Cebu Food Crawl 2016: Celebrating Cebu’s Gastronomic Treasures
The Cebu Food Crawl is a tour of some of Cebu’s most important dining destinations. It is also a celebration of Cebu’s continually growing and expanding dining scene and the Cebuanos’ never-ending quest for new flavors, unique concepts, and good food. The Cebu Food Crawl is considered one of the Cebu Bloggers Society’s most successful events. Now on its second year, the event attracts social media influencers as well as food, lifestyle, and travel bloggers from various parts of the country.
This year, the four-day event puts the spotlight on top Cebu destinations for food lovers and food travelers alike like top Cebu hotels, restaurants, resorts, and even cafes. Here’s a quick peek at the hugely successful 2016 Cebu Food Crawl.
Stop 1: Mactan Alfresco
Location: Mactan Newtown – Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City
The very first stop of the Cebu Food Crawl 2016 was the Mactan Alfresco at Mactan Newtown. Mactan Alfresco houses some of Cebu’s biggest and most promising food brands today.
The concept of Mactan Newtown is pretty simple. Similar to the ‘foodcourt’ layout in most malls, customers proceed to the restaurant booth of their choice and then eat at any of the available tables in the shared dining hall.
What makes the Mactan Alfresco unique, however, is the fact that it has its very own Lechon Pit. Here, customers can see how their favorite lechon is prepared and cooked.
Cebu Food Crawl participants got a chance to take part in the whole lechon-grilling process at Mactan Newtown’s lechon pit.
After the session, the participants were served some of the tenants’ most delicious selections. It was a feast!
Lechon from Ayers Lechon || Tuna Panga from Oyster Bay
Taco Sampler from Meximama || Shrimp from Choobi Choobi
After the filling first stop, the participants were taken to Mactan Newtown’s newly-acquired beach property. Now called Mactan Newtown Beachfront, this local favorite was more popularly known in the past as Portofino Beach Resort.
Stop 2: Ibiza Beach Club
Location: Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu – Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City
After the sumptuous feast at Mactan Alfresco, the group went straight to Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu for some light snacks at the Ibiza Beach Club.
Movenpick’s Ibiza Beach Club looks amazingly fabulous in broad daylight. Here, while enjoying the wonderful view, the participants were served Ibiza’s best-tasting tapas and their world-renowned Swiss ice cream.
Tapas selection at the Ibiza Beach Club of Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu.
The group stayed until the early evening to catch the beautiful sunset. Then, they were off to Cebu City for a lovely dinner at the poolside area of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu.
Stop 3: El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar
Location: Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu
Marco Polo Plaza’s El Viento introduced to the participants of the Cebu Food Crawl its Sizzling Nights (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.) On these days, the restaurant serves delicious sizzling favorites like sisig, gambas, and many more!
An El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar staff preparing a sizzling treat in front of the participants.
Sizzling favorites from Marco Polo’s El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar:
Sizzling Gambas || Sizzling Beef tips
Sizzling Squid || Sizzling Sisig
Stop 4: Profood International Corporation
Location: Highway, Maguikay, Mandaue City, Cebu
Day 2 began with a fun tour at one of Mandaue City’s biggest processing plants. The whole group checked out the Mango Museum and Factory Tour of Profood International Corporation — the country’s leading producer of processed fruit products like dried mangoes, jams, and preserves.
Profood has a tourist facility that educates tourists about the company’s best-selling products. Visitors also get a chance to see how these products are prepared, processed, and packed.
Profood International Corporation’s amazing product line-up on display at the Mango museum and gallery.
Stop 5: Cafe Jasmin
Location: Panagdait, Mabolo, Cebu City
After the tiring factory tour, the whole group proceeded to a small cafe in Mabolo called Cafe Jasmin. There, Cebuano poet Kota Yamada talked with the participants of the Cebu Food Crawl about his book of poems Lost Hearts.
After the very short introduction and talk, the participants of the 2016 Cebu Food Crawl enjoyed light snacks of pasta and coffee at the art cafe.
Stop 6: Cowrie Cove
Location: Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Mactan Island, Cebu
After the quick coffee break, the group drove all the way to Mactan Island to sample the exquisite culinary offerings of Cowrie Cove at Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
Shangri-la crafted a special three-course meal especially for the participants of the Cebu Food Crawl 2016. What made the event even more special was that the participants were all asked to eat with blindfolds on. This gave them a chance to really focus on the texture, flavors, and overall taste of the food that they ate. It was a truly exciting experience.
New Zealand Lamb Rack || Foie Gras ‘Cuba Libre’
Stop 7: District on 53rd Food Hall
Location: FilInvest Cebu Cyberzone – Cebu IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
After the beautiful dining experience at the Cowrie Cove, the whole group headed to District on 53rd at the FilInvest Cebu Cyberzone at the Cebu IT Park. There, the participants got to sample local favorites (each one with an exciting twist) as well as different dishes found in different parts of the world.
Black Bun Burger || Crispy Noodles
Stop 8: Gibbs’ Hot Wings
Location: Streetscape – Maria Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City
Day 2’s last stop was the jam-packed Gibb’s Hot Wings at Streetscape in Banilad. There, the participants of the food crawl were served some of the restaurant’s best-selling house specialties.
