When in Cebu, it’s almost mandatory to try Cebu’s best lechon (unless you are a committed vegetarian). We asked several locals for recommendations, and the most popular answer was Rico’s Lechon. Intrigued, we made sure to have a meal in one of its branches before leaving Cebu City. So what’s with Rico’s lechon that everyone is craving for it? It must be their original discovery: the best-selling SPICY lechon, the first in the Philippines.

Rico’s Lechon serves lechon with ingredients that penetrate the deepest part of your taste buds. Cooked with precision and served with perfection, the lechon is dished up with only garlic and leeks. Is it really that good? We’re keen to find out.

Review of Cebu’s Best – Rico’s Lechon Restaurant (Mabolo, Cebu City)

Ambiance: ★★★☆☆

This branch of Rico’s Lechon in The Ridges Commercial Building emphasizes a casual and easy spirit rather than sophistication and formality. Interior design was very simple and clean, with palettes mainly yellow and white. Setting a welcoming vibe, the arrangement of the tables and chairs was orderly, straightforward, and functional. The dining room was quite spacious and the ambiance looked ideal for accommodating large groups (stacked chairs at the back).

Service: ★★★☆☆

Any meal at Rico’s Lechon centers in—you guess it right—lechon, as almost every item on their menu consists of it. We ordered their specialty, the Spicy Lechon but were saddened to know that they had ran out of it. What? It was only 7PM and everyone must have reserved an order of lechon ahead of time for delivery. It was just disappointing that the main purpose of our visit was defeated.

Instead, we ordered baked scallops, however it was also unavailable. Frustrated this time, we asked the staff to just point on the menu which items we can have to be sure that we won’t hear the same comment. Later, good news came: one customer called and cancelled an order of lechon. The staff asked if we want it. Yes, please.

Notwithstanding, service was kind and quick, and staffs were courteous. Inventory planning just needs a little improvement.

Food: ★★★☆☆

Crispy Lechon (PhP 180) when served did not have a nice crispy and crunchy skin, but there’s no denying that the meat was savory even without sauce. What’s good is that it hardly had any fat. The deal breaker for me though ended up with the texture. This one broke my heart because it’s chewy, dry, and tough like it was way overcooked.

Next, we had Lechon Sisig (PhP 160)—fatty, juicy, and a bit salty. Served on a sizzling hot plate, it was an exciting dish with loads of flavor. We enjoyed it with white rice, honest and plain.

Finally, a plate of Rico’s Lechon’s special Spicy Lechon (PhP 550/kilo) arrived on our table. The pork skin was far from crispy, but the meat was indeed tender and well-seasoned. Its spicy flavor was nothing we’ve had before and definitely close to addictive. For those who love lechon and spicy food, this is the perfect dish for you to try and cozy up to.

Price for Value: ★★★☆☆

Rico’s Lechon is a typical mid-tier Filipino restaurant serving unpretentious food that comes with affordable pricing. The lechon dishes we tried were packed with aromatic flavor cooked up differently. Theirs were some pretty good versions of lechon, but for the title of being “Cebu’s best,” I thought I want better than pretty good.

Unit 4-5, The Ridges Commercial Building, F. Cabahug, Mabolo, Cebu City
For inquiries/orders/reservation, call (032) 260- 2443
Date Published: 06/01/2015
12 / 20 stars

Other branches:

Rico’s Lechon – Corporate Office
Address: One Paseo, Maria Luisa Road, Banilad, Mandaue City
Telephone: (032) 344-0119 | (032) 239-2830
Fax: (032) 344-1343
Mobile: +63915-703-3964
Email: info@ricoslechon.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/RicosLechonOfficial/
INS: https://www.instagram.com/RicosLechonOfficial/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/dabestgyud/

Rico’s Lechon – Commissary
Address: Highway 77, Talamban Cebu City, 6000 Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone: (032) 344-0119 | (032) 239-2830
Fax: (032) 344-0119
Mobile: +63915-703-3964
Email: commissary@ricoslechon.com

Rico’s Lechon – Mabolo Branch
Address: F. Cabahug St, Cebu City, Cebu
Phone: (032) 344 0119
E-mail: mabolo@ricoslechon.com
Rico’s Lechon – Mactan Promenade
Address: Mactan Promenade, Airport road, Lapu-lapu City
Phone: (032) 239-2830
E-mail: promenade@ricoslechon.com

About 

Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

Related Posts

78 Responses

  1. mr_jeng

    Ohhh I remember this branch, I was able to visit it but was too full to even taste a bite.

