75 places to check out in Davao City

BY Antonio L. Colina IV, Ruji Peter S. Abat

ASIDE from its admirable and friendly people, Davao City boasts of fine restaurants and nice places that can be visited. Most of them are located just at the heart of the city which makes travel to these places a lot easier for residents and guests alike.

Dencio’s sa Hilltop — What’s unique about this place is that while eating a sumptuous dinner of purely authentic Filipino dishes, the dancing lights at nighttime down the city seem to entertain the spectators. This restaurant is situated on top of the hill.

Baywalk — Once a place torn by controversies, but now it fosters the replica of the world’s renowned work of art – the Statue of David, located just on the beach front. Peace and solitude can be enjoyed right in here.

Damosa Gateway — A good rendezvous for barkadas in the city. There flocks different selection of establishments, each having its own way to entertain customers.

Eden Nature Park — Despite Davao being a bustling city, local tourists are left with a place where serenity can be enjoyed the way it’s meant to be felt. Experience the no less than god-given gift.

Japanese Tunnel — Each wall imprints the history of the city way back during Japanese occupation. Everything, except of course with the added amenities, was well preserved the way it looked for nearly a century ago.

Malagos Garden Resort — One of the must-see destinations of the city. It not only fosters lush greeneries but also hosts numerous backyard animals like cattle and ostrich.

Crocodile Park — Needless to say what breed of animals they foster. Crocodile park continuous to be in the shortlist of both locals and foreigners who would like to witness in captivity what some regard as river monsters. It’s also known for its exotic dishes and delectable dessert such as “lechon buwaya” and crocodile egg ice cream, respectively. For those who tried it said they are aphrodisiac.

Merco — One of the city’s homegrown establishments selling delectable pastries to the consumers of the city for years already. Fact is, it continues to be the sought-after supplier of cakes for birthday celebrants and newly-wedded couples to date.

Delongtes — It may not be as common as other grill-type restaurants in the city, but they are not actually competing as to who is most popular because for them it’s the taste they can take great proud of. They also serve Filipino dishes ranging from soup to salad.

Times Beach — Amid all the expensive beach resorts here and the surrounding cities, one can quench the extreme hotness of the sun by plunging into a cold sea at reasonable amount that’s not scorching the budget.

Waterworld Beach Resort — They redefined the way swimmers enjoyed the swimming pool being the first resort in the city to use slides of 15 ft and above wherein everybody can enjoy a different level of excitement by sliding from top down to the pool.

Green Valley Waterfalls — It’s the best refuge for those seeking peace and solitude some time. The natural noise by which the falls creates relaxes the minds of those who hear it.

Pearl Farm Marina — Palatable Italian dishes, especially pastas, are what Pearl Farm Marina is best known of. It’s a secluded hotel seemingly away from the bustling city.

Rancho Palos Verdes — The so green environment makes it good for golfers, be caddies or professionals, to enjoy golfing experience right here in the city. But, it not only hosts vast golf course but also it serves sumptuous dinner for tourists.

Coffee 4 Peace — With a conducive ambience, coffee sessions coupled with a mouth-watering desserts can be enjoyed in a relaxing way while chatting whoever you are with.

Pizza Pamilya — One can enjoy a bite or two on the sumptuous pizza or pasta with a family or friends at prices not so hurting to the budget.

Swiss Deli – Those looking for a classy restaurant to eat splendid culinary treat, it’s the perfect place to go. They bring the authentic french cuisines right here in the city.

Pink Sisters — Partnered with strong faith to God, it seems “your wish is granted” has any truth. Many believers go here to ask for a blessing; usually takers of board examinations are seen here.

Shrine of Holy Infant of Prague — For thosewho don’t know it yet, Shrine of Holy Infant of Prague or most popular by the name “Shrine” is the only church in the entire city situated on the elevated ground, which makes it a more solemn place for a faithful catholic.

Gap Farm — Be they local or foreign tourists, everyone is held captive with the astounding sights this recreation area has to offer.

