Dumaguete is a city, in Negros Oriental, that offers its visitors many choices for their food adventure. Restaurants in Dumaguete are simply simple and relaxing but excellent in food flavors they served. They also had other exciting eating places that will tickle your taste buds, making you come back for more.
Here are the 9 places to eat in Dumaguete that I personally suggest that you go and try, once you are in this city.
1. Sans Rival Bistro
Sans Rival Bistro is located along Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City, facing the ocean. They offer a Sunday Breakfast Buffet, from 7 am-10:30 am, the fee is P285, about $5.70.
Regular menu resumes afterward. The restaurant regularly opened at 10 am-11 pm and closing is extended at 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
On a Sunday morning, you can treat yourself with your family on Sans Rival Bistro’s breakfast buffet.
Upon entering, the first to lay your eyes on is their sliced, small pieces of bread that are ready to be toast whenever you want. An oven toaster is near, so you can pop up and toast the bread.
Options of butter and jams are for you to spread. They also have small plain cakes in small sizes with sprinkled sugar on top.
Next is the salted egg which is not too salty, just exact to be blend with onions and tomatoes.
Two kinds of rice are present, the steamed and the fried. You can partner your rice with baked beans, fried danggit and longanisa.
I had asked for a vinegar dip for their danggit and longanisa. But it seems that they do not usually use vinegar as a dip for this kind of dish.
For I made another try asking the servers for the dip but they said they had requested it in the kitchen. Their danggit is not salty, it is not so thin, yet crispy, uh, there’s the vinegar, and very well blend with the vinegar.
Pork and Beans Memory
Baked beans brought back memories of my childhood when I did, frequently, open a can of pork and beans. That’s exactly how these baked beans taste. Though there is no excitement of finding the single small pork within the beans.
Their chicken congee is very tasteful, with the additional toppings of chopped spring onion, toasted garlic, sliced boiled egg and sliced pepper. You can squeeze with their thinly sliced kalamansi.
After longganisa had been consumed, it was replaced by Arroz la Cubana, somewhat like that. It is a little salty and its partner, the fried banana, is absent.
The dessert table consists of fresh fruit slices, cereals and the very light and sweet sliced custard cake. This is a perfect combination for dessert on this breakfast.
But I think, I will prefer to start over again, why not? I still had space for another round. And I can request my choice of how my egg is done on their Egg Station.
Starting my vacation and filling up and refilling more is such a great beginning.
Adding to the buffet is their unlimited coffee and juices refill. Not only coffee, but there are also several tea choices. And there are two kinds of juices: the assorted fruit slices soak in juice and the pineapple juice.
Sans Rival Bistro is highly recommended. It is a simple buffet yet filling, giving a boost to your energy for the whole week ahead of vacation.
2. Cafe Filomena of Bethel Guest House Dumaguete
Cafe Filomena is the restaurant located on the ground floor of Bethel Guest House, located along Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City. This dining place seems so much busy. Let’s see what we have here.
They have many choices for rice meals. Fish in sweet and sour sauce, afritada and pork with sauce are some viands that they offer. Various salads were already prepared in serving portions displayed on their chiller. A section of the counter has siopao and pasalubong for take-out. An upright chiller displays assorted cakes.
Now you had greater choices to decide on. But with all these choices, one stands out, and it is only shown on a small poster ad. That is Halo-halo, almost every table ordered for it. And we do, too.
Halo-Halo, our choice
Halo-halo is not expensive, only P65, about $1.3, for special order. It is topped with a scoop of ice cream and there are lots of filling. You will be entertained with colors, texture and sweetness.
Basically, the halo-halo is sweet enough, coming from the sweetened ingredients. But when it is served, a sachet of sugar is included, placed on the same saucer where your halo-halo bowl stand.
This sugar sachet can be opened and pour on the content of your halo-halo. It only lets the customers decide how much sweetness they want their halo-halo to be.
I only sprinkled a little from the sachet. The sweetness of their halo-halo is enough for me. I just made a little stirring and started to munch on this.
Their shaved ice melted easily, leaving all the fillings to be devoured in.
Now, you will feel full, enough energy to walk the length of the boulevard. Walk leisurely to feel the breeze, that you will appreciate more after the cold effect of halo-halo on your body.
