Rico’s Lechon Review: Is It The Best Lechon in Cebu?

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At Rico’s lechon, Cebu, the ingredients are simple. The most important one or the show’s star is the pig, otherwise known as Filipino lechon. 

This succulent and juicy piece of roasted lechon is one of the most beloved dishes from Cebu City.

While exploring the local food specialties in the Philippines, we visited Rico’s lechon Cebu to find out why their lechon stands out.

After eating at the restaurants, visiting the commissary, and meeting the owner and team, it was clear something special was going on.

Here’s our review of Rico’s Lechon, a Cebu institution that has been voted one of the best lechon in the Philippines. 

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Rico’s Lechon Restaurant

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The original Rico’s lechon Cebu city

Rico’s Lechon is a household name in the Philippines since it opened its doors in 1997. It is known for its famous spicy lechon and its remarkable story of success. 

We have fond memories of eating at one of the original Rico’s lechon restaurants. The one particular restaurant is no longer operating, however, Rico’s Lechon now has five branches around Cebu where you can taste the delicious Cebu lechon.

They have now expanded to 14 stores total, including 9 branches in Metro Manila.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the most delicious ways to taste Cebu is by taking a food tour with a local guide. This Cebu dine around food tour takes you around the city to discover Cebu’s culinary delights. Tastes of Cebu’s flavorful lechon is on the itinerary including seafood specialties from the island. 

Where To Get Rico’s Lechon – Rico’s Lechon Cebu Branches

roasted pigs rico's lechon cebu  by authentic food quest
Taste famous Rico’s lechon in Cebu

The best place to get Rico’s Lechon is in Cebu. Visit one of their restaurant branches below where you can taste the flavorful lechon.

Rico’s Lechon – Jamestown Mandaue

Address: Unit F-1 Jamestown Mantawi Drive North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City (Fronting Parkmall, Beside BIG Hotel)

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Rico’s Lechon – Axis Entertainment Avenue

Address: Unit 15&16 Axis Entertainment Avenue, Vibo Place, N.Escario St., Cebu City

Hours: Open daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Rico’s Lechon – Mactan Promenade

Address: Unit 3 & 4 Mactan Promenade, Airport Road, Ibo, 6015 Lapu-Lapu City

Hours: Open daily, from 8:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m

Rico’s Lechon – Ayala Central Bloc

Address: F&B9, GF Cebu I.T Park, Central Bloc, Bgry. Apas, Cebu City

Hours: Open daily, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Rico’s Lechon – IL Corso Lifemalls

Address: R-144 IL Corso Lifemalls, City di Mare 6000 Cebu South Coastal Rd, Cebu City

Hours: Open daily,  from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

RELATED: Best Lechon in Cebu: Top 12 Restaurants to Taste “ The Best Pig Ever”

Rico’s Lechon Menu

Menu Rico’s Lechon Cebu by Authentic Food Quest
Rico’s Lechon Cebu menu

Rico’s Lechon offers a variety of traditional Filipino dishes. However, the restaurant is primarily known for lechon – regular or spicy.

The lechon is available in an array of sizes. From the de leche (cochinillo) to large, or purchase by a kilo.

Customers can also purchase specific parts of their favorite dish, such as the head and feet. In addition to lechon, you can also get baka or roasted calf. 

Lechon Rico's Lechon Cebu by Authentic Food Quest
Tasty Rico’s lechon with side dishes

Rico’s Lechon also serves classic Filipino entrees. Find traditional dishes like sinigang, bulalo, adobo, tinola, calamares, and chop suey vegetable medley.

If you’re craving other food like noodles, try one of their delicious specialties, like bam-i or meat noodles.

No meal is ever complete with some tasty desserts.  At Rico’s lechon, you can expect pandan tapioca (pandan jelly with tapioca pearls), budbud ng tsokolate (sticky rice with chocolate), and kamote balls (sweet potato balls).

