Dumaguete is known for its wide variety of very affordable food, and the Dumaguete Boulevard is the place to try some of these local favourites. The boulevard, actually named Rizal Boulevard, is a charming spot to walk along in the early evenings, and the tempura street food stands add even more reason to visit. The idea of “street food” can scare some people, but it’s all part of the authentic Dumaguete experience and it would be a wasted trip if you never gave it a shot.
HOW TO GET TO THE DUMAGUETE BOULEVARD & WHEN TO GO
The Dumaguete Boulevard is right on the edge of downtown. The beauty of Dumaguete is that it’s actually pretty small, so it won’t take you long to get from one side of the city to the other. You can either take your own transport or hail a pedicab for a cheap alternative.
To catch the tempura stands, you’ll have to go in the afternoons or evenings, but personally we recommend around 5pm. The air is a bit cooler and the boulevard comes alive around that time, making for great people watching.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT THE DUMAGUETE BOULEVARD
The best thing about the tempura stands at the Dumaguete boulevard is how cheap it is. It’s only 5 pesos per tempura stick or squid ball so around USD $0.10 or 8 pesos for the more “premium” squid stick. For just a few bucks you can have an afternoon snack or spend a little more and fill yourself up! They also come with dipping sauce which can either be spicy or sweet (or mixed!) and adds a kick of flavour to the sticks.
There are half a dozen or so tempura stands along the boulevard all lined up together. They each serve exactly the same food so you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose. These guys work hard day in, day out and are always up for a chat.
With benches all along the Dumaguete boulevard, you can grab your tempura and settle in for an afternoon of people watching or walk along the waterfront. Old fashioned light posts dot the path and you can enjoy the view of Cebu and Siquijor islands in the distance as well as passing ships. There are also some very big, very old trees which provide much needed respite from the sun.
If you’re craving something sweet after your tempura, ice cream vendors wheel their carts along the Dumaguete boulevard. If you’re familiar with these ice cream carts in the Philippines, you might have heard them being referred to as “dirty ice cream”. Traditionally, mothers wanted to deter their children from eating ice cream sold on the street, and so dirty ice cream was born. Not the most appealing nickname, but delicious none the less.
The Dumaguete Boulevard is a must visit for anyone spending a night or more in the city and your trip wouldn’t be complete without trying the street tempura. If you’re planning your Dumaguete itinerary, keep reading below to find out the best places to stay around the area and don’t forget to pin this article so you can easily find it later!
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR DUMAGUETE BOULEVARD
Most people who visit Negros Oriental are told to stay in Dumaguete, but what they really mean by that is stay around Dumaguete. True, Dumaguete City has plenty of tourist inns and budget hotels, but it’s the surrounding towns of Dauin and Zamboanguita that offer the best spots to stay. There’s not a whole lot to do in the city itself, so when you stay in the nearby municipalities there’s plenty of nature to explore whilst still being nice and close to Dumaguete City. Check out our top picks for accommodation near Dumaguete City.
LUXURY: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin is the resort to stay at if you’ve got a big budget and fancy the finer things in life. Atmosphere has hosted its fair share of local celebrities and deep pocketed divers looking for the best beachfront luxury in Dauin.
MIDSCALE: Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort, Dauin
If you want to stay by the ocean without breaking the bank, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort in Dauin is a comfortable midscale accommodation option perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’ve never dived before, you can get your certification at Mike’s, and divers of all skill sets can enjoy the abundance of macro diving opportunities in and around Dauin.
BUDGET: Bongo Bongo Divers, Dauin
Bongo Bongo Divers is one of the most popular hostels in Dauin for backpackers looking for cheap accommodation in a convenient location. The rooms are simple, without any glitz and glam, but the vibe is fun and welcoming. They have a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from couples rooms to AC or fan only dorms.
AIRBNB: Villa Amani, Zamboanguita
Villa Amani in Zamboanguita is the perfect holiday home for small families or groups of friends looking for privacy that a traditional resort or hotel can’t offer. The main house sleeps 4 with additional space for 2 in the guest house, or you can book the guest house separately if it’s just the 2 of you and you’re on a budget. The property has a swimming pool, an unbeatable view of Apo Island and kayaks to use whenever you want.