Where to grab great eats for less in Davao City
It’s a rather bizarre location for a dinner and drinks establishment — under a giant billboard — but the novel setup is proving to be a stroke of genius. Since opening in January this year, BLBRD has become one of the more popular hangouts among locals who enjoy eating and drinking alfresco. Regulars frequent the place for its relaxed vibe, wide selection of cold beer (perfect for a humid evening) and hefty servings of delicious roast pork supplied by local lechon specialist Siggy’s. JP Laurel Ave, Lanang
If there’s one truly Davaoeño dish, it’s the house specialty at Bulca Chong. A local favorite especially among the post-drinks crowd, bulcachong is stewed carabao meat cooked with ginger root, onion, annatto seeds, chili, calamansi and a secret sauce that makes the soup irresistible. It takes hours to make, but the end result is tender, flavor-packed and incredibly rich. A medium-sized bowl (less than P100) is good to share, and you can ask for extra, smaller bowls of hot soup on the side. Gen Luna St, Poblacion District
The Original Conching’s Native Chicken and Fastfood
One of the first things you’ll notice when you walk into this local institution are the walls — on display are rows upon rows of photos of celebrity patrons, from movie stars to professional basketball players, international boxers to politicians. The second thing you’ll notice is how this modest affair has remained rather down-to-earth — think white, Monobloc chairs and plastic plates — despite its popularity. The claim to fame here is the grilled native chicken — the meat is leaner and tastier — but don’t miss other specialties like pork liempo (belly), tuna kinilaw (ceviche) and grilled squid. Araullo St
Penong’s Barbecue Seafood and Grill
The homegrown chain has several outlets in the city, a growing number of branches elsewhere in Mindanao and a comprehensive menu of Filipino classics such as grilled squid, clam soup, and crispy pata (pork knuckles). There’s always a festive vibe here as people tend to come in large groups. Their greatest hits — including the juicy grilled chicken chops — are consistently good and generously portioned. Penong’s has branches in Buhangin, Calinan and Lanang; penongs.ph
This article first appeared in the June 2017 issue of Smile.