Every time we visit Sugbo Mercado, we always have a hard time deciding what to get/eat first! So we were so excited to have the chance to tour and visit all 58 food stalls at IT Park with Marketing and Communications Director Karlo Lim as our expert food guide.
Here are 7 of our favorites :
We started by getting one of the market's originals and favorite, Nikumaki - a pro tip that Karlo shared so you don't get hangry (hungry + angry) when you browse through the stalls. The rolls are easy to eat while walking. Small but packed with flavor, it's the best appetizer to Sugbo Mercado's food smorgasbord. They have about 10 flavors - the sour cream is a must-try!
2. Tipsy Pops
One of our long-time Sugbo favorites is Tipsy Pops! Alcohol + Ice Pops is a match made in heaven and the perfect way to cool down when the open-air mercado gets a little hot and humid. Check out our feature on them to know more about these tasty treats that are hard to lick moderately!
3. Saigon Oi
A lot of people have been saying that this is the best pho in the city and after taking just one spoonful, we heartily agree! They also serve the famed Vietnamese spring rolls. Truly an authentic treat!
4. Tokyo Street 123
We admit we would never think of ordering ramen in an open-air setting. And we were also skeptical of the very cheap price range at less then 200 pesos. But after a bowl of their spicy ramen, Sugbo Mercado is now on our list of favorite places to go to for our ramen cravings! (A list of our other places are here, but none of them can compete with the price at Tokyo Street 123!)
Fun fact: The grandfather of the chef used to be cook for Japan's royal family! No wonder the ramen was so good!
5. Ohh Kanom Pa
We had a hard time choosing from all the interesting flavor offerings of their Thai toast but we're so happy we went with the Ube. The Milk Tea flavor is also one of their best sellers. We paired this with their "Pink Milk" which gets its color and sweetness from the exotic snakefruit!
The Snake Fruit or "Salak" from Indonesia (Photo from Karlo/ the Hamburgero's Instagram)
6. The Hog and Bull
If you want to order just one meal at Sugbo Mercado, we suggest the Butt Rub from the Hog and Bull. Meat smoked to perfection and so tastily tender, this meal is a winner.
One of Sugbo Mercado's new hit and success stories (they already have a stall in Ayala!), the refreshing pineapple drinks - in their cute packaging and umbrella straws - are the perfect drink to carry around while browsing the other stalls. The Pina Colada is our favorite!
Other special mentions are the famed Hong Kong Eggcloud, Sugbo Mercado success story and favorite Papa Churros, the Asian flavors of Banana Pancake Trail, Mac and Cheese from Macology 101, and the tuna panga at Kuzina Guadalupe.
Visiting all the stalls, we enjoyed the little tidbits of all the wonderful stories behind them - which Karlo shares is the best part of his job at Sugbo Mercado. Their goal of being a startup incubator to these food stalls has been truly achieved with all their success stories and also the success of their Foodtrepreneur Challenge competition.
Here's some more of the delicious sights awaiting you at the Garden Bloc this weekend:
It's a good thing that Sugbo Mercado is open Thursdays-Sundays (5PM to 1AM) so you can keep coming back to your favorites, or try the other stalls as there's always something new! Head on to Sugbo Mercado this weekend, and make sure to visit on September 30 as they celebrate their 2nd anniversary! A second installment of their Foodtrepreneur Challenge will be launched and local bands from their nightly entertainment lineup will be performing.
Also, exciting news shared by Managing Director JP Choingbian during the Media Merienda at Puso, Quest Hotel last September 6: Sugbo Mercado is set to launch weeklong operations in the "burgeoning entertainment and lifestyle hub" in Mandaue City.
The "tiny corner lot with a handful of vendors" in Garden Bloc that opened in September 2015 has truly grown into Cebu's first and biggest year-round weekly food market. Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary, we can't wait to celebrate with you! See you at your weekly food market!