SANS RIVAL DUMAGUETE REVIEW: Bistro and Cakes & Pastries

Sans Rival Dumaguete

If you know much at all about the food scene in Dumaguete, you’ll have heard of Sans Rival. Easily the most famous dining destination in the city, Sans Rival Dumaguete is more than just a restaurant, it’s a part of Dumaguete history. What started out as a little cake shop has since exploded into a countrywide, household name, with the original bakery and bistro still standing in the same place today.

WHERE IS SANS RIVAL DUMAGUETE

You’ll find Sans Rival Dumaguete on the Rizal Boulevard, amongst a long stretch of restaurants, cafes and bars. The Boulevard is one of the most iconic tourist spots in Dumaguete, so you can pair your visit to Sans Rival with a stroll along the famous seafront.

Rizal Boulevard Dumaguete

READ: DUMAGUETE BOULEVARD GUIDE

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SANS RIVAL DUMAGUETE BISTRO

One of the most charming things about Sans Rival Dumaguete Bistro is the fact that it’s the family’s ancestral home, refurbished and flipped into a restaurant. This big old house has been witness to so many of the changes of Dumaguete, from the horse drawn carriages of yesteryears to the buzzing busyness of the Boulevard today. It seems especially fitting that it’s now the most iconic address on the Boulevard, a loving home now a popular meeting spot for locals, expats and tourists alike.

Sans Rival Dumaguete
Sans Rival Dumaguete

Sans Rival Dumaguete has kept its homely charm about it, with the original hardwood floors, heavy doors and winding staircase. It has since been painted in that unmistakeable Sans Rival blue, bedrooms turned into dining rooms and modern amenities added, but there’s no mistaking this was once a grand house.

Sans Rival Dumaguete
Sans Rival Dumaguete

The menu at Sans Rival Dumaguete Bistro is extensive, with large sections for beef, pork, chicken, seafood and our favourite, pasta! The Lemon Chicken Piccata is our favourite pasta dish on the menu, and the Sans Rival Spaghetti is a Filipino classic. However, the most show stopping item, in our opinion, is the Bistro Signature Salad. You’re probably thinking “Really, a salad? How boring” but you would be wrong. It’s a flavourful explosion of mixed greens, dried mango, candied walnuts and a secret bacon dressing to top it off. Zowie’s wanted to recreate it at home ever since we first tried it, but that damn dressing can’t be copied.

Lunch

Sans Rival Dumaguete is great value for money, and won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a great lunch meal, their Perfect Pasta Plates are the best value. They come with a smaller serving of pasta, garlic bread, your choice of salad or soup, dessert of the day and lemonade or iced tea. All of this between $4.90 and $5.50 depending on the pasta you choose.

Lunch at Sans Rival Dumaguete
Lunch

READ: 8 BEST RESTAURANTS IN DUMAGUETE

If you’re interested in hosting a private event or party, the second floor of Sans Rival Dumaguete has a number of dining rooms and event spaces for hire. They also recently added an extension to the house to accommodate more event guests.

Function Room
Function Room
Function Room

An Instagrammer’s visit to Sans Rival Dumaguete Bistro wouldn’t be complete without stopping for a photo on the ornate staircase at the exit.

Blue steps outside

SANS RIVAL DUMAGUETE CAKES & PASTRIES

The original Sans Rival Dumaguete Cakes & Pastries was nothing more than a cake cabinet in a 5x3m brick building. That tiny building is now just the foyer of a much larger cake shop and cafe. Here you can get everything from bite sized desserts to classic cheesecakes, decadent birthday cakes and the famous Sans Rival Silvanas. If you don’t know what a Silvana is, it’s a layer of buttercream sandwiched between two cookie crumb coated meringue wafers, an absolute classic Filipino sweet treat.

The Original Cakes & Pastries Shop

Whether you like history, or whether you just like good food, Sans Rival Dumaguete should definitely be on your itinerary of things to do in Negros Oriental. If you’re looking for other food guides around the city, keep scrolling down to the bottom for more, and don’t forget to save this article to your Pinterest to come back to later.

READ: 26 BEST TOURIST SPOTS IN DUMAGUETE

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Sans Rival Dumaguete Philippines Food Guide

WHERE TO STAY NEAR DUMAGUETE

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. Read our full review of Atmosphere Resorts & Spa here.

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Aerial Photography of Atmosphere Resorts

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.

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Mike's Dauin Dive Resort
Image by Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort

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.

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Bongo Bongo Divers
Image by Bongo Bongo Divers

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. Read our full review of Villa Amani here.

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Villa Amani

MORE DUMAGUETE FOOD GUIDES:

Best Burgers in the Philippines, Cliff House Valencia
Best Mexican Food in Dumaguete: Beth’s Kitchen
Best Coffee in Dumaguete: ShimmerSpill Cafe
Baslay Highland Brew Coffee, Dauin
Boho Dreams Grill & Cafe, Dumaguete
Forest Camp Review, Valencia
Atmosphere Resorts Review, Dauin
Street Food, Dumaguete Boulevard

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Philippines | Asia

December 27, 2020

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