Sugbo Mercado: Awesome Food Market in Cebu
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A gathering of Cebu’s next food entrepreneurs in three strategic locations, where East meets West when we speak of culinary offerings, a gastronomic destination which has indeed become a favorite among Cebuanos and visiting tourists, so what’s not to like?
Here are five reasons why I hate Sugbo Mercado:
1. It’s far from where I live.
Though it has three branches in Cebu located separately in Cebu Business Park, IT Park in Apas and City di Mare SRP plus one soon to open in Mandaue and accessible via jeepneys (well except the one in South Road Properties), it’s still quite far from Talisay. I may be selfish but I prefer it just right across our house.
2. It’s promoting a “Clean As You Go” system which is unnatural for me
This practice makes me a good and responsible Filipino citizen, of which I am not. But because of continuous repetition due to countless revisits, I guess it really sticks.
3. It’s relatively cheaper which results to me still spending way beyond budget
Not when you compare it with barbecue stalls in Larsian or other seasonal food bazaars that open during Sinulog Festival.
Although, it’s more or less just the same price range as with food courts in malls.
But of course do tell me, when was the last time you invited your friends on a food trip at a food court? I guess that never happened.
In comparison with other restaurants in the vicinity offering the same types of dishes, it’s really more affordable. My guess would be because it requires a minimal investment on the part of the tenants and they focus more on the product itself, without the added fluff.
I also believe that what really triggers you in spending way beyond your budget is the not so subtle art of impulse buying especially when you overlooked that awesome Funnel Cake.
4. It’s full of life which makes me want to linger more which results with me eating more.
What do you do when you see people who are busy eating? You eat as well, to commiserate.
What do you do when the smiling tenants ask you to try their food? You buy from them.
What do you do when it suddenly rains? You share the available tents.
What do you do when there are flies everywhere? You slowly shoo them away.
What do you do when there are people hovering above where you’re seated because they’re waiting for you to finish eating then give your table up? You ignore them and take your time.
Although, the first thing that you’ll notice upon arriving is that the people are having fun sharing food they love with people they care about. I believe that’s the secret behind the success of Sugbo Mercado.
Add to that the live acoustic entertainment which plays your favorite hits whether you’re a millennial who’s a fan of Justin Bieber or a young at heart who prefers Elvis Presley.
And the lights, I almost forgot the lights.
5. It’s full of choices which is very stressful on my part since there’s no food that I don’t like.
Want something Filipino or Asian or even an International dish? They have it. Want to go all the way from appetizers to desserts in separate food stalls? You can. Want some lechon even if it’s not your birthday or not the barangay’s fiesta? Yes you may. And there’s drinks like smoothies, juices or sodas to help you flush everything down.
The best part? There are new stalls opening every weekend, so it’s literally impossible for you to try everything which makes it all the merrier because of the endless variety.
And the ultimate reason why the King of Sinulog hates Sugbo Mercado? It’s not open every single day.