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 The common decorations inside were outdated calendars featuring scantily clad women, some Christmas lights and ceiling fans on low ceilings, a set-up that I personally miss.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: Darby Dunn
Copyright © CebuCentral.Com

    Comments on “Larsian”

  1. Chiliann
    Bacolod City
    Whenever I visit cebu i never missed going to larsian and eat... the best
    taste i've ever tasted and very affordable.
  2. paul
    California, USA
    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.
  3. jhellai
    Houston, TX
    The best bbq in the world! truly cebuano! proud to be one!
  4. roseth
    Cebu City
    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, larsian is the best, my favorite in Cebu, katong wa pa
    ka anhi cebu, you should be then...........:) come here.... in Cebu
  5. pong
    Los Angeles, California
    that smokey alley is the best place to be in if ur craving bbq's... c",)
  6. Ava
    Vancouver, Canada
    I MiSs Larsian
    I MISs everything about CEBU! =(
  7. Sanny
    Toronto, Canada
    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.
  8. Allan
    Italy this food safe?? it doesn't look hygenic.
  9. Bisdak
    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!
  10. ilker
    How did I miss going to Larsian...
    It looks like a Cebuano style of
    Balinese Jimbaran....
  11. Philip
    Its one of the best barbeque place in the world
  12. molmol
    California, USA
    man!..basta gikan disco unya gutom larsian dayon...
  13. Ray Kenneth
    Toronto, Canada
    Every friday night action... LARSIAN gyud dayon ang adto-on.
  14. Marlon
    I miss the place & the food!
  15. Joel
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
  16. Jeanalin
    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!
  17. Charles
    The best place to dine!!!
  18. Kaye
    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..
  19. Cairo
    I miss cebu, akong yutang natawhan. most of all i miss the barb-q in
  20. Ricky
    larsian smells the meeting place of all lifestyles...!
    i think it should be promoted as a tourist place to's
    cebu's pride..!
  21. Shergonzd
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
    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........
  22. ian and emily
    Hobart, Indiana, USA
    hay gimingaw gyud mi ug kaon has it's distinctive taste
    that you cant compare with other grilled cuisine...
  23. clarissa
    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
  24. Jotans
    New Bedford, Massachusetts
    mingaw na ko diha sa larsian.....
  25. Janit
    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....
  26. Vicky
    New York
    i miss Larsian.
    the delicious smell of bbq, the
    best bbq's ever!!!!
  27. ricochet
    new york
    i lived in B. Rod for 15 yrs pass by larsian everyday-really miss the
    aroma of bbq spclly chorizo ug buwad nokos
  28. Venus
    Sydney, Australia
    I am so going back to cebu! This month in fact... and will never fail
    to stop by larsian. Yum!
  29. Tata
    Talisay City, Cebu
    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....
  30. Haydz
    may unta karong sinulog puhon makahapit ko sa larsian.... together w/
    may tagalog eh friends..
  31. JIMMY
    pagkalami sa Larsian uy...kahuman ug abang..hehehe..pakals dayun...
  32. jason
    Way SAMA !!!!!!
  33. Gino
    Rio Rancho, NM
    lamia tanawn sa bbq oi!! grrr!!! gutom!!
  34. Lani
    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.
  35. Cathie
    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...
  36. noel soliano
    Auckland, New Zealand
    lami kaayo ang manok sa larsian,kaon ko diha enig abot nako dec 15 2oo6
  37. Errol
    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.
  38. cookiemonzter
    Whenever I'm in Cebu I always go there. I'm careful now, since I heard
    a news about their food not being fresh.
  39. Aireen Q.
    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! :)
  40. Nimfa and Chad
    Yes lami kaayo ang bbq sa larian!
  41. ahtchie
    banawa rePublic
    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.
  42. laarne
    nothing beats larsian. no. 1 gyud and original when it comes to bar-b-q.
    loveeeee it!..............
  43. Andy
    Winnipeg, Canada
    I hope dili ma-usab ang Larsian by the time maka-uli mi!!
  44. Kate
    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
  45. robt
    Auckland, New Zealand
    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
  46. julz cabreros
    chicago , il.
    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 !!!!
  47. toto
    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.
  48. aar
    quezon city
    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
  49. maria
    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!!!! :(
  50. Olivia
    new jersey
    I miss the taste of chorizo from cebu! The best...Is there anybody can
    give me the recipe plzzzzzzzz....
  51. Trent Omand
    Vancouver, Canada
    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
  52. abai
    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
  53. jmyka
    wow...all i can say is wow-place where you and your family, barka or
    friend would be happy by the yummy-
  54. nelson
    mouli mi karon summer moadto gyud ko may favorite ang liver gyud ay ug wings
  55. Virgenia Tuuri
  56. Justine Aranas
    Labangon, Cebu City
    Pamahaw,Paniudto,Panihapon. And if mahubog,dira mukaon. Salamat Larcians!
  57. Ej
    Chicago, IL
    WAAAA I miss Cebu!!! I want to go to larsian, IT Park, Waterfront, Tops,
    and of course the ultimate tambayan AYALA!!
  58. Ej
    Chicago, IL
    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
  59. Ron Karalus
    Sydney - Australia
    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.
  60. Maglasang
    greenfield banilad , mandaue city
    lami ka jud ang grills sa bakilid mandaue. I miss the taste & wanted to stay longer.
  61. jeed ma
    hi..its nice to be back there larsian a pldce of bbQ
  62. grace
    cebu city
    guyz!!!! can you give me some profitabilty tips in running barbecue business like larsian's??
    plzzzzzzzzz....thesis namu.....
  63. haydz ge
    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
  64. Rene
    Los Angeles Ca.
    A lot of memories, in 70's & 80's. I missed the drug race, girls & the smell of the bar-bq.
  65. Kring
    Cebu City
    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..
  66. banjo
    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...
  67. Bebot Alenton Thompson
    Southern California
    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.
  68. velma
    cebu city
    A great place for BBQ's if you are craving for grilled meats. with great flavors.
  69. ronnie
    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...
  70. ronald acosta
    how much is the barbecue per stick???
  71. rhee
    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
  72. Martin Sabido
    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. :-)
  73. amber
    hi..i'm going to cebu this coming Nov 10-12. pano pumunta sa larsian?
  74. noe cantiveros
    cebu city
    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.
  75. Ron
    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.
  76. giLai
    ..Lgeh, human sinulog adto'g larsian!
  77. yanyan
    hahahaha i always promote larsian to my friends who r unluckily not cebuanos=P proud to be one! yay!
  78. Charianne
    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
  79. bagdat
    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...
  80. tedy aguhar
    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,!!!
  81. xinod
    austin, texas
    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..