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It’s the culmination of Cebu’s famed festival Sinulog this weekend. Here are five delicious restaurants to chow in before and/or after the massive 9-hour parade on Sunday.

1. Maya Mexican Restaurant 


The façade is imposing as it is impressive and intriguing: large wooden doors standing proud in the middle of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, dark brick walls adorned with Mexican masks—you can’t help but head in and check out Maya Mexican. You’ll soon realize your first impression is correct: Maya Mexican, one of the many restaurants under the Abaca Group, is especially noteworthy as it proudly boasts the largest selection of 100 percent pure agave tequilas in the country. As such, it serves beautiful tequila-based drinks, which are surprisingly very affordable. Pair it with nachos carnitas, a mound of corn chips, ground beef, sour cream, cheese, and all the necessary trimming, or any of its soft tacos. Crossroads, Banilad, Cebu City. +6332 2389552. Sun-Thu 5pm-11pm, Fri & Sat 5pm-2am. Photo: Maya Mexican | Facebook

2. Pig and Palm


The newly-opened, much-heralded restaurant by Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton and his Filipino wife Irha Atherton delivers on its promise. Enter the very non-descript door and you’ll be met with a very cosmopolitan, modern-contempo aesthetic: gray brick walls, a long open wooden bar that matches sleek wooden furniture. The food is just as chic: modern tapas that include amazing several types of kinilaw, chicken karaage the genius of which comes in its siracha mayo, and the salt-based beet root. It has a separate brunch menu, but whatever you do, please, please don’t forget its libations. Incredible! MSY Tower, Pescadores Road, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City. +6332 2558249. Tue-Fri 7:30am-12am, Sat-Sun 8am-12am. Bar: Tue-Thur 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-2am. Photo: Pig & Palm | Facebook 

3. Rico’s Lechon


Of course, what’s a visit to Cebu without having lechon? While Manileños are all about Zubuchon—and for good reason—but Cebuanos will point you to Rico’s, if you ask for their recommendation. It now has four locations around Cebu City, all of them becoming incredibly busy when 11am or 6pm hits, guests hurrying to get their orders of the famous lechon. The spicy lechon is great but it asks for a lot of rice—you don’t want to be wasting prime real estate on rice now, do you? So here’s a pro-tip: order a fourth of the regular lechon and a fourth of the spicy, alternate a spoonful of each for just the right amount of kick. F. Cabahug Street, Cebu City. +6332 3440119. 8am-10pm. Photo: Rico’s | Facebook

4. Rica’s Café, Henry Hotel


Rica’s Café is just as quirky as The Henry Cebu in which it is located. There’s an extra large dining table fit for, well, giants, quirky nooks accented by throw pillows in fashionable punda, and murals left and right you wouldn’t know where first to look. But calm yourself down because there’s still delicious food to be had. The Liver Bacon Chicken (P210), small skewered sticks of chicken liver wrapped in bacon, is an interesting play of rich and sweet and salty and good. While the Salpicado (P380) are beef cubes twice cooked so can you imagine how tender they get? #1 Paseo Saturnino Ma. Luisa Roas, Banilad, Cebu City. +6332 5207516. 6am-11:30pm. Photo: Rica’s Cafe | Facebook

5. Casa Verde


Uh huh. That Casa Verde joint in Megamall and/or UP Town Center that everybody’s raving about? That’s a Cebu original. It opened in 2002, in a green ancestral home down the municipality of Ramos—hence the name—and quickly became a full-scale restaurants with multiple branches across Cebu. Value for money is the name of Casa Verde’s game, so don’t be surprised if servings are ginormous. The 9-inch Big Bang Burger sounds intimidating but hold your horses: There’s The Mighty Ton, which boasts of a 12-inch bun, complete with 125 grams of bacon, and all the trimmings. 69 Lim Tian Teng St., Cebu City. +6332 2536472. Photo: Casa Verde | Facebook


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