    When in cebu, I go for CnT, Tatang’s and also Zubuchon but I find that CnT goes for that real cebu lechon … as it is salty and needs no sauce. Just like Rico’s. Zubuchon on the other hand is not really a Cebu lechon per se as it is herby and different from the classic version. Next time I visit cebu, I would definitely try Rico’s 😀 😀 😀

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      One of Louie’s friends has actually recommended us to try Zubuchon because it’s the best for him. However, it was just out of our way and the branches are far from our hotel. We saw Zubuchon when we were in the airport but were also too full to taste, haha. Next time na lang din! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Alanna

    I have not been to Cebu! I have always wanted to visit the Philippines! Those dishes from Rico’s Lechon restaurant look so delicious! When I visit, I will for sure go to their restaurant-I cannot wait! I love the photos! It looks like a very nice, chill, and relaxing place-my favorite! 😀 This is such a great review-I want to hop on over there just to try the yummy food! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha, you definitely have to travel to Cebu as it’s one of the best cities in the Philippines. 🙂 The food is affordable compared to here in Manila. Rico’s Lechon can be your first stop and let me know if you get an authentic Filipino meal out of it.

      Reply
  3. Jenny

    I love how the restaurant looks so clean and bright. The food looks amazing as well, I have not heard of some of this food before. Sounds like a great restaurant to grab a quick bit to eat.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This can be a great destination for OFWs and foreigners who would love to have a quick bite of Filipino food. Specializing in Cebu’s lechon, Rico’s lechon is worth the hype in all fairness.

      Reply
  4. John Lopez

    I haven’t been there in Cebu, I imagine it that place is really beautiful and thoae foods and restaurant that you had mentioned are looks like had a great service and delicious foods. I would love to visit in Cebu one day.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Sure, there are extreme finds in Cebu that you would want to go back for again and again. Check out its wonderful food specialty and the beautiful resorts. 🙂 You can also mingle with the friendly locals to get to know more about their culture.

      Reply
  5. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    Only garlic sounds good to me. I am Italian and was raised on garlic, so I can never get enough. All that food looks awesome.

    Reply
  6. mindy

    I had to google “lechon” because i am not familiar with it haha, but it sure looks yummy! Oh no, i really hate when i go to a restaurant and the waiter/waitress keeps on saying that what i want is sold out *LOL*, it happened a few times and in the end i got annoyed enough to not order altogether hahaha

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Whoa, when you’re in Cebu, you will hear about lechon everywhere left and right. Roast pig is so popular here and great to share with the family in any occasion. 🙂 I don’t like it when the one we order runs out of stock.

      Reply
  7. Christy Maurer

    The colors in this restaurant are so pretty! It looks like you had a good time and had some good food. Too bad the one dish was too overcooked though.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Rico’s Lechon in Cebu receives high praises from locals. Maybe it misses sometimes but overall is a good restaurant serving up great local dishes.

      Reply
  8. Rosey

    I’m sorry about the overcooked meat. I know that can be a big bummer. It’s fun to try new dishes/places though. I like to do that here.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, apart from that though, the lechon here can be easily become part of your standard holiday fare. Rico’s Lechon might not look like much from the outside but the inside is very clean and spacious.

      Reply
  9. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I always love reading your reviews, whether good or bad. I usually feel like even the worst food your review would be so much better than most of the Asian food I’ve found in Georgia.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks for the trust, Stacie. 🙂 The restaurants I feature are usually worth writing home about. I’m glad you find them fun and entertaining to read each time!

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You should try Cebu’s lechon when you come to the Philippines. Rico’s Lechon is one of the the closet things you will find to being a literal hole in the wall filled with delicious food.

      Reply
  10. Alli

    I like the clean, modern look of the place. Sorry the Lechon was not quite up to par. I hate it when I’ve looked forward to trying something and it’s just not what I envisioned.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Right. This leaves us wanting more to find where Cebu’s best lechon really is. I mean, that is based on personal preference at the end of the day. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Amanda

    I always love reading your posts because I get to eat through you. Such a bummer that you had some overcooked dishes.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha thanks so much, Amanda. 🙂 I’m happy to know that I’ve fulfilled that goal of describing food flavors and textures through words and readers can just imagine eating through them and in between.

      Reply
  12. Ronda Ogilvie

    oh, I hate when I take the time to look over a menu and when I finally make a decision it is not available! Back to square one! Thanks for the honest review!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Sure, that happens and it sucks. However, it was just great that someone cancelled an order to give way for us. It was proper timing. You’re welcome, Ronda! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    I really like how honest your reviews are and that you point out the good with the bad. I can’t say I would have been enticed to eat here, the decor isn’t that appealing for me, there’s something missing. The food does look tasty though, even if you found some faults.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, the spicy lechon is a must-try though, regardless of all faults, since it’s tagged as one of Cebu’s best. Whenever some friend or relatives goes to Cebu, Rico’s lechon is almost always the food that’s sent back home.

