27 Nov Popular Seafood Restaurants in Cagayan de Oro and Their Specialties
Foreign and local tourists coming to Cagayan de Oro and looking for good restaurants will always first ask where the seafood specialties are. Obviously, because Northern Mindanao has earned a reputation of having the freshest supply of marine resources, and Cagayan de Oro seafood restaurants are known to serve up fresh seafood dishes all the time. And it is this fresh seafood menu that CDO seafood restaurants aim to deliver. Naturally, the trend for seafood restaurants all over the city is “fresh.” Definitely, CDO has become famous for the fresh seafood menus cooked not only in Filipino style but also in western style. We’ve madea list of seafood restaurants in Cagayan De Oro below so it’s convenient for everyone to search.
Seafood Restaurants in Cagayan de Oro
We can imagine people reacting by starting out this CDO list with a seafood restaurant outside the city limits. Technically, Panagatan now has a branch at the Ayala Centrio Mall, but in all honesty if you really want a real seafood restaurant, almost all Cagayanons know about Panagatan. Besides, being located along the National Highway (Opol Boulevard) in the heart of Opol, it’s only a 20-minute drive from the city center. The seaside view is breathtaking in daylight or nighttime, not to mention the open-air atmosphere of the rushing sea air while dining on their seafood specials.
Upon entering, you’re greeted by a lot of aquariums filled with fresh marine resources, including really fresh lobsters. You can choose from these and have it cooked to your style choice.
The usual bestsellers are the grilled squid, steamed shrimps, grilled tuna belly, kitong, grilled panga, Kinilaw, gambas, and inihaw na bangus. For groups you can choose from their “Bilao” Specials with choices that are good for 3-4 persons.
Prawn House Restaurant
The main branch of Prawn House is at the Regatta Square, Pueblo de Oro, right beside SM City Mall. Not many know that this seafood restaurant also has a budget suite hotel at the top floors.
At the entrance they have aquariums filled with fresh marine resources that are open to selection and cooking in your style choice.
Their Prawn Thermidor is a definite must-try, as well as their Kinilaw, tiger lobster sashimi, and their fried rice platter goes very well with any seafood dish.
They have two other branches at the Ayala Centrio Mall and along the National Highway (Opol Boulevard) in Opol. Their Fisherman’s Plate set menus are good for groups of 4-5 persons. At the recent 2015 Golden Globe Annual Awards for Business Excellence, Prawn House was given the Best Seafood Cuisine Specialty Restaurant trophy.
This is the CDO branch of the famous Blackbeard’s Seafood Island in Manila and Cebu. They can be found at the Ayala Centrio Mall. They have become popular around town for their “boodle fight menu.” This is their flagship bestseller with different choices and variations good for 3-4 persons.
The Tali Beach boodle feast seems to be the favorite because some of the seafood fare is hung on miniature spits above the rice. Their per order favorites are also their white shrimps, grilled or fried bangus, steamed crabs, grilled squid, and lato.
The place is actually comfortable and cozy for a mall restaurant, though during the evenings, Fridays, and the weekends the place can really be packed so you need to come early for lunch or dinner.
The main concept of this restaurant is to have customers experience seafood cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere, but of course, entering the place will invoke images of pirates and pirate ships like Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Of course, aside from the “pirate” concept it shows how sea faring people love to dine on all manner of edible water creatures and finding unique ways of cooking seafood cuisine. The restaurant and bar is located along Lapasan Highway just across Home Plus and right after passing Goldtown. This was the former ‘The Barn’ restaurant.
The restaurant’s bestsellers are a combination of seafoods like the spicy Tuna Dynamite, Crablets, King Crab, and Malasugue Kinilaw, and even dishes like the Babyback Ribs and fresh chicken dishes. Customers are greatly encouraged to try out the pirate’s Casili, Pugapu, or whatever customers fancy from the Pirate’s live aquarium. For drinks, the house favorite is, you guessed it, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum.
The full name of this restaurant is Choobi Choobi lingaw lingaw kaon and is the newest one on this list, having just recently opened. This CDO branch is being franchised. It is one of the popular seafood restaurants in Cebu known for its specialty, the Shrimps in a Bag.
Their other specialties are the grilled shrimp shocker and the scampi baby lobsters in a bag that goes with a free iced tea pitcher. Their Unli Rice Combos are also growing in popularity. Another must-try is the Stan’s fried black pepper shrimp, crispy pata, lechon manok, and chiller drinks. Like other mall restaurants they also tend to get filled up fast so you need to come early for lunch or dinner.
