Cebu’s Street & Local Foods – How to Eat Like A Local In Cebu City!

Food. Local food – that is one of the things that I certainly would love to try whenever I’m in a new city or province. Local deli or dishes somehow define a locality – it’s what makes it standout from the other.

I’ve been living in Cebu City for quite some time already and I tell you, food here is great. You would say “lechon” – naah that’s too overrated. Let’s try something that we, the locals, enjoy eating.

Let’s step aside fishball, kwek-kwek2x, tempura. These street food can be seen all over the Philippines. I am going to share you (based on my experience) these:

Tuslob Buwa

What is tuslob buwa? Tuslob means dip while buwa means bubbles in Cebuano. Tuslob buwa is a pig’s brain + puso (hanging rice) combo.

The usual STEPS: You are going to sauté first the pig’s brain into the hot pan. Wait until it boils and add flavor. So here comes the bubbles! LOL! So, after it boils and if you think it’s edible already, go grab the puso and dip it on the cooked pig’s brain. That my friend is why it’s called Tuslob Buwa!

Note: hinay hinay lang sa mga naay hypertension 🙂

Recommendation: Narnia (Tisa, Labangon).

For me, the best one is at Narnia (Tisa, Labangon) – located near Gaisano Tisa.  Don’t be surprised if you can see a zombie graffiti at Narnia (well you know, it’s the brain dude!! haha!). Well I forgot to ask why they have named it Narnia, would it be in reference to C.S. Lewis’ novels? Anyway, you should try their fried chicken also, which they call Wak2x. Well, if you are a Bisaya like me, you know that wak2x is which, I mean witch, right? It’s the paku (or wings) besh! HAHA! They are open at around 5pm. You will be cooking your own tuslob buwa, so it’s pretty hygienic compared to the original tuslob buwa in Pasil.

Ginabot (Pungko2x)

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What is ginabot? Ginabot is a deep fried pork intestine. Others would also prefer it as pungko2x. Why? Because you make “pungko2x”. Pungko because you’ll hunker when eating this. Stalls selling ginabot have low tables. Well, not all but most of them are.

By the way, the main player in eating ginabot is the vinegar, the onions, and the SILI (chilli).

note:other term for ginabot is chicharon bulaklak, sha-e

Recommendation: Pungko2x in Fuente, Osmeña.

You can see lots of stalls selling ginabot at Fuente (at the back of the Rajah Park Hotel & Casino – you may pass through the small alley beside KFC in Fuente). It’s already in Google Maps by the way. They are also selling lumpia (but not the pork lumpia, just an ordinary beanstalk aka taugi lumpia), longganisa, hotdog, chicken and porkchop.


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It looks like the typical lumpia, however, it’s slightly longer and bigger (well, the most ngohiong are). The food is stuffed with “ubod” or palm shoots.

Recommendation: Chinese Ngohiong near San Carlos University

Note: most pungko2x also sell ngohiong


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It’s a fish stew. So it’s like a tinolang isda but it is stir fried and added with tausi.

Recommendation: Tony G (Banawa)

Tony G is my go to restaurant if I am craving for larang. Tony G mainly sells barbeque but they also sell larang. The good thing about this is that this is a made to order dish.

By the way, the barbeque in Tony G is a must taste. I would say it’s one of the best bbq I have tasted in Cebu City. I would definitely be choosing this one over Yakski or those bbq stalls in Larsian.


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Balbacua is actually made from cow’s skin or as others would say is beef brisket. It is cooked for several hours. It’s sticky and is cooked with tausi. Balbacua is also a popular local dish in Leyte and Davao.

Recommendation: Ahong’s

Lansiao (Soup #5)

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Have you tried eating a bull’s testicles and penis? Eat lansiao aka soup # 5. Yep! Exotic isn’t it? They say it’s an aphrodisiac like the balut.

Recommendation: Ahong’s


This is not the typical Filipino adobo. This one’s a deep fried pork. I was also surprised they call it that way. HAHA. In Leyte, we call it hinilisan or kinupsan. Yep, others would also say kinupsan instead of adobo in Cebu too.

Like the ginabot, the main player here will be the sauce and the chili!

Recommendation: no specific store

Most carenderias in Cebu City sell adobo. But I usually eat in a stall near Petron gas station in Banawa (across Jollibee and One Pavilion Mall).

Did I miss anything? These food also makes Cebu, Cebu! Enough with the lechon, try these local and exotic food too!

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