American Food in the Philippines

Jollibee-new-store-outlet-in-Cebu-CityPIZZA & CHEESEBURGERS When I first arrived  here in April of 2004 there were few choices for American styled food. They did have McDonalds, JolliBee, which are fast food burger restaurants, they also had Pizza Hut, and Shakeys Pizza and Greenwich which are Pizza Restaurants and served an American styled pizza. Most of the pizza you found around town especially in places like Gaisano a major retail chain in the Philippines were not very good these had thick soft bread with tomato sauce, cheese and some slices of meat or ham. Shakeys Pizza Pizza Hut and Greenwich had excellent pizza just like those in the United States. McDonalds Hamburgers are even better than they are in the US. The Big-Mac seems to have a much larger real beef pattie here.  The Cheeseburger is the same with maybe a slightly larger burger although I have never measured them. I have been told, but not verified that JolliBee uses a veggie/beef-burger which is OK and the taste is OK also. In Cebu City at “The Terraces” the old Ayala Mall recently remodeled has a TGI Friday’s and you can get the authentic  huge Bacon Cheeseburger, (pictured below) and is very good. You can’t buy frozen beef patties like you can in the US so if you want to make a home madetgif fridays bacon cheeseburger cheeseburger you need to buy beef then have it ground for you at the meat market. Gaisano has a grocery store and they have a meat section complete with butchers. Just about every city in the Philippines has a Gaisano. Fortunately for me there’s a McDonalds only a few blocks away and they are open 24 hours, and they deliver, can’t get much better than that. In the photo below of the McDonalds, notice the drive through has a motorcycle. Motorcycles here are the main form of transportation.

For the American arriving in the Philippines the restaurants listed below are just about it for American styled food here. Some of the food items you will miss here are: Turkey, with all the rare to find a turkey dinnertrimmings, Mexican food like Burritos and Enchiladas and re-fried beans, but I have seen Tacos here. Also not found here are a lot of the pies I enjoyed in the US like Pecan Pie, Peach Pie, Cherry Pie and Apple Pie. I have yet to find a good Meatloaf here, and again if you have a working oven you can get beef have it ground and make meatloaf. However ovens are kind of hard to find here also most households here do not have one. We do have a small stove with an electric oven in it but to this day it has never been used. Another favorite of mine is meatball sandwiches like the ones you get at Subway, although they do have a Subway in Manila (see photo above) they seem to specialize only in sliced meat sandwiches. I visited the website and still did not see a meatball sandwich. In the US I always loved to eat a good hot dog full of pickled relish, mustard and ketchup. Here the first time I ate a hot dog I could not finish it due to the strange taste it had. I have yet to find a hot dog I can eat here, they are not the same and the taste is all wrong. Another of my favorites Orange Chicken seems to be hard to find here. I also like Shrimp Fried Rice and have yet to fine a place that has a good fried rice. Another of my favorites is the Vietnamese sandwich, used to buy them all the time from out local Vietnamese restaurant. I have been to two Vietnamese restaurants here in Cebu City and neither had the Vietnamese sandwich. If anyone knows where I can find a good Vietnamese sandwich please let me know. And if anyone knows a good Chinese restaurant with items like Orange Chicken please let me know.

Subway Philippines – There are Subway Restaurants in the Philippines, but I believe only in Manila.

.Greenwich Is fast becoming my all-time favorite fast-food place to eat. The pizza is just like I get Greenwich-Barkada-Delivery-Deals1in the USA , or even better, except they have many more different types of Pizza, I’ll listed a few here: Philly Cheese Steak Overload (pictured below), Monster Cheese and Pepperoni Overload, 5 Cheese & Garlic Overload, 5 Star Bacon Burger Melt Overload (pictured below) and Angus Maximus Overload with Prime US Angus Beef and 100% Mozzarella Cheese 18″ Thick CrustP749, Thin Crust P549. Greenwich makes the largest pizza that I know of the rest only go up to around 11″ (see photos below). The nice thing about Greenwich is if your girl friend or wife does not like pizza they have a variety of other foods available.

Just ate Pizza at Greenwich again last night. We had the Ultimate Hawaiian Overload 12″ and 15′ pizza for Php 349 and Php 499, we had both sizes as the first was not large enough for us so I had to go reorder and chose the 15 inch this time. .

Bob Marlin Restaurant & Grill Park Mall, Mandaue City   We had dinner here recently and found the food to be excellent. We had Bob Marlin Fish n fries, Safari Fries, Ziggy’s Sisig Hrspy w/Mayo, Chicken Shrimp, Bottomless Iced Tea, Mango Banana Shake, Mango Shake, Beach Bilao, Island Grilled for a total of Php 1,500.