Blugre — Delectable desserts and aromatic coffee are what Blugre has to offer for craving customer. According to them, they will soon serve the world’s most expensive coffee, Alamid or civet coffee.

Seagull — Though artificial, but it’s well regarded as the only white sand beach resort in the city. Dabawenyos need not to go any farther to experience what it is like to swim into the white sand beach.

Pizzaiolo — Here, pizzas taste the way it’s meant to be like. Their pasta as well is another dish they brag about sold at a price, not only elitists can afford.

Bogser’s – Situated by the sea, everybody can surely enjoy the night with its cool sea breeze while dining in at this restaurant which serves palatable specialty dishes, mostly sea foods.

Magsaysay Park — Usually, it’s the students practicing for school plays that keep this park from being crowded, but it’s also a dating haven for couples even before. Some of the regional government offices like Commission on Election, and City Promotions and Investment Centerare also housing here.

Davao Famous Restaurant — Ever famous for its palatable siopao and pancit, Davao Famous is really one of the city’s fast food restaurants that passed the test of time.

Kusina Dabaw — Also popular for its affordable siopao and pancit, it’s actually here where Davaoeños usually had their snacks way back then.

Magsaysay Fruit Vendors Association — Dabawenyos come here for an obvious reason. What makes it more attractive for consumers is the way vendors piled durians up one after another, creating a pyramid of it.

Chinatown — The cheapest choice to go shopping is in Chinatown. Dabawenyos, especially women, can’t help but pick the best get-up they could afford.

Kusina Selera — What many know about pomelo is either it can be eaten fresh or drunk by extracting the juice from its pulp. But, at Kusina Selera, they serve it in a different and more enticing way by making a salad out of it.

Harana Native Restaurant — They serve distinctively mouthwatering Filipino specialty dishes like barbecued spareribs, panga, and crunchy fried chicken. Needless to describe how each serving imprints a memory lasting for years.

Starbucks — World famous coffee shop brewing aromatic espresso and fancy type of coffees for coffee lovers, mostly young professionals, in the metropolis since last year.

Apo View Hotel — A classy hotel in the city popular to both local and foreign tourists. This hotel offers high-end amenities and serves sumptuous meal.

Toryanos -– Deliciously grilled chicken barbecue is the reason why customers keep on coming back here for. There, the seemingly home ambiance cranks up one’s appetite.

Pasalubong Center — There’s no need to go farther as products of small and medium enterprises of every region are sold at the Pasalubong Center of the city.

Chicco Di Cafe — Davao’s homegrown coffee shop which offers a wide selection of coffees, be hot or cold. According to them, more flavors are soon to be served.

Claude’s – It’s the only restaurant that welcomes customers with a classical architecture located in the heart of Davao. There, once experiences what life was like during the Spanish era.

Philippine Eagle Center — It is home to the Philippine monkey-eating eagle. It also houses 4 species of mammals and 2 species of reptiles. Its rainforest environment provides a glimpse of the city’s lively ecosystem.

People’s Park — Formerly known as PTA Grounds, it offers a spectacle of sculptures depicting the rich cultural background of Southern Mindanao. It has a mini forest, fountain, ponds, waterfalls, a durian dome, and a cozy plaza as well.

Matina Town Square — Considered as the entertainment hub of the city, MTS offers a very lively ambience for locals or tourists who would like to experience Davao’s rich nightlife. With a series of bars, restaurants, and other entertainment amenities, it is definitely among the top places to visit in Davao City.

Jack’s Ridge Resort and Restaurant — Jack’s Ridge particularly is not a place for wild party-goers rather it is a good spot to relax as it provides a laid back ambience. It is has bars that play relaxing music, restaurants that provide great food and not to mention its picturesque night view of the city.

Torres St. — This street is among the city’s bubbliest places as restaurants, liquor and karaoke bars occupy the extent of the street.

Rizal St. — Yet another place to enjoy the city’s nightlife, this street is mainly occupied by numerous pubs, restaurants and karaoke houses that could pretty much clutter the choices of party-goers.

