It’s not easy eating healthy in the Philippines, as their menu relies heavily on pork, chicken, and just about anything fatty, greasy, or friend they can add to the recipe. While the seaside city of Dumaguete – home to Silliman University and the portal to Apo Island, Sijuior, and more natural adventures – is marginally better for getting fresh fruit, veggies and healthy cuisine than most.
My Review of Eating at Alima
But the newly opened resto-cafe (Filipinos say ‘resto’ instead of ‘restaurant’ because they love shortcuts), Alima, takes healthy eating and soulful eating to a whole new level. Tucked away on a side street right by the Silliman University medical center and an easy walk to campus, Alima is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s become one of my favorites to come in during the morning and have some coffee and food, work for a while on my laptop, meet great local people, and chat a bit. First opened in 2016, Alima means ‘foster’ or ‘nurture’ in the Visayan language.
Their breakfast menu looks small at first, but it’s super easy to make additions, changes, or customize to anything you want. It doesn’t really matter because I rarely get past the delish eggs Benedict, or the hearty steak and eggs.
They also have killer salads and a squash-ginger-carrot soup that’s a must to accompany any meal on a rainy day. But it’s not just all Filipino on the menu at Alima, as they also have some fun items like Korean soft shell tacos, Peruvian steak, and Papadum from India.
If you’re a vegetarian living or traveling here, you’re probably ready to book your ticket to Thailand, but Alima is one of your best (and only) options in Dumaguete. Among other salads and dishes, try their fantastic Quinoa burger.
But they also have the usual Filipino favorites, just made a little bit more modern and healthier.
I also dig their décor, as it’s modern (something hard to find in this town with provincial charm), with glossy concrete floors, industrial steel sheets bolted to the walls in patterns, and featuring some interesting modern art. In contrast, the table tops are wooden country-style, and they have a couple of breakfast bars for when it gets too crowded. The wi-fi works and the music is chill, but I only wish they turned the AC up a little bit more or had a fan working.
I wish I could report that their coffee was stellar, but I’d say it’s just OK, and the portion sizes are small. A latte is 88 Pesos or $1.50 Latte is about $1.60 US, which is cheaper than the chain coffee shops here, but you still don’t get enough in your cup.
They do have a great assortment of healthy teas (not just Lipton in a box), including a Turmeric tea and one that’s 100% pure cacao.
I also love the mixed fruit and veggie juices and shakes at Alima, and they’re perfect to give your body some much needed green nutrition (or cure a hangover).
And in a Kids Menu, desserts, and the fact that they’re open for breakfast (although not until 8 am), lunch and dinner, and Alima is one of my Dumaguete favorites.