Celebrating two years this year, Sugbo Mercado has proven to be a hot destination for a dining experience. By now, who doesn’t know about it? With dozens of food stalls, Sugbo Mercado offers a wide array of Filipino dishes along with foreign cuisines. It’s the super sampler of the Cebuano food scene. Many of the items in your must-try-food-in-cebu can be easily ticked off in this place in one night. At the same time, it’s a place where one’s palette can travel around the world.
There’s all sorts of crazy good stuff here, with something new every now and then – something I think is tailored well for the Cebuano market.
WHEN IN SUGBO MERCADO
Some interesting things to try that I personally recommend:
- Crazy Curly – unicorn freakshake
I’m not one to try instagrammable food items as they don’t tend to focus on taste, just looks, but I took a chance on this and I wasn’t disappointed! While I still can’t stomach all the candy on top, I thoroughly enjoyed the ube taro shake made with perfect amount of sweet, paired with a pretty good plain donut.
- Hog and bull – beef brisket and pulled pork
Always my go-to choice when in Sugbo Mercado for dinner. Their beef brisket is so flavorful and so tender it melts in your mouth. They also have pulled pork which is beautifully cooked as well but I’m not a fan of the sweet tomato sauce they serve it with. So if you’re like me, ask them not to include it when you order one! Both dishes are so worth your money. Get the butt rub to get both the pulled pork and beef brisket!
- Chimney Alchemy – chimney cake
There are times where you instantly like something and there are also times where you only slowly realize after a few minutes how mind-blowingly good something is. This was the case of my encounter with the chimney cakes. As soon as I got them, I didn’t realize how fast I was eating them and then all of a sudden I paused. It was such a slow realization of how perfectly cooked these cakes were — warm with a little crisp on the outside and topped with ice cream or eat it with spreads inside (your choice). It almost made me cry because I found a new dessert I would stuff my face with, mixed with emotions of watching my weight! But in life, some things are worth the sacrifice. Therefore, I will eat more chimney cakes.
- Saigon Oi – pho
With the line of meat and grilled/fried food around Sugbo Mercado, it’s a relief to find an option that offers you something to warm you up. The broth is so bold with the perfect balance of acidity, followed by a kick of the chilies in the back of your mouth when you get it spicy — my kind of party in my mouth!
- pie. – egg tarts, blueberry pies
I can’t stress enough how amazing their pies are! My personal recommendations would be the egg tarts and apple pies. Read more about them here.
Some stalls don’t stay regularly in Sugbo Mercado and some join in later after this post is written so do check out the entire place for something new!
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THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Parking may be difficult if you’re there during peak hours (7 – 9 pm).
- Parking fees are Php 25 per entry but Php 50 for street side parking.
- Wear light clothes or bring a fan as it may get humid due to the crowd.
- Price range for food is about Php 100 – 200.
Sugbo Mercado is also home to new and fresh food concepts as they aim to help budding new players in the food industry. They act like an incubator for these new businesses to test out the marketability and feasibility of their items.
They also host The Foodtrepreneur Challenge, where participants create food ideas and compete. The winner wins a free month-long booth space at Sugbo Mercado, ₱20,000 in cash, and a short course culinary certificate worth ₱30,000 from The Academy of International Culinary Arts (AICA).
Follow them on Facebook to stay updated with their activities!