Bob's Top Ten Restaurants in Davao

OK, it’s Wednesday here in the Philippines, “Hump Day” as Wednesday is often called.  How about a Top Ten List to get us over the hump and start headed toward the weekend?  Well, as a matter of fact, if you are in Davao, this Top Ten list is something you can use this weekend for your entertainment purposes.

Today, I am going to list my Top Ten Favorite Restaurants in Davao.  Some are fancy, others are simple.  They all have good food, though!  Let’s see if you agree.

Here are “Mindanao Bob’s” Top Ten Favorite Davao Restaurants (not in any order, they are all good):

  1. De Bonte Ko – De Bonte Ko is a Dutch Restaurant, owned and operated by a Dutch man who has lived in Davao for years.  The owner’s name is Henny, and he is a great guy.  Food is great at De Bonte Ko.  Some of my favorites at this place are the Spare Ribs, Prime Rib and the other steaks are all very good.  This is one of my favorite hangouts, and I go there often.  Dining here is on the upper level of casual.  De Bonte Ko is located on Rizal Street in the La Habana Compound.
  2. Claude’s Cafe de Ville – Claude’s is a French Restaurant, owned and and operated by Claude (of course), a Frenchman who has been living in Davao for 20 years.  Again, the steaks are great at Claude’s.  Good seafood too.  Probably my favorite dish at Claude’s is the Jambalaya Gumbo, as I lived for 10 years in Louisiana, and the Creole favorite is one of my favorites too.  Dining here is somewhat formal.  Claude’s is located on Rizal Street.
  3. Hanoi - Hanoi is a Vietnamese Restaurant, which is owned by a Filipino family, the de la Paz family, very nice people.  Hanoi is connected with Tsuru Japanese Restaurant, they share the same building, and both are excellent, although I prefer the Vietnamese side of the restaurant.  Some of my favorite dishes at Hanoi include the Pomelo Salad, Beef Tenderloin in Tomato Sauce, Rice Paper Pork Rolls, and others.  For dessert, no doubt you should try the Durian Suman, it’s excellent.  Dining here is casual, but “smart casual.”  Hanoi is located on J. Camus Street, just in front of Davao People’s Park.
  4. Picobello -  Picobello is an Italian restaurant, located on the 5th floor of Gaisano South Citymall.  For authentic Italian food, Picobello cannot be beat.  Pizza, Pasta, Soups and all kinds of dishes – you won’t be disappointed.
  5. Roadhouse Cafe – The original Roadhouse Cafe was located in Valencia City, and I always stopped there if I was in that part of Bukidnon.  Last year they put up a location in SM City Davao.  I love the food at Roadhouse.  The burgers are great, the roast is also good.  Frankly, I never found anything that I didn’t like there.  Give them a try!
  6. Hola Espana – This is a Spanish Deli/Restaurant which is fairly new in town.  It is located in Damosa Gateway.  Excellent food!  I love their pizza and their tuna croquettas are great too.
  7. Swiss Deli – European style foods are featured at Swiss Deli, which is located just in front of Damosa Gateway, on J.P. Laurel Avenue.  This is owned by the same people who own Picobello (#4 above).  Great food, nice ambiance too.
  8. Majid’s Kabab – This place is the least expensive place on the list, by far.  Even a student can eat here without breaking his budget.  Majid is the owner of the place and he is from Iran.  He is selling traditional Persian Kebabs here along with other Mediterranean delights.  For under P100 you can go have your fill of Majid’s delights, and you’ll go back again for more too!  The place is a very simple sidewalk eatery, located on Rizal Street.
  9. Al’s Diner – I wrote a column about Al’s Diner a week or so ago, it is an American style hamburger place located on Crooked Road, just off of Rizal Avenue.  If you like Hamburgers, I don’t feel you’ll find a better one in Davao City.
  10. Ranchero Grill – Originally from General Santos City, Ranchero Grill was one of my favorite places when we lived there too. They opened a Davao location shortly after we moved up here, maybe they didn’t want to loose out on our money when we moved!  If you like Baby Back Ribs you really must visit Ranchero.  The Baby Back Ribs is good for (at least) 2 people.  My other favorite at Ranchero is their fried Lumpia (with ubod).  Excellent food!  The place is a “cowboy” theme, with all the waiters and waitresses dressing up like cowboys.  I highly recommend Ranchero, located on Tionko Avenue, near the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas here in Davao

OK, there you have it, my top ten recommendations for eating out in Davao City.  If you stop in at any of these places, mention that I sent you, and maybe it will score you a few extra points with the staff!

