Saturday, July 16, 2011

Authentic Davao Food

Lip-smacking traditional Davao food

Davao City cannot be measured when it comes to eateries. It is so because the Dabawenyos' humble way of daily life dictates their simple tastes and choices of food. While roaming in and around the City, you may come to see so many lovely cafés and classy restaurants that are rich in dishing up lip-smacking traditional food along with international delights. Above and beyond, you can also relish your food with yummy wines, fruity numbers that come from the most elite and discriminating section of society loaded with big-gun ale.

Naturally, the capital city is a superlative place to dine where you are offered with choicest of cuisines available at roadside cafés and inns, chic bars, and plush eating joints. American hamburgers and french fried potatoes, Chinese cuisines, Korean food and Japanese tastes are able to satiate your hunger. The list of international specialities goes on and on and on . . . . It is okay to be fashionable and popular in dining, BUT NOT FOR ME!

Personally, I still prefer the simple and yet creatively prepared Davao everyday dishes made up of the lowly Matangbaka, Bangus, Malasugi, Tilapia, Pasayan, Alimango, Guso, Lato, Katambak, Moro-moro, Bodboron, Barileson, Lapu-lapu, Maya-maya, and the list goes on as well . . . . In my book, authentic Davao food is second to none!

Here are some of the popular dishes I came to know and love in Davao City:

Kinilaw na Tuna

Kinilaw is a popular seafood dish in Davao City. The dish is typically made from fresh, raw Tuna or Swordfish (Malasugi) marinated in vinegar and citrus juices such as lemon or lime, spiced with chili peppers (siling labuyo) and seasoned with ginger, onion, and salt.

Kinilaw Sushi Style


Sinuglaw is a contraction of the words, Sinugba (Grilled) and Kinilaw. It is a combination of fresh Tuna or Malasugi and grilled pork marinated in vinegar and citrus juices such as lemon or lime, spiced with chili peppers (siling labuyo) and seasoned with ginger, onion, and salt.

Sinugbang Panga
(Grilled Tuna Jaw)

Sinugbang Nokus
(Grilled Squid)

Sinubang Liempo
(Grilled Pork Belly)

Sinugbang Bihod
(Grilled Tuna Fish Roe)

Bihod is the fish roe of a male Tuna.

Sinugbang Bagaybay
(Grilled Tuna Fish Roe)

Bagaybay is the fish roe of a female Tuna.

Sinugbang Ikog sa Bariles
(Grilled Tuna Fish Tail)

Sinugbang Bodboron
(Grilled Mackerel Scad)

Sinugbang Pecho sa Manok
(Grilled Chicken Breast)

(Grilled Chicken)

Inato is a shorten word for "atin ito", thus "inato" or " it is our" in English. Inato is a way a chicken is cooked.

(Deep-Fried Shrimps)

Piniritong Ikog sa Bariles
(Deep-Fried Tuna Fish Tail)

(Baked Scallops)

(Clam Soup)

Tolang Pasayan
(Boiled Shrimps)


Sutokil is a contracted words of Sugba (Grilled), Tola (Boiled), and Kinilaw (Fresh Tuna fish marinated in vinegar), and is a very popular combination of dishes in Davao City.

(Fresh Seaweeds made into salad)

(Another variety of Seaweeds made into salad)

(Cooked vegetables)

Law-Uy is an all-time Visayan favotite. It consists mainly of several fresh vegetables cooked with fish.

Sinigang na Malasugi
(Swordfish cooked in Tamarind soup)


Dinuguan is a popular dish in Davao City. It consists of entrails of pork cooked in pork's blood seasoned with vinegar and spices.

(Dried and salted fish)

(Rice cooked in coconut leaves)


Binignit or Ginataan in Tagalog is an all-time favorite refreshment in Davao City. It is a combination of several fruits cooked in coconut milk.

(Grilled Saba or Cardaba)

Durian Pie

Durian Ice Cream

Durian Shake


  1. Hi, I'm going to Davao next week, and bump to your blog. Very interesting and informative blog, and I love all the foods pictures that you have. They look so yummy..

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Vivian, good luck to your Davao trip next week and thank you for finding my blog interesting and informative. Looking at these photos make me hungry, too.

  2. The food looks yummy and makes me hungry! We're lucky to be living in Davao because all these great food choices are within our reach! :)

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  4. try also to visit this one of a kind restaurant in Davao City.

  5. this is really helpful. thanks so much for making this! :D

  6. Can you suggest a good local resto please?

  7. I got my idea from your blog to cook kinilaw for my boyfriend, he's from Davao and I believe he has been craving for one of their delicacies/specialties. Thanks!

  8. Awesome and very interesting blog page. I went to Davao together with my friends last month and the place was really good and also there are best restaurants in Davao City which is really worth it. Thank you so much for sharing this article.


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