READ MORE: Filipino Food Guide: 15 Authentic Filipino Dishes You Want to Have

Spicy Lechon a variety of Filipino Lechon

Spicy Lechon Rico's Lechon by Authentic Food Quest
If you’re a fan of spicy food, you shouldn’t miss out on spicy lechon

Rico Lechon’s owner, Enrico Dionson, a true entrepreneur, was the first to introduce the now legendary “Spicy Lechon” variety in the Philippines. 

He came up with this unique flavor—blending spices and peppers within the meat—to please his ever-growing clientele. 

Although the recipe is a closely guarded secret, one thing is certain: this lechon packs delicious flavors that do not overpower the tender lechon and its crispy skin. 

Non-spicy eaters will love, Dionson’s “classic” lechon. It’s one of the most popular dishes and is worth trying out.

Rico’s Lechon Price

Ricos lechon plates Rico's lechon by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious roasted pork is available at a range of prices to fit any budget

Rico’s Lechon offers a variety of prices for their lechon. 

Classic or Original lechon is available at ¼, priced at Php410 (approx. $7.40), while ½ kilo is priced at Php600 (approx. $10.83), and one kilo at Php990 (approx. $17.86).

Lechon pieces -Those looking to have just the head or feet of the lechon can purchase an entire kilo for Php600 (approx. $10.83).

Spicy lechon is available at ¼ size priced at Php645 (approx. $11.64), with ½ kilo going for Php640 (approx. $11.55) and one kilo for Php1,060 (approx. $19.13). 

Entire or whole lechon – Rico’s Lechon offers delectable whole lechons for reasonable prices. Their lechon de leche (3-5 kgs) is priced at Php8,000 (approx. $144.36) for classic and for spicy about Php8,300 (approx. $149.77).

For families – Lechon for families about 7-7.9 kgs is available at Php8,700 (approx. $156.99) for the classic and Php9,000 (approx. $162.41) for spicy.

Small-sized lechon – between 8-10.9 kgs is priced at Php9,600 (approx. $173.23) for the classic and Php9,900 (approx. %178.65) for spicy.

Medium-sized lechon – between 11-13.9 kgs roasted pig is priced at Php10,600 (approx. $191.28) for original and Php11,000 (approx. $198.50) for spicy.

Large roasted pigs – between 14-16.9 kgs is priced at Php11,400 (approx. $205.71) for original and Php11,900 (approx. $214.74) for spicy.

Rico’s Lechon Delivery

Delivery Box Rico's Lechon Cebu by Authentic Food Quest
Satisfy your cravings and order Rico’s lechon from Cebu or Manilla

It is possible to have a Rico’s Lechon roasted pig delivered from the commissary within Cebu or to Manila, the capital.

The fee for Rico’s Lechon delivery varies depending on the address and delivery city.

Prices for Manila-bound lechon shipments range from Php 9,400 (approx. $169.62) to Php 20,500 (approx. $369.92) – considerably more expensive than delivery within Cebu.

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What Makes Rico’s Lechon Special or “Da Best Gyud”

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Roasting pigs at Rico’s lechon commissary

During our visit to Rico’s commissary, we had the chance of seeing firsthand how the pigs were prepared and cooked.

We learned that sourcing the raw product is a crucial part of the making process when it comes to making the best lechon in Cebu.

Rico’s Lechon uses only native pigs. These pigs are local to the area and come with exclusive agreements from farmers who raise organic pigs. 

Each pig is carefully stuffed with fine ingredients such as lemongrass, chili peppers, leeks, garlic, and special seasonings. 

roasted pigs Rico's lechon cebu by Authentic Food Quest
Pig roasting at Rico’s lechon commissary

Over charcoal, the team monitors carefully as the pigs are spit-roasted for a couple of  hours ranging from 2-4, depending on size.

All this attention to detail explains why Rico’s Lechon has become renowned for its remarkable flavor and fragrant aroma.

The secret sauce or magic we observed was passion. Every single person we met shared their passion and commitment to making the best lechon in Cebu and in the Philippines. 

