Cebu in Focus
Food : Larsian
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by: Darby Dunn
Copyright © CebuCentral.Com

Cebu in Focus - Larsian‘Sa’man? Larsian?

If you have not heard of the word Larsian, then you probably haven't been around Cebu. Larsian is one of Cebu's most prominent eating havens, one of the few that passed the test of time. Located at the uptown area near Fuente Osmeña and Chong Hua Hospital, Larsian’s general location offers a myriad of scenes that is undeniably CEBUANO in charm.

Fuente Osmeña for one is a fountain landmark honoring one of the country’s Presidents, Sergio Osmeña Sr., who hailed from the Island of Cebu. Also commonplace around Larsian are children urging you to buy one of their Sampaguita necklaces as you eat your food.

A true-blue Cebuana, it was only a few years ago that I noticed I know very little of the history of Larsian, this place that I have come to love not only for its food, but for the many memories that happened there. I then asked my mother who told me the place used to be a restaurant in the 70's called Larsian, which somehow retained its name long after the restaurant itself. I passed the information to my friends who argued that wasn’t true, because what they knew was that Larsian was a combination of two names. Little did I know that my mother and friends were both correct. Larsian was an eatery in the early 70's that derived its name from the owner's (Col. Alvino Mondarez) mother named Pilar and her twin sister, Siana. Put Pilar and Siana together and you get Larsian.

Today Larsian is a place lined with a number of barbecue stands offering similar barbecue selections. Among the selections are: chicken - wings, thigh, skin, breast, feet or intestine; pork – pork liver, chorizo, tocino; seafood like squid and fish and a lot more. You get to select any of those and hand them over to the one in charge to be cooked. You are then asked how many puso (hanging rice) you want. The waiting usually takes 10 – 15 minutes.

If you allow me to take a little trip back in the past: the old Larsian set-up show tables lined up either inside the little stores or outside near a corner street. The common decorations inside were outdated calendars featuring scantily clad women, some Christmas lights and ceiling fans on low ceilings, a set-up that I personally miss.

Just recently Larsian has been transferred to another location, albeit maybe just ten paces away from the old one (yes, ten steps), and renamed The New Larsian. The new set-up features a more organized and cleaner look with uniform tables and stalls. Very little has changed, the food selection is the same as it should be and the Sampaguita vendors are still around to either bother or charm you depending on what type of predisposition you are keen to.

Larsian is neutral ground - loved by the rich and poor alike, the young and old, the popular and the not so popular, the boisterous and the meek, the poetic and unsympathetic – a place where people go to not for luxury but for the food and mere experience. It opens from late afternoon up until dawn.

‘Sa’man? Larsian?
Cebu in Focus - LarsianCebu in Focus - Larsian
by: Chiliann - Bacolod City
on: Sep 21, 2005 04:56 PM

Whenever I visit cebu i never missed going to larsian and eat... the best
taste i've ever tasted and very affordable.

by: paul - California, USA
on: Sep 23, 2005 12:30 AM

man i love larsians! the bar-b-q specially the sauce man i love it! it's
just one of a kind hmmm... cant wait to be back.

by: jhellai - Houston, TX
on: Oct 08, 2005 01:13 PM

The best bbq in the world! truly cebuano! proud to be one!

by: roseth - Cebu City
on: Oct 15, 2005 10:55 PM

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, larsian is the best, my favorite in Cebu, katong wa pa
ka anhi cebu, you should be then...........:) come here.... in Cebu

by: pong - Los Angeles, California
on: Oct 16, 2005 09:52 PM

that smokey alley is the best place to be in if ur craving bbq's... c",)

by: Ava - Vancouver, Canada
on: Oct 29, 2005 01:38 AM

I MiSs Larsian
I MISs everything about CEBU! =(

by: Sanny - Toronto, Canada
on: Nov 01, 2005 08:33 PM

I've been there for so many years when I was in Cebu. I miss that
place so much. Soon I'll be back there.

by: Allan - Italy
on: Nov 26, 2005 09:35 PM this food safe?? it doesn't look hygenic.

by: Bisdak - KSA
on: Dec 13, 2005 10:52 AM

It's been a long time, 8 years havent been home. Miss that place, the
memories of it still in me. I'll see you soon, Larsian... my suki, my chair &
table... see you soon!

