Wednesday, June 11, 2014

7 secret things to eat, play and love in Dumaguete (and not necessarily illicit and dirty)

Food crawl in Dumaguete is fun! And because the downtown area is arranged in a grid and places to dine are lumped in one part of the city, it is easy for you to hop from one local joint to another. Never mind the searing heat.

For the uninitiated and playing safe, has recommendations for you but if you are leaning toward cheap and secret (and not necessarily illicit and dirty) local dining experiences, these are my recommendations:
 7 things to eat, do and enjoy in Dumaguete:

1. SILLIMAN CAFETERIA. Cheese Bread + Empanada. You must have heard about (and probably tasted) the cheese bread at Silliman Cafeteria and how these melt-in-your-mouth buns are quickly gone before 2pm daily. At first, I shrugged it off as just a hype. It took me a year to finally give it a try and I got hooked since then!  Now the other secret: empanada! Only a few locals know about how these deep-fried folded dough with meat, cheese and veggie stuffing is yes, a stuff of foodie legend. And the secret is all in the crust--crisp in every bite.

2. SANS RIVAL BISTRO. Sans Rival + Salted Caramel. While many turistas would buy boxes of the signature dessert sans rival to bring home as pasalubong to friends and families, only a few know that Sans Rival Bistro has one of the best-tasting salted caramel cake. It's soft, wonderfully moist with the right blend of caramel and sea salt.

3. ROYAL SUITE INN. Sizzling Bulalo + Quadruple Chocolate Cake. Royal Suite Inn has been known for the best sizzling bulalo in town but only a select few know that it has the best cakes in town and its piece de resistance is the sinful and decadent quadruple chocolate cake. Real dark and moist chocolatey goodness! If there's one food that is better than sex, for me, it has to be the quadruple!  

4. KRI. Bacon, Truffle, Angus Beef Burger + bun. I am not a burger person but KRI's bleu cheese, truffle and bacon burger made me a convert. The burger bun, while it is not the secret, has something that I and people who know their bread can agree on. Soft, a little sweet with just the right fluffiness.     

5. BYBLOS LIBRARY & ROCKS CAFE. Deep inside Silliman campus, hidden behind thick acacia foliage, is a library and cafe. Get into the laid back vibe of this university town. If you want to grab a book and a cup of coffee, this cafe is the place to be! For me, it serves one of the best macha green tea I've tasted. Open to the public. 

6. BETHEL GUESTHOUSE. My favorite halo-halo store along Silliman Avenue has since folded up. It took me a while to find a new one. But when I did, I knew then that I'd be sticking around for a long while. What more can I ask for? The best halo-halo and the best view of the boulevard. All in airconditioned comfort.

7. REJOICE HARDWARE.This is definitely a secret only a handful of locals know. This one was recommended by my true-blue Dumaguetena friend Sonia. One of the best home-made ice cream in town and yes, it is sold inside a hardware store near the public market.Tip: buko flavor is the bestseller!

Now that the secrets are out, enjoy them. Ato ato lang.


  1. CB Grill barbeque chicken is the best! If going to Tanjay.. there is also a CB grill there.

  2. I'll be in town for a couple days next week. Must try all of these!

  3. Thank you. Have a good time in Dumaguete. Would love to hear your verdict. :)

  4. should have included the bbqs of asyong, just a small stall right in front of acsat. they have a small dining area at the end of an alley, in front of the owner's house. their bbqs are the best i have ever tasted, especially the chilli ones...

  5. I really miss the food at KRI! The food is honest to goodness pure, no shortcuts and with a lot of pride and love. Chef Ritchie is one who does not scrimp on ingredients. Order a toasted baguette and butter and they will serve it as a masterpiece.

  6. Flaming Grill's double decker
    Mama's burger near perpetual
    Shawarma @ Garahe

  7. When you try the Burger at KRI, don't forget to ask to make it medium rare. Also try the Lamb Burger

  8. moms burger lab has the best 8 inch diameter grilled burger in town for me ( all in variety) u should try it, and kurambos also offers delicious street food served at a clean open roadside stop in tubod, and Don Roberto's house pizza and halohalo(no beans!) have been my favorites since forever!

  9. Date and walnut cake from sans :)

  10. am a big fan of date and walnut cake at sans rival as well..but i think their coffee bread is simply heavenly and is still a secret to some...heheheh..


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