Bon apetit!

Post Author: MindanaoBob (944 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Bob: I've eaten in Hola Espana, and I agree that the food is very good. They've also got nice little touches in the place, like brick walls and an authentic-looking bodega, not to mention courteous staff.

    What I'd really like to visit, though, is this Majid's Kebab you're talking about! (And grilled tomatoes on the side, please!)

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful list! :smile:

  2. says

    Great list, but why not include Tsuru? To each his own I suppose, that's my FAVORITE restaurant in Davao.

    I love the restaurant's listed especially Claud's.

    I have never tried Al's Diner though… gotta try that sometime. I have never been to Majid's but when my sister was still here, she would get Lita to buy stuff there and bring it home.

    • Aries Job Ty says

      Tsuru is the most stupid restaurant i had encountered .. not because of the food but because of the attitude of the employees especially the guard on duty haizt… its alrealy 9 months ago when me and my classmates (composed of 60 students) went there for our exposure fr japanese restaurant… we were all pissed because the moment we were about to get in the manager insulted us and she ask one of my clasmates ” why do you have 1thousand pesos each to eat here??, “in sarcastic way.. of course since its our restaurant exposure we prepared for it so is she insulted us that way and there’s more ” in front of our professor and classmates she shouted at ” only RICH people can eat here!!!!”” is that right to treat a customer??

    • Len Fortuna says

      Stayed away from Claude’s after being served beef ala goma pn my first visit a few years back. Picobello is great!

  3. rick b says

    Thanks Bob for this list i will get round to trying some of these and as this food thing was my "gripe" about the Philippines, this will help a lot, especially the western flavours

    For Chinese food, i find Ah Fat behind victoria plaza really good, authentic, good service and freshly cooked, always busy at lunch times, a good sign, noisy but typical Chinese style

  4. says

    Hi Migs – I'm glad you enjoyed the list! When you come to Davao you, John and I will go eat at some of these places. You are the guest from Manila, I am the one who brought the expertise of recommending the places, so John can pay! :lol: It sounds like a plan to me! Oh, and BTW – They do include some delicious grilled tomatoes with the Kabobs at Majid's.

    Hi Cheryll Ann – I do like Tsuru, it just is not in my top 10. Notice I did give it a mention, though, when I talked about Hanoi. :lol:

    Hi rick b – That's interesting, because personally I don't care for Ah Fat. Not sure what it is about the place, I just don't feel it is that great. Give some of these a try, and come back and tell me what you think of them.

  5. rick b says

    Bob maybee it is me, i just spent a happy 7-8 years in HK and Ah fat reminds me so much of our good times there, i really do like it….but…………… this lunchtime on your recommendation me and my wife atr at Roadhouse cafe in SM and i thought it was really good, nice service, good menu, plenty of choice and good food, we both liked it, so thanks Bob

  6. RichardfromGA says

    Hi Bob,
    They all sound great. I will be in Tagum in April. This will be my first trip to the Philippines and I am meeting my Filipina chatmate for the very first time also. I can only come for a week this trip, but maybe I can spend a day in Davao and check 1 or 2 out. I am looking forward to running into you there also. :smile:

  7. says

    Hi rick b – I'm glad that you enjoyed Roadhouse! The food is even better at their original location in Bukidnon, but this one in Davao is quite good too!

    Hi RichardfromGA – I'll look forward to that too! I hope you have a great trip!

  8. Ron LaFleur says

    Reading your review of these restaurants brought back some good memories. We enjoyed Hanoi of course with you and Feyma-we still thank you for that experience. Some others that I enjoy are Red Knights, Hager's and my personal favorite is 50's cafe at the Crown Regency. I guess what this really indicates is that a person can eat well in Davao. Ron and Marlou

  9. graham says

    I ate in about 5 of those places you mentioned Bob and agree with you. Check out Red Knight dont think you will be disapointed. Hagars is good too, anyone tried the Brit Pub Drifters? and the Irish bar Offlanigans? What are your opinions?

