The year 2023 is drawing to a close, with people having tried various things and still having much to explore. While trends may come and go, social experiences endure. This is why small food establishments like pop-ups and mobile eateries are likely to remain.
Cebu City is currently showcasing the rise of small food shops, cafes and kiosks, significantly contributing to the diversity of dining options in the city. These food stalls are often conveniently located in high-traffic areas, making them easily accessible to people on the go. Alternatively, food carts cater to niche markets, attracting specific customer groups that contribute significantly to Cebu’s street food culture.
As the saying goes, “Small shop, big dreams.” Now, let’s take a look back at some of the small food shops featured by SunStar Cebu this year:
One Bite Kids
Located in a friendly hangout space on Molave St., Cebu City, One Bite Kids is a burger stand formed from brotherhood. It offers smash burgers, with ground beef shaped into balls and pressed onto the grill, resulting in thin but meaty patties. These techniques are skillfully executed right before your eyes, adding an extra layer of charm to OBK’s exceptional offerings.
Kanto Ramen stands out for its distinctive and delicious ramen. Its four best-selling flavors, including Tonkotsu Shoyu, result from owner consultations and a personal touch. The menu offers a choice of wheaty, thick noodles or thin white, special yellow and spicy red options. Kanto Street Ramen not only satisfies your taste buds but also offers a visually appealing presentation.
Kōhī, a Muji-inspired café in Talisay City, embodies the serene aesthetics of a Japanese coffeehouse. Kohi casts a warm, gentle glow, creating an inviting atmosphere that encourages patrons to linger. The owner, Jordan, is dedicated to providing Cebu with an exceptional Matcha experience, believing in the enduring appeal of Cebu’s coffee culture.
Kalle, situated on Rosal St., Cebu City, offers cozy seating for four guests, bathed in natural light. Known for its charming aesthetic, Kalle has become a local sensation since its online debut with its affordable meals and drinks. Don’t miss its popular Oreo and almond mini donuts, vanilla coffee, and mouth watering garlic butter and jalapeno chicken tenders.
Cebu’s latest beverage sensation is the P39-coffee trend, sparking long lines and social media buzz. Don Macchiattos pioneered this concept and has expanded across Cebu. For those seeking more P39 coffee options, places like Caffein8, Uncle Brew, Kape’iato, Yumtams Cakes & Pastries Shop, Coffee.35, 38 Coffee and Macchiato Up offer their personalized blends, emphasizing that great coffee can be affordable without compromising on taste.
Pater is a delectable dish found in various Mindanao regions, featuring rice and flavorful meat (beef, chicken, or fish) wrapped in a banana leaf. It’s often served with the tasty Maranao condiment “palapa.” In Cebu, places like Pastil Baii, Twin Pastel, Pater sa Tisa, Paterholic and Pater Ni Aki offer their unique takes on this traditional meal in Mindanao, which has quickly become a city favorite.
As onlookers witness Cebu’s food scene flourishing each passing day, the magnetic pull of contributing to this burgeoning list of gastronomic delights is irresistible. The prospect of venturing into uncharted culinary territories, discovering new flavors and being part of these small shops’ journeys is nothing short of exhilarating.