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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.
Rico’s Lechon Restaurant
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.
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Where To Get Rico’s Lechon – Rico’s Lechon Cebu Branches
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Rico’s Lechon 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.
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).
Spicy Lechon a variety of Filipino 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
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
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”
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.
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
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.
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Is Rico’s’ Lechon Cebu The Best Lechon in The Philippines?
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.
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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Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
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