The Food Quest Part 2: Cebu

I’m a big fan of Anthony Bourdain. For me, he is one of the best travelers and writers out there. When he visited Cebu years ago and described the lechon, or roasted pig, as “The Best Pig Ever”, I immediately thought of flying to Cebu to indulge in the island’s famous delicacy. Of course, all previous plans didn’t push through. But I finally found the time last month after visiting Penang.

I arrived in Cebu with one mission: to taste the Cebu Lechon and that’s it. You may be asking, what about Magellan’s Cross? Or Plantation Bay? Well, I’ve seen them all before…when I was 15 years old and lived in an island just beside Cebu. It would have been nice to revisit all the historical places in Cebu but there’s nothing wrong if you just want to eat Cebu Lechon, right? Right. So I got my wish thanks to my friend Carmela who works in Cebu as a nurse.

My friend took me to some of the best places to taste the savory lechon. And here’s what I have to say about them:

1. Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly at Parkmall

This lechon has a nice flavor to it. It’s really delicious and juicy. But, it’s too “fatty”. Lechon is roasted pig and there’s no question that it can be fatty but this honestly gave me the “clogged arteries” feeling. After eating it, I just wanted to drink an entire bottle of red wine. But my friend told me that the “fatty experience” is normal because it’s “lechon belly”, where all the fat is of course. Nevertheless, it tasted really good. It’s a 9/10 for taste and texture. But overall score is an 8 for the “clogged arteries” experience.

Lechon Belly Cebu
2. Rico’s Lechon

I first heard about Rico’s from a Cebuana friend I met at a hostel. She was raving about it so I put it on my list. You know the saying, “always trust a local”? Well, I’m glad I did. Rico’s Lechon is by far, the best lechon I’ve ever tasted. Everything about it was exceptional –  taste, texture, even the aroma while carrying it for a good 30 minutes inside a taxi cab (ha!). Best of all, it will not give you a clogged arteries experience. So I give it a 10/10 all the way!

Rico’s MASSIVE Lechon:

cebu lechon
3. Zubuchon – Anthony Bourdain’s Lechon

Ok, I still love Anthony Bourdain. But Zubuchon as the “best pig ever”? Hmmm. I think he was probably given the best of the lot, know what I mean? Because for me, as a consumer, I thought it was pretty meeh. It was too dry and salty…in fact, too salty for my taste. I give it plus points though for a “no clogged arteries” experience. Bottomline: it’s not too good. This is based on my experience of course as a Filipino who has eaten the lechon almost all her life.



So my personal bet is on Rico’s Lechon.
But go try the rest also…you might just love them. Take it easy on the BP now!

Rico's Lechon: two thumbs up!

Rico’s Lechon: two thumbs up!

PS: This is not a sponsored post.

8 thoughts on “The Food Quest Part 2: Cebu

  1. To go to Cebu to taste test lechon varieties? Worth the trip! I’ve had CNT lechon and thought it was too salty, too. My friend tells me it’s because people in southern PH like to be generous with their spices. I’m not sure that’s true, now that given your verdict on Zubuchon. But damn. I might just fly to Cebu one of these days.

  2. Pingback: Best Chicken Rice? | Rica's Rucksack - Travel Blog

  3. I have to admit that Rico’s Lechon so far is the best lechon. Ever wonder why most of the artists and even both President of the Philippines, Joseph Estrada and Rody Duterte have tried it. Also, it was featured from KrisTV by Kris Aquino, the top endorser of the Philippines.

  4. We’ve been eating here every twice a month with my family cause they really like your lechon. My father is really a fan of your lechon and yea, he keeps on ordering your lechon for delivery if we have occasions. ♥

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