    Are there any really good Indian restuarants in DC? I often think its strange that the Philippines have all the fresh ingredients but filipino food is very bland to me. I know the Philippines is not famous for its food, you hardly ever see a filipino resto other than in the Philippines but the world over you will find thai, chinese, indian, american restaurants and food joints etc etc

    i find filipino food very unhealthy full of fat and to much fried they seem to cook things to death lol just my opinion :roll:

  10. frank fealey says

    hI guys . Agree with Bob . Some times i find Hennies a bit rowdy when it gets full of politicals. Yes Graham o flanagans has good food the best draft beer in Davao at avery affordable price. Hagars i go for the cheese selection.Big Sven from Norway can be a big help here. Drifters i have only been there when Bert is there so hence cannot rember to much about the evening . But yes no shortages of good places to eat in Davao.

  11. Scott says

    I have been very very lucky in so much as I have travelled to many countries in the world and obviously have eaten during my visits.

    The best place in the world to eat as far as I am concerned is the International Buffet at the Marco Polo ….

    Odd really you would think it would be a restaurant in Paris or London or Singapore or wherever but no its Davao City.

    I hope shortly to be working my way through the places on your list .. :lol:

    Scott

  12. says

    mind if i play this game too? i'll do this as one gut busting day in davao with my favorite places. im approaching this as a local boy who craves for these restaurants when visiting davao.

    breakfast – entree (apo view) – first off, for disclosure, this is a biased pick. im more than a regular — that said, i always have the best breakfast buffet here. all. the. time. im not a morning person, but i get up early just to eat here.

    lunch –

  13. says

    argh! clicked enter while typing — here it is again:

    mind if i play this game too? i’ll do this as one gut busting day in davao with my favorite places. im approaching this as a local boy who craves for these restaurants when visiting
    davao.

    breakfast – ENTREE (apo view) – first off, for disclosure, this is a biased pick. im more than a regular — that said, i always have the best breakfast buffet here. all. the. time. im not a morning person, but i get up early just to eat here for the local pica-pica breakfast & local hot choco (an acquired taste).

    lunch – NEW ASiA RESTAURANT – crabs, crabs, crabs. i always schedule a trip here ever since a friend introduced me to this place. the service is very good. i still wonder how they remember me even when im gone for over a year. get ready for a messy meal with large crabs of different sauces.

    merienda/mid-afternoon – MERCO- this is now my inner 9 yr old local boy speaking. pretty much a local favorite like an old time diner or ice cream parlor. non-descript place with mostly locals. if you want to experience a favorite of pre-boom, old davao, go here. i go for the banana split (probably not the best in town, but it brings back memories).

    dinner – DAVAO KOREA TOWN RESTAURANT (victoria plaza carpark) – with a large korean population, there may be better korean eateries in davao. but i've gone back many times to this one. haven't had one bad meal. clean, nice & really good food. another family favorite.

    late night snack/dessert – ALING FOPING'S (matina town square) – late night halo-halo in the park & people watching. you pick the halo-halo ingredients & enjoy.

    more: that durian place near landco, blue-gre cafe's durian coffee (why not?), claude's (as mentioned), taps (for the tapsilog), and random chicken bbq eateries all over the city. if your into gritty street fare, i also enjoy some balbacua joints frequented by taxi drivers.

    oh, there's more. this is not necessarily the best places. just places i personally enjoy eating at.

  14. tim and evelyn from says

    :shock: i am amazed at the list, as me and my wife who s from davao, and is a new immigrant to the united states, we went back to davao for 5 weeks and we didn't eat at one of these, but we did eat at a number of local places, but i am amazed that the one resteraunt that didn't make your list was Jack Ridge, resonable prices, good food, nice atmaspere, overlooking the city when the sun sets, waterfall cascading down onto the swimming pool, a very nice place to go.

