Dumaguete Food Trip: A Gastronomical Adventure

By Dymar Credo

Prepare your taste buds as we are going to tour you to some of the world’s finest cuisines here in the “City of Gentle People” — Dumaguete City. The name Dumaguete is derived from the Visayan word “Daguit,” which means “to grab” or “to snatch.” And Dumaguete will surely capture your heart with its kind-hearted locals. 

Dumaguete City has also been dubbed as the University Town of the South because of the presence of four universities and a handful of colleges in the area. The city is best known for Silliman University, the country’s first Protestant university and the first American university in Asia. 

Apart from quality education, Dumaguete is also the gateway of the top tourist destination of the province. From its famous beaches, sandbars, waterfalls, and restaurants, the city has become one of the most popular travel destinations in Negros Oriental, providing the comforts of a home for many tourists with the delights of both international and local cuisines.  

But one thing many people might not realize is that Dumaguete’s cuisine is also as diverse as its monikers. The food scene in Dumaguete does not stop with the local dishes. The city is also home to restaurants that serve authentic international dishes. So, whether you are craving Mediterranean cuisine, American food, Italian food, or any international or Filipino dishes, just name it, and Dumaguete has several restaurants and establishments to satisfy your cravings.  

Discover good food in Dumaguete City. Below, we have listed the best restaurants and cafés to dine and eat next time you visit Dumaguete.

Best Cafés and Restaurants in Dumaguete

Sans Rival: Cakes and Pastries (Dumaguete City)

Since 1977 Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries already capture the heart of Dumagueteños and tourists alike who stop by the city before visiting the top tourist destination in the province. This unmatched coffee shop lives up to its moniker as the greatest pasalubong hub in Dumaguete, thanks to its delicious specialties Sans rival and Silvanas. Sans Rival began its humble beginnings as a little coffee shop on the corner lot of the streets of Rizal Boulevard, serving mainly cakes and pastries. 

Apart from their delectable sweets, Sans Rival had also opened a new restaurant, San Rival Bistro, where they serve a broad range of meals ranging from Filipino cuisine to international-inspired dishes. 

Through the years, Sans Rival has become a staple restaurant for everyone because of its quality pastries and dishes in the city. The irresistible pasalubong (small treat) Silvanas is just one of the many heart-warming desserts that you don’t want to miss if you are in Dumaguete. 

Here are some of the best takeaway dishes that this historical restaurant has to offer including pasta dishes that you don’t want to miss:

Photo by Sans Rival Dumaguete
Photo by Sans Rival Bistro Dumaguete

Grilled Spare Ribs

Photo by Sans Rival Bistro Dumaguete

Salmon in Garlic-Mornay Sauce

Photo by Sans Rival Bistro Dumaguete

Hayahay Treehouse Bar and Viewdeck Restobar

Photo by Carlo Villarica of zerothreetwo.com

Hayahay means “to stay at ease” or to relax; so, this local restaurant not just offers a variety of good Filipino and international dishes but also serves as the best place to eat dinner and hang out during nighttime. Before the pandemic, Hayahay boosted up the nightlife of Dumaguete with a live music band performance of some local artists in the city.  

Located along Flores Avenue, Brgy. Piapi, Dumaguete City, this Resto has a perfect view of the Tañon Strait and the island of Cebu and Siquijor at the background. Despite the countless number of restaurants in the area, locals and tourists still prefer the distinct ambiance that Hayahay offers. Here are some of the best dishes to try if you are in Hayahay Treehouse and Viewdeck Restobar. Hayahay is a seafood restaurant that you would not want to miss when visiting Dumaguete City.

Address: Flores Ave Piapi, Escano Beach, Dumaguete City, 6200, Philippines 

California Roll

Photo by Hayahay Tree house and View Deck Restobar

Photo by Hayahay Tree house and View Deck Restobar

Gourmet Pizza

Photo by Hayahay Tree house and View Deck Restobar

Fresh Seafoods

Photo by Hayahay Tree house and View Deck Restobar

Casablanca Restaurant

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Craving for authentic European and Mediterranean food? Casablanca Restaurant might be the place for you to check out. Located along the streets of Rizal Boulevard, this local restaurant offers the best fine dining setup with a perfect view of the shoreline of Dumaguete.  

Casablanca opened its doors here in Dumaguete way back in 2004 with the leadership of Chef Gunther Sanin, who envisioned providing a new dining experience to the residence of Dumaguete and its neighboring municipalities. Ever since that day, Casablanca certainly raised the bar in terms of quality in the food business in Dumaguete. 

Here are some of the best dishes that you should not miss when you dine in Casablanca Restaurant.

Address:Rizal Boulevard, Corner Noblefranca Street, Dumaguete City 

Steak

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Vienna Schnitzel

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Pork Goulash with homemade Spätzle

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Steak Menu

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Hunters Platter

Photo by Casablanca Dumaguete

Esturya Tapas and Bar

Photo by Esturya Tapas and Bar

Photo by Esturya Tapas and Bar

Having a fun time with family and friends while sharing heart-warming dishes is one of the favorite activities we do as Filipinos. Likewise, this Italian restaurant offers a laid-back ambiance and serves authentic Italian dishes that are perfect for you and your family. Located along Hibbard Avenue, this local resto takes pride in providing the best Italian dishes in the city.   