And I had a second chance on Cafe Filomena…
Getting up early at 4 am, to catch a glimpse of sunrise on Rizal Boulevard and taking a walk or make it brisk, would definitely make you hungry.
So, the best solution to this problem is to find a pedestrian lane not far on you, to be in Bethel Hotel with its Cafe Filomena on its ground floor. And you will find the best breakfast with so many choices to satisfy the hunger you are feeling.
There, of course, the eggs: boiled, soft boiled, sunny-side-up or scrambled. Sausages or longanisa are not in just one kind but in assorted flavors. Then, the tocino, tapa, corned beef, fried boneless bangus and some cooked vegetables are also available.
They also had dim sum, siopao, budbud kabog and other native delicacies. And pastries like buco pie and empanada. Fruits like banana and oranges are just readied for pick-up. There are so many choices.
A cup of plain rice costs P12, about $0.24, while shanghai rice is P40, about $0.80. Fried bangus for P75, about $1.50, egg ranges from P30-P40, about $0.60-0.80, coffee is P35, about $0.70, and buco pie is P25, about $0.50.
You do not need to worry about breakfast, for Cafe Filomena is open early at 5:30 am.
3. Tempurahan in Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete
Tempurahan is a place along the boulevard, that only sprouts at near nightfall.
Yes, Tempurahan’s small tables and chairs on the side of the boulevard would only be allowed to be arranged just before its scheduled opening. It is because it is along the side of a busy road.
At exactly, 5:30 pm nearly nightfall, kiddie chairs and tables just like on kiddie parties’, were lined up, squeezing each other to accommodate patrons.
Ambulant vendors bordering one side – the side where vehicles pass-thru, and there they fry fish fillets, which is somewhat tasted like kikiam. But the vendor told us that it is a kind of fish Bato. Yes, it is a fish fillet.
Don’t be mistaken, just like us, thinking that shrimp is what their tempura on their Tempurahan. It is a fish fillet coated with their signature coat and deep-fried to its perfection.
Not the Tempurahan we know
We were a little bit disappointed following the discovery of the tempura as not the shrimp-coated tempura batter. What we found out was fish fillet, ready to be deep-fried.
And, since we made a long walk just to come here, we decided to taste their product. And we were not sorry for our decision, for we had tasted a very light yet flavorful deep-fried fish with a lightly crispy coat.
Three sauces are in each of their containers, so you can pour them on your tempura fry. You will be served by a saucer and a bbq stick.
Choose your tempura fry by pricking the bbq stick onto it and transfer it to your saucer. Get the sauce and start pouring it on top of the tempura fish.
You will feel wonderful upon biting the crispy tempura, with a perfect combination of the dip, be it spicy or sweet.
We asked for 6 orders. An order consists of 5 pieces of fish fillet for P20, about $0.40, almost P4 each. Length is about 4 inches and as thick as an adult finger.
We started to eat and ate the whole batch. We were very happy that we tried this one, very worth of our money.
While eating, we were serenaded by a singer with his guitar, singing softly at the side of our table. He made sure that we know that he intended to sing for us.
Then, we gave him a tip in which he gratefully accepted and left while saying his gratitude.
Balut and Penoy
We also had balut and penoy, they also sell these here in Tempurahan. The balut was so fresh and soft, not like a hard-boiled texture of an egg. It was on the soft-boiled side.
The penoy was also soft yet not saucy. Sprinkle both balut and penoy with salt and pour a little vinegar before digging on it. Sip with your ice-cold soft drink, oh, what a night!
We were so satisfied with the minimum budget. Try it. Make your tummy happy and experienced a night in Rizal Boulevard a real one.
There were also vendors of sliced mangoes and peanuts. You can try them, too.
4. Budbud Kabog in Painitan at Dumaguete Public Market
You can eat your breakfast in Painitan with rice cakes made from the town of Tanjay, more than 50 km from Dumaguete City.
I called them suman, they call theirs as Budbud Kabog . And they had many varieties.
They offer Budbud Kabog made of millets which is a special kind of grain.
The first one is a combination of white glutinous rice and chocolate-flavored rice, giving two-colored budbud. Price is P12 for a pair, about $0.24.
There is also white and plain budbod. Next is the most expensive, P30 for a pair, about $0.60. Here, they use the expensive millet grain to bring distinct flavor on this budbud kabog.
