Restaurant in Davao city

Restaurant in Davao city

There are undoubtedly a lot of good lechon houses in Davao and a few of them also serves a fair share of other Filipino dishes in their menu. In Davao, the more popular types of restaurants are generally those that serve grilled dishes or seafood. Most restaurants that built itself up as lechon houses eventually venture to sell other traditional Filipino dishes because it is always in demand and it’s more practical to have a variety when cooking and selling food. Here is a list of a few lechon houses that also sell other varieties of Filipino cuisines.

1. Azon’s Boneless Lechon [McArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City
(in front of NCCC Mall Davao) ]

Undeniably one of the most sought-after lechon houses in Davao, Azon’s boneless lechon also sells other classic Filipino dishes like “Sisig” and “Laing”. They also have dishes that incorporate their famous lechon like “Sinigang na lechon”. The restaurant has a complete menu; they have appetizers, soups, vegetable, rice meals, and drinks. They even have tidbits like banana and cassava chips that can be bought for “pasalubong” (or food souvenirs usually brought back to friends and families).

2. Beko’s Kitchen by Beko’s Biik [Door 3, 703 Building, Tionko Avenue, Davao City]

Starting out its popularity with its signature lechon biik, Beko’s kitchen started as a lechon house that grew recognition from its radio ad that promoted a hotline number “227-BIIK” for lechon biik It’s owner, Beverly Lim, had a vision for the business to grow and branch out into something like a one-stop takeout counter. Thus, it started its production of other dishes like Kinilaw na Tuna and Baked Iberian Chicken. Their dishes give out a “home-cooked” kind of vibe and are usually prepared in servings fit for 10-15 people. They cook and sell dishes per tray, which are perfect for small gathering and celebrations. Frozen and bottled treats are also available at their takeout counters.

3. Siggy’s Lechon liempo [11 Circumferential Rd, Poblacion District, Davao City]

As their name suggests, Siggy’s is known for their lechon liempo. It is considered as a lechon variety as it looks and has a skin like lechon. The meat itself, however, actually tastes like “liempo” (grilled pork). This signature dish is still as tasty and juicy as its counterparts, if not more. Other than the lechon liempo, they also serve lechon manok, fried chicken, pork ribs, pakbet, pancit, desserts, and many more classic Filipino dishes.

4. Minda’s Lechon [Alaska St, Agdao, Davao City]

A smaller lechon restaurant that also serves a variety of food is Minda’s lechon. They serve dishes like Kalderetang Kambing and Dinuguan. It may not be as popular as other lechon houses, but it is well received in the area and has been providing lechon orders to satisfied customers.

5. Kakimkris Lechon [Fairlanes Compound, F. Torres St, Bajada, Davao City]

Kakimkris lechon house, aside from lechon, sells other pork dishes like Bopis, Kaldereta, Kinilaw, and Chicharon Bulaklak. Another small lechon house business but does not go unnoticed with the locals. Kakimkris lechon takes orders big celebrations like weddings and company events.

6. Brand’s Native lechon [Roxas Ext, Digos City ]

A family-owned lechon house outside of Davao city. This lechon house has a unique specialty. They stuff their lechon with whole chickens, different kinds of seafood and other herbs and spices in one concoction of dynamic flavors before roasting the lechon.  It has piqued the interest of foreign visitors and was even featured in a video by a Youtube channel called “Best Ever Food review Show.”

7. Xantino’s lechon, Tuna and Kambingan [426 Tulip Dr, Juna Subdivision, Barangay 74-A, Matina Crossing Tulip Dr, Juna Subdivision, Barangay 74-A, Matina Crossing, Davao City]

Xantino’s lechon is a small lechon chain with 2 other branches in Davao. It sells meals with lechon and other dishes with main ingredients like Tuna an Kambing (goat). It is a quaint location that offers good and fast service. They also take orders for a whole lechon.

