A Few of the Top Restaurants for a Romantic Evening in Cebu City, Philippines
Living in a city of a million people makes for an abundant supply of restaurants, and people who live here really seem to love to eat. I think eating is the national pastime. But coming up with a list of top restaurants for a romantic evening here in Cebu City took some time and thought. Even though we dine out (on average) of at least ten times a week, romance isn’t usually part of the equation. But sometimes it is. I’ve noticed the bill is always higher at the end of a meal involving romance.
The Waterfront, of which there are two in Cebu (Lahug and the Airport), is a number one choice for more than a meal, but the food is very good too. The hotel hires world-class chefs and serves the food in style. Filipino style… which usually means lots of service with a smile. You’ll find the luxurious lobby typically filled with foreigners sitting at their laptops or rapt in conversation. It’s an exciting environment, but not exactly romantic.
Up on the second floor, right next to the Pagcor Casino, is a little place called Sally’s Piano Bar. The woman who owns and operates this little gem is also the main attraction, Sally Rama. The food they serve comes from the same chefs who cook for the main dining area. It’s four-star. But at Sally’s, between 8 and 2, you get the romance of live music with your meal. It’s very nice. It’s world-class at a less than a world-class price, but still much more expensive than an ordinary restaurant here in the city.
We found Café Georg by mistake, while making a U-turn on Archbisop Reyes, just south of the Cebu City Country Club. It’s in a cool looking 2-story white building that is well maintained and exhibits a little style.
The menu is one sheet, both sides loaded with food choices, with a heavy laminate that could well be used for a fan, but they’ve always got the air-con cranked up in this place, so no need. For us, romance is just being together, even if it means sitting next to one another and reading a shared newspaper while waiting for the first course, which is always spinach and cheese dip with small toast. They have Lily’s favorite drink here, A& W Root Beer, which isn’t easily found in the Philippines. I usually drink San Miguel Pilsen, which is very easy to find. The total bill is always about 600 pesos (thirteen dollars U.S.). That’s about half of what the bill at the Piano Bar would have been.
There are now three Mooon Cafes within 10 kilometers of the others, while two years ago there was only the one, in Guadalupe, just past the Provincial Capitol Building. It’s an old house turned into a restaurant with lots of private areas to dine (hence, the romantic part). They have live Spanish guitar music a few nights a week and the atmosphere is faux-Mexico, but they do a good job. It’s hard to find any good Mexican food in Cebu, but Mooon has it and lots of other choices too, native Filipino and American. A full meal for two will run between 400 to 600 pesos (about ten bucks) and we’re always full, happy and romantically ‘satisfied’ when we leave.