Redtail Shrimps and More
When this restaurant first opened at the Papa Juanito’s Square at the back of Limketkai Center Mall near the Robinsons Center, Cagayanons were treated to an amusing eating experience. No plates or utensils are used; each person is given long printed paper bibs that they have to wear, thin plastic gloves are worn since you need to eat with your hands, all the food is served in clean plastic bags, and paper plates and table mats are used. Another branch is located along A. Velez Street in front of Sentro.
Their seafood dishes are served either with its own sauce or in coconut milk (gata) and locked in those plastic bags, so when they are opened, a tasty aroma is emitted in the air. Both restaurants are always filled to the brim almost every day of the week, a testament to their delicious dishes for a restaurant away from the mall atmosphere.
Seablings Seafood Restaurant
Like the other Opol restaurants on this list, Seablings is located along the National Highway (Opol Boulevard) in Opol, right beside Panagatan and Prawn House.
This used to be the old Seabreeze Seafoods back in the 1980’s up to the mid 90’s. For a restaurant 20 minutes away from the city, their main attraction is their Lunch Buffet that fills up the restaurant fast.
Like their Opol counterparts this restaurant has the same open sea air freshness and seaside romantic ambience, day or night.
Seablings won first prize during the 2014 Ostrich Festival Culinary Competition held here in the city sponsored by COHARA. Their bestsellers are their baked tahong, grilled squid, steamed shrimps or shrimps kebab, halaan-guso-lato salad, steamed crabs, sweet and sour fish fillet, and kinilaw.
Bucket O’ Shrimp and More
This restaurant isn’t to be confused with the original Bucket Shrimps in Cebu. It’s an entirely original seafood restaurant on its own located at the J.R. Borja Extension highway in Gusa, near the Sacred Heart of Montessori High School. As the name implies their specialty is their steamed shrimps, but you also need to try their Captain’s Choice – a plate mix of shrimps, squid, mussels, and crabs in a bucket – and the Captain’s favorite with its signature sauce.
Most of their seafood menu lineup is cooked in the US west coast style of seafood cooking. Other must-tries are the Cajun Calamari and the Cajun wings. Their signature drink is a mixture of frizzy ginger and lemon.
Lokal Grill and Seafood Restaurant
This seafood restaurant is located along Corrales Avenue and is a well-known landmark along the avenue since it is the restaurant version of the Watever KTV beside it. It is a favorite drinking place especially during the weekends because of its grilled tuna belly and crocodile sisig that goes well as “pulutan.”
Another bestseller is the mixed vegetables and deep fried squid in fish sauce. Their must-tries also include their seafood sisig, kinilaw, and Sinuglaw.
Cucina de Oro
You can find this restaurant along the Limketkai Drive (coming from the Cogon market area). Although known for their chicken ati-atihan special and ostrich dishes, they actually have an impressive lineup of native seafood dishes.
They also serve Greek or Mediterranean seafood dishes through their Zorba resto. They also serve a good Sinuglaw and calamari dish.
One of the oldest restaurants at the Limketkai Center when the mall first opened, it has made a name with Cagayanons by serving some of the most delicious and authentic seafood dishes and delicacies in town. It is also one of a very few select restaurants in the city that serves authentic ostrich meat.
It is actually one of the biggest fine dining places in the city and still uses typical Filipino wooden furniture and serving utensils. Their servings are quite large and may be too much even for two persons. Most notable at the entrance is the large number of awards; in fact most recently they were ranked in the top four restaurants in Cagayan de Oro by Trip Advisor Philippines.
They’re located on the ground floor of the Robinsons Center at the Limketkai Center Mall, with another branch at the Ayala Centrio Mall. Both branches can be filled up almost every day, most especially during the weekends.
It is a favorite family gathering restaurant because of their seafood bestsellers that include the grilled calamares, their kinilaw and kilawin varieties, grilled bangus, inihaw na pla-pla, baby posit kebab, blue marlin belly-ribs-inihaw, blue marlin steak, and other seafood dishes.
They are a franchise as part of the long line of Gerry’s in the U.S., Singapore, and Qatar.
So there you have it, and we won’t be surprised if you’re suddenly rushing to the door after feeling hungry and rushing to one of the restaurants listed above just by gawking at the food pictures. These seafood restaurants are actually something that Cagayanons should be proud of because they greatly highlight the abundant and amazing seafood resources that Northern Mindanao has to offer. This is another feather in the city’s cap.