Abaseria, Spanish for Sari Sari Store [Cebu Culinary Adventures #1]


Tofu with Organic Mushroom (P175) accented by Jewelries 🙂

I’m coming out of my hibernation and share with you my Cebu food trip adventures. We went to our friend Gilbert Go’s wedding in Cebu last weekend and we took the chance of exploring the Culinary hideaways in Cebu. If you are in Cebu, most of the time it is either you eat in the Ayala Mall restaurants or in Sugbahan’s like AA BBQ, STK (shoot to kill), Tong’s, etc. If you ask Cebuano’s, what is a typical Cebuano food, they would often say it is simple grilled dishes complimented by interesting sauces. Definitely, if you are in Cebu you should try one of the Sugbahan’s. But after fulfilling your thirst for authentic Cebuano grills, you would often find yourself searching for more creative restaurants.

I was determined to explore the culinary secrets of Cebu, and our first stop was Abaseria. The ambiance reminds me of Fat Michaels except that it has a Jewelry store. I know this was perfect for my wife and friend, jewelry shopping in an exotic restaurant hidden in one of the Villa Aurora residences in Cebu City. Abaseria is spanish for Sari Sari Store; the concept of the restaurant is that it is home to different food delicacies and cuisine from Ilocos Norte, to Manila, and to the different provinces in Visayas. It was great to see prices way below Manila levels and it ranges from P100-200 pesos per dish. The jewelry store is a sale area for export overruns from Cebu Shinand Jewelry (same owner as Abaseria). The jewelries are branded Mia named after the daughter of the owner.

Overall, ambiance is great, the food is OK but sometimes has an identity crisis, and jewelry shopping is a bonus. I would recommend this place for people visiting Cebu. Don’t be surprised if you ask around and only a few Cebuanos know about this place. We almost gave up but then we saw the light to this restaurant.

You should reserve to get a better table. But since we are walk-ins and from Manila (I think), we had to seat in this long table for sharing and expect that people pass by behind you all the time.

All the art displays are for sale and the ambiance is similar with Fat Michael’s but more homey and formal.

You can seek out corner tables like this to ensure privacy.

There is a deli that sells delicacies from all around the Philippines.

I was told not to take picture inside, but I had to sneak this one picture of the Jewelry store inside the house.

My wife bought a bangle (P80, which Aidan played and lost it in Cebu) while our friend Lui bought a necklace (P115).

Adobong Bangus Belly (P175) — supposed to be the killer food but we thought this dish had an identity crisis. We would rave about this if this dish was called Bangus Belly Fish Steak because of the onions and lightly soy sauce taste. It does not do justice to the term Adobo, or maybe, this is Cebu’s adobo way of cooking.

Baked Ribs with Ginger (P110). The meat was soft and I loved the ginger taste of the ribs. It goes very well with local vinegar called Kinurat — perfect combination! I can’t believe this was only 110 pesos.

Abaseria has a very simple menu but definitely worth the trip because you can only find this in Cebu!

Abaseria Deli & Cafe
#39-B Pres. Roxas St., Corner Cong Noel St., Villa Aurora, Kasambangan, Cebu City
Tel# (032) 234-4160, (032) 233-8339, (032) 412-4196
Cel# 0917-328219


14 thoughts on “Abaseria, Spanish for Sari Sari Store [Cebu Culinary Adventures #1]

  1. Regarding your comment that it’s great to see prices way below Manila levels, I believe that can be said for most restaurants in Cebu. =)

  2. my aunt, who lives in cebu, buys her coffee beans in this resto. got some pasalubong (like those virgie’s napoleones from bacolod in the fridge) from there too the last time i was there (2004).
    you should try the choco-oatmeal bars from leona’s (i handcarry a box of 36 on the plane hehe). it’s near ayala.

  3. missed this place when i was there .. next time for sure, will try this! thanks!
    though to correct the STK part, its also short for sutokil which is also short for SUgba-TilaO-KILawin.

  4. Hi Anton,
    Was there last year: great food, great prices, very homey/cozy ambiance.
    If you ever have the chance to go back to Abasseria, try their crabs: they can give suggestions of how you may want it cooked. Order ahead, though, as they buy the crabs fresh early in the morning at the market.
    I had a great time there (breakfast and Dinner), bought trinklets and pasalubong food items at the counter.

  5. sutukil- sugba, tola ( cebuano shortcut for tinola) not tilao as chrissy said, kilaw. kilawin is not used by cebuanos.

  6. Leona’s also serves great cakes such as the seasonal guava cake, mango cake and banana cream pie. Excellent prices too. Sayang wala silang branch sa Manila.

  7. Was in Cebu this weekend and tried Abaseria, as you have recommended and found it interesting and quaint… food not bad too… will definitely recommend to friends.
    Keep on posting on interesting places to experience… tks

  8. i really love the ambiance! i wonder what you mean by identity crisis, hahahaha! do you mean the fried tofu with chili sauce which wasn’t hot? hahahaha… i only knew about this place just recently, after almost a decade of its existence 😛
    ahhh… so it’s the bangus belly fish steak lol. i love their relyenong bangus, though.
    wow, and this post was wayback five years ago. no wonder the interior of the resto looked different 😛

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