Anthony Bourdain once called Cebu Lechon the “best pig ever”.
Lechon is a popular, delicious Filipino delicacy and it’s a roasted pig over a pit. Lechon or roasted pig is a staple in almost every Filipino occasion.
From birthdays to weddings to town fiestas to the holidays, the celebration will never be complete without lechon on the table. It can be served with sauces, like spicy soy sauce or vinegar, but if you eat lechon plain, you’ll taste the abundance of natural flavors from the pig, smoke, and fire.
When talking about lechon, one place immediately comes to mind – Lechon de Cebu!
Not sure where to buy the best lechon in Cebu?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we discuss some of the best places to buy this delicious delicacy.
What is Lechon?
First things first, what exactly is lechon?
Lechón is a pork dish in several regions of the world, most specifically in Spain and former Spanish colonial possessions throughout the world.
Lechón is a Spanish word referring to a roasted baby pig (piglet) that was still fed by suckling its mother’s milk (a suckling pig). Lechón is a popular food in Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, and The Philippines.
The dish features a whole roasted suckling pig cooked over charcoal. It has been described as a national dish of The Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Spain.
Lechon in the Philippines. In most regions of the Philippines, lechón (spelled lechon without diacritic but also litson or lichon) is traditionally prepared throughout the year for special occasions, festivals, and holidays. Although it acquired the Spanish name, Philippine lechon has pre-Hispanic origins as pigs are one of the native domesticated animals of all Austronesian cultures and were carried throughout the Austronesian Expansion all the way to Polynesia.
There are two major methods of preparing lechon in the Philippines, the “Manila lechon” (or “Luzon lechon”), and the “Cebu lechon” (or “Visayas lechon”).
Cebu Lechon is prepared stuffed with herbs which usually include scallions, bay leaves, black peppercorn, garlic, salt, and distinctively tanglad (lemongrass) or leaves from native Citrus trees or tamarind trees, among other spices.
A variant among Hiligaynon people also stuffs the pig with the sour fruits of batuan or binukaw (Garcinia binucao). It is usually cooked over charcoal made from coconut husks. Since it is already flavored with spices, it is served with minimal dipping sauces, like salt and vinegar or silimansi (soy sauce, calamansi, and labuyo chili).
On the other hand, Luzon Lechon is typically not stuffed with herbs. When it is, it is usually just salt and pepper. Instead, the distinctiveness of Manila lechon comes from the liver-based sauce, known as the “lechon sauce”. Lechon sauce is made from vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, mashed liver (or liver spread), breadcrumbs, garlic, and onion. Manila lechon is also typically cooked over a woodfire.
Best Lechon in Cebu
Want to indulge yourself in some best-tasting lechon in Cebu? Make sure to check out these places and taste the best lechon that Cebu has to offer!
- Talisay and Carcar
To start with, you should definitely visit the two famous “Lechon Towns” in Cebu – Talisay, and Carcar where
some of the best lechons are produced.
- Carcar Lechon.Among the various best lechon in Cebu, Carcar’s lechon is definitely one of the best. Carcar is very well known for its lechon that is very flavorful and the seasoning is absorbed by the meat throughout the entire body of the pig.
Carcar is home to numerous lechon stores that satisfy the cravings of not only the locals but certainly tourists from
neighboring provinces and foreigners alike. The concentration of the lovely lechons is found inside the public
market, which is right at the center of Carcar (besides the rotunda).
- Chona’s Lechon (Talisay). Among the best in Talisay City Cebu is this lechon recipe unique to Chona’s Lechon. Crunchy and tasty, Chona’s lechon has probably the simplest ingredients that are so formulated; the taste is totally different from the other varieties.
Considered as one of the prominent producers of roasted pigs in all of Cebu, Talisay is home to numerous lechon stores that satisfy the cravings of not only the locals but certainly tourists from neighboring provinces and foreigners alike. Like Anthony Bourdain, a travel-show host of No Reservation had said, Cebu’s lechon is the best ever! and the world knows.
House of Lechon is one of the places known for having the best-tasting lechon in Cebu. The restaurant is famous for mixing an elegant dining experience with the most delicious and satisfying meal anybody (Filipinos or foreigners) could ask for. The interior is classy without losing that touch of native Filipino.
They also have this distinct and famous “lechon sauce”, which is made from the juice from the lechon itself that is collected while roasting. You can dip or pour out the sauce all over your lechon meal.
Their smallest lechon size costs around Php 6,500 and can cater from 20 to 25 persons while the biggest size costs around Php 12,500, suitable for 40 persons and above. The House of Lechon has their delivery services, and they are very open to catering to your delivery orders.
