A Filipino Powerhouse Finds a New Lakeview Location

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Cebu, the family-run Filipino restaurant that closed in December after four years in Wicker Park will return. By late summer, the restaurant should open in Lakeview, taking over the former Bakin’ & Eggs space.

Co-owner Marlon Tan says the area is one of his favorites. Tan, along with his brothers, Malvin and Martin, is behind the new Cebu: “We saw the place and fell in love with it, and we were always looking for a bigger space to be able to grow.”

The new Cebu, 3120 N. Lincoln Avenue, will initially focus on Filipino breakfast dishes and pastries, the latter of which is welcome news to fans of their recently closed Café Cebu in Naperville, which featured a selection of Filipino-French sweets. Cebu’s signature lechon will be available on the weekends. Dinner will be offered at a later date. They hope to be able to offer liquor at some point.

“We closed Naperville because we wanted to focus more on our location in the city,” says Marlon Tan.

At Cebu, which will have around 80 seats and feature a minimalist, modern design with Filipino influences, nostalgia will play a role for chef Malvin’s menu.

“It will showcase the Filipino food that we grew up eating and also offer a taste of home,” says Marlon. “We will also be reinventing some American dishes and putting Filipino touches on them.”

Breakfast dishes will include ube waffles, pandan pancakes with coconut jam and caramel sauce, and Milo (a popular Filipino chocolate malt drink) peanut butter French toast with milk sauce and mini marshmallows.

An ube dessert.
Cebu’s pastries, like this selection from its shuttered suburban location, will reappear in Lakeview.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Younger brother Martin Tan wowed customers in Wicker Park with his thoughtful desserts, presenting Filipino sweets in an elegant manner many Americans weren’t accustomed to seeing. “Filipinos are fond of pastries, and bakeries are such a big part of our culture,” says Marlon. Martin’s offerings in Lakeview will include ube cheese pandesal (a fluffy Filipino-style bread), pandesal with corned beef, and varieties of ensaymada, including sweet potato with buttercream.

“Filipino food was always getting popular in Chicago, but the pandemic slowed down the trend. Now it’s slowly going back up again,” says Marlon of the rise in Filipino restaurants and bakeries. “There are so many talents in the city with regards to Filipino cuisine.”

Cebu, 3120 N. Lincoln Avenue, scheduled for a late spring or early summer opening.

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