Davao City is not only known for its iconic Philippine monkey-eating eagle, waling-waling orchid, pristine beaches and eco-adventures activities. In fact, another good thing that Davao City has to offer is its diverse culinary terrain, which includes a variety of gastronomic delights from street food to fine dining.
Since there is a huge variety of dining options to choose from, here are some of those I highly recommend, in no particular order.
Who would have thought that in one of the secluded areas in the heart of the city lies a culinary haven? The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge used to be an ancestral house that was later on converted into a fine-dining restaurant offering Japanese-European fusion cuisine. Guests can choose from several degustation menus, usually ranging from five to nine courses of traditional Japanese-European dishes made contemporary and served in a romantic ambiance. Highly recommended are the Chilean Sea Bass and their famous Yamamomo Cheesecake, which is made up of green tea meringue base and topped with a yamamomo and mixed berries compote. The price can be a bit steep, but the dining experience is totally worth it.
Location: Camella Northpoint, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City
Known for its unrivaled Sansrival cakes and mouth-watering desserts, Lachi’s Sans Rival Atbp. is definitely one of the dining establishments one has to visit when in Davao City. Even though its location isn’t readily accessible to everybody, this place is always packed with those who swore to its delectable goodness. Recently, Lachi’s has grown to serve more than just desserts and has included dishes like their Unforgettable Pork Ribs, Spicy Laing, Asian Chicken and more in their menu.
Location: Ruby St. Marfori Heights, Davao City
3. SEA GREEN CAFÉ AND LIFESTYLE SHOP
Those who have sworn to eat healthy this year must give Sea Green Café and Lifestyle Shop a try. Their dishes are mostly made up of organic and fresh ingredients. Highly recommended are the Smoked Salmon Linguini, Vegetable Chips, Pan-grilled Fish with Cauliflower Rice and the Tablea Cheesecake. Aside from these sumptuous meals, they also sell home-made pestos and tomato sauces which you can use in making healthy dishes at home.
Location: Circumferential Road, Dona Vicenta Village, Davao City
Switching to healthier eating habits has never been tastier at Balik Bukid. Advocating in farm to table concept of dining, Balik-Bukid only uses ingredients which are produced and harvested from their organic farm in Wangan. One of the offerings diners must try is their Classic Caesar’s Salad which uses a unique anchovy-based salad dressing. Since all ingredients are organically produced, one can taste the freshness and goodness in every bite.
Location: Ecoland, Quimpo Blvd. Davao City
Annipie has been known in Davao City for years as the ultimate cinnamon destination. However, to keep up with the transitioning gastronomic market, Annipie has grown to also serve delicious rice and pasta meals, pizzatillas and mouth-watering desserts. Highly recommended to try are their Pistachio Sansrival, Trikolate and Pizzatillas.
Location: Quimpo Blvd. Davao City
If you’re craving for authentic Chinese food, one of the restaurants which could satisfy such craving is West Empire Chinese Restaurant and Seafood Garden. It is only one of the few restaurants in Davao City which offer Xiao Long Bao, a small tasty soup-filled basket dumpling, and true enough, their Xiao Long Bao is convincing enough to make you revisit them again.
Location: J.P. Laurel Ave, Buhangin District, Davao City, Davao del Sur
If ever you find your palate craving for delectable Spanish cuisine and delectable dessert creations, Tiny Kitchen is the place to be. This not-so-tiny restaurant offers traditional Spanish recipes and a dash of Filipino taste rolled into an impeccable tasty combination. Highly recommended to try are their Al A Cazador Paella, Angus Beef Stew, Marbella Pasta in Penne, Frozen Chocolate Brazo and Oreo Cheesecake.
Location: F. Torres St. Davao City
RBG Bar and Grill, the in-house restaurant of one of Davao's top hotels, Park Inn by Radisson, showcases international cuisine but recently, modifications have been made to feature dishes with a touch of local flavor and distinctively Davao. One of the highly recommended dishes to try from their menu is the Seafood Sinigang in Mangosteen which was made more exceptional with the addition of Davao’s famous mangosteen fruit.
Location: Ground Floor, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, Lanang, Davao City
9. ITAEWON KOREAN RESTAURANT
One of the restaurants to conquer Davao’s attention this year is Itaewon. It offers an unlimited bulgogi dining experience for only P195.00, including side dishes and a serving of rice. Whether you opt for chicken, pork or beef, make sure to order loads of pork as it is their best-seller.
Location: Mc Pod Unit 102 Mc Arthur Highway, Matina, Davao City
10. CLAUDE’S LE CAFÉ DE VILLE
French cuisine may not be common in Davao but there’s one restaurant that has made a name in the dining scene – Claude’s Le Café De Ville. The owners took over an ancestral house and it was transformed into a full-service restaurant offering French cuisine. Be sure not to miss their famous steak selections when dining at Claude’s.
Location: Rizal St, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur
Whatever floats your boat or whatever your palate craves for, I’m pretty sure Davao City has got it all for you in terms of gastronomic sastisfaction. Truly, when in Davao, there’s a lot more to discover.