by: ilker - Istanbul
on: Dec 13, 2005 09:38 PM

How did I miss going to Larsian...
It looks like a Cebuano style of
Balinese Jimbaran....

by: Philip - Thailand
on: Dec 16, 2005 10:43 AM

Its one of the best barbeque place in the world

by: molmol - California, USA
on: Dec 18, 2005 04:38 AM

man!..basta gikan disco unya gutom larsian dayon...

by: Ray Kenneth - Toronto, Canada
on: Dec 21, 2005 07:17 PM

Every friday night action... LARSIAN gyud dayon ang adto-on.

by: Marlon - Manila
on: Dec 25, 2005 01:30 AM

I miss the place & the food!

by: Joel - Melbourne, Australia
on: Dec 31, 2005 12:30 AM

oh man its great to come back i will back again i enjoy eating
there(larsian) mememorial gyuod kaayo
barbiqueo didto lami ilang tina-i,wings
atay,chorizo og puso 100 balik pa ko

by: Jeanalin - Mandaue
on: Jan 11, 2006 11:37 AM

larsian! only in d Phils. lami jud ni diri after sa amo-a work or
gimik diritso dayon mag stamby! order dayon ug BBQ with puso with lami kaau nga
sauce nga hang2x! pyts na!

by: Charles - Toronto
on: Jan 15, 2006 04:45 PM

The best place to dine!!!

by: Kaye - Cebu
on: Jan 24, 2006 08:28 PM

Dili jud ko mokaon diri when I'm at work at a hospital nearby kay
mamilit ang baho sa aso, and it's very larsian jud. Now that i'll be leaving
soon, i'm eating here almost everyday cause i'll surely gonna miss this place
and the smell, hmmm..

by: Cairo - Ireland
on: Jan 25, 2006 04:26 AM

I miss cebu, akong yutang natawhan. most of all i miss the barb-q in

by: Ricky - Holland
on: Mar 12, 2006 07:58 AM

larsian smells the meeting place of all lifestyles...!
i think it should be promoted as a tourist place to's
cebu's pride..!

by: Shergonzd - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
on: Mar 20, 2006 12:26 PM

Larsian.... the last place to go for eating BBQ with puso and even
drinking beer after a long night til morning of jamming with friends and
special someone. Tatak nang Cebu........

by: ian and emily - Hobart, Indiana, USA
on: Apr 11, 2006 11:14 PM

hay gimingaw gyud mi ug kaon has it's distinctive taste
that you cant compare with other grilled cuisine...

by: clarissa - Cebu
on: Apr 15, 2006 05:27 AM

LARSIAN, as often as i am not wearing a long gown, is my favorite
dining pleasure. Nothing beats grilled pork... a cheaper alternative to fresh

by: Jotans - New Bedford, Massachusetts
on: May 18, 2006 01:54 PM

mingaw na ko diha sa larsian.....

by: Janit - Georgia
on: May 21, 2006 06:53 PM

Bitaw oi Lami kaayo ang bbq sa larsian ambot unsa bay secreto diha.
Kada uli nako sa pinas wala gyoy palsa na dili mi kakaon sa larsian
everyweekends. After gimik ,basta oi gimingaw napod ko sa Cebu....

by: Vicky - New York
on: Jun 26, 2006 12:23 AM

i miss Larsian.
the delicious smell of bbq, the
best bbq's ever!!!!

by: ricochet - new york
on: Jun 30, 2006 11:57 PM

i lived in B. Rod for 15 yrs pass by larsian everyday-really miss the
aroma of bbq spclly chorizo ug buwad nokos

by: Venus - Sydney, Australia
on: Jul 03, 2006 04:41 AM

I am so going back to cebu! This month in fact... and will never fail
to stop by larsian. Yum!

by: Tata - Talisay City, Cebu
on: Jul 14, 2006 11:37 PM

i really miss larsian, layo naman kaau gud i adto nya kapoy. mahal
ang plite, mahal ang gasolina... maka adto lang ko og larsian kung naay ma
admit sa chong hua... hahay... gutom.... hahahahahhaha....

by: Haydz - Singapore
on: Jul 20, 2006 01:39 AM

may unta karong sinulog puhon makahapit ko sa larsian.... together w/
may tagalog eh friends..

