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If you’re looking for a new food-venture outside the metro or if you happen to be in Lapu-Lapu, Mactan Alfresco is definitely a must visit  food stop! It’s conveniently located near the main entrance of Mactan Newtown and it’s hard to miss with white fences leading to its open-air dining area.

For our lunch on the third day of Cebu Food Crawl, we were treated to an overwhelming array of  Filipino favorites from local culinary kitchens and restaurants. It’s truly a feast of Cebuano cuisine and flavors!

In no particular order, here’s the must try dishes I recommend in Mactan Alfresco:

1. Taco Sampler from MexiMAMA Cocina Latina
Mexican flavored tacos with a Filipino twist! It’s a perfect starter before a great meal. MexiMAMA’s taco sampler is a variety of chewy tacos served with salsa on the side. My favorite among the taco varieties that was served to us was the Sisig taco. Its smoky flavor was distinct and the salsa gave just the right zest.
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A group of friends can also indulge in MexiMAMA’s Nachos en Salsa Roja and and Quesadilla Capitalinas ((Mexico style corn masa turnovers with cheddar, salsa rosa and cilantro)
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2 – 3. Crispy Tuna Buntot and Betsy’s Garlic Chicken from Orange Karenderia

Orange Karenderia has become a famous homegrown restaurant which started from its humble beginning as a food tent in Maguikay, Mandaue. True to its modern karenderia set-up, Orange Karenderia offers Cebuano favorites and interesting exotic dishes at affordable prices. Two dishes that I highly recommend are their Crispy Tuna Buntot and Betsy’s Garlic Chicken.

Their Tuna Buntot is deep fried to perfection — so crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. For a moment, I even thought I was eating a succulent meat (haha). Another must try is their Betsy’s Garlic Cicken, boneless chicken pieces smothered in rich flavorful secret sauce which tastes like teriyaki.

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4 – 5. Pochero and Baked Scallops from Muvan’s Pocherohan and Seafoods

You need not go far to taste Muvanz’s best selling pochero (beef shank soup) as they open their new branch at Mactan Alfresco. Muvanz’s well seasoned beef shank soup is a definite must try. Guests should also sample Muvanz’s savory scallops which are cooked in cream and butter. 

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6 – 7. Oyster Bay Crab and Saang from Oyster Bay Express

If you’re a seafood lover, you should definitely stop by Oyster Bay Express and relish at their wide selection of fresh seafood catch.

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8. Boneless Lechon 

What’s a trip to Cebu without tasting lechon? Even local Cebuanos can’t get enough of the delectable crispy skin and juicy meat of lechon. In Mactan Alfresco, guests can try the lechon belly, which comes in spicy and regular flavour from Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly or they can order from Cebu Ayer’s Lechon, which was named the 2015 Best Lechon Maker in Cebu.

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9. Manang Sayong’s Baked Butter Tahong with Garlic

If you’re craving for home cooked meals, Manang Sayong’s offerings of Filipino favorites are sure to satiate your appetite.

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Manang Sayong also offers a variety of seafood, pork, beef, and chicken dishes. Guests can also try their pochero, sinuglaw (a delicious combination of grilled meat and ceviche)

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10. Choobi Choobi’s Shrimp in a Bag

Seafood lovers would surely be delghted with Choobi Choobi’s Shrimp in a bag, its house sepcialty. One pound of fresh shrimp which comes with corn on the bob and sauce options like Butter Garlic, Cajun, Sauteed in Garlic and Spicy Gata.

Although the shrimps were not placed in a bag when we went to Mactan Alfresco, it was nonetheless savory and flavourful.

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