Places to eat in Dumaguete City

  • Sans Rival Bistro
    Sans Rival Bistro
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  • inside Sans RIval
    inside Sans RIval
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  • Chocobanana cream cake
    Chocobanana cream cake
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Most Viewed Restaurants in Dumaguete City

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    Caldo Pizza.: A very pleasant surprise.

    by planxty Updated Apr 4, 2012

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    I have to say that VT is very much to blame, or more correctly take the credit for, this tip. At tme of writing, I have been staying n Dumaguete for quite a while and whilst I have several favourite restaurants, I do tend to try new places, in the main just to provide me with more VT tips. Sad I know, but there you are.

    I had seen this place a few times, hidden away at the back of a filling (gas) station and though it might be worth a try although really wasn't expecting a whole lot from it. This gives the clue to the title of this tip. OK, it is not the most illustrious surroundings I have ever eaten in, situated in a small row of fast food outlets, but I sat down and was attended to promptly by a friendly young man who spoke decent English and presented me with a menu in the same language. I opted for a regular sized Filipiniana at 190 pesos which, the menu assured me, featured Cebu chorizo amongst other things. I am a fan of chorizo here and it looked an ideal choice.

    So what to drink then. Normally San Miguel Light is my beer of choice but, as the image shows if you know about such things, the only beer available was San Miguel. I have dealt with this in other tips but essentially San Mig is a 6.9 abv beer that Philippinos drink to get drunk quickly and cheaply and it is pretty lethal but it was the only option. OK, a few sips and wait for the pizza to arrive which took a few minutes but at least it shows it was fresshly made.

    As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't expecting much. My previous experience of pizza in the Philippines in nearby Valencia at Dexter's had been a singularly uninspiring event but what a difference here. Piping hot with a beautifully crispy crust (just as I lke it), plenty of very tasty toppings, it was really delightful.

    The quite loud rock accompaniment from the next door franchise, Red Hot Chilli Peppers as I recall, was a pleasant soundtrack to what was a very good pizza.

    Update 5th April 2012.

    Another visit last night and the Succulenta pizza (pictured) featuring black olive, anchovy, mushroom, roast garlic, which was not at all overpowering made for an excellent pizza at 200 pesos. I also saw served a party sized pizza which is undoubtedly the largest pizza I have ever seen, it must have been three feet across and looked like a car wheel. I am sure it would have fed 20 people easily whch looked to be about the size of the party ordering it.

    Still highly recommended.

    Favorite Dish: The Filipiniana as described.

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    Sta. Monica Beach Resort Restaurant: Dumaguete is Seafood Frenzy!

    by bike_packer Written Apr 30, 2006

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    Located 4 kms south of the city center, the Restaurant at Sta Monica Beach Resost is a new favorite place for locals treating their visitors for that excellent taste of fresh seafood as what Dumaguete is most proud of.

    The restaurant is a wide open-air cottage fronting the resort's garden and giving a little glimpse of the sea by the side. Good ambiance.

    Fresh fishes, shells, crabs, lobsters are displayed in ice-chillers. Customers to choose out and would be cooked as wished. Fast service here.

    Favorite Dish: The Escabecheng Lapulapu and Sinigang na Isda are superb.

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    Mifune restaurant: Excellent Japanese food.

    by planxty Updated Feb 9, 2013

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    I do love to eat food from all corners of the globe but I must confess that my knowledge of Japanese cuisine is effectively limited to a little sushi here and there. I was not therefore terribly well equipped to tackle a Japanese restaurant in the Philippines but I need not have worried. The friendliness of service in the Philippines is excellent if the actual service itself is sometimes a little lacking but I was greeted by possibly the most charming servers I have yet encountered, they were superb.

    I should say in the interest of fair reporting that the owner of the premises, somewhat spookily, has just walked into the place where I am writing this although he cannot see what I am writing and I shall attempt to be objective as always.

    Unsure of what to order, I decided that tuna would be a safe bet as I love it, and I ordered the tuna teppanyaki. I had a vague idea of what teppanyaki was about and when it arrived I certainly was not disappointed. In the interim period, I busied myself taking a few photos of the spotless and very pleasant interior which was, naturally, Japanese themed. The fans were lovely. The concept of my photgraphing anything and eveything appeared to provoke some amusement amongst the staff but it was very good-natured.

