Where To Go In Davao City (That's Not On Your Usual Travel Guide)

A chocolate museum! A ball pit! Pet cafes!
PHOTO: (1) Instagram/davbamboosanctuaryandecopark, (2) Instagram/icecreamcookie_cafe, (3) Instagram/sparkdvo

When it comes to Davao City travel, there are destinations that are mainstays on the usual travel guides, like the Philippine Eagle Center, which is home to the mighty national bird; Malagos Garden Resort and Eden Nature Park, which boast nature’s pomp in their vast grounds; and Aldevinco Shopping Center, where pasalubong-hoarding is the name of the game. Those are all well and good, but wouldn’t you, dear curious traveler, also want to know what new spots have opened over the past few years, or where the locals themselves go when they want to let loose?

Here, we’ve made it easy for you with a list of places you can check out during your stay in Davao City! (Durian-tasting optional, if you’re still not up to it.)

Where To Stay

Sea Green Café + Boutique Rooms

15 Jacinto Extension, Doña Vicenta Subdivision

Stay at this quaint resto-slash-B&B and get an incredible two-for-one deal: Luxuriate in a clean, minimalist boutique room while being served deliciously healthy eats made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

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Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb

Where To Eat

Lara Mia Café & Bistro

University Ave. corner Talisay St., Juna Subdivision, Matina

Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, this garden café and restaurant serves sweet bites and hearty meals in a warm, inviting setting. Pro tip: Try their TDF cheesecakes!

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Cuencos Rice & Noodle Bar

Tulip Drive fronting Fuente de Villa Abrille

For no-frills yet all-good dining, visit Cuencos and have your fill of affordable and innovative rice, noodle, and pasta dishes. For an even happier ending to your meal, finish it off with their homemade Choc Nut ice cream.

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Drink

Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar

Rizal St. corner Bangoy St.

A favorite among liquor-happy locals, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Huck. Most nights it’s a steady spot to down a drink or two, but on certain weekends when there’s a DJ gig ongoing, things can get a liiittle wild.

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Social media: Facebook, Instagram

The Weekend Bar

Melocoton Compound, Jade St., Dona Francisca Homes, Matina Aplaya

Perfect for chillnuman, this beach-themed garden bar hidden away in a family compound will give you serious seaside feels. It’s open only on weekends on a reservation basis though, so be sure to get in touch with them through their social media accounts!

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Get Coffee

SPARK Coffee + Crafts

Unit 56C Paseo Uno Bldg., Ruby corner Opal St., Marfori Heights

Kick back with a cuppa at this all-white, no-nonsense coffee shop. Into crafts? Check out arts and craft supplies for sale in the corner or join one of their regular in-house craft workshops.

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Get Sweets

Malagos Chocolate Museum

Malagos Garden Resort, Brgy. Malagos, Baguio District, Calinan

Learn the art and science behind chocolate at this recently-opened museum, indulge in Malagos Chocolate’s award-winning treats at the Chocolate Bar, whip up your own goodies at the Chocolate Laboratory, even try the Chocolate Retreat Spa if you dare. Sounds like a chocoholic’s dream come true.

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Social media: website, Facebook, Instagram

Ice Cream & Cookie Café

Mabini St. corner Araullo St.

Looking for something less fancy, yet no less indulgent? This sweet tooth haven offers dozens of artisanal ice cream flavors which you can pair with your choice of cookie variants. Don’t forget to snap a pic of these IG-worthy treats!

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Shop

Creative Agenda Design Lab

Door 1, Ground Floor FRM Building, Circumferential Road, Marfori Heights

Want to bring home something other than the usual pasalubong? Support local creators by grabbing pieces by Davao-based artists, crafters, and designers at this collaborative shop.

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Feel Like A Kid Again

Altitude Indoor Trampoline Park

Altitude Building, Damosa Complex, Lanang

The first and largest indoor trampoline park in southern Philippines, Altitude offers both kids and kids-at-heart (i.e. YOU) tons of trampoline setups, a foam pit, an arcade, and a full-service restaurant.

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Social media: website, Facebook

Hyperbola Ball Pit-Café

1029-B Jacinto Extension

Dive into a sea of a hundred thousand white balls at this adult playground designed to bring out the kid in you. A portion of the play fees go to partner charities, so you can bet you’ll be helping out while having fun!

Social media: website, Facebook, Instagram

Where To Mingle With Furry Friends

Pawsome Dog Café

Door 5 Autoville Bldg., F. Torres St.

Play with 30 adorable dogs that come in all sizes, from cuddly pugs to a barreling St. Bernard. Keep an eye out for a spunky Pomeranian named Sparkle, who will sit on your lap for as long as you like.

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Purr Box Café, Supplies, and Accessories Co.

J.P. Laurel Ave. (beside Nissan Showroom)

Not a dog person? Opt for this café which is home to cat breeds such as Sphynx, British Shorthair, Scottish Fold, and Ragdoll. Savor a drink and dessert while cute kitties saunter around you all chill AF.

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Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Enjoy Nature

Davao Bamboo Sanctuary and Ecological Park

Brgy. Malagos, Baguio District, Calinan

Slip into Zen mode at this 3.5-hectare park that boasts picturesque gardens, a fresh spring pool, and activities such as fishing, kayaking, ATV and UTV, and gondola rental—perfect for that ~romantic~ photo shoot with bae.

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Where To Go For A Quick Beach Getaway

Club Samal Resort

Island Garden City of Samal 

A 30-minute boat ride away from Davao City, this luxurious boutique resort in Samal offers a stylish beach escapade—whether overnight or just a day tour—to soothe the city-weary Cosmo girl.

Social media: Facebook, Instagram

Samal Mango Haven

Brgy. Camudmud, Island Garden City of Samal

A more down-to-earth alternative that’s also a boat ride away in Samal, this rustic paradise comes with room and day tour packages, a restaurant highlighting mango-infused dishes, and spa services including the Kawa Hot Bath—the first of its kind in Mindanao.

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