All of these three kinds need not be dipped in sugar, for they had the exact sweetness.
You can order the best to pair with this budbud kabog: their very thick chocolate drink forP15, about $0.30.
Painitan had also this puto maya. It is like budbud, and is made with sticky rice but it is not readily wrapped in banana leaves. These puto maya rice cakes were still on where they had been cooked. Then, they were measured with about ¼-cup container and scooped on a banana leaf.
The banana leaf would then be folded into a cone shape. Two servings for one order costs P10 for this puto maya. This one, I prefer to dip in a little bit of sugar, because it seemed tasteless.
If you try each kind, you will definitely have a very full breakfast tummy. The feeling is so high with all the carbs you put in and full of enthusiasm for a great morning.
Along this side of the market, you could still find other varieties of rice cake. Bibingka, kamoteng kahoy, and kutsinta, to name a few of these rice cakes. Buy and take them home, to taste more and feel good.
5. Jo’s Chicken Inato in Dumaguete
If Bacolod has their famous Chicken Inasal, here in Dumaguete, they have their Chicken Inato. This is the top seller of Jo’s Chicken Inato. The taste is almost the same, both grilled on its perfection, giving a juicy chicken.
The only difference I observed is the chili oil sauce. There is not a single bottle of chili oil present on the tables here on Jo’s Chicken Inato.
But, nevertheless, the chicken inato is perfect. The condiments are just additional to get a different taste but the chicken inato itself is superb.
You can check more of Jo’s Chicken Inato in my other article. This one is Jo’s Chicken Inato by the Sea. The branch is still in Negros Oriental, on the seaside.
6. Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries only from Dumaguete City
The famous silvanas of Dumaguete City are only made by this cake and pastries shop. They have dine-in and take-out counters.
Take-outs are usually filled with a long line of customers. But, no worry, the service is fast. You can just wait for your turn without feeling bored.
For take-out, sansrival is sold in loaf at P385, about $7.7. Silvanas in butter flavor is at P165, about $3.30, in a pack of 10 pieces. Silvanas chocolate is P195, about $3.90.
Even if you had already dined-in here, you cannot resist to take-out these irresistible pastries. You would definitely feel sorry for not taking it home, at least, one.
The sansrival is so luscious because of the butter icing that covered the layered wafer. A spoonful bite size is not enough.
The first bite would definitely bring your eyes to close, lingering on the taste before melting it on your tongue, then savoring it more before swallowing it down. Indulge until all your senses are satisfied with the sansrival.
Silvanas is said to be the smaller version of sansrival. Yes, it is true, yet it is lighter on a load of icing. Each wafer has enough butter icing coated with crumbs.
The small size pastries are frozen, that you can pick up with your fingers. It is lighter, but you would consume more, without realizing that you almost finished a pack, 10 pieces on a pack, with a very happy feeling.
7. Hayahay Restaurant
Dinner time overlooking the low tide beyond Rizal Boulevard is a great decision. It is relaxing, smelling the shell fishy smell of the water while observing the occurrence of lightning in the night sky.
Even the airplane flights entertained me. Though there is no sunset, the ocean is enough entertainment for me. Relaxing in Hayahay Restaurant is a real hayahay, for the word means chill or relax.
Food orders consist of their specialty, the Dumaguete Express. We also have crispy pata, grilled marlin, fish sinigang, halaan soup and crispy shrimps. Each one has a distinct flavor, we are enjoying every bite.
For a group of six and with an addition of five cups of rice, an average of P300 for each person is a smart expense for this dinner.
8. Lantaw Native Restaurant in Dumaguete City
Lantaw means “tanaw” in Tagalog and “view” in English. They had named it Lantaw because you can view the ocean from their restaurant. But not only that, you can see both the islands of Cebu and Siquijor. They really proved how their name really meant.
Actually, Lantaw Restaurant is located after the stretch of Rizal Boulevard, in Flores Avenue and the ocean is just across the dining place. This is the farthest restaurant I had tried after the long stretch of Rizal Boulevard from the Bell Tower, near where our hotel is.
Even though far, going to Lantaw is easy, you just call a tricycle which is very visible in the city because tricycles are almost around. Tell the tricycle driver to bring you to Lantaw, and that’s it.
Lantaw is a huge restaurant. They have their main dining area and a function area inside, both with air-condition units.