“Esturya” is a local dialect word that means “to talk” or “to have a conversation with someone” – so if ever you got to visit this place, having a quality talk with someone will be a worthwhile experience while savoring their sumptuous dishes.  

Aside from their famous Truffle Pizza and Pasta, which they proudly made it from scratch, these are some of the best dishes Esturya Tapas & Bar has to offer:

Truffle Pizza

Photo by Esturya Tapas and Bar

Spaghetti

Photo by Esturya Tapas and Bar

Photo by Esturya Tapas and Bar

Photo by Esturya Tapas and Bar

Gabby’s Bistro

Photo by Gabby’s Bistro

Something new and something on the trend is what you are looking for. Gabby’s might be the place for you to check out. 

Gabby’s has two branches located along the Rizal Boulevard and E Rovera Dr., Bantayan, Dumaguete City.  

Famous for their all-day breakfast menu, Gabby’s Bistro also offers Airbnb accommodation for tourists who need to stay during the night before catching their early errands going to the Manjuyod Sandbar, Apo Island or Siquijor.   

Gabby’s Bistro offers a wide selection of affordable price food and desserts that will surely satisfy your hunger. Here are some of the best foods you don’t want to miss when in Gabby’s Bistro.

Photo by Gabby’s Dumaguete

RibsBarbie

Photo by Gabby’s Dumaguete

Mango Crepe

Photo by Gabby’s Dumaguete

Beef Gravy

Photo by Gabby’s Dumaguete

Photo by Gabby’s Dumaguete

Rotti Boss Curry House

Photo from palmislander.com

Photo from tripadvisor.com

Photo from Rotti Boss Curry house Facebook page

Let us take a journey and savor the finest cuisines of the Land of Spice (India) here in Dumaguete. Rotti Boss Curry House provides authentic Indian-Malaysian cuisine that will certainly give you just the most sumptuous dishes at a reasonable price.  

Bak and Zahra, a lovely Indian couple, have put their heart and soul into their curry business. They started a small curry business near Quezon Park in downtown Dumaguete and set high standards from the start. Their well-trained chefs also provide a delicious vegetarian-friendly menu ranging from their famous curry to the biryani.  

When the little curry shop became too busy, they established a second curry establishment along Aldecoa Drive near Silliman University, which is considerably larger than the original. The menu of the Curry House near Silliman differs from that of the original Roti Boss, yet it is just as delicious, if not better. Great curries and samosas, all packed with great flavor and cooked to perfection, entice you to order everything on the menu and leave the restaurant. 

Ichiraku Japanese Authentic Noodle Restaurant

In search of authentic yet affordable ramen in the city? Ichiraku is probably the place to be. The local ramen restaurant is operated by a Japanese owner, so you can guarantee only the best and authentic taste of traditional ramen. Ramen isn’t the only thing on the menu here. They also serve side dishes like Gyoza dumplings, Chashu, Onigiri (Japanese Rice ball), and Onsen Tamago egg.   

This local ramen shop not only serves high-quality and authentic ramen, but they also provide excellent customer service and allow guests to try on traditional Japanese clothes for a truly authentic Japanese ramen experience. 

Here some of the best Ramen that Ichiraku has to offer:  

Tantanmen 

Photo courtesy by Ichiraku Authentic Japanese Noodle Restaurant

Gyokai Tonkotsu

Photo courtesy by Ichiraku Authentic Japanese Noodle Restaurant

Kuro Tonkotsu

Photo courtesy by Ichiraku Authentic Japanese Noodle Restaurant

Gyoza

Photo courtesy by Ichiraku Authentic Japanese Noodle Restaurant

Experience the best ramen in the city. Ichiraku has two branches in Dumaguete. The first one is located at Mabini, Corner Luke Wright St., Brgy. Poblacion II and its second branch are near the Silliman University Medical Center. 

As years go by, Dumaguete has proven that the city is more than just its rich culture, quality education, and tourist destinations. Dumaguete has undoubtedly established itself as a gastronomic destination in the province. The city’s food scene has become much more interesting as a result of the city’s plethora of restaurants. The restaurants listed above are only a handful of the many options available in the city. 

Honorable Mentions: Other restaurants and cafés worth checking out:

  1. Moon Café – 7 Silliman Avenue, Dumaguete, 6200 Negros Oriental, Philippines
  2. Qyosko Espresso Bar & Café -Sta. Rosa Street Right in front of OK Pensionne Hotel | Right beside HVL Trading, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6200 Philippines
  3. Soban Korean Restaurant – North Road, Daro fronting NOPH, at the back of sacred heart pharmacy, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6200 Philippines
  4. Mifune Japanese Restaurant – Santa Catalina Street Brgy. 4, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6200 Philippines
  5. Café Racer–  Ej Blanco Drive Corner Flores Avenue, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6200 Philippines

Want to live close to all these amazing restaurants and top tourist destinations in Dumaguete?

Camella Negros Oriental might be a place for you to check out. Camella Negros Oriental is a 15-hectare master-planned community development located along the Diversion Rd., Brgy. Cantil-E, Dumaguete City, approximately 15 minutes away from the city proper, providing its homeowners and future home investors the comfort of urban living without comprising the essence of a secure, peaceful, and lush community. Camella Negros Oriental offers a diverse range of two-story house and lot units, ranging from 2 to 5-bedroom properties. 

Check out our house and lot for sale in Dumaguete and other properties for sale.

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