Grilled bananas brushed with butter and sugar, durian-flavoured coffee, succulent meat kebabs . . . what do all of these eats (and drinks) have in common? If you’ve been to Davao in the Philippines, you should know. As the fourth busiest city in the nation, it’s a bustling metropolis where all kinds of culinary influences meet. Not only is there an exotic array of local dishes, there’s also some seriously high-quality international cuisine. That said, not all restaurants are created equal. Read on to find out where to best satisfy your appetite.
Top Food to Experience in Davao

Eating like the locals do
To truly experience a new place, you really need to eat as the locals do. Of course, in a city like Davao, this might mean sampling street stalls or, if you’re lucky, being invited into a local home for a meal. But there are also quite a few restaurants offering an authentic Filipino experience.
Top Food to Experience in Davao  in the Philippines

One of these is Lachi’s Sans Rival, situated on Ruby Street. The first thing you’ll probably notice upon arriving is that it’s absolutely packed. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait a few minutes for a table – it’s worth it. Vegetarians shouldn’t go past the breaded soft tofu in teriyaki sauce and the spicy laing. The former presents the most amazingly well-balanced combination of saltiness and sweetness, whilst the latter delivers a hot kick coated in coconut milk. For meat-eaters, the spicy Asian chicken and Lachi’s ‘Unforgettable Pork’ are highly recommended.
For big eaters
If your plan is to spend hours exploring Davao’s many attractions on foot, it’s a great idea to fuel up before setting off. For a meal that will get you through a long day, head to Vikings Luxury Buffet. It’s a truly international experience, offering food from the Philippines, America, China, Italy, Japan, Korea and Thailand. Take that note that it’s definitely more buffet-style than fine dining. That said, it’s one fine buffet, with the dishes prepared to an unusually standard and brimming over with taste.
French cuisine
There aren’t stacks of French restaurants in Davao, but you should definitely try at least one or two. A great place to start is Bon Appetit! La Boutique. You’ll discover it at Plaza del Carmen – a quiet, tranquil corner of Davao found in Loyola Street. Stepping inside, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been magically transported to a Parisian bistro. The menu is driven by hearty, homecooked French cuisine. Think nicoise salad, grilled butter fish with beurre blanc sauce, duck confit, lamb with potatoes au gratin and a tempting wine list. The hosts, Monsieur Yves and Madame Rosalie, are warm, friendly and partial to a good storytelling session.
Another excellent French eatery is Claude’s Le Café de Ville. It’s set right in the city, at 143 Rizal Street, inside a stunning historic mansion known as The Oboza Heritage House. The spacious rooms, dressed up with comfortable yet stylish country décor, mean that a warm, ‘country-home’ feel pervades throughout Some of Claude’s best dishes include hot chilli shrimps, pepper steak, moules gratinees, home-cured tanguigue and crepe samurai. The focus is on French regional specialties and generous servings.
Top Food  in Davao  in the Philippines

Where to stay

If you’re looking for a hotel in Davao to match your gastronomical experience, the Park Inn is recommended. It’s located in a convenient spot, right next to the SM Lanang Premier Shopping Centre and the SMX Convention Centre. The rooms and suites boast modern, commodious designs, as well as views of the surrounding landscapes, which offer mountains on one side and island-dotted ocean on the other. Facilities include an outdoor pool, a fully-equipped gymnasium and an onsite restaurant, the RGB Bar and Grill, where you can try local cuisine.