Best Mexican and Jamaican Restaurants

Ok, so here are my two picks for the best Jamaican and Mexican restaurants in Dumaguete.  Both of these are located south of the city proper – True Love is first up on the left as you are heading south and Senorita’s is located on the right in Banilad.  As with most things, if it’s your first time going to either place, be sure to have data on your phone and use Google Maps – they are both listed.



Senorita’s Mexican Grill

Hours: Open Tues through Sunday 10 AM to 10 PM
Aircon: No
Wifi: Yes
Cost: Moderate (good-sized portions)
Facebook:  Senorita’s Mexican Grill
Tripadvisor: Senorita’s Mexican Grill  (Five Stars – 17 reviews)

There’s not much doubt about it:  Senorita’s Mexican Grill is quite the stop for those seeking tastes from South of the Border (American border, that is).  Prices are moderately priced, portions are abundant and the attention to detail to their culinary crafts is incredibly high.  Senorita’s opened in 2016, and its Mexico-centric comestibles have hit a high note among Dumaguete’s residents.  Their best seller is the super-deluxe burrito (320 pesos) and they also offer a dizzying variety of other dishes (shrimp tacos for 320 p is also a home run).  Oh, and don’t forget that Sunday is 50-peso taco day!!  Senorita’s also offers the site for birthdays, anniversary celebrations and the like. Note also that Senorita’s has a Five Star rating (with 17 reviews) on Tripadvisor.


The lovely and talented Senorita’s Staff


brick oven, baby.


Google Map
Senorita’s Mexican Grill is located on the left side of the southern national road in Bacong just before Thunder Road Bar and Grill.



True Love Café – Best Jamaican Restaurant

Yeah, mon.


Hours: Open Tues through Sunday 8 AM to 10 PM
Aircon: Yes
Wifi: Yes
Cost: Low (Satisfaction:  Incredibly high)
Tripadvisor Reviews:  True Love Cafe

True Love Cafe is a true treat to the residents of Dumaguete:  An authentic Jamaican restaurant overseen by an totally authentic Jamaican (the absolutely unique, Orville H.), the small roadside eatery that opened in 2013 specializes in a myriad of Jamaican specialties including jerked chicken and goat, scrumptious dumplings, parrot fish escoviche and a variety of curries and pizza.  As an added bonus, each entree comes with complimentary bowl of sumptuous soup and a nice serving of cornbread (both made fresh daily).  If you are only staying in the city for a short period of time, I highly recommend taking the time to check out! If you are wondering just how good the food is here, know that the restaurant is rated Five Stars on Tripadvisor (with 112 votes) The only possible downside to True Love is it’s location: It’s located right on the road and passing traffic can be a bit much if you are sitting outside.  Thankfully, Orville closed off the interior a while back, so if the traffic is bad, you can always eat inside the colorful restaurant in air-conditioned comfort. Orville is also very involved with a number of charitable events throughout the city, and his public feedings are definitely a step above the McDo spagetti-fests that we used to do.

Pizzas typically run around 150 pesos, curries around the same.

Note that the restaurant used to be called “One Love Cafe” but the legal team of Bob Marley’s estate ‘asked’ Orville to change the name.  Also, the inverter aircon that Orville is using is actually running off of a dedicated solar array on the roof of the restaurant.


Google Map to True Love Cafe

True Love is located on the left side of the southern national road.  It is just past the Shell Station to the right of the road, and if you’ve reached Seaoil on the right, you’ve gone to far.  With it’s very colorful exterior, it’s kind of hard to miss.

Best Mexican and Jamaican Restaurants

Senoritas Mexican Grill


Google Map

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True Love Café

Open Tues through Sunday 8 AM to 10 PM.

Five stars out of 112 reviews on Tripadvisor.


Google Map

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Best Bakeshop and Desserts


When it comes to sweets, Dumaguete has it’s fair sprinkling of tasty bakeries and shops. The best in Dumaguete desserts can be found listed below.


