3 Cheap and Delicious Places to Eat in Davao City, Philippines
January 1, 1970
by Greg Peter Candelario
Davao City, Philippines is the place I was born and where I grew to love. Staying in the city for many years has allowed me to try the different places to eat and enjoy with loved ones. People who’d ask me for advice on the best places to dine in Davao can pretty much get a few top choices from me right off the bat.
If you’re visiting Davao City for the first time or have been here on a couple of occasions, you might want to check out these dining establishments when you’re in the city.
Without further ado, here are my top 3 cheap and delicious places to eat in Davao City, Philippines that I can gladly recommend.
1. Bulcachong – Buffalo Meat Soup Anyone?
I’ll start off with one of the cheapest places to eat in my list where you can get a meal (and a delicious one at that!). Bulcachong is a small restaurant that is known for its buffalo meat soup, a rich and spicy soup that anyone who visits Davao must try. I said it’s a cheap place to get a meal because their special soup costs just below P100 and can be sufficient for two individuals.
What to Expect
The meat of the buffalo is very soft, seemingly cooked for hours, and can basically come off the bone. The marrow and the tendons are especially delicious if you’re a fan of those. To top it all off, the rich and mildly spicy soup mixture will rejuvenate your soul.
I’m not sure if they sell anything else in the restaurant because the ‘bulcachong’ soup is simply what the place is famous for and this is what the people come here to eat. They have an eatery just outside of their main restaurant where people would sit down and order the favorite. The establishment seems to be open all the time, and it is especially active during night time. Partygoers or those coming home late usually come here to get their bellies filled before heading home.
If you plan to visit Davao City, Philippines any time soon, then I can highly suggest this place even just for the experience. After all, it’s not every day one can enjoy buffalo meat this good.
How to Get There
To get to Bulcachong, one can simply take a jeep or taxi to Elpidio Quirino Avenue and head into the street just beside MTC Academy. The street is called General Luna, and the establishment is just a few blocks away from Gaisano Illustre and is a few minutes’ walk from People’s Park.
2. Dencia’s Restaurant – Affordable Chinese Dishes in Davao City
Dencia’s Restaurant in Davao City has been around for a very long time. I remember my parents used to bring us to the establishment for lunch or dinner when I was still a kid. And now more than 15 years later, the place is still here, and they continue to sell their specialty dish which is tokwa’t baboy.
This is basically a Filipino dish that is made using boiled pieces of pork mixed with fried tofu cubes and dipped in a mixture of garlic, soy sauce and vinegar. I don’t know the exact ingredients or how the chef prepares this appetizing dish, but I can guarantee that this should be one of the must-try meals in the restaurant.
What to Expect
The establishment has a kind of a Chinese vibe to it, and you can probably say the same too after having a meal here since many of the selections in their menu are inspired by the same culture. They offer a wide variety of food here. For their noodles, you can get different types of pancit, sotanghon, bijon, bam-e, lumen and even mishua. They also have lumpia, torta, various pork dishes, steaks, camaron, chicken, grilled dishes and seafood.
How to Get There
Ironically, this restaurant is close to the Bucachong establishment I mentioned earlier and is simply a few blocks away. It can be found on the same General Luna Street and is basically beside Gaisano Illustre. If you’ve been to Davao City, Philippines but haven’t heard of this yet, it’s one of the best places to eat and has been for a long time. Go check it out!
3. Delongtes – Grilled Goodness!
One of the places to eat if you’re visiting the city is the Delongtes Restaurant. Located just beside SM Ecoland, this establishment has been a favorite place to eat for my wife and I for a few years now. The place is known for its delicious grilled dishes, relaxing ambiance and good music. I mentioned the music because there’s always a band or singer who will serenade you with soothing songs while you’re having dinner.
What to Expect
The types of dishes you can expect here are grilled chicken, pork and seafood. There is a range of soups as well, and we especially love their adobong ‘saang’. If you’re wondering what ‘saang’ is, they’re basically snails of the sea and are cooked adobo style. You won’t be seeing the shells in your dish because they’ve already been removed and so you can just jump in and get a morsel of that juicy seafood. They’re really yummy! Then there’s also imbao or mangrove clam soup which is also delicious and very filling.
Delongtes is known for their grilled dishes so you can expect their chicken and pork servings to be very good. My wife particularly loves their grilled chicken, and I enjoy ordering a barbeque of chicken intestines, gizzard, liver and ‘butt’ once in a while. Believe it or not, their barbeque chicken butt is surprisingly good! It’s not exactly THAT nasty part of the chicken, but it is actually the tail. The locals, however, call it chicken butt or simply isol.
How to Get There
You can get to Delongtes by riding a taxi and telling them to drop you to the establishment. Just to be sure, you can tell the driver the restaurant is beside SM Ecoland at Tulip Drive Street.
So those are my top 3 affordable and delicious places to eat in Davao City, Philippines. There are other restaurants that come to mind such as Afhat Seafood Plaza in the Victoria Plaza compound in J.P. Laurel Avenue and Nanay Bebeng’s at Mabini Street, but they can be a bit pricey. Afhat is basically an ala carte Chinese restaurant while Nanay Bebeng is an eat-all-you-can buffet.
For those visiting Davao City, be sure to check out these amazing places to eat soon. Enjoy!
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March 22, 2019
Thank you for this. I will definitely check these places out!