    This is, however, a restaurant tip so back to the food. The tuna was simply superb. It was very firm and texturally was more like eating some sort of meat than fish. I am still unclear as to what constitutes teppanyaki sauce but I can state categorically that it was delicious. It is only a shame that I was not more hungry and could have done justice to some more food.

    I know that there is a buffet on a Friday and Saturday night between 1800 - 2100 which is well patronised. Local chat has it that if you don't get a table by starting time you are unlikely to get one. If you cannot get a table at the buffet, you have another option. If you have a minimum party of four diners, you can opt for the Teppan Reserve at 399 pesos per person which is basically a large hotplate surrounded by chairs, where chef will cook in front of you a huge selection of food including steak, squid, chicken vegetables etc. etc. as well as some nigiri dishes and a dessert. Looks like good value to me.

    I really enjoyed this restaurant and sampled some excellent Japanese food at a price which is a fraction of what I would have paid at home. I must try some more now!

    Favorite Dish: The tuna teppanyaki was delicious.

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    Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries: For the Sweet Tooth

    by asianbelle Updated Aug 23, 2007

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    A trip to Dumaguete is not complete if you cannot sample the popular Sylvannas from Sans Rival. Aptly named, the pastry shop also sells yummy Sans Rival and a host of other cakes, pastries and cookies.

    The Sylvannas come in a box of 10 pcs. that costs P90, while Sans Rival is sold as a loaf that costs P255. Both are wrapped in foil doubled with kraft paper to maintain their freshness. In case you want to take them back home, inform the storekeeper so they will give you chilled stock that could last for 4 hours without melting.

    The store is open from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 9am to 2pm on Sunday.

    Favorite Dish: Their Sylvannas are to die for that I could easily consumme 3 pcs. in one sitting. They are comparable and even better than the commercially-available brands.

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    Lab-as Restaurant: Cheap Fresh Seafood

    by bike_packer Updated Apr 30, 2006

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    Lab-as is ever enduring considering that it is still a recommended place to have a feast of Dumaguete seafood. My first food taste here was 5 years ago as introduced by my local host then; and now I am happy to know that it is still serving great seafood as before.

    This is seafood at its best and that's by the sea. Remember, Dumaguete is seafood fest.

    Favorite Dish: My favorite here is the Grilled Squid and Singang na Tanguige.

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    Roadhouse restobar: A taste of the good ol' US of A.

    by planxty Updated Mar 27, 2012

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    Update 23rd March, 2012.

    Regular readers will know that I like to keep my tips up to date as they tend to get stale after a while and this is the case here. I can say from personal knowledge that the place, for whatever reason, has become totally deserted of late. I ride past it nearly every day and would stop for a beer but it seems pointless to sit by myself. I know it has taken to closing very early in the evening. I also have it on good authority, although not from personal knowledge, that five of the wonderful members of staff have left since I wrote the original tip. I have also heard that the quality of the food has gone down but again I cannot comment personally as I have not eaten there for a while. As always, I will present the facts and leave it to the reader as to whether or not they want to visit.

    Original tip.

    As usual in the Philippines, I am finding it hard to categorise the Roadhouse. It could reasonably fit into a things to do, nightlife or restaurant tip but I have decided on the latter as I have eaten here several times with excellent results. Hopefully the images will give you some idea.

    Before I deal with the food, let me tell you a little about the place. Road House is unashamedly a bikers bar. I know this may potentially put off the reader but please bear with me. The concept of bikers here is somewhat different than you may be used to in, say, Europe or America. I know a lot of the bikers in Dumaguete from various clubs and they are universally nice blokes. Road House is home to the Roadrunners M.C. but you are equally likely to find Outsiders, Peace Riders, Lone Wolves or anyone else in here. There is no animosity between the clubs. You are not going to encounter a drunken knife fight here or anything of the sort. Most nights the bikers are not even there, they tend to come out at the weekend, during the week it can be quiet enough.

    Road House is run by an American biker called Chuck, who is a nice bloke and the staff (seen posing for a laugh in one image here) are delightful and efficient. The chef is a young Philippino guy who doeas a really good job. The menu is unashamedly American with one exception which I will deal with shortly. Burgers of various sizes and toppings, chilli dogs and the excellent chilli cheese and fries which is probably my favourite.

