In the Philippines, lechon serves as the definitive centrepiece to any banquet. With meat roasted to perfection, the dish elevates any celebration through its sheer beauty and bold taste.
Foodies will find no shortage of lechon wherever they might find themselves in the Philippines. But, there are just some roasters who create recipes or methods that are enough to make their dishes stand out.
Metro Manila: The centre of lechon in the Philippines
North of Metro Manila
Metro Manila loves lechon; the boundless restaurants dedicated to the dish prove this. But among the several lechon options in Manila, La Loma stands out as the classic roastery. Taking a jeep to Retiro is a bad idea when hungry because all the pigs can be seen skewered on display outside the restaurants. Worse if their freshly roasted smell emanates through the air! Pray that the traffic isn’t heavy.
There isn’t really a bad choice when it comes to picking out lechon in La Loma. The multitude of options available here is a boon to people who want to try out lechon for the first time. For lechon lovers and veterans, La Loma’s restaurants will definitely impress with their rich flavours.
With these choices, of course, come options for customers on a budget. Monchie’s Lechon is uncompromising when it comes to flavours and can easily fill a small group’s celebration. The restaurant might be young, but it can easily compete with the best.
But if you prefer lechon that’s gone through the test of time, two legends will compete for the tastebuds: Mila’s Lechon and Ping Ping’s Lechon. Both restaurants are responsible for developing La Loma’s reputation as the lechon capital of the Philippines. Expect a lot of patrons to flock to these restaurants 24/7; ordering early for suckling pigs is strongly recommended!
While there is a handful of delicious lechon in SM North, Rico’s Lechon is just a cut above the rest. Another institution for creating not just the best lechon in the Philippines, this Cebu-borne restaurant has been adopted by foodies all over the country. It has multiple branches, all of which produce the tastiest lechon Cebu with consistency. The restaurant truly understands how fun cooking suckling pigs are, and they are not afraid to try bolder flavours for variety. Try the lechon with their coveted sukalami!
South of Metro Manila
La Loma can be far for our lechon enthusiasts from the south. Fortunately, Baclaran is also home to some of the best lechon in the Philippines; so, braving through Metro Manila traffic doesn’ a problem. And when hunger strikes on Roxas Boulevard, seeing Lydia’s Lechon restaurant on the side will want to make you stop.
Another institution in cooking lechon in Manila, it has been years since Lydia’s is around. Thankfully, their lechon only gets better with age. Pair their juicy proteins with their rich kare-kare broths or stir-fried vegetables for a meal with multiple layers of flavour.
Makati and BGC
Makati remains a growing gastropub for culinary artisans. So, it’s no surprise that one of the most popular lechon in Makati draws influence from Western Visayas. Sabroso Lechon hails from Bacolod but has made a name for itself through its patented taste. The use of lemongrass elevates their suckling pig’s flavour, giving it a fresh zest with every bite. Dip the meat in spiced vinegar to further deepen its flavour profile!
For a gourmet take on the suckling pig, Grace Park is on the verge of becoming a culinary institution in Rockwell, and their lechon is one of the reasons. The restaurant flies pigs all the way from Negros farms. The result? Culinary masterpieces. Customers can also indulge in their lechon in sinigang or sisig dishes during weekends or special occasions.
The mark of great lechon is its flavour, but half the fun comes from its crispy skin! At Tatang’s Lechon in BGC, they make it their mission to always cook their lechon bellies with consistently crispy skin and meat that explodes with fresh flavours. These delicious, succulent meats are pure meat bliss — literally, since these are always boneless when served!
As Las Pinas slowly becomes another hub for gastronomic adventures, it’s time that we give their lechon their flowers. Lechon de Las Pinas is one of the most prolific roasters of lechon in the Philippines. Their clientele ranges from business owners to mainstream celebrities — a popularity definitely earned through the consistency of their firm roasts. Their flavours are delicate, too, which makes the meat easy to enjoy.
The best lechon in Luzon
Lechon will have a few different distinctions, with most provinces having their own flavour profile. Ed and Daisy Lechon have all the qualities to become an outstanding joint for lechon in Tagaytay. Expect succulent meat, crispy skin, and layered aromas when slicing pieces of the protein, with a divine dipping sauce to tie its flavours together.
Lechon baka can also be ordered in Ed and Daisy. While a bit pricey, this dish surely tastes heavenly!
Meanwhile, Bale Dutung in Pampanga is a destination for delicious food, with lechon as the main draw. This private dining space in Angeles holds so many culinary treasures, ranging from Kapampangan to traditional Spanish cuisine. But, it’s their Six Ways Lechon that captures a lot of hearts when it’s on the dinner table. This roasted pig has a reputation for delivering multiple flavours in every single bite. It is best paired with fresh vegetables that aren’t too difficult to enjoy, like cherry tomatoes or minced lemongrass, to give it a fresh, zesty kick.
The best lechon in Cebu
Ah yes, Cebu. Should anyone want to explore the lineage of delicious lechon in the Philippines, all roads might just lead back to the Queen City of the South. Cebu’s reputation as a prime pig roaster is undisputed, and its present influence over the most popular lechon restaurants throughout the Philippines continues to prove it.
To get a taste of lechon Cebu at its best, locals will swear by the House of Lechon. This restaurant serves authentic lechon all the way from Carcar City. Every bite is filled with a sublime flavour that has salty and sour notes, but it’s just right. Dip it in the restaurant’s special sweet, sour, and spicy vinegar for a delicious meal in the heart of Cebu.
The best lechon in Davao
Tucked inside the busy Bangkerohan Market is possibly the best lechon in Davao City. Food stalls in the market make use of palm oil and hot pans instead of coals when creating their lechon. More deep-fried than roasted, Bangkerohan lechon’s crispy skin and tender juicy meat create a beautiful paradox on the palate.
There is still a lot more to discover when it comes to lechon in the Philippines. The most inquisitive foodies will have to comb over the islands to find even more delicious roasted pigs! So whether the dipping sauce is liver or spiced vinegar, this simple dish will never fail to make an impact on any meal.
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