8. Yan’s boneless lechon [Matina Aplaya Rd, Talomo, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur]

A small business like Brand’s native lechon, Yan’s boneless lechon is located in a small town and owned by a small family. Their setup is a small canteen-like environment where other Filipino dishes are served in trays. They are known and visited mostly because of their boneless lechon.

9. Mikki’s lechon  [Paseo Grande Building, Catalunan Grande 8000 Davao City

Mikki’s lechon has made a name for itself after being visited by Davao’s Mayor, Sara Duterte-Carpio. It has been dubbed “the best there is in the city” by the Mayor herself. Established in 2007, has made a solid foundation of its services and consistently offers an efficient delivery service throughout Davao. They also add in plates of “Dinuguan” for their orders and some nice “Mang Tomas” sauce.

10. Eden’s Lechon[Abreeza Mall, Davao City]

It is a lechon restaurant in a mall in Davao City. Eden’s lechon serves set meals with lechon and other Filipino dishes such as Kare-kare and Paksiw. Their meal includes rice and drinks and is quite an affordable and quality buy.

The restaurants that are setup in Davao that boasts the best lechons and the most delicious Filipino foods may all seem similar for those that have not tried it, but they have made the list


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Davao Lechon de Leche

Davao Lechon de Leche

Food connoisseurs have sang praises to Davao lechon de leche. This dish has been shared by Filipino families for centuries, but it’s origin can be traced from the Spaniards who has definitely influenced a lot of our popular local cuisines. Although long before the s

“Leche” is a Spanish word for milk, and it perfectly refers to the suckling pig roasted to perfection over smoldering coals. Newly-weaned piglets are the preferred option to roast as these provide the best meat quality. While the heat slowly cooks the meaty flesh and burns the fat to a juicy goodness, the slow rotational motion evenly cooks the pork skin to a crisp.

The lechon has always graced the buffet tables in fiestas, weddings, baptisms, or any celebration. Guests always look forward to sampling the lechon de leche’s delicious morsels. It’s flavor infused meat is secondary to the crowd favorite- the crispy and slightly salty skin. I remember childhood
memories where my siblings fought over getting the biggest chunk of lechon skin, and our mother awarding this to the most behaved child. The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure we’re not the only family who shared memories related to the lechon. Any Filipino can definitely relate.

Someone once jokingly noted that you can tell where a person’s from byhow that person eats lechon. The people down south likes their lechon dipped in vinegar-garlic sauce, while those from the north prefer a thicker sauce or gravy. It’s true that we take our sauce seriously. In fact, a well-known Philippine company built its business around it.

There are different types of letchon. However the two main flavors are original and spicy. The types of letchon are based on it’s size. For instance, there’s the most sought after lechon de leche, lechon belly or boneless lechon, and the whole lechon baboy. Innovation brought about unique variations like feetchon, lechon chicharon, and pritchon.

The preparation and the way the lechon is cooked are considered an art form. Patience is required because it can never be prepared in haste. The desired flavor and even the crispiness of the lechon’s skin can only be achieved through time. The “lechonero” has to adjust the coals, rotate the hoisted pig while adjusting the speed of rotation depending on how the roasted pig already looks. To make this special dish into a succulent and crispy delicacy, detailed preparation and commendable efforts are made.

Before the herbs and spices are rubbed into the meat, the pig’s innards are removed to make room for the special stuffing. The most common ingredients are lemon grass (tanglad), leeks, pepper, and garlic. The piglet is then hoisted into a long bamboo rod, while for lechon belly rolls, the meat slab is rolled into a log and fastened into shape by tying it with baker’s twig. This is then either slowly roasted – rotisserie style or, in the case of lechon rolls, baked in an oven.

The slow cooking creates the succulent and juicy lechon. The spices and tanglad give it’s flavor. It’s skin is made crisp by basking the surface with a mixture of milk and water while it was being roasted. Others frequently rub oil onto the skin to make it more crispy once cooked. I’ve also come across a recipe where the skin is frequently glazed with Sprite using a sponge.