Rico’s Lechon is Crispy, Juicy, and Flavorful – these three words best describe the flavor of the world-renowned roasted pig variety that’s popular, not just in Cebu, but in the entire Philippines.
Rico’s offers their lechon in two flavors – original and spicy. Some of their branches in Cebu are temporarily closed due to heightened restrictions and quarantine status. Fortunately, other branches in the city are fully open and ready to serve you with their signature lechon. They assist in booking courier delivery services via FoodPanda, Grab, Lalamove, and Mr. Speedy. All delivery services have varying delivery rates.
Rico’s Lechon has also bagged awards like the Gold Stevie Winner Awards: Company of the Year and Winner for Stevie Awards For Favorite Companies: People’s Choice, both won under the food and beverage category last 2019.
About Rico’s Lechon. Rico’s Lechon is Crispy, Juicy, and Flavorful! These three words best describe the flavor of the world-renowned roasted pig variety that’s popular in the Philippines.
Covered with perfectly crispy skin, it can stand on its own without “sawsawan” as the juicy meat has been basked in a flavorful assortment of organic ingredients. It also comes in two flavors: original and spicy.
Rico’s Lechon provides an experience like “home” with its contemporary classic interiors that shows “Old Cebu with a twist. We also house a Lechon Fulfillment Center for whole lechon orders and take out counter pasalubong.
With its main branch situated at V. Rama Avenue, Cebu City, CnT Lechon has many outlets throughout Cebu. Its costumers describe its specialty lechon as “yummy and crunchy” (the pig skin) till the last bite. The store has been staying true to its claims of having that delightful crispiness paired with a perfect cup of steaming hot rice.
CnT Lechon caters deliveries in the city proper from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. With operations since 2018, CnT Lechon has also opened its branches in malls and food courts. The price of their lechon baboy ranges from Php 6,000 toPhp 8,500. They cater delivery service via Lalamove or Maxim.
Zubochon is well-known for its all-natural take on cooking lechon. They source their pigs from all over the province and are obtained from backyard raisers. In cooking, the pig is then stuffed with a dozen herbs and spices. The pig’s skin is pricked all over and then sprayed with coconut water, resulting in crispy, brown lechon skin. Plus, not only does this native Filipino restaurant offer great tasting and crunchy lechon, but they also offer other native dishes such as pinakbet, sizzling boneless bangus, dinugdog, and many more.
About Zubuchon. We have always sought out local ingredients whenever possible, such as
natural sea salt, native coconut vinegar, freshly squeezed coconut milk, millet, rice, seafood, and backyard-raised pigs. We don’t use any added MSG, food coloring, or chemical preservatives in our food.
“Zubu” from 16th-century maps that refer to the island of Cebu as “Zubu” + “Chon” from lechon or stuffed and roasted pigs = “Zubuchon”.
“We think they look pretty.” We do not use any soy sauce or other bottled ingredients (to help provide that deep mahogany brown skin). We never use a blow-torch to even out the light spots. We do not add MSG, food coloring or other chemical preservatives.
Ayers Lechon, one of Cebu’s emerging suppliers of the best-tasting lechon, is definitely a must-try too!
Cebu’s Ayers Lechon is a popular Filipino restaurant in Cebu where you can get your hands not only on the mouth-watering Cebu lechon, but also other delicious native Filipino dishes. Aside from the regular and spicy lechon, other best-sellers include Sizzling Lechon Sisig, Dugo-dugo, Paksiw, Prichon, and the new Lomi and Sinigang Lechon.
Cebu’s Ayer Lechon boasts of its authentic taste of lechon that can be served in classic and spicy flavors. It also claims to be one of the most affordable lechon in the area, so if you’re on a tight budget, then you can still have lechon on your table with Cebu’s Ayer Lechon.
For deliveries, you may place an order straight from their website, http://www.ayerlechon.com/. They do free deliveries within Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-lapu City. They are also available in FoodPanda.
About Cebu’s Ayer Lechon. It is inherent to the Filipino people, especially to the Cebuano’s to have lechon during special occasions and events. No occasion would ever be complete without it. It’s a unique Filipino culture to get to celebrate over a lechon on a table.Cebu’s Ayer Lechon is one of Cebu’s emerging suppliers of nothing less but the best tasting crispy lechon. It is rapidly becoming known to deliver sumptuous, tender juicy native lechon that last longer. It has the taste of the true Cebuano lechon even beyond expected.