Perhaps, what really makes Rico’s so special is the people!

Meeting Rico’s Lechon Owner

Claire and Rosemary with Rico Rico's lechon by Authentic Food Quest
Founder “Sir Rico” with Claire and Rosemary

Filipinos are renowned for their hospitality and warm generosity, and we were fortunate to experience this firsthand during our trip to Cebu. 

While dining at Rico’s Lechon, we spoke with the “tagud” or person chopping up the pig.”. 

She kindly invited us to visit their commissary when we inquired about the cooking process. 

Taking a chance, we contacted the commissary, and, much to our delight we were welcomed and offered the opportunity to meet the founder of Rico’s Lechon.

Referred to as “Sir Rico” by his staff, Enrico “Rico” Dionson graciously took time out of his schedule to share his background and provide a glimpse behind the scenes of what makes Rico’s lechon so special.

From humble beginnings, Enrico started working at 15 years of age as a “Kristo” (taker of bets) in sabong or cockfighting sport. 

In 1997, Dionson transitioned into the lechon business to provide a better future for his family.

He experimented with different recipes and started using the best quality products after customer feedback, giving birth to Rico’s Lechon – “Da Best Gyud.”

His big break came when he supplied lechon for former President Joseph Estrada’s birthday party. 

Declared by the President as his personal favorite lechon, Rico’s lechon business quickly took off.

Watch Our Video About Rico’s Lechon

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Is Rico’s’ Lechon Cebu The Best Lechon in The Philippines?

tagud and claire rico's lechon cebu by Authentic Food Quest
Claire with the “tagud” at Rico’s lechon

Yes! For us, Rico’s Lechon is the best lechon in the Philippines. While admittedly we have not tried all the lechon in the country, our opinion comes from our experience eating lechon in Cebu.

What makes  Rico’s lechon Cebu exceptional is starting with high-quality organic pigs.

The secret recipe of local herbs and spices to marinate the lechon, gives it an unmistakable flavor that is all their own. 

Rico’s lechon slow roasting cooking process over charcoal fire helps lock in the wonderful flavors and juices for hours. 

The end result? A tender, juicy piece of lechon with amazingly crisp skin and smoky notes that only Rico’s lechon can make.

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In Summary

Rico’s lechon is undoubtedly an undisputed leader in Cebu lechon.

We were seduced by the delicious flavors and golden crispy skin of Rico’s lechon, and humbled by the graciousness of Enrico and his team. 

If you are looking for the best lechon in the Philippines, look no further than Rico’s lechon in Cebu city.

The most delectable and succulent lechon comes from the happy pigs and wonderful staff at Rico’s Lechon.

To indulge in this exquisite delicacy, Rico’s Lechon is the best choice.

Have you had a whole roasted pig on a spit or Rico’s lechon Cebu before? Please let us know in the comments below.

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26 Comments on “Rico’s Lechon Review: Is It The Best Lechon in Cebu?”

  1. Wow what an awesome behind the senes experience! So lucky and delicious. They really know how to prepare prok in the Filippines! And is anything better then melt in your mouth lechon meat! So good. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • So glad you enjoyed the article Evelyne. Getting to meet the team behind Rico’s truly enhances the experience. If the Philippines is in your future plans, do plan on visiting Cebu for Rico’s lechon! Thanks for your comments.

  2. What a great adventure you have in Cebu, I only heard stories that the best place to find the great tasting lechon is in CEBU. I haven’t been to Cebu to try Rico’s Lechon personally, but my family do enjoy eating lechon and we occasionally roast suckling pig ourselves in our backyard on some birthdays and holidays like new year. Roasting suckling pig is a common practice in the Philippines, especially on special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, christening and holidays.

    As a Filipino, I’m happy to hear that you mentioned Filipinos are one of the most welcoming and generous people on your ventures. 🙂

    • Thank you Eloise for your comments. We really enjoyed discovering Cebu and in particular Rico’s lechon. That’s wonderful that you make your own lechon with your family. If you find yourself in Cebu, you will enjoy Rico’s lechon. Yes, we have really been impressed by the Filipino generosity. Meeting the locals has been one of the most exciting aspects of our quest in the Philippines. Appreciate your comments Eloise 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed the post and delicious pictures of lechon. It was quite an experience visiting Rico’s lechon. If you do get a chance to visit Cebu, make Rico’s lechon your first stop 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Amy 🙂

    • Thanks Carmen, did you like the suckling pig in Spain? The heritage of the lechon in the Philippines comes from Spain. It would be interesting to taste the two side by side and see how each has evolved over the centuries. Cheers!

  3. Wow what a fantastic experience to be allowed behind the scenes! Thanks for taking us on a tour with you. I’ve had roasted pig on a spit before, for my wedding in Hawaii. Honestly I didn’t think much about delving into the culture and backstory of the cuisine, but you’ve inspired me to start! Thanks for the great overview of Filipino lechon at Rico’s!

    • Thanks so Meg. So glad you enjoyed reading the backstory of Rico’s lechon. Meeting the people behind the food is where the “magic” begins. Happy to read that you are inspired to go behind the scenes now. We haven’t had the Hawaiin version of roasted pig yet, but would love to compare and contrast at some point. Thanks for your comments. Appreciate it!!

  4. I love the story of this place, and how dedicated they are to preserving the taste and quality! Although Romanians are big on their pork, I’ve never had suckling pig before, even if it’s cooked in different ways around here. Not sure why, they just seem so small! I’d get over my hiccups for this lechon, especially if it’s the spicy one.

    • So glad you enjoyed reading and learning more about Rico’s lechon. That is so interesting about Romanian’s and their love for pork. You would love lechon and the spicy version too. Hope you can get to the Philippines soon!! Cheers Alina.

  5. How cool to get behind the scenes like that and meet the people who make it all happen? Love that there is a special title for the person cutting up the pig. It looks like an amazing feast!

    • That’s Elissa, meeting the people behind the food is something we really enjoy. When you understand the people and the process, you find even more appreciation for the food. Wish more people were as open as Rico’s lechon. Appreciate your comments 🙂

    • The lechon especially from Cebu and Rico’s lechon specifically is quite amazing. The next time you find yourself in Cebu, do give it a shot, you will probably end up with a different opinion of Filipino cuisine. Thanks Tom 🙂

  6. Very interesting to know the process.
    I have seen these being sold in Turin in Italy. I did take some pics, I don’t eat it.
    Great pics you got. I have just one pig which was being sold by a vendor there.

  7. Oh that looks quite tempting thought I don’t eat red meat. Glad to know that you could explore what goes behind the scene. Great story.
    P.S.- When did you go there? After the FAM ? 🙂

    • Thanks so much Nisha. Glad you found the post quite tempting even though you don’t eat red meat. We made the trip as soon as we arrived in the Philippines. This was before TBEX. We had heard about the lechon while we were in the US and knew we had to go to Cebu. Well worth the trip. Cheers!!

    • Thank’s Debra. It was quite interesting seeing the preparation of the lechon and taking in all the odors and sounds 🙂 Can’t beat that experience. That’s great to know that roasted pig is quite popular in Hawaiian luau’s. We haven’t experienced one yet, and would love to. Thanks for your comments!!

  8. I didn’t get to try this specific lechon, but I did have it a couple of times while visiting the Philippines and it was delicious! I must admit I didn’t love a lot of Filipino dishes as I found them fatty and full of sugar, but the pork was some of the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

    As a side note, it was great to meet you (even though it was really brief)!

    • Hi Jennifer, it was really nice to meet you too at TBEX. The lechon, especially from Cebu was one of our highlights about the food. The Filipino cuisine in general, was “hit or miss”. When it was good, it was really good. When it was not, it was fatty and sugary. Really dependent on the cook and preparation method. Thanks for stopping by!!


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