  15. says

    Hi Ron LaFleur – Red Knight Gardens has some pretty good food, and I've eaten there a number of times. I personally don't care for Hagar's – I've eaten there only once and it was not a good experience. You are right, you can certainly eat well in Davao!

    Hi graham – O'Flannagans used to be a pretty good place, but it has really run down in recent months. I was actually kind of shocked the last time I went there. There are a few fairly new Indian places in the City, but I haven't tried them.

    Hi Frank – I have never seen Henny's place get rowdy before, although I probably just haven't been there at the right time. Normally, when I go out it is for lunch, as I like to eat dinner at home with the family.

    Hi Scott – Marco Polo indeed has a nice setup. When I eat there, though, I prefer the 3rd floor Chinese Restaurant (Lotus Court) over the Buffet on the 2nd Floor.

    Hi Macky – All of the places you mentioned are indeed excellent. Apo View has a nice one with Entree – it beats the old "Top of the Apo" hands down. I kind of forgot to mention Taps, as I really love that place, and you can eat a good meal for P50 there! Probably it's not in my top 10 though, I guess.

    Hi tim and evelyn from seattle – I go to Jack's Ridge from time to time. The view is spectacular. In my opinion the food is mediocre or less. I do enjoy the place, but am more likely to go to the Coffee Shop there if I wan to go up and enjoy the area. Just my opinion, though, and we all have one of those! :lol:

  16. says

    Well Migs Bob as a great boss will of course take you to every restaurant in Davao,however because of the fact you live in Manila he has kindly agreed to fly you here too. What a great boss! :mrgreen:

  17. says

    John, john… are you trying to get out from under your commitment to take Migs and I out for a Food Trip around Davao? :lol:

  18. says

    Bob,

    I enjoyed your list. Some I have been to and some I need to try. I am glad you put Al's Dinner. He does have the best burgers in town.
    About Hola Espania, I have been there a few times and my favorite is their fillet steak. I was told it is US Black Angus and it must be aged too. I have eaten steaks all over the US and it was the best steak I have ever had.

  19. says

    Hi Bruce – I haven't tried the steaks at Hola Espana, maybe I'll have to give them a shot sometime. Thanks for the tip. :lol:

  20. Jane says

    Hi Bob….im been lost for almost a week due to pc disorder and now is ok…i am so happy that you have listed some of your favorite restaurants…now i have an idea where we will go when James comes…hope we can eat with you too in one of the restaurant…i like Hanoi coz its just infront of the Peoples Park…Its nice to sit on the park after dinner at Hanoi…

  21. rick b says

    Bob

    I mentioned De Bonte Ko to my friend and we popped in there for a quick beer, Hennie was in and as you say was very friendly, he certainly knows you, so, obviously you are a regular customer there.

    Last night we went there with our wives, and i was very impressed, Hennie wasn't there (he is climbing mt apo) but the service and the experience was spot on. You got his one right Bob and thanks again

  22. says

    Hi, interesting list you have. I tried hanoi (The best so far), Picobello (love the pizza), and Ranchero (love the steak and baked tahong).

    My friend told me to try hola españa and swiss deli. Maybe I'll try it next time I go to davao. My ninang and ninong are regular customers at claudes. They love it there. I also want to try roadhouse cafe. :smile:

  23. says

    Hi leah – Those are indeed all great places! I do love Hanoi, and I need to go there soon, because it's been a while!

    Enjoy! :lol:

  24. Divine says

    Hello Bob,

    Divine here from CA. My family will be traveling to Davao pretty soon. Just recently bought a property in Davao. I have not been in Davao since 1996 although I go home every 2 years and stayed most of my time in Bukidnon and Cagayan. I came accross to your website and will definitely will try the restaurants you've mentioned. My husband and my brother in law loves steaks so our first stop will be checking out De Bonte Ko. Thanks and have a great day!

  25. says

    Hi Divine – I hope you enjoy De Bonte Ko, and the other places that I listed! When you are at De Bonte Ko, be sure to talk to Henny, the owner, and tell him that I sent you! Tell him that I said that he better treat you extra special! :wink:

  26. hill roberts says

    Hi, Bob, greetings from Spain. How's the weather there? You lucky guy.