    The exception I referred to is the Tuesday night special which is British style fish and chips. Actually, it is fish and French fries because nobody could agree on the proper way of making British chips peoperly so they reverted to the American version. Whatever recipe it is, it is a very tasty meal and very close to the original.

    Occasionally, there will be a Philippino daily special but this is not really what the Road House is about. Forget your preconceptions about bikers, get there and enjoy some excellent American style food if that is what you fancy.

    Favorite Dish: A difficult choice as the chilli dogs and burgers are excellent but I would have to go for the chilli cheese with fries. Ask for the jalapenos, they are not standard and add a little of one of the various hot sauces on offer for an extra kick.

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    Lab-As: All under one roof

    by asianbelle Updated Aug 22, 2007

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    Lab-As is highly recommended in travel books and by those who had been to Dumaguete as the best seafood resto in the city. Well, it truly lived up to its image. Not only do they serve good food but reasonably priced as well.

    The resto is flanked by "Su-to-kil" kiosk and Hayahay Bar. Su-to-kil serves grilled food ideal as appetizers while Hayahay is more for after dinner drinks and entertainment. This makes Lab-As a perfect choice for entree. It has a piano bar where a pianist plays soothing music from 7pm to 9pm. The subdued lighting contributes to the relaxing ambiance of the place.

    Favorite Dish: I enjoyed their baked oysters and grilled squid.

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    Lab As Restaurant: Best Seafood!

    by anliz99 Written May 2, 2007

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    Lab As Restaurant was recommended to us by our driver and we checked it out. True enough their seafood is pretty good! The price is reasonable. We had chili 'curacha', sinigang shrimps, boiled vegetables, and grilled squid. Yummy! Service is very good too! We only spent P1200 for 5 people. View is also good because it's fronting the sea.

    Favorite Dish: The grilled squid and boiled vegetables a la probinsiyana are pretty good!

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    Hayahay Restaurant- Treehouse: Best seafood on a treehouse!

    by anliz99 Written May 3, 2007

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    Hayahay Restaurant is just beside Lab As and they share the same kitchen. So the food is the same. This time, we went up the treehouse bar. The place is great and very cool because it's built around a big living tree.

    You can also go down and choose your seafood from the different aquariums. They even have lobsters.

    The difference also with this place is that it has a bar and there's a band playing. So its really cool :)

    Favorite Dish: Seafood again! Steamed crabs, vegetables, baked oysters, etc. Yummy!

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    Coco Amigos: Nice place to relax and enjoy the view

    by Lalee Written Oct 25, 2005

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    We often stop here for Merienda or just a drink so can't comment on the main courses.
    Great place to sit during the day and just enjoy the Boulevard and watching the sea.
    The prices are really expensive compared to the local places but this obviously caters for expats and tourists.
    For example a mango split is P75. The little snacks like the Tuna Slam however is only P55.

    Favorite Dish: Order icecream and a cold drink. Great on a hot day.

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    Atong Kamalig: A great favourite.

    by planxty Written Feb 25, 2012

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    At time of writing, I have been hanging around in Dumaguete for about a month and have sampled a good proportin of the restaurants here, many of which are excellent. I don't think I have been very disappointed in a meal here yet, I suppose the competition keeps them all up to a good standard. I do, however, want to tell you about one that seems to stand out above the rest, a place called the Atong Kamilag which is a large place convenient to Silliman University and the port and where I eat regularly.

    Apart from the excellent food which I shall deal with in a moment, it has several things going for it. Firstly, it has opening hours of 0630 - 0130 whch makes it about the only "proper" restaurant (other than fast food outlets) open after about 2200. Secondly, it has good live music every night which I shall deal with in a nightlife tip. Thirdly, it does a very popular happy "hour", actually from 1400 - 1800 daily when selected food and drinks are heavily discounted.

    Kamilag is a big place, comprising an open sided structure and a large outside dining area where the stage is. I am guessing but there must be well over 100 covers there and it regularly gets full, seemingly equally popular with expats and locals. The expats tend to get in there in the afternoon to take advantage of the above-mentioned happy hour and the locals tend to come here to eat at night. If you are not dining here, it also does a roaring take-away business.