Victoria Plaza — This shopping centre takes pride in being the first mall constructed in Davao City. Built in the early 90’s, Victoria Plaza still stands as one of the most visited malls in the city due to the cheap selection of shopping goods.

New City Commercial Center — It is one of the most successful homegrown commercial centers in the city. Since its establishment in 1978, it has already established branches not only in the city but also across the country. NCCC is among the city’s primary shopping destinations with its wide array of shopping selection.

Aldevinco Shopping Center — This shopping center located in the corner of C.M. Recto St. and Roxas Avenue takes pride in being the city’s source of authentic Mindanawon merchandise. Since its opening in 1965, Aldevinco has been known not only locally but nationally too for its various selections of bags, clothing, and other items that show the cultural heritage of Mindanao.

Deca Wakeboard Park — Located in Tacunan, Mintal, it is easily the city’s premiere water sporting spot with its state of the art cable system, strategically placed ramps and not to mention, its scenic sunset which make the last few “rides” of wake-boarders more terrific.

Outland Adventure — It takes pride in having the longest and fastest zipline not only in the Philippines but in Asia as well. Situated in Bugac, Ma-a, Outland Adventure is a must-try for thrill seekers who would like to experience the 1-kilometer zipline.

White Water Adventure — Being the country’s EcoAdventure Capital of the Philippines, perhaps, this is one of the primary reasons the city is called such as the White Water Adventure brings an exhilarating experience on the torrents of Davao River.

Mergrande Ocean Resort — Formerly known as Villa Victoria Resort Beach Resort, it has been awarded as the best beach by the Department of Tourism in 2005-2008. Mergrande will hardly be a dull place since it has a lot of entertaining amenities including an 18-hole miniature golf course, a swimming pool, a bar and restaurant, beach cottages, a fishing village and other facilities.

Davao Zorb Park — Located in the Riverfront Corporate City in Diversion Road, it is a new attraction in the city that involves a hollow rubber orb that is 9 feet in diameter commonly known as a Zorb. Basically, two people are strapped inside the zorb and will experience a thrilling roll down a hill.

Villa Cristina Orchids and Garden Resort — Situated in Los Amigos, Tugbok District, it has a garden full of Cattleya, Vanda and other imported orchids. They also have a variety of fruit-bearing trees such as pomelo trees, rambutan, and other fruits. They also have an adult and a kiddie pool for visitors who’d like a refreshing dip.

Yuhico Farms — A five-hectare land of different varieties of orchids, this farm in Catalunan Pequeño provides a break from the suburbs of Davao City with its fresh air and calm atmosphere.

Puentespina Orchid Garden and Farm — Located in Malagos, Baguio District, this farm and garden is shrouded by a wide array of orchids and other ornamental plants. The 375-meter-above-sea-level elevation makes it an ideal place for orchids to blossom to perfection.

Baganihan Caves — Sited in Marilog District, it is the best place for locals and tourists to go on a spelunking escapade. It has several caverns with huge chambers that have a lot of stalagmites and stalactites. It also has several mini-lakes inside.

World Palace KTV Bar — It takes pride as the only theme-based karaoke bar in the city. Among the themes of their rooms are Egypt, China, Europe India, Africa, North Pole, Hawaii, Mexico, Greece, Rome, Japan, Vietnam, Garden, Space, Aquarium, Forest, Fantasy and Cloud. They also serve good food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and they have in-house entertainers as well.

Metro Lifestyle — Considerably one of the best gyms in the city, Metro Lifestyle offers an exceptional experience for those health-conscious people. With its state-of-the-art equipments and approachable gym instructors, it is easily one of the best gyms in Davao City.

Holiday Gym and Spa — Another top –tiered health and fitness center in the city, it virtually has everything that regular gym-goers need. From friendly gym instructors to up to date equipments, Holiday Gym and Spa is definitely among the top choices for health and fitness enthusiasts.