Sans Rival

Sans Rival started in Dumaguete and has since spread to the rest of the Philippines.  Their best treats are their renowned silvanas (the butter option is killer) and cakes – especially their super yummy carrot cakes.  This is also a go-to for anyone looking for custom birthday or other celebratory cakes.

Sans Rival Bakery
Located just behind the Sans Rival Bisto restaurant.
Facebook:  Sans Rival

Silvanas SR
Custom Cakes SR



Mmmmmmm Fried Ice Cream P

Panda Ice Cream Haus

Hours:  Seven days a week 9 AM to 8 PM.
Aircon:  Yes!
Wifi:  Yes
Facebook:  Panda Ice Cream House – 4.1 Stars out of 76 reviews

The name basically explains it all. If you have never had fried ice cream, Panda is here to meet your new experiential needs. Dumaguete ice cream rarely gets any better than this lovely combination of fire and ice. Only downside is that it closes fairly early.

Oh Yeah, Baby P


Gabby’s Bistro GB


Gabby’s Bistro

Gabby’s has three locations across the city.  The restaurant offers incredibly cool ambiance (American kitschy chic), good food and rather yummy deserts.  When my sweet tooth is acting up, I usually swing by their Bistro location for an Apple Crumble (vanilla ice cream over apple crumble pie).  Oh, yeah, baby.

Gabby’s Bistro GB


Gabby’s Bistro – Rizal Boulevard Location


Gabby’s Bistro – East Rovira (Original) Location

Best Korean, Japanese and Chinese Food



Soban Korean Resto SR

I have had a love affair with Asian food since my folks first took me to a kitschy “Chinese-American” restaurant and got me a poo-poo platter. Coincidentally, that was also the genesis of my acute MSG addiction.   Since then, I was thankfully converted to real Asian food through amigos of the Asian persuasion and we would all go out nearly every week to Chinatown in Boston for some REAL Chinese cuisine.

Mmmmmm…. Soban Yummy…. SKR

Outside of major metropolitan areas like Manila and Cebu, it’s not so easy finding consistently good Asian fare.  Thankfull, Dumaguete has been blessed with a number of good Oriental (are we allowed to say “Oriental” anymore?) eateries.  Among them are….


Soban is hands-down my favorite restaurant in Dumaguete.  The food is consistently excellent, the service is spectacular and the aircon is nice and cool.  We usually split the spicy pork entree (jeyuk bokkeum 320 p) and buy an extra rice.  The meal comes with all the yummy sides (little bowls of kimchi, pickled eggplant, Korean pancake, and more) and free hot and ice tea.  An excellent outing for about 350 pesos that will leave your belly quite full and satisfied.  Soban is located across from Provincial Hospital on the North Road.

Making the Magic Happen





Power Up just opened this year, and it was quite nice to run across it.  Unlike Dumaguete’s other “Chinese” restaurant, Power Up has an actual Chinese chef, and the first few times there it was EXCELLENT!  Unfortunately, they just got a new chef, and the food didn’t seem as good.  Victuals there are served up ‘family style,’ so you can actually share the apparantly pricy platters.  We usually go with the delectable stir fried spinich (kangkong water spinach)  and split a seafood dish.  Service is not spectacular and they seem to go through wait staff quite a bit.  It would also be nice if the EXTENSIVE menu was footnoted in English.  And yes, you can tell it’s good Chinese food due to the number of Chinese tourists there.

Power Up Staff
First Floor Dining Area



Power Up is located just off the boulevard where the old Zanzibar Club used to be.




Mifune is a sweet treat that is located right in the heart of the city.  It’s been providing Japanese fare for years now and its Tuesday and Saturday All You Can Eat buffet (from 6 PM – to 9 PM) is quite the sushi-fest for only 330 pesos per person.  Just be advised that it is first come, first serve.  They also don’t take credit cards.  Cash talks and credit cards walk at this establishment, so be sure to bring a good quantity of pesos.




Yet Another Satisfied Customer