    So, onto the food itself. There is an extensive menu, predominantly Philippino, but with some Western dishes as well, and the food is all prepared in the open kitchen which I am a great fan of. All the usual suspects are here, pochero (beef soup), chopsuey, silligaw (fish soup), a selection of sizzling dishes (tenserloin, sisig etc.), lechon and so on, you are spoiled for choice. My favourite, however, is to choose from the wonderful barbecue selection in the evening.

    At about 1600, one of the numerous, friendly staff will start to prepare the barbecue which fronts the street and at 1700, other staff begin to lay out large trays containing various barbecue skewers, manok (chicken) and assorted fish. You merely meake your selection and they barbecue for you usually served with rice and the local pickled vegetable accompaniment. They are all absolutely gorgeous. If absolutely forced to pick on, it would have to be the chorizo stick which is the ball-shaped one in the photos. As the name suggests, it is a spiced minced meat made into a sort of meatball and it is divine.

    Other images included show lechon (barbecued pork belly) and the salad is salted egg, a local delicacy which is prepared with onion and tomato.

    Insiders tip - do not sit at the tables next to the barbecue as it can get unbearably smoky there.

    Another great thing, common to many Philippino restaurants, is making your own dipping sauce. If you ask (they aren't normally offered to Westerners unless they know you) you get a small dish and a large dish of what I know from Thailand as "mouse dropping" chillies which are tiny and hugely hot. You mix them to taste with a selection from soy sauce, hot chilli sauce, vinegar and oil. If you really want a hot one, my tip is to pierce the chillies with your cutlery, that will really make it sing!

    Prices here are very competitive compared to some of the more Western orientated places on the Boulevard, and I really do recommend it. Somewhat unusually for this country, I even took a vegetarian acquaintance here one night and she was delighted with her meal.

    There is a ramp from the pavement so the place would be wheelchair accessible as the toilets are all on one level.

    Whilst I will speak highly of other establishments in other tips, this place really has to get my vote as the best in town for consistently excellent food in pleasant surroundings.

    Favorite Dish: My favourite dish, now that is a question as I have never had a bad meal here. If forced into a choice, I would suggest a barbecue selection with rice to definitely include the chorizo barbecue stick.

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    Sans Rival Bakeshop and Cafe: Best SansRival

    by anliz99 Written May 3, 2007

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    They have the best Sans Rival in town! And very popular too. This is the most common 'pasalubong' from Dumaguete. They also have a cafe which serves good coffee, pasta and others. They also have other baked goods like mango bar, crinkles, cakes etc.

    Favorite Dish: Sans Rival!

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    Chin Loong: Chinese Restaurant

    by asianbelle Updated Feb 8, 2008

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    As the name implies, Chin Loong serves Chinese dishes and dimsum which made it a popular resto among the locals and visitors to the city. It is advisable to be there before 7pm to be assured of seats as it gets crowded later.

    The restaurant is typical of Chinese restos - red table cloth and food are cooked upon order. Hence, it takes time for the meal to be served which gives the diners time to swap stories.

    Favorite Dish: I have no particular favorite as I am not into Chinese food, but I like the way the vegetables were "half" cooked which left the carrot and peas crunchy.

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    Foodnet restaurant: Cheap and cheerful.

    by planxty Updated Feb 29, 2012

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    Foodnet is a large chain in the Philippines offering cheap local food in a no-frills surrounding. Haute cuisine it is not but the food is tasty and remarkably inexpensive even by local standards. It is self-service and although the server I spoke to had limited English it is a simple matter of pointing. If you look at the image, I can tell you that the dish on the left is Lechon Manok (barbecued chicken) with rice, and the two round items were sweet, I believe they are made from tapioca. What the other two items are I have no idea. They merely looked tasty and proved to be as good as they looked.

    The place was spotlessly clean although I did not use the toilets there so cannot comment on that and there is a semi-open area should you wish to dine outside.

    If you are at the other side of town there is another branch heading for the national Highway near the bus station.

    Definitely a good budget option.

    Update.

