When in General Santos, Philippines and looking for something to eat, most outside visitors who have only read up on the city would easily assume that fish it the number one food to be had around. And in a way that ought to be true, with its fishing industry still regarded as the country’s largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna and therefore the source of its nickname as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”. But hold your horses, there’s more to good eating in Gensan than just fish fillets, sashimi and sushi (though yes, they’re quite good). The Generals are also hosts to some of the finest purveyors of lechon to be found anywhere in the southern end of the Philippines.
Whether is pork or chicken, the tender meat, crispy crunchy skin and delectable juices that are the hallmarks of quality lechon can be experienced at some of the best lechonan to be found in General Santos City. In fact, to prove it, we have gone out to sample these selfsame popular lechon places then asked around with their other customers, to find out which among the local brands are the best of the best at what they do. To wit, we have compiled these Top Five lists of only the top of the line in making both lechon and lechon manok. Our fellow Generals are sure to agree, and our visitors and tourists will have a start at finding them too.
Here’s where to go to find the Top 5 Best Lechon in Gensan:
- Zara’s Bellychon – With the advent of the new “belly lechon” method, a new culinary experience was available to longtime lechon eaters. Currently the number one belly lechon roaster in General Santos today, Zara’s Bellychon has gotten 5-star reviews online from very appreciative Generals. You can check them out for yourself at National Highway near Miso Hardware and Supreme Hardware, or contact them at 0933 015 1635. They also have a Spicy Belly Lechon which is just extremely delicious.
- Leviram’s Food Place – They’re primarily a general cuisine restaurant, but they have built quite a rep with their now-famous boneless lechon belly, alongside a worthy menu of grilled Filipino dishes alal at affordable prices. It’s no wonder then that Leviram’s is a magnet for diners and endorsed by even Mayor Ronnel Rivera. The place is perfectly welcome for night dining too; a P100 lechon serving is good enough for 2 people.
- Kiko’s Native Lechon – They bill themselves as the home of the cleanest and finest lechon in GenSan, and we heartily agree. This was the latest rising star of sorts for traditional pork lechon before the belly craze hit the city. And they’ve got first prizes for local lechon festivals to boot. Drop by at their place on Nuñez Street, Purok Malakas. For further inquiries please contact them at 303 – 0154, 554-2701 or text at 0915675790.
- Ledwina’s Lechon Hauz – Just along Mabuhay Road, at Oringo Subdivision in Dadiangas Heights, one can find the “home of finest lechon” at Ledwina’s Lechon Hauz. They too are an old hand in General Santos with their lechon specialty, trusted by patrons as one of the best and flavorful recipes around, if the fact that they can and have reached a hundred orders of whole lechon in a day before. Their selection of lechon variations (paksiw and adobo) and other meals are also quite scrumptious, which makes their restaurant quite busy. You may call them with your questions at 0909 315 3802.
- Ryan’s Lechon House – Before belly lechon and even lechon manok became prominent in General Santos, only one restaurant was the gold standard for pork lechon in the whole city. Something of a pioneer in the market for lechon-consuming Generals, Ryan’s Lechon House is also a classic favorite and hardy competitor that’s remained relevant even with the new wave. Find this old guard of lechon at the corner of Magsaysay Ave. and Saging Street. You may also contact (083) 552 4100.
Next, we have the Top 5 Best Lechon Manok in Gensan
- Saddik Lechon Manok – Located at Lagao along J. Catolico Avenue, close to the round-ball, Saddik Lechon Manok has established itself as THE best chicken roaster in the city bar none. How good is it? We’ve personally tasted it of course, but the real clincher is the number of customer lining up at their spot. Note that they’re located next to two other local lechon manok roasters, yet only them have lines of waiting customers like you’d find in a fast-food for their heavenly P190 priced chicken. No excuses; Saddik is the king of lechon manok for Generals.
- Ryan’s Lechon House – Yes! Not only is Ryan’s one of the most storied restaurants where one can eat one of the most delicious pork lechon in General Santos City, they too have also gotten their hand in delivering one of the best tasting lechon manok around. It’s got the telltale signs with plenty of juice and some of the best crispy chicken skin you’d ever taste anywhere. This is a true example of and oldie but goodie at Ryan’s Lechon House.
- Botoy’s Lechon Manok – At this point we’ll admit to a little bending of criteria, as Botoy’s is actually a restaurant franchise from Cagayan de Oro City. Still, their one of a kind lechon manok that’s been spiced up to a hot taste like you wouldn’t believe, and their other grilled and roasted fare only serves to strengthen their rep. They can be found at Mabuhay Road, City Heights.
- Uling Roasters Litson Manok – It’s not entirely a GenSan native either, since their first store was in Zamboanga. But who cares? Ever since their branches started opening throughout the city, they have established themselves a sure spot in the General’s chicken-eating palate. Their spicy roasted chicken is the best seller.
- Um, how best to say this? The truth is, after some tasting and surveying we have concluded that there isn’t any other local lechon manok roaster in GenSan to really catch our fancy enough to warrant being umber five in our top 5. I know it’s weird. But hey, four out of five’s not bad. And there will be plenty of time in the future to get this spot filled, when one of the numerous roasters popping up everywhere starts getting a following. We hope you stay with us for that update.