TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
This barbecue square-type strip has earned its reputation as the local’s barbecue go-to place. Hence, it is often recommended to be visited by tourists who wanted to have an authentic Cebu local dining experience. Here, you’ll be able to eat with the locals, try local cuisine and eat famous and favorite dishes cooked the local way.
According to some stories, Larsian is taken from the combined name of Larry and Siana. The couple started selling their street foods to local residents sometime in the 1980s. They got famous for their ‘inihaw’ (Filipino term for grilled) seafood as the locals patronize their food offering. Due to their thriving business, they become famous in their locale and have become busy as well. When they found a lot that’s perfect to turn into a square strip of food stalls they decided to develop it. They started accepting small business vendors and accommodated a larger crowd that comes daily for lunch, dinner, and late snacks. As diners increased, they renovated the place to improve the dining experience of their patrons.
Food Park Layout
The layout is similar to a covered plaza with several stalls that offer different varieties of grilled meats and seafood. Most of the stalls here are displaying their wares of skewers and live seafood aquariums. To keep the place organized and prevent the barbecue smoke from blowing right up the diners’ faces, the grilling takes place at the center of the square.
Stalls here offer almost the same menu that’s why competition is high among vendors. The moment you step in, you’ll hear them inviting diners to try their food. Most of them would approach and ask you to order from their booth but would dissipate as soon as you’ve chosen where to eat. You can order your food by either choosing one of the vendors who approached you, or by going to the stall you prefer. In my case, I did the latter since I went to each booth first to look at their food offerings. Once you have decided and approached your chosen vendor, they will direct you to a table across their booth. Each stall here has an assigned area where their diners can eat. After choosing your preferred table, the waiter would approach you to give the menu.
The booth I choose offers heaps of food options. They serve grilled food with different types and cuts of meat. They also, provide free soup and set meals. As for me, since I’ve discovered that Cebu Chorizo is one of the famous dishes here, I thought this is a good place to try it. Their version of chorizo here is full on flavors and tasted really great when grilled. It is appropriately burnt at the right places and the smoky taste blends well with its flavors. The sugar in the sausage that caramelized makes it even more appetizing. The food set I ordered comes with the pork barbecue and a platter of ‘puso’ which is rice cooked in woven palm leaves.
Another reason why eating here is fun is because you are expected to eat using your bare hands. However, they would also provide disposable plastic gloves should you want to eat using your hands with a cover. If you are more comfortable eating with spoon and fork, you can simply ask them for it.
Payment is given after eating. You will just simply call a waiter and once they approached you, they will count the remaining ‘puso’ in the platter and then tell you how much you have to pay. In my case, I was surprised to have eaten a lot but only paid a little. Eating here is really good for cheap tasty treats.
Larsian is teeming with people ergo expect a lively scene especially at night. It is normal to hear different languages since the diners here are a good mix of natives and tourists. Some of the customers you would see are group of friends, family, and professionals grabbing a quick bite or dropping by to buy dinner before going home.
Whether you’re dining for grilled sticks or understanding the local dining scene, Larsian is worth a visit to explore the food culture of Cebu. No wonder it has become locals favorite as it allows you to have grilled food feast that’s easy on the pocket. So when in Larsian, have fun while dining and be sure to eat like a local. Eat with bare hands or with plastic gloves and allow yourself to smell like barbecue, after all as the locals say that is a part of a true Larsian dining experience.
Larsian Sa Fuente
Don Mariano Cui St, Cebu City, Cebu
Daily 2:00pm – 3:00am
0922 620 5921
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Happy Travels! 💛