If you’re on the hunt for the best burgers in or around Dumaguete, you can stop looking now. Cliff House in Valencia is unbeatable. In fact, we’d go so far as to say it’s home to the best burgers in the Philippines! Okay, sure, we haven’t tried all the burgers, everywhere, BUT out of the burgers we have tried (which is a lot) Cliff House Valencia takes the proverbial cake. Stomach growling? Read on for all the more inspo and our drool worthy #foodporn.
HOW TO GET TO CLIFF HOUSE VALENCIA
Cliff House is in Valencia, about 20 minutes from downtown Dumaguete. The easiest way to get there is via scooter or motorbike, which you can rent for $8 USD a day. If you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, you can rent a car for $40 or take a tricycle from downtown, but make sure to barter for a reasonable price since it’s a “special ride” to Cliff House.
THE FOOD AT CLIFF HOUSE VALENCIA
Let’s cut right to the chase. Generally speaking, you don’t go to the Philippines for its burgers. There, we said it. This is coming from two Westerners, so the bar’s been set pretty high. Cliff House Valencia has blown any burger from recent memory right out of the water.
Let’s start with Carson’s order, the Frijoles rojos burger, a Cliff House Valencia special. In order of appearance, we have onion ring toppers, sesame seed bun, more onion rings, melted cheese, red beans, grilled beef patty, cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce, bottom bun. Plus, a side of jalapeños and fries. Stop the press! Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? And for only $5.70? Unbelievable.
Moving on, we have Zowie’s choice of the Burger Manok aka chicken burger. You might argue that a chicken burger isn’t a real burger, but she tries not to eat mammals (is there a word for that?), hence the chicken choice. Don’t @ her. The Burger Manok swaps out the beef patty for grilled chicken breast, and omits the onion rings and jalapeños. On the side, it comes with even more chicken, kind of like bonus grilled nuggets. The marinate is really what sets this chicken burger apart from the rest; the meat is juicy, tender and packed full of herby flavour.
We actually went back to Cliff House Valencia a few days later and tried some other things on the menu that Jenny, the owner/chef recommended. Jenny is a magician in the kitchen, so if you’re not feeling like a burger, you can’t go wrong with whatever you order. This time, we had her famous spaghetti and the Salo-Salo platter consisting of fried chicken wings, Mexican ground beef, BBQ pork ribs and pork belly. Zowie’s no mammal diet went out the window this day, but honestly it was worth it.
THE VIEW AT CLIFF HOUSE VALENCIA
Aside from the drool worthy, diet abandoning food, Cliff House Valencia also boasts an incredible view of the mountainous valley from its vantage point on (you guessed it) a cliff. You can enjoy panoramic views of the dense jungle all the way down to the Banica river that runs below. Everywhere you look is Instagrammable, from the food on your plate to the tree house hanging over the cliffside!
Naturally, we had to send the drone up and get a better look from above! This is definitely a place where you shouldn’t forget your camera or drone if you have one. If you’re wondering what time to shoot for the best lighting, we found 4pm was pretty golden! Some days, the clouds roll into the valley which makes for a unique shot.
STAY THE NIGHT AT CLIFF HOUSE VALENCIA
If you’re looking to spend a night in the jungle, Cliff House Valencia has you covered with a one bedroom unit that you can rent out on airbnb. When we went to visit, it was during the pandemic so it wasn’t available for guests at the time, what with there being very little tourism. Jenny converted it into an Instagrammable space full of plants and native pots, but when tourism bounces back, this will surely be available on airbnb again!
If this post made you crave burgers as much as it made us want to go back for a third time, then be sure to check out Cliff House Valencia next time you’re in town. They’re open from 10am – 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday and you can make a reservation through their Facebook page here. Tell Jenny we say hi!