Gabby’s Bistro

Gabby’s Bistro is an establishment in Dumaguete, the Philippines, but from there it gets a little confusing. First off, there are two Gabby’s Bistros, with one on the central Boulevard by the ocean in Dumaguete. That aside, the second Bistro, located in Daro about a 10-minute trike (tricycle) ride from downtown, is just a confusing place. It’s actually a bed and breakfast in an area where there certainly any other hotels, so I guess there’s some value to it. But I still have no idea why they put a hotel there since it’s more of a residential neighborhood and far out among a huge park with baseball fields and dirt roads, chickens, and goats. I’ve never been inside the rooms at Gabby’s, but I’m going to tell you about the restaurant.

Eating at Gabby’s Bistro

Walking up to it, you’ll be a little puzzled because it looks like someone put all of the furniture outside, including couches, easy chairs, and tables. Maybe it’s cleaning day so they moved everything outside to get it out of the way? I thought to myself. But no, that’s just the motif at Gabby’s outside eating area – they replicate a café or bistro but outdoors, so the couches and easy chairs that look like they’re cloth are actually painted cement (or something like that). They even have little slices of wall by the tables made to look like interior walls with windows and light fixtures! But questionable décor aside, Gabby’s looks pretty cool inside – sort of like a modern log cabin but with bright colors, maps, photos and art work, and even a surfboard hanging.

They are open all day and well into the night, but they only serve the same breakfast menu, which is weird. Furthermore, their menu is super strange. They have the typical Filipino breakfast selections (eggs, white rice, and then some highly questionable mystery meat like corned beef or some other black burnt lumps). But it’s hard to get a decent “normal” breakfast of just a few eggs and toast. You definitely won’t find anything healthy on the menu, as I haven’t seen one piece of fruit, yogurt, muesli, or anything that can even be considered vaguely good for you on the menu. But they do have some bizarre Franken-foods, like the breakfast sandwich with Spam and cheese on French Toast. They serve that with chips and salsa like you might get at a Mexican restaurant. What a weird breakfast! They also have one pizza on the menu but on a hard tortilla. I’m telling you – it’s some really strange stuff.

The food is OK, but nothing great by any means, and the best thing you can say about it is that it will fill you up. It’s moderately priced (around $3 for a meal), and I do like their coffee lattes. They also have wi-fi, which works slowly but seems to be pretty consistent, and there is air conditioning inside, which they definitely need to turn up during busy times or hot days.

If you find yourself traveling to this side of the world, check out Gabby’s at your own risk – or if you want to witness for yourself just how strange it is!

1/5 - (1 vote)


Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

Leave a Comment