Cagayan de Oro was my home for five years and those five years of ups and downs has partly molded me of what i am today. Those were the best years of my life. It was during those years that i found my second home in the comfort of my friends whom i chose to be families. I could still remember so well how my first few days in Cagayan de Oro were. I was full of hope and eagerness as i was fresh from a month-long training in Manila and a rookie sales representative of the biggest multinational pharmaceutical that time. But in sales, everything is unpredictable. It was not a walk in the park, it was a series of unfortunate events which i handled well together with my colleagues that made us a team to reckon in CDO pharmaceutical market. During those five years, i honed my salesmanship together with my colleagues and i was lucky to be able to work with one of the best bosses in the industry who believed in me. There are certain people who marked well in my life on those five years. We may not share the same passion, we may have different personality types and we were from different parts of the Philippines (Manila, Cebu, Leyte, Tanjay and Dumaguete) but we share the same genuine friendship. We were connected with work and even if most of us have chosen other paths now, our bond is stronger than ever, thanks to technology. But what made our bond for those five years in CDO strong? It was our same love for food and those are the times that we truly bonded. Imagine sharing lunches, coffee breaks and dinners (even on weekends) together for five years! The foundation of our friendship was built on those chit chats over good food and coffee.
Sharing with you some of our favorite places to dine, then and now.
1.) SENTRO 1850
It is located along Velez St., this restaurant is one of our favorite place to have dinners or functions. Must try is their famous Irma’s Kawali.
2.) KUSINA HIGALA
It is a relatively new Filipino restaurant in the city located at Capistrano Street. It has a beautiful ambience and a perfect place for friends and family bonding. Aside from their sumptuous main dishes, i highly recommend their famous dessert, Sizzling BInaki.
3.) BAGONG LIPUNAN RESTAURANT
Our go-to restaurant for a Chicken Pork Adobo and Lomi fix. One of the original restaurants in CDO that has branches in Lapasan, Velez, Hayes, Bulua and Carmen. This is not a place for good ambience nor excellent customer service but they serve delicious meals.
4.) KAGAY-ANON RESTAURANT
One of our favorite places to dine because of really delicious Filipino food, impeccable service and the best restaurant manager, Ms. Russel. It is located at the heart of Limketkai Center.
5.) REDTAIL SHRIMPS AND MORE
If you are looking for affordable seafood dishes, this place is a must visit when in CDO. It is located at Juanito’s Square.
6.) DAVID’S TEA HOUSE
Their first branch in Mindanao is located at Luxe Hotel, Limketkai Center. It is connected to the mall too, making it very accessible. It serves authentic Chinese cuisine.
7.) PANE E DOLCI
Pane e Dolci is famous for their Sylvannas and they finally opened their first restaurant at Nazareth. Aside from the desserts, they also serve pastas and rice meals. They also have great coffee to match with the desserts. They also sell coffee beans and coffee makers.
8.) MISSY BON BON
Aside from being known to sell pastries and breads, they are also famous for their yummy breakfast and sandwiches. They also serve coffees and milkshakes. It is located at Limketkai Center with very cozy and beautiful interior.
9.) ECHO STORE
Home of organic and healthy food located along Aguinaldo Street. Aside from ala carte food, they also sell organic products (soaps, honey, bug sprays, teas).
10.) SM FOOD HALL (SM DOWNTOWN PREMIER)
A relatively small food hall but with very fine selection of restaurants. When you and your friends can’t decide which restaurant to dine, this is the answer. From burgers to pizza to rice meals, you can find it here.
11.) THE OLD BLUE BURGER
For affordable and delicious burgers, this burger junction is a must visit. It is located at Velez St. corner Gaerlan St..
12.) BIGBY’S CAFÈ
The Bigby’s Café Concept was first introduced in the city of Cagayan de Oro on December 8, 1998. Its creators came up with an idea of creating an atmosphere fit for an adventure into the different cuisines of the world. The menu, the interior design and service style were created to position the concept midway between fine dining and fast-casual dining. This format has developed into the Bigby’s Café and Restaurant System. Now, Bigby’s has branches nationwide.
This has always been one of our favorite places to dine and bond together.
13.) MAI CRAFTS BOUTIQUE AND CAFE
A very quaint coffee shop along Velez St..
