Two Days of Eating in Dumaguete City

Spending a couple of days in Dumaguete City? Here’s an itinerary that’s perfect for the adventurous stomach.

By Yvette Tan
January 25, 2012

Most people, when given the chance to stay overnight in Dumaguete, will opt to spend it touring the City's sights. As well they should, because Dumaguete is an established, yet vibrant city, whose historical roots include being a stopover for National Hero Jose Rizal before he was exiled to nearby Dapitan, thereby lending his name to Dumaguete's iconic Rizal Boulevard.

There are others, however, who would rather spend what few precious hours they have in the City of Smiles taking in as much as they can of what Dumaguete is fast becoming known for: its food. If you are the kind of traveler whose idea of a good time is sitting down to a good meal, then this itinerary is for you.

8:30am Arrive at Dumaguete City

You can take a tricycle from the airport to your hotel, which will cost anywhere from Php30-50, or arrange to get picked up. Some establishments, such as Harold's Mansion, offer free airport pickups.

9am Check into hotel and freshen up

Dumaguete is a pretty laid back place, and depending on their occupancy, some hotels may let you check in early without incurring an extra fee. You can also skip this step and go directly to the most important meal of the day-breakfast.

9:30am Breakfast at What's Up

Hire a tricycle (Php9 gets you almost anywhere in the city, one way) and head to What's Up, a Swiss restaurant and tourist hang out on Rizal Avenue. Don't worry about directions. Dumaguete is a small city and it's very rare that a driver doesn't know where something is. At What's Up, pick something from their breakfast menu and enjoy while sitting outside, with a good view of the Boulevard. Their Filipino breakfast, for example, includes rice, egg, coffee, and fresh mango juice.

10:30am Freshen up at the hotel

Head back to your hotel and freshen up, getting yourself ready for the next big event of the day - lunch.

Photo by Yvette Tan

12nn Lunch at K.R.I.

Hire a trike again and head to K.R.I., a lovely restaurant with modern interiors and imaginative fusion dishes. Whatever you pick from the menu is bound to be good. Cap your meal with a cup of coffee. Not only is their coffee good, it's also served in a lovely cup and saucer, with a delicious cookie on the side.

1pm Sightsee

All that eating can be tiring, so take a break and explore the city. Check out the Dumaguete Cathedral and the Belfry beside it, the beautiful Provincial Capitol and its sprawling lawn, and Silliman University, the oldest Protestant University in the country.

4pm Merienda at Gabby's Bistro

All that walking around and looking at things is bound to make you hungry. Head to Gabby's Bistro, located in Florentina Homes. The restaurant is reminiscent of a 1950s diner, and is filled with like knickknacks that add to the dining experience. Crayons are available on the table for use on the paper placemats, which has puzzles to solve and pictures to color. You don't have to be a kid to join in the fun. Aside from hearty main course, Gabby's Bistro offers imaginative desserts.

6pm Get a Massage

Your mother is not going to be happy when she finds out that you've decided to get a massage after eating, hence, the hour-long waiting before heading to Royal Haven, a spa located on top of a furniture store. The masseuses are well trained, kneading away whatever hard knots you've brought with you. After this, you have three options. You can either head back to the hotel and call it a night, head back to the hotel and rest before a late dinner, or if you are a hard core eater, go straight to dinner. We recommend either of the first two.

Photo by Yvette Tan

8pm Dinner at Jutz

Jutz is a cozy date place that serves excellent food. Like most restaurants in Dumaguete, prices are quite reasonable. And like most restaurants in Dumaguete, it has quite a cosmopolitan air, giving off the vibe of a secret dining place that only a few know about, even though this is isn't the case, as Jutz is quite popular.

10pm Drinks at Hayahay

Hayahay is the local watering hole, a relaxed, open-air drinking place where people can sometimes listen to local bands play. The atmosphere is very chill, though you might have to come early to get a table, as the place fills up fast.

12mn Head back to the hotel

You only have two days in Dumaguete so you don't want to tire yourself out too much, hence, the Cinderella-like curfew. Head back to your hotel, take a long hot shower, and go to bed. Sleep as long as you like. After all, sleeping in is part of the vacation. You can either wake up and have breakfast at the hotel or sleep until it's time for lunch.

11am Check out from the hotel and have lunch at Neva's

Neva's is a pizza place whose simple interiors belie its excellent food. Order pizza, pasta, and dessert. An early lunch give you time to swing by a last restaurant for pasalubong─and second dessert.

1pm Buy pasalubong at Sans Rival

Sans Rival is known all over the Philippines for its silvanas, which makes it a great pasalubong for folks back home. Their jam cookies are good too, and are always a favorite with kids. If you have time, and stomach space, grab a cup of coffee and a slice of one of the bakeshop's excellent cakes. Don't worry about the silvanas, which you can hand-carry and will keep for about 4-6 hours outside the freezer.

2pm Head to the airport

Head to the airport and wait for your flight. Bring snacks if you tend to get peckish, though, given the amount of eating you've been doing over the last two days, that shouldn't be a problem. Leave Dumaguete heavier, but happier. Bad for the waistline, maybe, but definitely good for the soul.