Going on a road trip to Mactan Island? Here’s some great news for you! You probably won’t need to bring food with you if you decide to pass by the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).
That’s because a new food park has opened near the bridge, with around 40 small-scale food businesses giving you that authentic Filipino food crawl experience. Enjoy a variety of delicious Cebuano dishes when passing through the breathtaking CCLEX.
While it’s smaller than most food parks in Cebu, this quaint food strip makes up for it with a unique location: a spacious lot next to the toll gate in the municipality of Cordova.
Aside from a stunning view, it also gives travelers an opportunity to cross one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the Philippines.
THE CEBU CORDOVA LINK EXPRESSWAY
The CCLEX is the third bridge to connect mainland Cebu to Mactan Island. It was named the longest bridge in the Philippines after its completion in 2022, beating the San Juanico bridge, which connects the islands of Samar and Leyte.
Management initially planned on opening businesses like convenience stores and gas stations along the expressway. This newly opened food strip is CCLEX’s attempt in opening a Drive and Dine establishment in Cebu.
Drive and Dine establishments are commonly found on other Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC)-operated expressways, offering motorists a venue to park and have a meal.
Some establishments like the NLEX Drive and Dine in Luzon eventually added specialty stores for things like clothing and footwear.
The CCLEX Tropical Food Park is only slated for the next six months, but management is planning on creating a permanent stopover for motorists.
This new food strip houses 40 independent food establishments offering various Cebuano dishes. Food items sold here are mostly budget-friendly, so you can splurge together with family or friends.
You can even order a whole grilled pork belly slab sliced into thinner pieces. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try out some exotic street food like isaw (chicken intestines).
Aside from rice meals, you can munch on some skewered snacks like kwek-kwek (fried quail eggs) and tempura.
Cebuanos seem to have mastered the art of cooking all kinds of seafood. That being said, you will definitely appreciate the scrumptious flavors of seafood dishes that have become staples in the local culinary scene.
Baked scallops are a crowd favorite, thanks to the cheese and garlic that add to its flavorful taste. You can order a plate for less than 100 pesos and pair it up with rice for a delectable meal.
Some stalls even sell tuna panga, although it can be a little pricey due to its size. Nonetheless, the tuna collarbone is a go-to dish if you’re looking for a hefty meal.
For non-barbecue foods, you can’t go wrong with their selection of fried dishes. The crunchy texture of fried chicken and ginabot is so good you will savor every bite.
There are also food items served in various establishments around town that have found a place in Filipino cuisine. Shawarma, a Middle Eastern dish, and Takoyaki, made famous in Japan, are some of the more prominent offerings at the CCLEX Tropical Food Park.
Upgrade your cup of juice or can of soda with beverages sold at the food park, from specialty shakes to coffee and milk tea. You can order from a large selection of flavors, so there will definitely be an option for everyone.
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE GOING TO THE CCLEX FOOD PARK
You will have to pass the toll gate to enter the food park. If you are coming from Cordova, you can pay once, but it gets a little more complicated if you are visiting the park from the other side of the bridge.
Once you reach the toll gate at Cordova, you will have to take a U-turn to reach the food park on the other side. This means that you will have to pay the toll gate twice if you are coming from Cebu City.
Unfortunately, as of 2023, there is no public transport available for CCLEX. You can bring a private vehicle or take a taxi, although you are still required to pay the appropriate fees.
Four-Wheeled Cars: 90 Php
Motorcycles: 60 Php
There is an open space that can be used for social gatherings like concerts. Currently, local bands perform on the weekends as a form of entertainment for customers at the food park.
If you’re passing by the CCLEX, visit this one-of-a-kind food park that celebrates everything Cebuano. Dig into some delicious street food while admiring the beauty of one of the island’s most iconic infrastructure projects.
The brand new food park definitely adds to the appeal of CCLEX, making it more than just a bridge connecting Cebu to Cordova. We can expect more locals and travelers taking interest in passing through the bridge, especially if they want to visit the many tourist spots in Mactan and Cordova.
HOW TO GET THERE
Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (right next to the toll gate at Cordova), Cordova
Weekdays: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Weekends: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM