Christmas is just a few days away, so I’m sure you’re now busy planning and preparing your family dinner for December 24 (or 25). Even if we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, we should still celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a feast. Some changes have to be made, but there are still a lot of options for a memorable (and sumptuous) Christmas treat.

As our activities are limited, ordering food is a major option for most of us. This is actually something we’ve been doing since the quarantine protocols started last March. It’s safer than going out and eating in crowded places, and it’s convenient. It is also a good way to support and help out local businesses that are striving to survive in these difficult times.

If you haven’t decided what to prepare yet, or are not sure what to do, I’d like to share some suggestions that might help. These are all local businesses, ones that I personally vouch for. Some have been around for years and are trying to bounce back from the hard blow of the pandemic, and others are fairly new, mostly those that started as a result of the lockdown.

The list is categorized into two: meals/main course and snacks/desserts/sandwiches. Would have wanted to include appetizers, but I haven’t really tried ordering some. Maybe next time. πŸ™‚

MEALS/MAIN COURSE

1. Cucina Higala Meals

Cucina Higala is one of the best dining places here in Cagayan de Oro, and it’s also one of my favorites. Their heritage cuisine concept is what sets them apart from other food establishments.

Everything that I’ve tasted from Cucina Higala has had me craving for more, so I’m sure you’re going to love their special takeout meals and bento boxes.

There are two sets of takeout meals to choose from: the Mindanao Heritage dishes and the Classical Filipino dishes. I’ve tried both and was more than satisfied.

Cucina Higala Mindanao Heritage Dishes
Cucina Higala Mindanao Heritage Dishes
(Photo from Cucina Higala’s FB page. Used with permission)

If you love experimenting and exploring different dishes, the Mindanao Heritage dishes meals are ideal for you. You can choose from four varities: Camiguin’s Chicken Surol, the Chicken Pastil of Maguindanao, the Maranao favorite Beef Randang, and, my favorite among the four, CDO’s very own Humba.

Cucina Higala Classicial Filipino Dish
Cucina Higala Classicial Filipino Dish
(Photo from Cucina Higala’s FB Page. Used with permission.)

If you’re a classic food lover. Cucina Higala’s Classic Filipino dishes will capture your taste buds (and your heart). Your options are: Sisig with Rice, Beef Fried Rice with Lumpiang Shanghai, Beef Kare-Kare with Rice, and, my all-time favorite, Chicken BBQ with Java Rice.

Cucina Higala Chicken BBQ
Cucina Higala Chicken BBQ
(Photo from Cucina Higala’s FB page. Used with permission)

Of course, you can also order other specialty dishes from Cucina Higala, but if you want to try something new, I suggest you go for their heritage and classic meal packs.

Cucina Higala is located along Capistrano Street. Current operating hours are 11am to 8pm. You can call 0917-7946118 for your orders or you can send them a private message on their Facebook page. Cucina Higala is also on FoodPanda and GrabFood.

2. Liempo King Liempo & Dinuguan (Sampayna)

I’m very choosy when it comes to liempo and dinuguan (pork blood stew) because I like them cooked in a certain way. Liempo King’s is one of the best for me.

The liempo is marinated with herbs and spices that add a lot of flavor to the meat. So, it’s crispy outside and filled with flavors inside. It really stands up to its name: lechon na liempo.

Liempo King Lechon na Liempo
Liempo King Lechon na Liempo

Liempo King’s dinuguan is a family favorite because they don’t use pork innards (lamang loob) but maskara ng baboy (pig’s mask – usually from the pig’s cheeks). It has the right amount of seasoning and is really tasty. I like the fact that I can enjoy it with rice or with puto and not worry about my uric acid levels (hahahaha!). I cannot find the right words to explain it, but Liempo King’s dinuguan is a different kind of delicious. Really satisfying!

Liempo King Dinuguan
Liempo King Dinuguan

Liempo King has several brances here in CDO. But, you don’t have to leave your house to enjoy its liempo and dinuguan because you can order via StreetBy, FoodPanda, and GrabFood. Order na!

3. Swiss Daniel Restobar Spaghetti Bolognese

I discovered Swiss Daniel Restobar through FoodPanda. I was craving for pasta and wanted to try out a restaurant I haven’t yet tried. When I saw that they served Spaghetti Bolognese and pesto pasta, I didn’t think twice about ordering.

Swiss Daniel Restobar Spaghetti Bolognese
Swiss Daniel Restobar Spaghetti Bolognese

Swiss Daniel’s Spaghetti Bolognese is the BEST! Big serving, the perfect blend of Swiss and Italian goodness, and just really good. I like my spaghetti cooked the Italian way, with savory flavors and spices, and Swiss Daniel gave me just that. (P.S. If you like sweet, salty spaghetti, this is not for you!)

I also ordered their Swiss Daniel Sausage with Fries (good!), Beef Rice Topping, Mixed Fried Rice with Beef, and Pork Sisig. It was a feast for three persons (and a small dog) that’s worth the price (a.k.a. BIG servings)!

Check out Swiss Daniel Restobar on FoodPanda now!

4. Alonzo’s Bagnet and Eggs (Bagnet & Eggs CDO)

My friend Jenjacqs of CDO Info introduced me to Bagnet & Eggs last year. It’s been our go-to dining place after play rehearsals and late night events. So, when I found out they were on StreetBy (Bagnet & Eggs), I was overjoyed! Then a few weeks later, I found them on FoodPanda, too (as Alonzo’s Bagnet & Eggs). Pure happiness! πŸ˜‰

Bagnet & Eggs serves price-friendly authentic bagnet meals. Our favorite is their Bacon Bagnet Silog, which comes with Bacon Bagnet, egg, and a generous serving of rice.

Alonzo's Bagnet & Eggs Bagnet Bacon Silog
Alonzo’s Bagnet & Eggs Bagnet Bacon Silog

They have other Silog meals like Bagnet Sisig and Bagnet Silog, plus Bagnet Canton, Bagnet Bihon, and Bagnet Lomi. You can also order Bagnet, Bagnet Bacon, and Bagnet Sisig per kilo.

Meals are from Php108-up on FoodPanda (free delivery), from Php85-up on StreetBy, and from Php160-up on GrabFood.

SNACKS/DESSERT/SANDWICHES

1. Dessert – Simple Pleasures by Whisk and Ladles

Simple Pleasures by Whisk and Ladles specializes in desserts, but also offers delicious baked chicken, pasta, empanada, and lumpia shanghai. One of their bestsellers is my ultimate dessert favorite – cream puffs. It’s the right kind of creamy and sweet; perfect for those who want treats without worrying about their sugar intake!

Simple Pleasures By Whisk and Ladles' Cream Puffs
Simple Pleasures By Whisk and Ladles’ Cream Puffs

Their empanada is delicious, as well. So tasty and satisfying! It’s not like the commercialized empanada that’s all air. It’s stuffed to the brim!

Check out Simple Pleasure’s holiday menu and start planning your dessert buffet for Christmas! You can have your orders picked up or delivered. Just leave a private message on their FB page.

2. Snacks – Roti Doi & S’Co

Craving for some coffee buns and scones? Then you need to check out Roti Doi!

Their coffee buns are perfect for late morning and afternoon snacks. The buns complement your favorite coffee (or tea). They come in two varieties: original and ube-flavored.

Roti Doi & S'Co Coffee Buns
Roti Doi & S’Co Coffee Buns

I’ve always wanted to try scones because I see them featured all the time in my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies. I finally got to try them a couple of months ago, and I love them! I couldn’t get enough of them! I’m actually planning to order again soon. πŸ˜‰

Roti Doi & S'Co Scones
Roti Doi & S’Co Scones

Roti Doi’s coffee buns are made and delivered fresh every Saturday, while their scones are made every Thursday. They have limited quantities every week, so send them a private message on their FB page for your inquiries and orders.

Scones
Scones

3. Dessert – Cakes and More By Laureen

I don’t really like chocolate cakes, so I don’t buy or order them. This changed after I tasted Cakes and More By Laureen’s Choco Moist Cake two Decembers ago, I remember it was during the CDO Bloggers Christmas party last 2018 when I first took a slice of Laureen’s rich-flavored, extra moist chocolate cake – and it’s now one of my ultimate favorites!

Cakes and More By Laureen Choco Moist Cake
Cakes and More By Laureen Choco Moist Cake

Cakes and More By Laureen’s cakes and sweet treats are not only delicious, they’re also affordable. Their cakes are priced from Php250 to Php550. You can even have your cakes personalized! Just send them a message on their FB page.

Cakes and More Christmas Cake - Small
Cakes and More Christmas – Small (6 inches at PhP295)
(Photo from Cakes and More By Laureen’s FB page. Used with permission.)
Cakes and More Christmas Cake
Cakes and More Christmas Cake (8 inches at Php475)
(Photo from Cakes and More By Laureen’s FB page. Used with permission.)

4. Snacks – El Panadero Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Another perfect coffee (and tea) buddy is El Panadero’s Cinnamon Rolls. There are two varieties to choose from: Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Rolls and Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans or Walnuts.

El Panadero Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Rolls1
El Panadero Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

This is so good! The cream cheese and cinnamon combination is guaranteed to bring you to 7th heaven! I swear!

Place your orders now by sending a private message to Dimple Roldan-Cruz.

5. Snacks – Gemini Street Bakery

Craving for the classic ensaymada? Then you should check out Gemini Street Bakery and order their fluffy, buttery, and delicous premium ensaymada. They schedule their baking dates and order slots are limited, so you may want to get in touch with them now. Check out their website at https://geministreet.paperform.co or call them at 0917-7249887.

Gemini Street Bakery Ensaymada
Gemini Street Bakery Ensaymada

All the businesses and establishments in this list are small and medium-sized, and locally-based. Supporting one or two (or all) of them is already a big help to CDO’s SMEs. So, go and start placing your orders now!

P.S. If you’re looking for puto, check out my sister’s Cheesy Puto! Send her a private message now. Her name’s Connie. πŸ™‚

Connie's Cheesy Puto
Connie’s Cheesy Puto
Connie's Puto + Liempo King Dinuguan
Connie’s Puto + Liempo King Dinuguan

Merry Christmas, everyone! πŸ™‚

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