    Enjoy reading all your articles and those comments. How nice that the food

    there is always a focal point of discussion. But, Bob, try not to put on weight,

    OK? Take care.

  27. says

    Hi hill roberts- You're talking to the wrong guy. Since living in the Philippines, I have lost 150 pounds. Just since January of this year I've lost 50 pounds.

    I focus on food sometimes, but lately I think my focus has been more on financial matters than food.

  28. hill roberts says

    Oh, my goodness, Bob, how did you do it? That's fantastic. When I came to Europe 28 years ago, bit by bit, I put on weight. From 100 lbs to 170, then down to 140 lbs, Yes, i'm rather heavy for my height—still, I've eliminated animal fat in my diet. Anyway, Bob, it's 12.51 here in Spain, and finally rain has stopped. We've
    had rain for days, but it's a welcome respite, after all the drought that the Andalucian Region has been having. I believe that you are right in choosing
    Davao as your adopted home, I just wish the local government remembers
    you and the way you have come to appreciate and enjoy life/living there. The
    weather there is quite gorgeous compared to Manila.
    As for Ranchero Grill, would you say that it really has the best spare ribs? Or
    steaks? The last time I had a decent steak was in Madrid, I think. Anyway, Bob,
    keep updating us on what's going there. Europe is tired and wanting. Here in
    Marbella, Malaga, we only have 1 shopping mall, and one department store called El Corte Ingles The watering hole or landmark very famous worldwide
    is called Puerto Banus but it is going downhill—full of prostitutes at night especially in summer, exorbitant food restaurant prices, a few murders a year,
    streets unkempt/dirty, etc. This place has, in my husband's and my estimation,
    has really gone down as a premier resort in Europe. We've lost that title as the
    "JetSet resort—we have now succumbed to some rather unsavoury comments/remarks. Tourists and celebrities, especially celebrities, now prefer
    Portugal or Corfu or Gran Canaria. So, Bob, in a nutshell, Marbella is now a bi
    third rate. Just as well, this town can now start all over again. Food prices are
    still up, resto prices are so-so to ridiculous and not so good unless one goes
    to a typical Spanish resto that serves fried up fish and chips. There's hardly a
    variety here. When we were in Rome a couple of years ago, we walked the
    length and breadth of the city and didn't find a decent resto—all pizza parlours,
    horrible staff, sky-high prices, food lousy, not fresh, steak fourth rate, believe you
    me, Bob—fourth rate, and when we complained, the owners didn't like it. We
    were conned. The bill?65 Euros for a lousy, unpleasant dinner. Please don't
    go to Rome. Till next time, Hill

  29. hill roberts says

    /by the way, Bob, the only redeeming factor when we were in Rome was when
    Harrison Ford passed in front of me—yes just a few inches away from me when
    we were having lunch in the old town. The waiter, who didn't speak English,
    as most Italians don't, kept saying, "Harrison Ford, Harrison Ford…"before I could nudge my husband, he was there, right smack in front of me—wow–he looked
    good, and yes–he did have a swagger!!! That made my day. As for my English
    husband, he couldn't care less although he likes watching his films.

  30. says

    Hi hill roberts- I had stroke after moving here, and had to improve my health. When I moved here, I weighed about 430 pounds, and am a little below 280 now. Still working on it! Improved exercise, etc. It's all about a healthier lifestyle.

  31. rubie-ken knapp says

    Me and my husband with my 2 yrs old daughter are planning to visit Davao CITY again by march '09 since my folks are there.I'm from Davao but when i got married i live now in Portland,Oregon. I'm excited to see my family and hit some of the restaurant that you mentioned…thanks

  32. says

    Hi rubie-ken knapp- I moved to the Philippines from the Portland area (Vancouver, WA), so we have opposite experiences there! Good luck on your trip to Davao, I hope you have a great time with your family here.

  33. ICe says

    May I know the number of Ola Espana, please? We've been trying to check their number in the directory, we also called 187 for assistance, but to no avail.