by: JIMMY - anaheim
on: Aug 26, 2006 10:28 PM

pagkalami sa Larsian uy...kahuman ug abang..hehehe..pakals dayun...

by: jason - California
on: Sep 20, 2006 07:13 PM

Way SAMA !!!!!!

by: Gino - Rio Rancho, NM
on: Oct 24, 2006 03:05 PM

lamia tanawn sa bbq oi!! grrr!!! gutom!!

by: Lani - Washington
on: Oct 25, 2006 10:18 PM

A very well-written article about Larsian. I like the way you said it that
" a neutral ground." Very informative too. I'm a Cebuana (from the
countryside) but never knew the origin of Larsian. You promoted Larsian fairly (
I mean, at all angles) and well.

by: Cathie - Boston
on: Oct 27, 2006 10:04 PM

oh boy! i miss larsian. my sister and i used to always go there. i miss
the smell of bbq in the air. so inviting...

by: noel soliano - Auckland, New Zealand
on: Oct 31, 2006 07:32 AM

lami kaayo ang manok sa larsian,kaon ko diha enig abot nako dec 15 2oo6

by: Errol
on: Nov 05, 2006 08:55 AM

I miss Larsian so much. It was 10 years ago the last time I was there.
After our clerkship in Chong-Hua Hospital in 1996, I have never returned to the
place. The place used to be our food haven. Puso and barbecue.. hmmn....i miss
the pair.

by: cookiemonzter - California
on: Jan 23, 2007 02:10 AM

Whenever I'm in Cebu I always go there. I'm careful now, since I heard
a news about their food not being fresh.

by: Aireen Q. - Cebu
on: Jan 23, 2007 05:51 AM

Sad to say, wa na ang traditional Larsian kay girenovate sila para sa
Asean Summit .. So lets all welcome the New Larsian... Ngaon ta na! :)

by: Nimfa and Chad - Minnesota
on: Feb 02, 2007 03:54 AM

Yes lami kaayo ang bbq sa larian!

by: ahtchie - banawa rePublic
on: Feb 17, 2007 11:03 AM

folks! sad to say...larsian is no more! they're demolished, a few weeks
ago...but fear not. a new larsian was born just a few steps away from the
original site. only too commercialized...being sponsored by coca.cola...much more
cleaner, neatly arranged and safer.

by: laarne - arizona
on: Feb 23, 2007 03:52 PM

nothing beats larsian. no. 1 gyud and original when it comes to bar-b-q.
loveeeee it!..............

by: Andy - Winnipeg, Canada
on: Feb 25, 2007 01:23 AM

I hope dili ma-usab ang Larsian by the time maka-uli mi!!

by: Kate - Dubai
on: Mar 09, 2007 07:14 PM

Ah lami-a gyud sa larsians ui!!!mingaw na kaayo..diha gyud mi sa una pirmi
mangaon inig lunch break namo sa work sa Xlibris sa akong migo inig 1am..ahhh...i
miss the smell sa smoke sa's been 2 yrs. now that i haven't been

by: robt - Auckland, New Zealand
on: Apr 19, 2007 01:23 AM

estep, unang kaon nako dire, gi kalibanga ko,SERET- SERET gud, pero
pagbalik nako gikan ko nilangyaw, sus lami-a gyud sa sauce ni manang linda

by: julz cabreros - chicago , il.
on: May 14, 2007 11:53 AM

sos mao ni akoang dagsa-an if mahubog mis akoang mga barkada .. kalami-a
gyud ani labi nag e tuslob sa halang nga sili suka pyter kaayo ... gotom na
hinoon ko dri naka imagine lang ko sa LARSIAN !!!!

by: toto - ireland
on: May 17, 2007 02:09 PM

it's been five years now.i bloody miss the place and the bbqs. there's
nothing like it in the world.bantay lang ka inig uli nako dira nako matulog.

