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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!