The 4 Best Places To Eat In Dumaguete City

May 13, 2017

In this post, we are taking you around Dumaguete City to find the best places to eat.

Dumaguete City is a beautiful seaside town that takes pride in its diverse and rich cultural heritage as well as unforgettable flavors. This Dumaguete City food guide is an attempt to document some of the best places to eat and the amazing food items to try in this famous tourist destination. 

Breakfast in a painitan in Dumaguete City
Breakfast in a painitan

The 4 Best Places To Eat In Dumaguete City

    Dumaguete City's food and culture

    The best way to immerse oneself in a particular region's culture is to eat like a local. And that's exactly what we did during our recent trip to Dumaguete City. 

    Its food scene offers a good mix of traditional and modern cuisine, catering to the myriad tourists that flock to the city. Being a waterfront settlement, expect seafood to be abundant, readily available, and affordable at Dumaguete.

    1. Have breakfast in a painitan

    First off, begin your day with a filling breakfast in one of the painitans at the Dumaguete Public Market. We chose Sison's Painitan at the farthest end of a row of stalls. 

    Sison's painitan in Dumaguete City
    Sison's painitan

    A painitan is a place where workers and just about anybody else can have something "mainit" or warm to fill their bellies and energize their bodies in anticipation of a long day of work.

    The food here is very basic -- a shot of thick native chocolate drink, a cup of brewed coffee with condensed milk, a scoop of puto (sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and a little salt), a piece or two of kabog (similar to suman or steamed cassava roll wrapped in banana leaf) and maybe bread with either margarine or peanut butter.

    A word of caution though, this is not for the posh or luxe traveler but it's probably the most immersive gastronomical experience that one could get in Dumaguete City.

    Don't worry though, if this is not your thing, because there are many other restaurants in Dumaguete that serve good breakfast food. Head over to Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries, Gabby's Bistro, The Rollin' Pin, Jo's Chicken Inato, Hayahay Restaurant for a variety of Filipino and continental breakfast meals.

    2. Enjoy affordable seafood in Lantaw Native Restaurant

    When we arrived from our Manjuyod trip, we asked the receptionist at Golden Gate Suites for a recommendation on where to get the best and most affordable seafood meals in Dumaguete. 

    Lantaw Seafood Restaurant in Dumaguete City
    Lantaw Seafood Restaurant

    Without a second thought, she said we should try Lantaw Native Restaurant, about 15 minutes away from downtown Dumaguete via tricycle.

    One thing striking about Lantaw (“to foresee” in English) is its interiors embellished with Filipino decorations. 

    Seafood feast at Lantaw Seafood Restaurant
    Seafood feast

    The entire ceiling is covered with bilao (native woven tray) while the main counter featured the entire forepart of a jeepney. It's a big, high-ceilinged restaurant that is perfect for casual dining or for those having family events.

    Baked oysters at Lantaw Seafood Restaurant
    Baked oysters

    We ordered a feast -- grilled tanigue, cheesy baked oysters, garlic buttered prawns, and kangkong adobo. Dessert, meanwhile, is moist and warm bibingka ala mode. We have nothing but praise for these amazing dishes.

    Quality, taste, freshness, and price were all noteworthy. Every visitor in Dumaguete should put Lantaw Native Restaurant in their itinerary.

    3. Have coffee and dessert at Sans Rival Cafe & Restaurant

    After a savory meal, a good dessert should always be in order. For your sweet fix, have a slice of sans rival or a piece or two of silvanas at Sans Rival Cafe & Restaurant.

    Dessert at Sans Rival Cafe & Restaurant in Dumaguete City
    Dessert at Sans Rival

    Sans Rival Cafe & Restaurant is perhaps one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Pair it with a cup of coffee and you're good to go.

    4. Go on an evening stroll in Rizal Boulevard and eat tempura

    The night scene at Dumaguete is not as bustling as, say Boracay, save for a few bars that feature live acoustic music. In the evening though, Rizal Boulevard comes alive with stalls selling Dumaguete's most famous street food -- tempura and seafood roll.

    Tempura and seafood roll in Rizal Boulevard
    Tempura and seafood roll

    Tempura is not the Japanese dish that we are all familiar with. It's more similar to kikiam, both in taste and form. The seafood roll, meanwhile, is a tasty morsel made of fish and vegetables. 

    Tempura is Php4/piece while seafood roll is Php7/piece. Sauces are a choice of sweet, sweet-spicy, and spicy vinegar. There are tables set up at each stall where patrons can comfortably eat. Drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are likewise sold.


    These are just a handful of restaurants to check out in Dumaguete. There are many more places to explore in the city, just ask around especially tricycle drivers who never run out of good recommendations. Just always remember to eat like a local to best experience the culture and uniqueness of the place you are visiting.

    Best places to eat in Dumaguete City

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    1. This all looks absolutely delicious! Where is Dumaguete City? I've never heard of it before.

      1. This is in downtown Dumaguete. Most of these are just a few minutes away from the city center.

    2. All of that food looks deliicous. I'm a pescatarian so those oysters and shrimp look absolutely amazing.!

    3. You tasted the food of all kinds! I completely agree on your point to eat like locals to know the city better. Really great variety of food but I would like to have that chocolate drink!

    4. You are right the local food is very simple but that is not a bad thing. I do like the sound of the Buka shake and the bibingka a la mode looks delicious as well :)

    5. I loved the first place you mentioned (Sison's painitan) for a very basic breakfast. I like to experience life as a local and try to avoid the tourist trap when i'm travelling to different countries and this place speaks of local eateries.

    6. I LOVE all your food pics! The food looks so fresh and delicious

    7. OMG the food looks incredible!!!

    8. Good post, thanks for showing the underrated eating spots in dumaguete along with the already famous restaurants. Try visiting our website You can book tours there and find restaurants, see listings on houses for sale. It's cheaper and easier for the people to get around and know the town. Thanks for sharing!!

    9. Hyun Jang Nim8 May 2022 at 03:25

      i like your list for best places to eat in dumaguete city. they are all a must try to learn more about this place and its culture. i want to try the evening stroll in Rizal Boulevard, i heard a lot about this place and i want to explore it and eat this tempura which is very affordable.

    10. Rowena callo Villareno8 May 2022 at 03:26

      Ang Dami na pwedeng puntahan.Meron din masarap kainan.Must visit na talaga ang Dumaguete City.Gusto ko ma try makakain sa Lantaw Native Restaurant at matikman ang Baked oysters nila😊. Affordable price and sympre favorite ko yung seafood 😊.

    11. カマネーロ アップルジョイ8 May 2022 at 03:27

      Grabe wow ang dami din pa lang makakainan na msasarap sa dumaguete na tlga nman pwedeng balik balikan ung ang sasarap . Tapos marami pang lugar na pwede nating ma explore dun ❤️😍(Apple Joy Camañero)

    12. chriss tabamo8 May 2022 at 03:27

      Basta talaga dumaguete asahan natin magaganda talaga ang lugar dun at masasarap pa ang pagkain nila.. Natatakam naman ako sa mga pagkain na nakikita ko 😍😋

    13. This is in downtown Dumaguete City. Most of these are just a few minutes away from the city center.

    14. Thank you! Yes, the seafood at Dumaguete City was fresh.

    15. Yes, that's what I loved most in our trip to Dumaguete City -- the amazing food.

    16. You are right, all the food that we tried at Dumaguete City were fresh and delicious.