by: aar - quezon city
on: Jul 09, 2007 11:37 PM

am interested to produce in mass puso and introduce the delectable pair of
puso and anything grilled in Metro Mla. Just don't know how to market. Any

by: maria - singapore
on: Jul 25, 2007 10:02 PM

pila na ka buwan since wa ko ka kaon sa larsian and gimingaw na kaayo ko
sa kalami sa ilang barbecue ug puso!!! waaahhhH!!!! i miss larsian, i miss
ginabot sa redem ug mango square, i miss siomai sa tisa, i miss lechon sa
talisay, i miss chicharon sa carcar, ngohiong sa cheavers, manok sa tagala's, ug
daghan pa!!!!!! waaaah i miss Cebu so much!!!! :(

by: Olivia - new jersey
on: Nov 15, 2007 01:06 AM

I miss the taste of chorizo from cebu! The best...Is there anybody can
give me the recipe plzzzzzzzz....

by: Trent Omand - Vancouver, Canada
on: Dec 20, 2007 11:06 PM

One of my best memories of the Philippines and Cebu in general is larsians.
The food and the atmosphere here are incredable....given a choice i'd eat at
larsians over almost any other place in Cebu....the BBQ is fantastic!! The choices
of venders to try and the people are great. My only regret is that I only managed to
visit here once during my stay in Cebu...being "Super white" as my girlfriend
calls me she thought i might not enjoy myself here as I can be picky sometimes with
what i eat. I can't wait to come back to Cebu in August this time we are staying
and Larsians will be a place you'll often be able to find me...for sure

by: abai - cebu
on: Jan 08, 2008 04:07 AM

hehehe.. i was there last night. i ate chicken skin and puso. tonight ill
be back, and strike on the chorizo and pork barbque.. droooool people

by: jmyka
on: Feb 08, 2008 12:42 AM

wow...all i can say is wow-place where you and your family, barka or
friend would be happy by the yummy-

by: nelson - texas
on: Feb 14, 2008 10:50 AM

mouli mi karon summer moadto gyud ko may favorite ang liver gyud ay ug wings

by: Virgenia Tuuri - FINLAND
on: Mar 15, 2008 11:12 AM


by: Justine Aranas - Labangon, Cebu City
on: Mar 17, 2008 07:07 AM

Pamahaw,Paniudto,Panihapon. And if mahubog,dira mukaon. Salamat Larcians!

by: Ej - Chicago, IL
on: Mar 26, 2008 03:45 PM

WAAAA I miss Cebu!!! I want to go to larsian, IT Park, Waterfront, Tops,
and of course the ultimate tambayan AYALA!!

by: Ej - Chicago, IL
on: Mar 26, 2008 03:52 PM

I'LL BE BACK CEBU! I PROMISE! Mubalik ko for sure kay naghuwat pa nako
akong mga amigo ug barkada! Maginom pa mi sa Mango, Paseo, Pipeline, Voo Doo, ug
Pump! Nya magkape pa mi sa IT park ug Ayala while nagsmoke! Then hang out in

by: Ron Karalus - Sydney - Australia
on: Apr 17, 2008 11:06 AM

I will be in Cebu on 27th April 08 for my 5th trip. I have missed the place before and now it is on my "to do" list this trip.

by: Maglasang - greenfield banilad , mandaue city
on: Apr 28, 2008 11:29 PM

lami ka jud ang grills sa bakilid mandaue. I miss the taste & wanted to stay longer.

by: jeed ma - illonois
on: May 26, 2008 12:27 PM

hi..its nice to be back there larsian a pldce of bbQ

by: grace - cebu city
on: Jun 28, 2008 01:23 PM

guyz!!!! can you give me some profitabilty tips in running barbecue business like larsian's??
plzzzzzzzzz....thesis namu.....

by: haydz ge - spore
on: Jun 29, 2008 02:43 PM

nxt yr puhon makakaon na sab ko sa larsian w/ my kids..patilawon nako sila sa pirming kan on sa ilang inahan samtang duty sa cch...hahahaha..wala bya ni sa S4

by: Rene - Los Angeles Ca.
on: Jul 02, 2008 01:02 PM

A lot of memories, in 70's & 80's. I missed the drug race, girls & the smell of the bar-bq.

by: Kring - Cebu City
on: Jul 09, 2008 02:08 PM

Weeee..nys gyud ang larsian..been there last week..nalimot ko with my migo..stayed there for almost 1 hour..hehehe...lami gyud ang bbq didto..i'm planning to celebrate my 22nd birthday there..weeeee..

