chicken skin, a play on Cebu’s famous chicharon. Enjoy it as an indulgent snack, or go ahead and eat it with rice—don’t worry, we won’t judge.

Sizzling Burger Steak from Orange Brutus

To be honest, the happy bee’s got nothing on the Sizzling Burger Steak from Cebu’s homegrown fast-food brand. Made with real beef and cooked fresh on the grill, the dish is served on a hot plate with ridiculously flavorful gravy.

These days, the Burger Steak comes with a variety of toppings—my personal favorite is a fried egg on top. Of course, order Orange Brutus’ refreshing mango shake to go with it, and a slice of the iconic Chocolate Monster to cap off the meal.

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About Shari Quimbo-Ybañez

With more than a decade's experience in the publishing industry, Shari feels like she's been telling stories her whole life. When she's not weaving tales, she's consuming them online or in print, or creating culinary ones at home.

author-avatar

About Shari Quimbo-Ybañez

With more than a decade's experience in the publishing industry, Shari feels like she's been telling stories her whole life. When she's not weaving tales, she's consuming them online or in print, or creating culinary ones at home.

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