There is definitely more than one way to cook lechon de leche. Some Cebuanos claim that the secret is not cook it through coal but through flames or fire. Another blog suggested that the coals must not be placed directly under the lechon, but that it should be strategically placed in a row on both sides of the lechon.

Pricing ranges from 3000 pesos to as much as 9000 pesos for a whole lechon. This is one of the reasons why lechon de leche is becoming a more popular option for those who are a bit budget conscious. Depending on the size and weight of the roasted pig, the price is set but the consumers still consider it as having value for money. Recently, in some fast foods, the lechon can be ordered as a value meal.  

This dish is definitely worthy of anyone’s attention, if not for it’s taste, but also for the effort one invests in making it. No wonder, in the Philippines, the lechon has earned a world-wide recognition. The Davao lechon de leche is catching a lot of the world connoisseurs’ attention, and it’s also gaining popularity in the local food scene.

t’s meets all the expectations in terms of taste, value for money, and availability. No doubt, the lechon de leche puts Davao in the map.

The good news is that this recipe as dynamic as it is will continue to evolve. It’s always going to capture the interest of people all over the world. And why not? It’s intriguing. Inviting. It’s amazing.

The Davao lechon de leche is something not only Dabawenyos should be proud of, but also any Filipino who has ever commented on social media sites about being proud to be Pinoy. It’s good to be known for our talents and unique characteristics. However, to be applauded for our ingenuity in our cuisines is something else. After all, although it’s true that food can define and differentiate culture, food also has the power to unite. The lechoneros of Davao are doing great in making this happen whether or not they’re aware of their sphere of influence. It’s inherent for Dabawenyos to be proud of tradition and culture. They’re completely grounded on the importance of doing one’s job well as the best contribution to society. One can understand why
Davao can easily claim having the best lechon de leche in the world. 


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The Craving for Davao Boneless Lechon

The Craving for Davao Boneless Lechon

Their has been many variations to this favorite dish which has always been present in Filipino
celebrations and family occasions. With the Christmas and New Year festivities nearly approaching, the lechon shops are preparing for the busiest and their most profitable time of the year. The lechon business has always been thriving because it’s a dish that has become a staple in any celebration, and of course, everybody knows that we Filipinos love to celebrate. Dabawenyos prove that they know how to celebrate as evident in their twist to the traditional lechon baboy. I’m referring to the ever popular Davao boneless lechon. 

Although our ancestors may have been roasting pigs long before the Spaniards came, the lechon’s origins cannot be completely traced as a delicacy originating from the Philippines. Researchers link the origin of the lechon recipe to Spain. The flavor and cuisine influence of Spain to our own dishes can’t be missed. However, our innate creativity led the way to discovering new tastes and flavors to something that’s been around for centuries.

Derived from the Spanish word “Leche” meaning milk, the Philippines’ lechon is a suckling pig that’s slowly roasted over smoldering coals . The way it’s prepared and cooked may vary, but it’s the same famous dish that has been served around the world. As simple as it is, this dish has earned global attention almost at the same level as the Philippine adobo.  

Lechon has always been the highlight in buffets prepared for baptisms, fiestas, weddings, or any celebration. The Lechon used to be defined as a roasted whole suckling pig, but as our lives became more fast paced, and convenience and time have been given much value, we’ve discovered new ways to prepare the lechon. It used to be a dish that’s prepared on an open pit of smoldering hot charcoal, but now the same flavors and texture can be achieved inside the kitchen of one’s home. After all, cuisines are continuously improved and innovation can be applied to almost anything.

Boneless lechon costs less but gives the same mouth-watering goodness. For a significantly more affordable price than that of a whole lechon baboy, boneless lechon belly roll would look just as fancy on the buffet table. It will grace any special occasion worthy to be remembered for years to come.

