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Best of the Best

Must-try restaurants in Cebu for first-time visitors

By AYIE LICSI Published Apr 05, 2022 6:27 pm

When visiting a new place, good food is high on the list of things that will make a trip memorable.

As the summer heat continues to blaze, Cebu is one of the most popular destinations for travelers to get their fill of vitamin sea. The province is not only known for its pristine white sand beaches, breathtaking views, and colorful marine life, it's also famed for its amazing eats—lechon, anyone? 

Now there are a lot of choices for first-time visitors, so PhilSTAR L!fe has teamed up with Best of the Best Manila to narrow down your choices for the best restaurants in Cebu that are definitely a must-try. 

CnT Lechon

One of the highly recommended restaurants by locals is CNT Lechon. It's one of the more affordable lechon eateries in the city with a kilo priced at around P600.

According to reviewers, you can expect crispy and crunchy lechon skin complimented by juicy, tender meat. It's also so flavorful that you won't be needing sauce for it.

They also serve different lechon dishes like CnT Lechon Sisig, Sweet and Sour Lechon, Lechon Fried Lumpia, Kinamatisang Lechon Kawali, and Lechon Paksiw. If you're jonesing for something other than pork, they also have delectable seafood dishes like Baked Scallops and Kinilaw na Guso.

CnT Lechon is located in Guadalupe, Ayala Centre Cebu, SM Seaside, and North Reclamation Area in Cebu. You may visit their Facebook page for more details.


Craving for pasta and pizza while you're in the Queen City of the South? Tavolata, owned by the Abaca Group Company, is the place to go to curb your hankering for authentic Italian cuisine.

Taking inspiration from the Italian trattoria, Tavolata makes their pasta in-house while their pizzas are hand-tossed. The restaurant also uses the "finest local and imported ingredients" for a satisfying gastronomic experience.

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Meanwhile, the restaurants feature a rustic, elegant ambiance perfect for romantic date nights and intimate gatherings with friends and family.

Tavolata is located in Ayala Center Cebu and Design Center of Cebu. To find out more, visit their website.

Choobi Choobi

You can't visit Cebu and miss out on trying the most scrumptious seafood. BoTB recommends Choobi Choobi, a casual dining Filipino comfort food restaurant.

Choobi Choobi serves up shrimp and mussels by the bag in different flavors such as Spicy Gata, Butter Garlic, and Tao Si Sauce. Make sure to also try their grilled squid and squid ink rice.

Although they have branches in Metro Manila now, too, this restaurant is still a must-try in a fishing-rich province like Cebu.

Find the different Choobi Choobi branches and check out their menu by visiting their website.

Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant

Looking to dine at a place with a stunning view? At the Lantaw Floating Restaurant, you can enjoy delicious Filipino food while enjoying the cool sea breeze.

This comfort food spot serves classic Pinoy dishes such as their best-selling crispy pata, tuna panga, crispy kare-kare, and buttered shrimp.

We recommend visiting this seaside restaurant in the late afternoon so you can catch a glorious sunset as you dine.

Lantaw Floating Native restaurant has branches in Cordova and Talisay. Visit their Facebook page to learn more.

Matias BBQ

Street food anyone? For those hankering for good ol' barbecue, Matias BBQ is the go-to place for grilled skewers in Mandaue City.

Surrounded by star apple trees, this open-air carinderia emanates a homey vibe with indoor and outdoor seats. Aside from pork barbecues, you can order Cebu chorizo, chicken barbecue, liempo, and chicken heart at this eatery. They also have puso or rice wrapped in banana leaves.

Matias BBQ is located along A.S. Fortuna in Mandaue City. 

For more of the best recommendations, follow Best of the Best Manila on Instagram.