    Maybe someone out there knows the number of this delightful Spanish resto, message me please.Just respond to my post. :)

    Thanks all

    • Brian says

      I was there at Ola Espana. I was not that impressed. Afhta near the Vistoria mall now was a great place. Freshest Seafood in town….Very busy there and great service………..

      • says

        Hi Brian – I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy Hola Espana. I have been there many times and never had a bad meal there. I have also been to AhFat (never heard of “Afhta” I think you mean AhFat, it is in the parking lot behind Victoria Plaza) a number of times, but have never really enjoyed the food much there. I guess we all have our own preferences.

  34. says

    Yes, he is he is picky about food… but these top ten is highly recommended by the expert. I love your blog its very informative. I grow up Davao but none of those top ten i usually visit ha ha ha but of course w/hubby is around i will diffinitely tour him around the place

  35. Bruce Jay says

    hi there sir, i really love going on a foodtrip with my sibblings… the one place that i'm looking forward to go to is claudes… though im currently in here in manila, my sisters kept nagging me about claude's cafe… ill be coming back to davao next week for the holy week… going to claudes will definitely be one of my to-do list… will give you my feedback about the place… thanx

    so far, ive been to
    picobello(wow buy 1 take 1 pizza,the best)
    swiss deli(i love the sausages)
    roadhouse(boy, the food was great, but i dont wana go back, it gave me a heartburn, haha)
    al's diner(definitely one of the best burgers in town)
    and ranchers grill(aw, i love the baby back ribs…deym)
    thanx for the list sir…

  36. gail says

    hi bob,
    i came across your site when i was looking for must try restos/cafes in davao. i am so impressed with your list :) i am from davao (though not based in davao for quite some time now) and it’s ironic that i am getting suggestions from a non local hehe
    i’m so excited to check out some of the restos in your list with my siblings when i am coming over to Davao this holy week ;)

    by the way do you have any list of best hole-in-the-wall resto secrets in davao? ;) do you have something like som’s in makati?

  37. Ray says

    Hi Bob:

    Your list sounds fantastic. I'm wondering if you might know of any restaurants or bars that are for sale in Davao. I'm thinking about retiring from the city life and believe Mindanao would be a great place to live.

  38. Ray from Yorkshire, says

    I have been in Davao now for 2 months. I was here in September and January 2008 also. The best restaurant in Davao is Claudes ( French ) in Rizal street but it is much more expensive than others.
    For good Philippino food try Afhat near Victoria Plazza or Jack Ridge for a good night with view.

    I also am looking for business opportunities so please let me know if you know of any. I have been in computers for 40 years and 36 years of that in a sales management and marketing role.

    I fly to UK on the 6th May but return again on the 18th May to rejoin my filippina fiance.

    Kind regards Ray

  39. says

    Hello. I was searching for links to my article on places to eat in Davao when I saw this page. I hope you don't mind, I took the liberty of putting the link in my hubpages. If you want me to remove it, just say so and I will gladly remove it. I hope you don't though because your article is very informative and the restaurants that you mentioned here, I haven't gone to when I'm in Davao (so I can't offer any personal experience on these restaurants). Thanks for this article and more power to you!

  40. Gert Meeuws says

    hello Bob,

    me and my wife don't eat often outside the house.
    but I've read your site and since I love to eat Italian foods,we went to Picobello at Guisano Mall ( Ilustre ).
    The restaurant is situated at the 5th floor and not so good located.
    If you're not familiar with the place its hard to find.
    The pizza that we order was just the best pizza I've eaten for a very long time ! Also my wife really like the pizza a Funghi.
    The Italian red wine was fantastic too,only the spaghetti was nothing special…
    But sure we will come back in this cozy restaurant.
    You're right too about Jack's Ridge; nice view and location but the food is nothing special..

    regards Gert
    Sure we will come back there another time..

  41. Perakash says

    Hi Bob … I notice that you have not included ” Hagar’s Place ” here in your list . Does that restaurant still exist ? I have away from Davao for almost 4 years now . I was there for 7 years and i often chill out at ” Hagar’s Place ” when i was there . They serve some nice food there too . Maybe you could make a ” TOP 20 ” list … hehehehe

    • says

      Hi Perakash – Even if I made a top 20 or top 100, Hagar’s would not be on the list! I have eaten there one time only… actually I went there and ordered food, took one bite and left… it tasted that bad! :wink: Sorry, just being honest. I am not sure if they are still in business or not.

