When it comes to lechon, nothing ever beats the taste and quality that Cebu has to offer.
Although lechon has been declared as the national dish of the Philippines, tourists both local and foreign alike unanimously agree that only Cebu delivers the best and most delicious roasted pigs ever.
It isn’t surprising why the finger-licking lechon has become a huge hit in the island. Cebu lechon is best known for its tender, juicy and tasty meat and crispy skin. A gathering with friends and family – and even a plain visit to Cebu – will not be complete without having a whole roasted pig (or even just a kilo of it, but that would be extremely unsatisfying) served on the dinner table.
Even the famous American chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain announced that Cebu’s lechon is the ‘best pig ever’ in his show No Reservations.
There is definitely no contest about it: Cebu’s lechon is hands-down the best and most delicious roasted pigs that will ever satisfy your gastronomic cravings. You can search the world high and low for a taste quite like it – and realize that nothing will ever beat the flavor and satisfaction it brings.
Read also: Other Outstanding brands in Cebu According to Netizens
If you happen to drop by Cebu, there is no reason to fret. Lechon is available in nearly all corners of the island. But, if you want the ones with highest quality and the best taste, you can always check out the following top lechon brands in Cebu:
(8) Carcar Lechon
Among all the different types of lechon served in Cebu, it is the ones sold in Carcar that may be considered as the Queen of all Lechons.
Unlike all the other lechon in the entire country, Carcar lechon is highly different in that its roasted pigs come packed with so much more flavor. Think about having your usual roasted pig bathed in pig broth and roasted pig drippings! Delicious, no?
Carcar lechon is much like the home-cooked lechon that your uncle slowly roasted in open charcoal fire right outside your backyard. Their roasts are characterized by crispy golden red skin, a thin layer of fat and tender meat. And, of course, it comes with broth and pig drippings that will make you think for a while that you are eating paksiw.
Lechon vendors in Carcar line up inside the public market and they are usually just available for take-away. You can, however, opt to dine in one of the carenderias nearby and pair it with puso (hanging rice) and softdrinks.
(7) Ayer’s Lechon
Another top lechon brand in Cebu that has been around for quite some time now is Ayer’s Lechon.
This lechon paradise serves customers not only through its physical stores but also through its website online. Ayer’s gets its fresh native pigs from Negros, which they believe is one of the things that make their lechon a cut above the rest.
Many of Ayer’s lechons have reached as far as Manila, shipping it often through their earliest flight. In some branches, Ayer’s also serves Korean side dishes as well as Cebuano comfort food such as bopis and paksiw.
Get your Ayer’s lechon through their website or through any of their branches such as the one located along Banilad Road.
(6) Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly
Not everyone enjoys the entire pig and certainly not everyone likes biting and licking off the meat from the ribs.
This is the reason why Mr. Marlon Gochan, founder of Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly, decided to serve lechon that has been deboned. Even better, his company only roasts the pork belly itself, making it somehow more fulfilling to eat this delicious pork dish.
Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly ensures that you only get the best and most delicious part of your lechon. Their pork belly is sometimes served in the spicy variety and, although it looks somewhat different, it still uses the same process as when a whole pig is roasted slowly in an open charcoal fire.
You can get your lechon belly fix at any of the Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly branches. Its main branch is located at the Al-Fresco-3 in Parkmall.
If you are looking for a more unique approach to lechon, then Zubuchon is the perfect for you to check out.
It was Zubuchon’s founder, Joel Binamira, who helped prepare and serve the lechon that American chef Anthony Bourdain got a taste of although this happened before the company was put up.
Zubuchon’s roasted pig is bathed in a combination of herbs including lemongrass, green onions and other spices. The seasoning is also a combination of sea-salt, peppers and other secret ingredients that create a unique taste.
Aside from its crunchy lechon, Zubuchon also offers other pork and non-pork dishes that are sure to delight your tastebuds.
You can try Zubuchon at their Escario Central branch or the one in Marina Mall, near the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
(4) Chona’s Lechon
When it comes to lechons in Talisay City, only one name truly stands out: Chona’s Lechon.
Chona’s recipe is said to come from among the simplest ingredients in the land and yet its roasted pigs have been considered as one of the crunchiest and tastiest in the market as well.
Chona’s Lechon is one of the prominent sources of roasted pigs not just in Talisay City but also in the entire province of Cebu. The brand not only entices customers from within Cebu but even those from neighboring provinces and foreign countries.
You can satisfy your craving for Chona’s Lechon by dropping at any of their branches in Talisay City.
(3) CnT Lechon
Another well-loved lechon brand in Cebu is called CnT lechon, which many customers describe as having one of the yummiest and crunchiest pig skins even until the last bite.
Most customers do away with their sauces when eating CnT lechon because the meat is said to have already been packed with a unique taste that is sinfully delightful. Of course, you can always choose to eat it with gravy if you think that the slightly salty taste is too much for you.
(2) Alejo’s Lechon
A lot of people say that the lechons that Alejo’s bring is considered to be among the tastiest and crunchiest that is ever served in all of Cebu.
Its lechon recipe is one of the most famous in the entire province. Among the ingredients stuffed right into their lechon’s bellies include lemongrass and a few other trade secrets. Alejo’s lechons are also known to be slightly salty, just the way many Cebuanos like it.
Of course, who would not be tempted upon smelling the mouthwatering aroma that comes with their roasted pigs?
Check out Alejo’s Lechon and tickle your gastronomic senses by visiting their branch located at El Salvador in Labangon.
(1) Rico’s Lechon
Rico’s is considered to be the pioneer of spicy lechon in Cebu and in the entire country. Ask Former President Erap Estrada. Kris Aquino will definitely say again “Super duper sarap” is the Rico’s for her.
Although lechon is usually enjoyed by dipping the slightly salty meat and skin into a spicy vinegary sauce or a thick gravy, you can add an extra kick to your usual fare by adding the chilies right into your lechon’s belly.
Many fans of Rico’s Lechon love the combination of ingredients that are being added into the roasted pigs. What makes their lechon extremely mouthwatering is a combination of garlic, leeks and secret spicy ingredients that are stuffed into the belly.
Once the lechon is served on the table, don’t forget to pull out the meat near the belly as well as the ribs: these areas have the best taste in the entire lechon!
Rico’s is founded by Mr. Enrico ‘Rico’ Dionson who has been in the business since 1997. You can order your favorite classic and spicy lechons through their website or by visiting their restaurants in Mabolo or Mactan Promenade.