More and more people are opting for lechon belly because it’s easier to prepare. One can easily make a lechon belly roll with almost little to hassle-free preparation. You can come up with your own unique recipe for the stuffing, but these are the basic and most common ingredients:

One whole pork belly (without ribs and about 3-4 pounds), half a teaspoon of pepper, about 10ml of calamansi juice, peeled garlic cloves, and 2 cups of coarse salt.

Here’s one way to prepare it. Poke the skin all over – creating random holes which will allow the seasoning to seep through. Rub the entire pork belly with the salt and pepper mixture you’ve prepared ahead of time. Let rest for around half an hour.

Blend the calamansi juice and garlic using a food processor. The mixture is then massaged onto the pork belly meat, and make sure to let rest for another 30 minutes. One technique in making the best tasting lechon is to be careful in adding just enough of the herbs and spices to bring out the natural flavor of the pork, and not to overpower it’s natural taste. (Easier said than done as we tend to think that more flavors mean better taste.)

Then it’s time to make the meat into a tight little roll. Roll the pork belly with the skin side up and secure this with a thread or baker’s twine. This should be refrigerated making sure it’s uncovered while chilled overnight.

Before baking the meat, it’s surface must be completely dried, and this can easily be done with the use of paper towels. Preheat the oven to 180 F and bake the meat  for about 3 1/2  hours before gradually increasing the temperature to 320 F. The lechon belly is continued to cook for about another hour or at least until the meat is cooked.

The secret in making the skin crisp is to give it another 30 minutes in the oven while increasing the temperature to 430 F until you achieve the crispiness that lechon skin is known to have.

It’s easier and more convenient to cook this in an oven, but others claim that the open pit rotisserie style of cooking the lechon brings out it’s flavor more. I guess, to each it’s own. No matter how it’s cooked, a lechon always hits any craving spot.

The coming together of all the flavors initially teases you taste-buds until you have to choice but to give in to this mouth-watering goodness. Lechon is always best paired with
steamed plain rice. Any Filipino can attest to that. 

The boneless lechon belly is swiftly becoming a more popular option for many food lovers because for one, it’s easier to prepare, and two, it’s more enjoyable to eat because, well, it’s boneless.

Anyway, any form of lechon is welcome at my dining table anytime of the day, especially if this is sent from Davao. Yes, sometimes, I day-dream about Davao lechon being shipped directly to our doorstep. It’s that good!

Although nothing still beats flying to Davao to get it where it’s prepared- freshly roasted! There’s a street in Davao called Chavez street which is marked in the foodie map as lechon haven. Another street called Mabini is also a crowd favorite for anyone who in need of a crispy, succulent, and meaty lechon fix.


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Davao Biik

Davao Biik

Davao Biik is another variety of lechon that has caught favor among food lovers in Davao. “Biik” is defined as a young pig. This variety of Davao biik is very popular. This is because young suckling pigs have a richer taste and are more lean and tender compared to the full grown pigs. This type of Davao lechon is perfect for those that love a softerand juicier taste.

There is often a misconception about Davao biik and it being called “lechon de leche” in general by different retailers. “Lechon de leche” is a particular type of Davao biikIt is a younger suckling pig that has only been fed by its mother’s milk. It is usually 3-4 weeks old and has not been fed with any solid feed. A lot of Davao lechon retailers tend to call any small roasted pig loosely as “lechon de leche” when it is not entirely true. This misconception may have been brought on by the fact that Filipinos have been used to the term “lechon de leche” rooted from its Spanish influence. It may have been associated with “baby” which is something small, instead of “leche” which directly translates to “milk”. Thus, whenever Davao biik, (young suckling pig) is mentioned, it is thought of as “lechon de leche”.

There are a lot of different things to consider when buying the best Davao biik. The source, or where you get it from is one factor that can determine its quality. They way the piglet is raised differs from one retailer to another. Some pride themselves in raising suckling pigs for a few weeks, usually until 3 to 4 weeks before being weaned. This means that they are raised only consuming their mother’s milk for weeks before being accustomed to being fed solid food.  Piglets that have been raised this way usually have a richer and creamier meat. The longer the Davao biik are kept suckling, the better quality meat it produces. However, this might be difficult to do for some piggeries as it takes longer to raise them to be sold without weaning them at about 3 or 4 weeks in.