  42. Jethkylle Omatang says

    Hello Bob
    May I ask, were in Davao I Can find the best Authentic Japanese Restaurant?
    Thank you.

  43. Dan Evans says

    I agree with Bob and others: Hola Espana is terrific. The beef steaks are very well prepared and tender. Surprisingly, even their Salmon dish is very good. I don’t know where or how they get it, but it’s very good.

    • says

      Hi Dan – I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed Hola Espana. I have not been there for a while, but it’s good to know that they are still doing some good cooking!

  44. cristy says

    Hello Bob,

    Thank u so much for a very informative informations. We are from Melb. Aus and visit our house of 3 years in Davao almost every year and never explore davao….how stupid is that aye :-(. We don’t know any good restaurants there. We went to samal island and pearl farm last couple of years ago (which is fantastic) and when we are in davao we just stay at home. We once bump into an american bloke in SM and told us to go to BLUE CARABAO restaurant. Said it is affordable and very good resto well….. we are sooo disappointed. My husband is planning to retire in the Philippines particular in davao in 2 years time but needs more understanding and more infos. Wish u could help also.

    Thanks Bob

    cristy

    • says

      Hi cristy – Give it a try to roam around Davao! I’m sure you will find plenty of places to like. Yes, Blue Carabao is more of a carinderia type outlet, not really fine dining! Enjoy!

  45. Ed says

    Hello Bob,
    I went quickly thru your list. I’ve been in Davao 14 months. I’m surprised you did no mention La Toscana Italian Ristorante on Quirino Blvd. Best authentic food and a big menu to choose from from appetizers to salads, soups, pasta, pizza and desserts. This is ala carte but also complete dinners available at reasonable prices.
    Out on the waterfront there is Hagar’s Place. A Hungarian owned restaurant with authentic sausages, without the drunk college crowd. Mostly expats and tourists.
    We shall try some of the ones mentioned here. I’m very selective when I eat and so I am careful where I eat.
    Thanks for the info
    C-Ya
    Ed

    • says

      Hi Ed – I just wrote last week about La Toscana in rather glowing terms, as a comment on John Miele’s article. I really love La Toscana, and have eaten there many times. The article you commented on is a very old article, BTW, so things change over the years! :lol:

      Hagar’s Place? Been there one time, and only one time. Will never go back again. I felt the food was terrible. Now, that was like 5 years ago, and they had not been open long at the time, so perhaps they have improved. Lanang is very far from my house, though, about an hour drive, so given my experience there in the past, I won’t travel out there to eat again. Also, I really don’t like to hang out in expat places.

      Thank you for your suggestions, though, Ed. I hope you enjoy living in Davao as much as I do!

  46. Todd Hirsch says

    Hi Bob!.. You are the expert of Davao! Love this page and the reviews…

    I will go to try every restaurant on your list.. I have been to a few of them already. I don’t agree with Ranchero Grill being on the list… I dined there in Gensen and the service was not very good.. and the food was only okay.. they also were out of steaks.. lol….. Then I did get a steak from them in the SM Mall location.. and it was not very good.. (not USA steak) I am just saying.. if you call the restaurant “Ranchero Grill” I expect big Texas style steaks and some black Angus beef at-least…

    The best steak in all of Gensen is at Big Ben’s .. real black Angus thick cut steaks from the USA…. good stuff… =) Very cool owners.. hope they open one in Davao….

    I agree that the Swiss Deli is good, and they do have Black Angus.. but not thick cuts…I am a steak guy obliviously…lol. One thing this city needs is a good steak house with Kobe beef.. got to go to Manila for that…. Kobe beef is the best steak in the world… (in my opinion and most foodies opinions)

    I will be opening a restaurant here in Davao soon.. and I hope it makes your list… =)

    Thanks Bob

    • says

      Hi Todd, I an surprised that you did not have a grebe experience at ranchero, in my opinion they are super. Of course it depends on what you order though. I rate them on scale with anywhere I have eaten in the States.