      Reply
  14. Travis

    You actually inspired me to look up lechon in more depth because I had never heard of this dish before. It sounds like something that I would enjoy. If I ever get to visit the Philippines, I will have to try it out… If not from Rico’s. It doesn’t sound like they would have any available anyway 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, Cebu’s lechon regardless of the restaurant, must be good because this place in the Philippines is really famous for the roasted pig. The deal of the game is just finding which lechon would be the best bang for your buck without any compromise. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Chasity Boatman

    I’ve never had Filipino food before but these dishes look delicious. This looks like a wonderful place to try it since it has affordable prices.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Juicy Filipino food tagged with affordable prices will take away all your worries of trying out different dishes here. I just recommend that you go early or call in before dining so you can be sure you won’t run out of their lechons.

      Reply
  16. Cassie

    I hate restaurants that have really tempting menus that never seem to have what you want in stock. I don’t understand how Rico’s could run out of what is supposed to be their signature dish! I love that you had the conviction to call them out for being less than stellar in your review.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, their business must be doing really good so they must see to it that they have enough supply of their best-sellers, to avoid much disappointment from customers’ expectations next time.

      Reply
  17. lisa

    I have never tried lechon but it looks interesting! I love trying new foods and this sounds good!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The good news is that you can have it delivered simply by calling Rico’s lechon for the entire family. If you have leftovers, you can make pulled pork sandwiches out of its tender and sweet meat.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, I had mixed feelings about their lechon but you have to try it so you’ll have a good base of judgment. Maybe you’ll get hooked. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Jeanine

    Everything looks so great. I havent ever tried or heard of lech on before but i would give it all a try!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Lechon is a big hit among Filipinos and many agree that roast pigs in Cebu are the best. It’s almost daunting to say this but typically a lechon sits in center of a beautiful table replete with native dishes. A big one would be enough to feed a village.

      Reply
  19. Dina Demarest

    I love trying new and different foods. I love the yellow and white, it’s very clean looking and bright. I am sorry that you were disappointed. I agree, if something is billed as the best it should be more than just pretty good.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks for agreeing in unison. It’s worth to emphasize though that the spicy lechon is very original and even if it didn’t surpass or meet our expectation, it’s still a must-order at Rico’s Lechon. 🙂

      Reply
  20. Danielle K

    Sounds like a great place to get a bite to eat. Enjoyed reading this and if I’m ever there I’ll have to get some food from here.

    Reply
  21. Erin Branscom

    This looks delicious and a fun place to eat. It has always been on my bucket list to visit the Philippines. You had me at garlic and leeks! I love cooking with both.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Rico’s Lechon’s menu is loaded with all the porky goodness. Hope your visit here would be quite festive and that you’d quench your craving for some good lechon. 🙂

      Reply
  22. Tiffany

    My brother in law travels to the Philippines, I will see if he has visited Rico’s Lechon Restaurant!

    Reply
  23. Sage

    You always have the best reviews! I’ve been a vegetarian for more years in my life than I haven’t, so this restaurant isn’t the place for me, but as always I enjoyed reading your review and looking at your photos. Looking forward to the next one 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Sage! I appreciate all your comments. 🙂 I’m happy that you enjoyed reading even if you can’t relate much to the tastes of these food featured here.

      Reply
  24. becka

    Oh wow everything looks so good. I would love to try a restaurant like this one! Great review!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, tasting what’s regarded as Cebu’s Best is really one of the things you should do. 🙂 It does not matter if you’ll like the lechon or not. What counts more is that you have a story to tell when you head back home.

      Reply
  25. Carly Brydon

    It stinks that Cebu’s best lecho didn’t end up meeting your expectations! It’s crazy that they were already out of their specialty at 7pm!

    Reply
  26. Melanie

    Oh my does that spicy lechon look good. I love food that bites back a bit. Adding this restaurant to my list of places to visit. Always looking for something new and interesting to try.

    Reply
  27. CourtneyLynne

    omg this restaurant sounds pretty fantastic! Wish it was a tad bit closer to me so I could check it out myself!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      There are just some restaurants in Cebu that are pretty big and famous for lechon. It would be a fun idea to go and try all of them when you have a chance to visit Cebu one day. 🙂 Bring your family, too!

      Reply
  28. Tiany

    This all looks amazing! As a Latina, lechon is what some would consider comfort food, so good! Especially in a Cuban sandwich!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh yes, I know you’d love to try Cebu’s lechon then try to check how the spicy flavor dimension permeates your palate with its unctuous beautifully rendered skin flavor. 🙂

      Reply
  29. jared's mum

    i am not really too fond of eating lechon but i have heard lots of good stuff about Lechon Cebu. Another good reason to go visit the city soon with my boys. I will make sure I try this one out!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Me too. I’m not a fan of pork dishes but this one looked too good to pass up, especially when we’re already in the “lechon capital of the Philippines.” 😛

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.