14.) LIMKETKAI LUXE HOTEL LOBBY
Tea time at Luxe Hotel lobby with good friends is such a good idea. With a very cool ambience, catching up with my friends are best shared here.
15.) BEAN VOYAGE COFFEE ROASTERS
This is the home of selfie coffees. It is another quaint coffee shop located at Gaerlan St.. So many instagram worthy spots here. Perfect place to chill with friends. Love to see your photos on top of your coffee? This place is for you. An extra charge for that little vanity. You may also opt to have a custom made design other than your photo.
16.) LOLA GELY’S KITCHEN
They are the creators of the best sansrival that is way better than that of Dumaguete’s Sansrival. You should taste it to believe that this is the best sansrival! You can order thru their facebook account Lola Gely’s Kitchen
They also have other desserts like caramel tarts.
For orders, please call 0923 719 4875.
17.) SUE AND JANE
I previously made a blog about the opening of this cafe. Sue and Jane offers affordable and yummy pastries, coffee and meals.
18.) MAISON DE BONBON CAFE AND RESTAURANT
This posh restaurant is located along Corrales Ave.. The price is a bit expensive but the ambience will compensate it. They serve meals, pastries, coffee, teas and gelatos.
It is a small ice cream stall at SM Downtown Premier which offers so many gelato flavors.
20.) RAMEN TEI
One of the first Japanese restaurants in the CDO and our go-to restaurant if we are craving for Japanese cuisine. It is located across Kagay-anon Restaurant at Limketkai Center.
21.) SKY BAR
The latest addition of the nightlife scene in CDO is Sky Bar. It is located at the roof top of Cagayan Town Center. There are acoustic bands playing on weekends. A new place to bond with friends with a bottle of wine.
22.) JUNNO DELICAFE
If you opt for a night cap over wine, tapas and cheese, this place is one place to go. It is located at the Lifestyle District, Corrales Ave.. They also offer meals in the morning and in the evening, this place will transform into a cozy night out place.
CDO has a local brand of delicious milk teas, Chingkeetea. This is conveniently located at the ground floor of Grand Central along Hayes St.. One of the best milk teas i ever tried. For peope close to me, they know how much i love milk teas. I always order the Pearl Milk Tea as i always tell my friends, you gotta taste the most basic flavor because that is where i can compare the brands and Chingkeetea has a delicious distinct tea taste.
24.) MANDARIN TEA GARDEN
Our favorite Pork Chop Rice is available at Mandarin Tea Garden and our favorite branch is the one located at Limketkai Center.
25.) HUGO SKYE LOUNGE
Finding tranquility at Hugo Skye Lounge. An entrance fee of Php 50.00 per person to see this awesome view. They also offer food, coffee, cocktails and band on selected nights.The place is very huge! It can accommodate functions or group activities. For now, there are still a lot of improvements within the property. I am looking forward to visit it again when it is completed.
Note: Going to the place is quite challenging because of road construction.
26.) ULTRA WINDS MOUNTAIN RESORT
Aside from Hugo Skye Lounge, if you want an overlooking view of the city, sunset or sunrise session at Ultra Winds Mountain Resort offers one of the best views. They also have rooms for staycations or you may opt to dine at their alfresco restaurant.
27.) DEL MONTE CLUBHOUSE
Del Monte Clubhouse is not actually located in Cagayan de Oro but in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Around 24 kilometers from Cagayan De Oro, this place is a must visit. The Clubhouse offers delicious meals and the freshest Pineapple Juice. It is said to be the home of the best steak at this side of the world.
Food and friendship is a perfect combination for us. We never run out of reasons to see each other. As i celebrate my birth month and the birthdays of my fellow Virgo’s (Weng and Coy), we all came home to our second home. Aside from revisiting old favorites and trying out new places, the high light of this reunion was the sharing of our blessings to the children of House of Joy. This is the best reunion we ever had. We made a promise to do this again at least once a year or once every two years, both; reunion and charity work. I am so glad to find my tribe and i will forever cherish all of them as long as i live.
Everything happens for a reason. Looking back, i was so sad when i had my work assignment at Cagayan de Oro but through the years, i realized that there is a purpose for everything. If it was not for that work assignment, i will never have the chance to get to know these people well. Destiny led me to them and they are one of the best blessings that i received in my life. Truly, Cagayan de Oro is the City of Golden Friendship!
I can’t wait to share more of our food trips with these people that i truly love. ♥