      You can get Kobe beef in Davao, but the supply is limited and thus I don’t really make the source public. :-)

      When you open a restaurant I will sure give it a try, just let me know.

  47. Jose Maria Perez Adalia says

    Dear Bob;:I’m really surprised by the comments here in Philippines about paella, even I read recipes in filipinos product packaging. me and my asawa we really like the paella and we eat it very often but ……in my house
    I am recently retired and i live in Calinan for over a year and I was a chef in Spain, there are several types of rice dishes in Spain that they call paella but the authentic PAELLA VALENCIANA dont contains fish or seafood, meat only “chicken and rabbit or pork.”
    I’ll go one day to eat at Hola Espana and i will post my comment but if you really want to eat an authentic paella Valenciana, answer me how to contact you and I will invite you to my house when you wish.Best regards

    • says

      Hi Jose – Congratulations on your retirement! I hope you are enjoying a nice life in Calinan!

      I am honored at your invitation to enjoy your cooking in your home! I would be happy to accept your kind offer and my wife and I visit you and partake in your Paella! Thank you very much. Please contact me and fill me in with details! We will also bring something along to complete the meal!

      • Jose Maria Perez Adalia says

        Dear Bob,i am a bit busy now,i will contact you by the end of this month to meet one day and go to my house to have a really nice SPANISH FOOD (Gazpacho Andaluz,Spanish Omelette,Paella Valenciana..).You dont need to bring anything,i will do the real Spanish SANGRIA as a complement.
        I see you at the end of the month.Regards

  48. Jeff says

    HI Bob, just wondering if you had more updated restaurant reviews. Seems like this is from 2008 – 5 years ago.

    Thanks

    –Jeff

  49. says

    Hi Bob! Finally got around to trying Claude’s! Their food was amazing and I am glad to report that the quality of the food in this restaurant lived up to the hype! I have tried most of the restos in this list and I would also put them in my top 10 if I ever made one on the blog. Thanks for sharing! I am keeping on eye on your blog for the latest in Davao dining!

  50. says

    Hi aWeng I Allen – It was a hard job to test all these places, but somehow I made it through! :lol:

    I am happy that you enjoy my site!

  51. says

    Hi Bruce Jay – Thanks for visiting my site! It sounds like you've made a lot of rounds of Davao Restaurants! When you are here, don't miss Bryan's Grill and Mamu's, they are excellent too!

  52. says

    Hi gail – I consider myself a local. I have lived in Davao longer than I have lived any other place in my entire life. Dabawenyo ko, di ba? :lol:

    I don't have any other recommendations right now, and I don't know Som's, so I can't say if I have anything like that. I haven't been to Manila (including Matkati) for about 5 years now, and don't know the place well. I hope you can check out some of these Davao restaurants, and I hope you like them.

  53. says

    Hi Ray – I don't know of any such places. Really, if you find something for sale here, it is generally not doing well and that is why it is being sold. I believe you would be best to start something new.

  54. says

    Hi Ray – I used to be a big fan of Claude's, but I've had bad food there too many times now. They are no longer among my favorites. Claude himself is a great guy, and I like him a lot. If he is around the food is good. If he is not there, the food is not so good. Just my opinion. Jack's Ridge? Great view, nice ambiance. Food is below average, though.

    Best three restaurants in Davao at this time are:

    1. De Bonte Ko
    2. Bryan's Grill
    3. Mamu's Resto Bar

  55. architecta says

    the 1st site i landed and i already got what i was looking for. Maraming salamat! We will be celebrating tonight for my successful take in the board exam, and i get to choose the place. This will be my 1st time at hola espanyola.. hope i made the right decision!

    Thanks for the number!

  56. says

    Hi Gert – Wow! I'm glad that you enjoyed Picobello! It is getting where there are a few good Pizzas to be found in Davao! You should also try the Osso Bucco at Picobello, it's really excellent!

  57. says

    Manu’s Resto Bar – I’ve heard of this place few times. Knowing that you recommend it, I will certainly visit them asap! What kind of cuisine do they offer? Price range? Thank you!

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