by: banjo - florida
on: Jul 28, 2008 07:54 PM

best and cheapest bbq ever in my lifetime. apilan ug puso busog na kaayo ka. don't really care about the abog and the hugaw that time hehehe...

by: Bebot Alenton Thompson - Southern California
on: Aug 04, 2008 02:27 PM

Sus, pastilan agi-an ra na namo mga kabarkada kay wala may ikapalit pero pagbalikbayan nako dinha sa Cebu I took my family there gyod to eat and we had a blast!!! Lami kaayo unya barato pa!!! Larsian is the best place to hang out and eat.

by: velma - cebu city
on: Aug 06, 2008 03:31 AM

A great place for BBQ's if you are craving for grilled meats. with great flavors.

by: ronnie - cebu
on: Sep 13, 2008 01:22 PM

oh I like larsian especially at Mandawe's grill and sizzling sisig... oh ! spicy, n d lemon taste great, good for combining cold beer. il be back thier many times...

by: ronald acosta - metromanila
on: Sep 24, 2008 04:56 PM

how much is the barbecue per stick???

by: rhee - cebu
on: Sep 26, 2008 02:50 PM

small bbq is at 5 and the bigger one is 10
other bbq like fish, chicken and etc ranges from 5 pesos to 30 pesos

by: Martin Sabido - Leyte-Cebu
on: Oct 04, 2008 02:31 PM

Wow! Spicy Sizzling Sisig and Grill... I never tasted "SISIG" with that precious taste, once u taste it u will surely forget who u r... great ill bring my friends thr and chill cold beer with sisig in the table. :-)

by: amber - Manila
on: Oct 19, 2008 02:50 PM

hi..i'm going to cebu this coming Nov 10-12. pano pumunta sa larsian?

by: noe cantiveros - cebu city
on: Oct 24, 2008 11:44 PM

hi ! Amber, musta? madali lang pag punta mo ng cebu, para kalang ng taxi at sabihin mong kakain ka nang larsian alam na nang lahat ng driver sa cebu yan hehe...
lalo na pag sa Revo's sizzling sisig and grill ka kakain hehe masarap don lalo na ang sisig nila. promise! it fun eating in Larsian.

by: Ron - Vancouver,Canada
on: Nov 12, 2008 03:13 PM

last namong uli'wa jud mi nakahapit sa larsian.sunod namong uli kay patilawon jud ni namo among anak og barbecueng tina-i,batikon nga wala dinhi labi na ang isol og paboritong niya ang sukang "pinakurat"dinhi suka sa tuba.

by: giLai - ILLINOIS
on: Mar 18, 2009 11:53 AM

..Lgeh, human sinulog adto'g larsian!

by: yanyan - cebu
on: Mar 28, 2009 08:38 PM

hahahaha i always promote larsian to my friends who r unluckily not cebuanos=P proud to be one! yay!

by: Charianne - OHIO
on: May 31, 2009 08:45 AM

last yr 2008 pg uli nko i took my gf sa larsian, ingn pa niya balik nya ta ky lami kau ang larsian, lami au ang ilng timpla dd2..alwez me sa larsian atlis 3times a wek grabeh noh hehehe..enjoy guys..imissu chcken legz and buwad nukos wow yummmyyyy

by: bagdat - cebu
on: Jun 18, 2009 05:10 PM

ayaw pagdala ug sakyanan sa larsian kung mokaon mo didto kay ang citom kusog mobira sa sakyanan...pasangil lang parking sa chong chua ingnon dunay pasyenteng gi hatud (gigutom) arun ka parking ha ha ha...bira lang bro kaon pa mig chicken leather, adidas ug chorizo...yuuuummmm...

by: tedy aguhar - dubai
on: Jul 23, 2009 12:29 AM

larsian is a missing place in cebu, which is in terms of babercue,no one can bit the taste of fork and many more.the best in town.specialy Two brothers & J&l.come and na,!!!!!kalami kaayo,!!!

by: xinod - austin, texas
on: Sep 21, 2009 06:06 AM

wa juy makalupig aning larsian sa kalami sa bbq! ive been to so many bbq joints around pinas and here in Texas pero layu ra kau sa tinuod.. Bisag puso lng og sawsawan payter na kau, apilan pag kinalamian nga chicken skin, hubag!!! "I shall return, Larsian" haha..

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