Diamand Tongs Restaurant Cebu City – Looking for Filipino Cuisine, try Diamond Tongs Restaurant in Cebu City.  The best “Eat All You Can” buffet style restaurant with the most delicious Filipino cuisine in Cebu. Diamond Tongs has at least 35 different dishes / items to choose from including oysters (talaba) and much, more such as soup, starter, main courses and dessert, including mix your own Halo Halo. We also include BBQ to order plus there is an à la carte menu. Tongs is a family friendly restaurant that caters for parties and special events. There is also a section for karaoke and functions . . . This restaurant is under new ownership.  Monday through Friday lunch 275 with unlimited soft drinks and ice tea.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday night are 325 with unlimited soft drinks and ice tea and with lechon.

.Vietnamese Cuisine – There are.two Vietnamese restaurants at the Parkmall in Cebu City Neither of which have my favorite Vietnamese sandwich.  .

Saigon Quan

  • Category: Food
  • Location: Enclave Bldg.C – 1 & 2
  • Contact Numbers: 238-7325
  • Description:

Ling Nam

  • Category: Food
  • Location: Al Fresco
  • Contact Numbers: 236-0161
  • Description:

.Shakey’s Pizza Cebu City – I have ate at the Shakey’s Pizza located in the SM in Cebu City and found their Pizza to be very good also.

T.G.I. Fridays Ayala Cebu City – This is an American chain and has the best burger in town, Huge one half pound of beef with cheese and bacon. The photo below is exactly what this Ultimateclick to enlarge Cheese Burger looks like. Sesame Jack Chicken Strips, Fried Mac and Cheese, Jack Daniel’s Steak, Jack Daniel’s Chicken & Shrimp, Garlic Chicken Primavera, Tossed Tomato Chicken Pasta, New York Strip Steak with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Sauce, Texas Ribeye, Sizzlin’ Combo Fajita, Baby Back Ribs, Keywest Seabass, Chicken Finger BLT, Friday’s Cheese Burger, Tomato Basil Soup, Tuscan Vegetable Melt, Ultimate Hawaiian Volcano and Tropical Runner Smoothie.

McDonalds Restaurants are all over the Philippines. I hear the Beef comes from Australia. I think the burgers here are excellent and each burger seems to have a larger burger than in the United States.

JolliBee – Is a Filipino Fast Food Chain similar to McDonalds however I prefer the taste of the McDonalds burgers better. Someone told me the burgers were vegi-burgers, then I heard they were half beef and half veggie, and last I heard they are all beef. If anyone knows the story of the burgers here please leave a comment here.


  1. Well as for McDonald’s, I eat there about once a week, and usually buy 4 cheeseburgers or a quarter ponder and 2 cheeseburgers and have never gotten sick from them. They taste the same as in the US and here the beef comes from Australia and is all real beef.
    Jollybee is also all beef burgers however I really only like the Champ their largest 1/3rd. pound burger. Not sure why but I don’t like the taste of the other burgers that much.

  2. I hope no one gets turned off with this post about god old Mcdee’s, but wanted to comment about Mcdee’s in the US.

    Several years ago there was piece on 20/20 about Mcdee’s. Evidently their burgers were lacking protein, so they added an additive called worms. On 20/20 they did not deny it, in fact they claimed they had worm farms just for this purpose.

    Well what a shock that must have been to the public. I see now they advertise 100% beef so I think they changed their ways.

    My own personal preference, I don’t eat in Mcdee’s or Burger king never know the quality of meat they are selling. Just not healthy foods.

    I am not really a big pizza fan but those pizzas from
    Greenwhich sure look good, and the food from the Bob Marlin resturant looks very good too.

    I can’t wait to get my lips around a grilled prawn, oh did someone say high in cholestral. lol

  3. hi charles,

    good info. however i do not remember greenwich when i was there in 2000-2001. i, we mostly ate Chinese ( when we where in the mall in cebu city) other than that we ate the native dishes from the cantina at the el salvador beach resort in danao where i stayed with my girl friend and then married her, so my wife from danao. i do remember eating at mcydees once and pizza hut once. that was at the end of my stay and i must admit i was getting tired of eating rice. i was there for 41 days. it was the bast time i have had in my life. i do so want to go back.


  4. Thanks Charles for the great info. I am currently in Los Angeles CA and plan to move to Cebu early 2011, I will try to move before than late 2010. I am a single male and want to find a secure apartment in the general Cebu City area, my price range is around 15,000P per month. Also I found a Phillippines bank (Phillippines National Bank) here in LA they have lots of branch in Cebu. I will direct deposit my social security and pension there. I will be 62 september 29, I already applied for my retirement, my first pension check will be November 1 & social security November 30.
    I’m also a vietnam vet and plan to use the va in Manila for serious issues. So my primary issue is to find a nice secure apartment.

    Again thanks for the valuable info.

    Thanks, Ron Armstrong

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