” Food is a universal experience. It brings people from different walks of life together. It speaks of culture and tradition.”
Our love for food and food fairs have made us envious of Manila’s mainstay and bustling weekend food markets such as Mercato Centrale, Salcedo Market, Legazpi Market and Greenfield Weekend Market to name a few. Unlike the capital’s blossoming weekend food markets, it was only recent when Cebu had its own version – the Sugbo Mercado.
Photo by Sugbo Mercado
Sugbo Mercado opened in September of 2015 and it has now evolved into a 1,900 square meter food bazaar from its initial 700 square meter space at the Garden Bloc of Cebu’s BPO and lifestyle hub, the IT Park.
Consequent to the opening of Sugbo Mercado, this side of Cebu IT Park has also dramatically transformed into a beautiful garden park. The once grassy and sloppy empty lot has metamorphosed into an expansive garden enclave with slabs of stones methodically assembled to create pedestrian-friendly pathways for those who want to take a retreat from the four corners of their office spaces and enjoy a leisurely walk. Before getting to the main premises of the food market, there are food trucks parked outside attracting customers who prefer less crowded spaces.
Before getting to the main premises of the food market, there are food trucks parked outside attracting customers who prefer less crowded spaces. There’s Flame It‘s striking red Volkswagen food truck that serves premium flame-grilled burgers and there’s TaKo, a Mexican-Korean fusion food truck.
HATCHERY OF HOME-GROWN BRANDS
With around twenty five food stalls from its inception, Sugbo Mercado has now more than fifty concessionaires most of which are budding players in the local food industry. There are also a handful of merchants selling lifestyle products such as clothing, crafts and beauty and wellness.
The weekend food market has become a great venue for local food startups to showcase their products and test the market before launching their own brick-and-mortar store or permanent food kiosk.
FLAVORS FROM EAST TO WEST
For a first time visitor, Sugbo Mercado can be slightly overwhelming. With over fifty food stalls to choose from offering a myriad of flavours, one can be assured of a delightful gastronomic adventure.
Here’s a short round-up of around the world flavors you can sample in Sugbo Mercado :
There are plenty of food kiosks offering Filipino favourites at the weekend food market. There’s Cebuanos‘ well loved lechon and ngohiong, crispy bagnet famous in Ilocos, Nueva Ecija’s version of dinuguan, the tinumis. There’s sisig, street-style pork and chicken barbecues.
If you’re craving for something Spanish, Hala Paella has Spanish comfort food for you. They serve paellas of different variants and chuletas.
If you’re palate is looking for something savoury, Banana Pancake Trail offers Thai dishes such as pad thai, khao pad, banh mi. There’s also another food kiosk, Cribs which sells satays with creamy peanut sauce.
If you’re up for something Japanese, Sugbo Mercado also has something for you! Tokyo Street 123 offers different types of bentos and ramen. Nikumaki also serves Japanese rice wrapped in bacon.
If you’re craving for pasta and pizza, Rock n’ Pizza will satisfy your craving for Italian flavours. They also have Four Cheese Ravioli with your choice of Alfredo, Bolognese, Marinara or Pesto Sauce.
We have always been avid supporters of food fairs which foster homegrown brands and local food start-ups. As self-confessed foodies, Sugbo Mercado is one happy place we’ll never get tired of frequenting. There’s always something to look forward to visiting the place because there’s a new food player joining the roster every weekend.
Whether you’re alone, with family, or with your friends, you’ll never run out of dining options and food choices.
Sugbo Mercado is a cool and fun place to hang out. Aside from enjoying a multitude of flavors from east to west, there’s live music showcasing homegrown talents that are sure to entertain the crowd.
Cebu’s biggest and first mainstay weekend food market has got even bigger. Early this month, Sugbo Mercado opened its second branch at Cebu Business Park.
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