Regardless of the way the Davao biik has been raised, it is definitely better quality meat in general compared to an adult pig. Davao biik is usually slaughtered between 2 and 6 weeks. As mentioned, there are differences in their quality depending on how they were raised and there are also differences in how they are sold. Davao biik is usually bought for special occasions and are in demand whenever there are upcoming holidays. It is even more difficult to keep “lechon de leche” fresh in stock because they have to be fed solid feed after a certain number of days.

Davao Biik has grown more recognition from lechon houses that make this as their specialty. An example of lechon house with Davao biik as their specialty is Beko’s Biik. They serve a very tasty and succulent variety of Davao biik. They have spicy flavored biik that is stuffed with tsons of chili. They also have lechon kawali and dishes like Sinigang na lechon. A smart move done with their business is they also sell frozen pork belly for those that want to make their own home-made lechon dishes. Other than that, they sell a lot of other Filipino dishes by package and in trays, as well as bottled herbs and sauces.

A lot of Davao Biik enthusiasts swear bythe younger suckling pig, “lechon de leche”. There is no doubt that it is the best kind of Davao lechon because of its tenderness and lean meat. It is
said that a real whole Davao biik will weigh around 2.5kg – 3kg. This is the “lechon de leche” version that means it is a suckling pig that has never had any solid food. The easiest way to know if a Davao biik is of the best quality is of course to taste it. “Foodies” that try the dish find that there is not much need to dip a good Davao biik in a sauce. The delectable and filling taste of the rich meat is enough to satisfy the palate.

A few lechon enthusiasts still stick to the traditional Davao lechon whenever they have the chance to eat the dish, some is because Davao biik is not available, and some simply because they like the way the Davao lechon is cooked longer than the Davao biik. The stuffing of herbs and spices in Davao lechon permeates the meat more, especially when cooked longer with the Davao lechon. Saying this, the more naturally tender and juicy taste is still more evident in the Davao Biik. Ultimately, it is up to each person’s preference which type, size and age of lechon they prefer to eat. All kinds are authentic, especially when cooked in lechon houses.

A few people that get their hands on Davao biik usually choose not to mix it with other dishes for the sole purpose of enjoying its natural tender taste. There are also those that choose to buy a frozen packet, like the ones sold by Beko’s biik because it is a better alternative when making a home-made dish. Others even choose to import from other countries like Vietnam, just because they have more supply of fresh and young pork belly. Davao biik, just like Davao lechon, is still a rich pork dish that should be taken in moderation. Along with its rich and creamy taste, however, Davao biik is also a healthier alternative for lechon lovers. There are naturally fewer fats and more calcium from young suckling pigs. It is a better choice for individuals that are a bit more health conscious but would stil like to enjoy the mouth-watering taste of crispy roasted pork.

Davao biik is best served with warm rice. Depending on your preference, it is also great with lechon sauce or spicy vinegar sauce. As it is a dry dish, it can also be perfectly paired with soup dishes. For a healthier alternative, vegetable dishes like “Monggo“(Mung beans) or asparagus can be great.


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Davao lechon baka

Davao lechon baka

The number of lechon houses in Davao has been growing steadily and with that, a wider variety of the types of lechon has also been growing. We are all aware of the Davao lechon baboy but something that may not be known to a few is that there is also Davao lechon baka. “Baka” means cow in Tagalog. Truly a more daring feat to roast a whole cow on a spit. Although the dish itself is not a very new thing in Davao or even in the Philippines as a whole, it is not as popular of a choice when getting a lechon dish.