If you want to smell the sea and feel the warmth of the sun, they have outside dining with tables and chairs suited for customers who choose that kind of ambiance.
At the backside, they had a big projector. This is an open-air part that you can also eat and enjoy music with your beer and spirited drinks.
Our ordered food consists of a seafood platter, grilled tuna belly, grilled squid, shrimp extravaganza, pancit canton, tinolang halaan and plain rice platter.
The seafood platter consists of calamares, crispy shrimp placed on top of crispy noodles, 5 pieces baked scallops, grilled tuna belly and kinilaw na fish tanigue. Each and every kind of seafood in this platter is incredibly fresh and sumptuous.
We even doubted if the noodles are raw or fried. But as the food server had told us, that it is fried, we smiled for it was perfectly done. The cost of this platter is P479, about $9.58.
The baked scallops had slight saltiness naturally given by the flavor of the scallop, but it is balanced by the cheesy mixture added and placed on its top.
Calamares and crispy shrimps had their right to be called crispy.
The kilawin is great. Though I prefer a little bit spicy, you can ask for a chilli pepper to adjust the taste. But the taste is creamy, though, I think there is no cream on it. And milky, yet, I assume there is no milk in it.
Kilawin is a specialty of the place. It is a mixture of vinegar, pepper, salt and other special ingredients, mixed with fresh, cubed, sliced of tanigue fish.
What I described as milky and creamy is when I bite the fish, then chew on it and continue chewing its juiciness. Yes, that’s it. The creaminess I tasted is the effect of the juiciness of the fish. That is the effect of a fresh fish served to you as kinilaw.
The tinolang halaan is a clear soup, a very tasty, well-balanced combination of flavours with the shellfish halaan. It is so great to sip a soup that is steaming hot and, eventually, refresh your senses. The cost is P185, at about $3.70.
The shrimp extravaganza served in a big plate with enough sized shrimps is superb. It is steamed and dripped with a garlicky sauce that allows you to lick the shrimp first before peeling it. Then you have to soak it to its sauce, be sure to stick some garlic bits on it.
Bring it to your mouth and taste the explosion of the flavors. So great, even the corn on a cob as sidings was eaten by me, sinking it to my already filled stomach. Not expensive, only P290, about $5.80.
Grilled squid had been placed to the next level. The tenderness of the squid lying on its soy sauce mixture that had been mellowed by enough sweetness, had given your taste buds a pleasurable moment.
A slice of this grilled squid and a heaping spoon of steamed rice… it’s a wow! And with a low price of only P205, about $4.10.
All the foods served had made the seafood elegantly represent their line as a superior kind of course. If seafood will only be prepared like this, surely, even the pickiest child will munch each spoonful.
Thank you, Lantaw, for making us experienced this great food adventure.
And dessert? Of course, halo-halo in a coconut shell, what else can I asked for?
9. Pasta King Dumaguete
Pasta King is a very cozy place, giving comfort to us who are very tired from the flight from Manila. If you are tired, sleepy and do not want to trouble yourself about dinner, just drop here in Pasta King.
It is such a quiet place to be left alone with your group of friends.
We ordered their Quattro Formaggi Pizza, a 10-inch wood oven pizza for P415, about $8.3. Even you are so sleepy, you will still recognize how cheesy the pizza is. What a wonderful dinner.
We also asked for Hawaiian pizza, the cost for P299, about $5.98. That’s it. As simple and as tasteful of these pizzas, we long for a well-rested night.
One of Tonight Special’s Menu is German meatball in creamy mushroom served with mashed potatoes. The Casablanca Restaurant boasts its international chefs that guaranteed quality dishes.
And with my choice, I could say that they do have the expertise. The meal satisfied my taste buds and growling tummy.
Casablanca is located in Rizal Boulevard facing the ocean. They served the freshest seafood. Their international chefs cooked only with the finest ingredients.
Casablanca is known for the visits of Presidents, movie stars and other known personalities when they happen to visit Dumaguete.
So, if you are looking for fine dining, one must drop by her e in Casablanca.
11. Honeycomb Restaurant
Honeycomb Restaurant is best for nightcrawlers who wanted to unwind. Indeed, relaxing with a bottle of beer is a must. But relaxing with a bottle and with a live music band is a jackpot.
Lucky us, we have seen this bar. It made the night lively.