Poh-tacos || Angel Wings
Stop 9: Rico’s Lechon Commissary
Location: Talamban, Cebu City
Day 3 of the Cebu Food Crawl began with a tour of the commissary of Rico’s Lechon – the maker of the best lechon in Cebu. The commissary produces a huge bulk of the lechon that the company distributes all over the Philippines every single day. At present, the existing facility can produce around 75 lechons per grilling session! That’s roughly around 11,000 lechons in a month!
On this day, however, the company also celebrated the opening of their spanking new commissary. The new facility can now accommodate around 125 lechon per cooking session.
Rico’s Lechon owner Rico Dionson poses in front of the participants during the opening program.
After the program, the group traveled all the way to Mactan Promenade at the airport road in Mactan for the much-awaited Rico’s Lechon feast. Rico’s Lechon at the Mactan Promenade is one of the busiest and most-visited restaurants in Cebu. In fact, a lot of visitors who enter and leave Cebu drop by the restaurant to have a taste of its famous Da Best Gyud lechon.
Sweet concoctions || Lechon Sisig
Rico’s lechon – Da Best Gyud! || Feetchon
Undoubtedly, Rico’s lechon is the best Lechon in Cebu! I’m pretty sure most Cebuanos will agree.
Stop 10: Gusto Mare
Location: Il Corso, South Road Properties
After the mindblowing lechon extravaganza in Mactan, the participants drove all the way to the South Road Properties in Cebu City to check out what Gusto Mare has to offer. Gusto Mare is one of the top Italian restaurants in Cebu City. Alongside Parilya, Gusto Mare is one of the earliest locators at Il Corso, and at the South Road Properties for that matter.
The cozy and really unique interior of Gusto Mare at the Il Corso.
Spinaci Zola Drip || Homemade pasta ravioli
Grilled Squid skewer || Salmone pizza
Stop 11: Salinas – Golden Cowrie
Location: Lahug, Cebu City
After the Italian treat, the whole group drove back to uptown Cebu to have a proper Filipino fiesta. The spread waiting for the participants was just jaw-droppingly mouth-watering.
Golden Cowrie’s signature dish – the Crispy Pata.
Other favorites available at Hukad, Golden Cowrie, and Salinas. Yum!
Stop 12: Sugbo Merkado
Location: Cebu Business Park
After a belly-popping full dinner at Golden Cowrie, the group (which had gained a couple of pounds by this time,) went straight to Cebu’s favorite weekend food night market – Sugbo Merkado. There, they were made to sample different dishes and drinks currently being sold by tenants.
Tipsy Pops || Burgers by Natty Jerk
Quesadillas || Lechon, chorizo, atbp!
Khan’s bowl rice meals || Paella from Hala Paella
Flavored drinks and gulaman || Funnel cake
The participants of this year’s food crawl all went home with a slightly enlarged belly. It was a long and pretty fun (food)-filled day.
Stop 13: Choobi Choobi
Location: Mabolo, Cebu City
The last day of the 2016 Cebu Food Crawl began at the Choobi Choobi restaurant in Mabolo. Choobi Choobi is the Cebuanos’ go-to place for fresh, great-tasting, and very affordable seafood dishes.
The whole group enjoying a feast of fresh seafoods, vegetables, and meat at Choobi Choobi Restaurant
Grilled fish || A plate of green veggies
Crispy Pata || Shrimp and mussel
The Choobi Choobi mascot posing in front of the restaurant in Mabolo, Cebu City.
Stop 14: Marriott Hotel
Location: Cebu Business Park, Cebu City
After the enjoyable dining experience at Choobi Choobi, the participants moved to the next location only a couple of minutes away. At the Marriott Hotel, the participants got to create their very own healthy shakes using any of the ingredients they could find within the facility. One of the groups was able to come up wtih this beautiful concoction.
Then, they feasted on light and healthy snacks the hotel is currently offering to clients who wish to have fun, healthy, and awesome client events at the hotel.
Stop 15: Ayala Center Cebu
Location: Cebu Business Park
The very last stop of this year’s Cebu Food Crawl was the event’s official partner – Ayala Center Cebu.
The event at the Ayala Center Cebu activity area began with a presentation of all 5 Jollibee mascots in their traditional Filipino costumes.
Then, the participants were off to a thrilling and very fun progressive food hunt all around the mall.
For starters, the group dropped by La Tegola for some flavorful foccacia served with tomatoes and pesto.
For soup, the group raced to Chikaan to have a taste of the restaurant’s famous Pochero with Meat.
For the main course, the participants visited Cebu’s favorite home-grown restaurant Casa Verde.
There, they got to taste some of the restaurant’s best-selling and best-tasting products.
The participants were also introduced to the restaurant’s truly challenging The Mighty Ton burger.
Here, Casa Verde owner Karl John Noel poses for the camera with their gigantic creation.
For dessert, it was time to check out this delicious serving of Fudge Smores at BRIQUE.
Overall, the Cebu Food Crawl 2016 was a massive success! It gave online influencers (especially those with a huge following,) a chance to get to know the different products more carefully so that the informaton they give out to their readers are correct and precise.
Huge thanks to the sponsors for making this year’s event possible. Thank you very much!