Bulca Chong Place — Renowned for its carabao meat soup, Bulca Chong is the regular choice for locals who just came from a drinking session. The ginger-based carabao meat soup is ideal for drinkers who would like to be relieved from their nauseated state.

Dencia’s Restaurant — This restaurant has been operational since the 60s and until now it never fails to satisfy any diner once they get a taste of the all-time favorite combo which is the Tokwa’t Baboy and Native Chicken Arroz Caldo. They also serve delicious varieties of Pancit and Lumpia.

Penong’s Barbeque and Seafood Grill — Best known for their affordable Inato Meals inclusive of barbeques and unlimited rice, this restaurant could be a perfect place for budgeters who are up for some stacked meal. They also offer authentic Filipino foods that could pretty much satisfy food lovers’ taste buds.


Jaltan Food Centrum — It is among the city’s oldest homegrown fast-food chain. Jaltan is known for their variety of authentic Filipino food particularly their “kakanin” or rice cakes.

Lola Abon’s Durian Factory — Arguably the best maker of durian delicacies in the city, Lola Abon’s Durian Factory is one of the top choices for tourists to shop “pasalubongs”. Located in San Miguel Village, Matina, this factory has a patented selection of durian candies, tarts, and other durian pastries.

Colasas — Situated in Magallanes Street, Colasas Barbecue is considered to be one of the best barbecue houses in the city. Although the place is quite shabby, they serve one of the tastiest and rice-inviting barbecues in the city.

Davao Convention Center — Located in Torres Street, it is among Davao City’s premiere convention centers as it constantly plays host to different press conferences, bazaars and other major events in the city.

Tsuru Japanese Restaurant — It is the longest-running Japanese restaurant in the city and until now, it still offers one of the most sumptuous Japanese cuisines in Davao City. Among the specialties in this restaurant located in J. Camus Street are the tempura, sukiyaki, unagi, their spicy tuna maki and the gindara.

Taps — It is one of the oldest Davao-based fast food chains in the city. Its specialty is the silog (sinangag and itlog) meals or the fried rice and egg meals. Combine it with typical breakfast viands like the tocino or beef tapa and it easily becomes a satisfying breakfast experience.

Banoks — Established in 1995, Banoks remains as one of the best barbecue houses in Davao City. With its sutokil specialty (sugba or grilled, tola or soup, and kinilaw or raw fish salad) it is easily one of the best dining enticers in the city.

Luz Kinilaw — This four-decade-old restaurant has been known for their grilled seafood and the patented kinilaw or raw fish salad wherein you will have the choice of what seasoning you use to flavor your kinilaw.

Ranch and Reef — It is one of the newest eat-all-you-can diners in the city. The difference though is that they specialize in roast beef and steaks which make it very appealing especially to meat lovers. They also serve different dishes including their delicious tempura and not to mention, their sumptuous desserts.

City Hall of Davao — Basically it is the city’s seat of power since Davao’s cityhood on March 16, 1936. Other than that, the City Hall of Davao also has the Rizal Park just outside of it which plays host to different events in the city.

Davao Historical Society Museum — Located along Magallanes Street, this museum provides in-depth information about the city’s humble beginnings. It also houses several historical artifacts and records of the early Davao before it became a city.

Davao Japanese Museum — It showcases the historical background of the Japanese settlers in the city. It holds records, artifacts and other historical items that provide a glimpse of Davao City during the Japanese occupation.

Lon Wa Buddhist Temple — It is the biggest Buddhist temple in Mindanao. Situated in Cabaguio Avenue, the Lon Wa Buddhist Temple is certainly a place of serenity and an escape from the noisy and busy streets of Davao City. It also boasts its architectural prowess and vivid ornamentation.

San Pedro Cathedral — It is the oldest church in Davao City. Built in 1847 through the initiative of the Spanish Conquistador Don Jose Uyanguren, the cathedral still stands today as one of the most visited church in the city due to its mix of modern architectural design and antique artifacts and images.

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