You may have already heard of Larsian Cebu. This used to be the go-to place for the best street food in Cebu City thanks to the many stalls selling delicious Filipino barbecue.
It used to be open 24/7, located right at the heart of Fuente Osmeña.
Aside from its accessibility, many guests loved dining at Larsian because of how cheap the food was.
Subsequently, it became a controversial location in Cebu because of concerns from former customers as well as the provincial government.
It soon lost its charm as more businesses opened several food parks with a wider selection of food and drinks.
In 2020, Larsian Cebu had to shut down operations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
But now it’s made a comeback in 2023, with a new look and quality amenities to better serve Cebuanos and tourists.
The iconic food bazaar is now known as Sugbo Sentro Food Park.
You can order from a variety of Filipino dishes like lechon, pater, and many more.
If you’ve visited the place before, you’ll notice that they now have better stalls and tables for both vendors and customers. Not only is it more comfortable, but it is also more organized and appealing.
This is the third Sugbo Sentro branch in the city, with one at Cebu IT Park and another in the parking lot of Cebu Provincial Capitol.
THE NEW SUGBO SENTRO FOOD PARK
Sugbo Sentro occupies the same 39 x 45 meter lot. It is located right next to Chong Hua Hospital, behind Robinsons Cybergate.
The iconic white arc still stands by the entrance, and the dining area has a roof above it. There are approximately 70 stalls at Sugbo Sentro, each offering something unique.
A few stalls may already be familiar to frequent food trippers in the city. Tenants like Tsoko Chocolate Drinks and Kuzina Guadalupe already have a reputation around the different food parks and malls.
One notable stall you may be familiar with at the new Larsian Cebu is Ngohiong Express.
This budget-friendly eatery is famous for its take on ngohiong, a local spring roll dish.
Ngohiong has a rougher exterior compared to its more popular counterpart lumpia. It is filled with turnips and coconut palm heart, and best served with rice and sweet and spicy sauce.
They also sell a variety of deep fried dishes like chicken, hotdog, and other popular Cebu street food dishes.
The food park is definitely a good option if you’re looking for a tasty and affordable meal.
Other food items sold include siomai, pizza, and fresh pastries. For drinks, you have tons of choices, from coffee to juice and even fruit shakes.
One stall has a buy one take one promo where you can get two fruit shakes for the price of one.
Like many other food parks, Sugbo Sentro showcases local bands every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Weekends are usually the busiest, with more customers coming over for dinner.
WHAT HAPPENED TO LARSIAN CEBU?
Larsian went through tons of hurdles, with political leaders even lobbying for its closure. Several complaints were about sanitation and maintenance.
An article from CDN Digital mentioned reports that rats were seen crawling around the food park, and flies were everywhere. Some even claim that the place had a foul odor.
Another concern mentioned in the article was the insufficient water supply, as they didn’t even have a proper washing area. Restrooms were also unavailable, and trash segregation was not being implemented.
In 2018, Larsian Cebu started resolving their sanitation concerns, but by then 12 stalls had ceased operations due to their lack of documents.
Some stalls operated without business and sanitation permits, and their servers didn’t have proper training or health cards.
That being said, have these problems been fixed?
Most of the tenants are legit and well-known around the city. Some even display their business permits in front of their stall for customers to see.
The Sugbo Sentro Fuente Osmeña branch also has its own washing area and restrooms. However, you will have to pay Php 10 if you wish to use the restroom’s amenities.
Trash bags are placed near the tables to properly segregate the garbage. The park also has tons of staff working on the maintenance of the area.
Unfortunately, sewage holes are quite close to the tables. The smell coming out of it is not unbearable, but it may disturb your experience there. Try sitting somewhere further away to avoid the stench.
It’s great to see this iconic Cebuano food hub open to the public again. The previous issues have been appropriately addressed, and there are new and improved services under its new management.
While Sugbo Sentro is the newest addition to the long list of food parks around the island, it also presents a modern day revival of the famous Larsian Cebu.
HOW TO GET THERE
Beside Chong Hua Hospital, Fuente Osmeña Circle
10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
You can ride any jeepney going to Fuente Osmeña Circle. You can get off near Robinsons Cybergate and walk from there to the food park. The entrance is located right next to Chong Hua Hospital.