Dumaguete City – This is not just hyperbole! Dumaguete, Philippines has more restaurants per person than you would think profitable. There is fierce competition between cafés, bistros and various other dining establishments. The per-person price of dining in Dumaguete starts at 100 pesos and average Dumaguetanos often go out to eat for less than 500 pesos per couple. You will find great value that fits your budget when experiencing the variations of food in Dumaguete City.
Dumaguete is a multicultural city. Restaurants cater to Chinese, Japanese, Arab, European, American, Korean and many other cuisines. Mexican food seems to be a popular theme, even though few Mexicans are found in Dumaguete. Pizza and Italian food are other cross-cultural favorites.
The list does not exclude local Filipino food. Residents of Dumaguete are huge fans of every new restaurant that opens. One popular restaurant opened 2 months ago and there are still people waiting for tables. Local food businesses can be charming BBQ eateries or 4 star dining destinations, or anything in between. Soups like sinigang hipon are popular. Other favorites are fish, chicken, pork, and goat entrées. All of these must be served with rice, of course.
Restaurants often appear in clusters in Dumaguete. To the south end of the city you can find an array of dining establishments that cater to the western expat tastes. Along the boulevard are restaurants, bars and coffee shops that are a melting pot of tastes with something to please everyone. There are other collections of eateries in different parts of the city so some searching is required. It is always rewarding to discover a new gem that just opened on an out-of-the-way street.
Alfresco, or open air dining, is the most popular form of restaurant in Dumaguete. More formal, air-conditioned locations are available for those hot, dusty or rainy days. Fast food franchises abound, including the unusual sight of 2 McDonalds outlets just 2 blocks apart. Boutique style coffee and tea shops are popular with the university crowd. Dumaguete lacks a 5 star dining experience but compensates with the large number of other choices.
No discussion of restaurants would be complete without mentioning prices. Entrées at most popular locations range from 150 to 250 pesos. Soft drinks and beer will often be priced between 40 and 60 pesos. Dessert will add another 100 pesos to the bill. Thus a man on a budget can treat his date to an evening out for as little as 400 pesos. That includes an entrée with one drink each. Of course his date may have other plans so it is wise to keep a 1,000 peso bill in one’s pocket.
Your dining experience in Dumaguete is not complete with a visit to just one restaurant. It is feasible to go out to eat every night for a month without patronizing the same establishment twice. Feel free to give it a try.