    I like to keep my tips up to date so I offer this information. I have since tried the other outlet mentioned above (the one near the bus station) and it is nowhere near as good, the food was at best lukewarm and the squid very tough. I have also discovered a third outlet in the Caltex station a little way out the National Highway towards Sibulan, but have not tried that yet. My advice is to stick to this branch.

    Favorite Dish: The barbecued chicken was excellent.

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    Kri restaurant: Live and learn, to your benefit.

    by planxty Updated May 1, 2013

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    At time of writing (mid April 2012) I have been hanging around Dumaguete City for about two and a half months and thought I knew the place pretty well. I am always banging on here about taking advice from locals and the advice in this case came from an expat of long-standing if not actually a Filipino. Whilst discussing restaurant options in town, he seemed genuinely surprised when I said I had not eaten in Kri restaurant or indeed even heard of it. Armed with good directions, I set out last night to remedy the deficiency in my gastronomic repertoire and was hugely pleased with the results. I suppose this vindicates my theory about local knowledge even as it blows my belief in finding the best places clean out of the water.

    I was greeted immediately and courteously at the door by a young waitress who was later to serve me and thought the place looked a bit empty. It was only later whilst using the facilities that I dscovered there is a much larger dining area to the rear of the premises. I was very happy with the modern, fairly minimalist surroundings where I was.

    It was obvious from the off that this was a "classy" joint by local standards. The glass of iced water produced immediately and the frosted glass for the beer whilst perusing the menu reinforced this impression. The crudites (pictured) certainly got the digestive juices flowing. Be aware though that they are fairly liberally laced with chilli, just the way I like it but not perhaps to everyone's taste. I did look at the wine list (I am not really a wine drinker) and it looked quite extensive by local standards, including Spanish bottles at about 1250 pesos.

    I had been recommended the blue cheese and truffle (yes, you read that right) burger with what are apparently excellent French fries but my eye was caught by the Genghis Khan beef. I enquired of the waitress what that might be. Pieces of tenderloin served in a slightly spicy sauce. That sounded OK up to a point so I enquired would it be possible to have it served really spicy, along with the usual SE Asian pantomime of telling her that she wasn't going to kill me and no, I wasn't going to sue them if they burnt my mouth off. Really, I know people mean well but it is very difficult to get really spicy food in a restaurant in this area as a Westerner unless you insist and make a point of it.

    A wait just long enough to indicate the dish was freshly prepared but not long enough to be a cause for complaint brought the absolute delight you can see pictrured and chef (of whom more later) had produced exactly what I wanted. The beef was tender to a fault and the sauce was obviously ramped up a notch or two as they would probably not have served it this hot normally. Whilst it carried the heat I was lookng for, it did not overpower the other tastes of the sauce (I am guessing soy, honey, chilli here). The plain rice served as part of the dish was ample, although they have various other rices (garlic etc.) should you wish.

    A little internet research shws that the chef patron here is a guy called Ritchie Armogenia, and I know his family is responsible for the Azalea resort on the road up to Twin Lakes as well. Chef, I was informed, was in Cebu on business but I would like to meet the guy some day and shake his hand. Whlst going to the spotless, if slightly distant, facilities I had a chance to scan the open kitchen, always a good sign in my book. None of the staff looked over about 22 years of age and if Mr. Armogenia has them this well trained, he gets my vote.

    I realise that it is ridiculous to make such comparisons but I would happily have paid three times the paltry 250 or so pesos I paid for this meal. In an ideal and imaginary world, I would love to drop a Michelin Guide inspector here with the windows blacked out so he didn't know where he was. Food, service and ambience would gain it, if not a star, at least some sort of honourable mention. I know this all sounds like hyperbole, it is not. This place really is on the money.

    I have mentioned some superb other places like Atong Kamalig, Moon Cafe, Captain Ribbers and so on (see seperate tips) but this place has to take the Blue Riband of Dumaguete City. I genuinely hope this place succeeds, it really deserves to. I shall undoubtedly visit again and I shall report back on my findings.

    Everywhere here seems to be on one level, including the toilets, so should be suitable for mobility impaired travellers which is another bonus.

    Very highly recommended.

    Favorite Dish: Thus far I have only had the Genghis Khan beef, altered to my taste as described and it was superb.

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