The process of cooking Davao lechon baka is very similar to the lechon baboy. Both are roasted on a spit over an open-flamed charcoal. The difference is that the meat of the Davao lechon baka is denser than the lechon baboy. It is harder to cook it more evenly. The outer skin of the baka should be sliced off once it is perfectly roasted. This may take a few rotations over the charcoal flame. This method of cooking is quite similar to a Middle Eastern-Mediterranean type of dish called “Shawarma”, that is also meat cooked but in a vertical spit.

Similar to the lechon baboy, the quality of meat in Davao lechon baka also depends on how they are raised.  Native cows are better for lechon baka than hybrid ones. Usually, cow farms have a variety of cow breeds and the native cows are those that are more likely to be sold off and slaughtered. The diet of these cows is an important factor in determining the quality of meat they produce. Those raised more naturally develop a more tender meat. Feeding the cow with grass, corn leaves and having them drink natural water makes all the difference, as long as no artificial feeds are given.

Davao lechon baka is, of course, cooked longer than lechon baboy. It is easier to cook them in parts, rather than as a whole.  It would take double the effort to rotate a spit holding a whole cow rather than if it was in pieces. People who buy parts of the Davao lechon baka usually goes for the leg. It is the easiest part to separate and has a lot of meat. Although it is still tough to cook, it is worth the time and effort. It is best served in thin slices as an appetizer.

Davao lechon baka is a great dish to serve in celebrations with a lot of people. It is perfect for “fiestas” and Christmas reunions. There are always caterers from lechon houses as well that can be called if the process of preparing it is intimidating to you. Like other meats, there are also Davao lechon baka meats that come in parts and in frozen packages. They are usually used for home-cooked meals. These packages can be bought in lechon houses around davao or grocery centres in malls.

They can be served as it is – roasted. Some add them in different dishes like sandwiches and even pasta. Like Davao lechon baboy, it can also be served with a special lechon sauce made with liver spread and vinegar. The rich taste of the beef makes it suitable to be paired with a lot of the
milder dishes too like vegetables, noodles and soup. Others add it as their main ingredient in fried rice dishes with egg. A lot of Filipino families have come up with their own family marinades for making every type of lechon. 

Davao lechon baka can be ordered in a lot of lechon houses in Davao. They even have other types of lechon like lechong kambing (roasted goat) and lechong manok (roasted chicken). Lechon houses such as Naty’s lechon house, the oldest lechon house in Davao, serves Davao lechon baka. Surely, most lechon houses in Davao already serves lechon baka as well. There are also restaurants that offer catering services that even prepares the lechon at the venue of the party or celebration. This kind of service is great as the lechon baka is kept hot and fresh. The cooking and preparations are also handled by those well trained to cook it.

Just like other lechon dishes, Davao lechon baka is a sinful choice of food. As it is a red meat, too much of it may not be the best for everyone. It has more calories than other meats and, unfortunately, also more fats. Nevertheless, a short indulgence of a guilty pleasure dish never hurts anyone. The key is always in the moderation of the food. When prepared in a right balanced meal, it can be incorporated in every meal of the day if your heart so desires.

Davao lechon baka has been a star dish in Davao just like their lechon baboy. It is the best authentic Filipino dish to be shared on huge special occasions. Just recently, in the cultural celebration of the 81st “Araw ng Davao” (Davao’s day), 50 whole Davao lechon bakas was shared among revelers around the town leading the celebration. As the saying goes,” Good food brings families together” and in a city celebrating itself, everyone is family. It is the Filipino way to celebrate with food and bring culture to life.

There are other parts of the Philippines known for their obsession with lechon besides Davao. Batangas city holds their “Lechon Festival” in June, and frankly, a lot of other cities celebrate it too. Davao is one of the most notable ones but they make it their own. Davao lechon baka is just another of their “trophy” that should be boasted among others. With Davao’s bountiful resources and talented locals, they effortlessly make things better when adapted from other cities in the Philippines. They promote authentic Filipino culture even amongst diversity and they make food that is fresh and always flavorful. Davao lechon baka is only one among many dishes that have been made with their unique Davao taste. “Life really is at Davao”.


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