Best Lechon in Cebu

Best Lechon in Cebu: 4 Must-Try Cebu Lechon

Wondering where to find the best lechon in Cebu? Our resident food correspondent lets you in on some secrets. Check out the best lechon in Cebu according to a Cebuano local!
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Lechon holds a special place in our hearts (and tables) as Filipinos, serving as the centerpiece of our celebratory feasts. No grand occasion and no fiesta is complete without the presence of this succulent roasted pig. While lechon is enjoyed across the country, there is one place renowned for its expertise in this culinary delight—Cebu.

For those unfamiliar, lechon refers to a whole pig that is stuffed with fragrant herbs and spices such as tanglad (lemongrass), sibuyas dahunan (spring onion), and bay leaves, then slowly roasted over an open charcoal grill. Its origins can be traced back to Austronesian cultures, particularly our neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Taiwan and China. However, it was the Spanish who gave it the name “lechon.” The term is derived from the Spanish word “leche,” which means milk, and refers to the milk-fed whole roasted suckling piglet that is also a delicacy in some Latin American countries such as Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Where Is the Best Lechon in Cebu?

If you’re in Cebu and you’re wondering, “Where can I get the best lechon around here?” While you can get some in the comforts of the city, the locals will inevitably point you in two directions: Talisay and Carcar. Talisay, conveniently located just a hop, skip, and jump away from Cebu City, and Carcar, a quaint small city situated in the southern part of the island. It may take a leisurely two-hour drive from the city center, assuming the traffic gods are on your side, but trust us, the journey is well worth it. So, get ready to embark on a flavorful expedition as you discover the culinary gems of Cebu, where the best lechon experiences await you.

4 Best Lechon in Cebu

(Pro-tip: Always ask for lamas (herbs stuffed in the pig’s belly while it’s roasting). It’s very flavorful and can be eaten with lechon meat. The vendors will happily give you some for free. Also, get Pusô (hanging rice), it’s the perfect pair to Cebu’s lechon). Here are the best lechon in Cebu:

1. Leslie’s Lechon

Leslie’s has been continuing the legacy of the Mother of Talisay Lechon. Their matriarch started the lechon industry in Talisay in the 1940s. Imagine a recipe passed on from generation to generation, it must be good, right? What distinguishes Leslie’s lechon is their choice of native pigs. The dressed pig then gets seasoned with salt, garlic, and star anise. The skin is further enhanced with a brush of soy sauce before undergoing a slow roasting process over a bed of flaming charcoal made from coconut shells. The result? Tender, flavorful, and succulent meat, complemented by perfectly rendered pork fat and topped with irresistibly crispy pork skin. Each bite is a delightful symphony for the taste buds. As a testament to their famous lechon, they were featured in Netflix’s Street Food: Asia and several other shows through the years.

Facebook: Leslie’s Lechon

Price Range: ~500 PHP (~10 USD)

Location: ​​609 Dumlog, Talisay City, Cebu

Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm (Monday-Saturday), 6:00 am – 9:30 pm (Sunday)

Leslie's Lechon - Best Lechon in Cebu
Leslie’s Lechon in Talisay City, Cebu
Leslie's Lechon - Best Lechon in Cebu2
Leslie’s Lechon in Talisay City, Cebu

2. Bebie’s Special Lechon

Nestled in the heart of Carcar’s Lechon Market, a dedicated marketplace solely for lechon, Bebie’s lechon has garnered a dedicated following over the years. Their popularity has even led to the opening of another store called Apo ni Bebie, which also sells the same product. The best part is you can ask for a free sample of their lechon before buying some. This tells you that they’re confident with how good it is. Bebie’s has all the hallmarks of a good lechon, crispy skin, well-rendered fat, and juicy meat oozing with flavors. It comes as no surprise that Bebie’s Lechon has become a favorite among celebrities visiting Cebu, further cementing its reputation as a must-visit lechon destination.

Facebook: Bebie’s Special Lechon

Price: ~500php (~10 USD)

Location: Carcar City, Cebu

Bebie's Special Lechon - Best Lechon in Cebu
Bebie’s Special Lechon in Carcar City, Cebu

3. Alejo’s Lechon

Another noteworthy lechon destination in Cebu, Alejo’s Lechon has been roasting pigs since the eighties. Through the years, they have mastered the art of making the perfect lechon. The crispy skin, tender meat, and aromatic flavors will create a lasting impression on your gastronomic memory. The only challenge with getting your hands on this lechon is its availability. Alejo’s operates from a single store that opens at four in the afternoon, with people already lining up as early as three. They also don’t have a Facebook page so inquiries on its availability could be a problem. Their store is located across Labangon Barangay Hall. It’s a landmark in the area so it’s easy to locate. Be sure to add this place to your list of culinary must-tries while in Cebu.

Price: 750 PHP (~15 USD) per kilogram

Location: Katipunan St., Labangon, Cebu City

Hours: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Monday-Sunday)

Alejo's Lechon - Best Lechon in Cebu
Alejo’s Lechon in Cebu City

4. Tatang’s Lechon

The only lechon belly that made it to this list, is not only renowned but also conveniently located for those staying in the city center. It is located in Lahug, just a few minutes walk from IT Park. It is advisable to go there before lunchtime, as their lechon sells out quickly due to its popularity. What sets Tatang’s lechon apart is its delightful texture and flavor profile. The pork fat melts in your mouth, imparting a velvety sensation on your tongue. The skin has a satisfying crispiness, while the meat itself is expertly seasoned, ensuring a delectable and well-balanced taste. Tatang’s Lechon Belly is an absolute must-try for anyone seeking an exceptional lechon experience in the city.

Facebook: Tatang’s Boneless Lechon

Price: 245-980 PHP (~5-20 USD)

Location: Wilson St., Lahug, Cebu City

Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (Monday-Sunday)

Tatang's Lechon - Best Lechon in Cebu
Tatang’s Lechon in Cebu City
Tatang's Lechon - Best Lechon in Cebu2
Tatang’s Lechon in Cebu City

More Lechon Places in Cebu

There are several other noteworthy lechon places in Cebu that are certainly worth trying too. CnT, Rico’s Lechon, Ayer’s Lechon, House of Lechon, and Zubuchon are brands that you probably have heard of on social media (or from Anthony Bourdain!). They are conveniently located within the city center and malls, making them easily accessible for locals and visitors alike. Each of these establishments also brings their own unique twist to the beloved delicacy. But there’s an unspoken satisfaction that comes from going on a culinary journey to find the absolute best.

Whether you choose to explore well-known lechon places or venture off the beaten path in search of hidden gems, Cebu’s lechon scene promises to captivate your taste buds and provide a truly memorable gastronomic journey. Each bite will deepen your appreciation for the culinary mastery, passion, and rich lechon tradition that Cebu proudly upholds.

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Michael Kay Gaboy
Michael Kay Gaboy

Michael is a Food Writer at CEBU INSIDER. As a true Cebuano, he’s always on an exciting quest to uncover Cebu’s most delectable hidden gems. Follow along on his mouth watering journey as he dishes out stories and flavors that'll give you an insider's look into Cebu's vibrant culinary scene.

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