There’s a brand-new lifestyle hub that you shouldn’t miss on your next tour of Albay. SM City Legazpi has opened its doors in the regional center of Bicol, offering a one-stop destination to shop, dine and sightsee! I flew to Legazpi City for a day last October 13 to experience the shopping mall firsthand (the biggest in the region since SM City Naga opened in Camarines Sur), visiting selected establishments, dining at some of the best restaurants, and marveling at the timeless majesty of Mayon Volcano!
With more than 42,000 square meters of leasable space, the 71st SM Supermall brings together a great mix of local, national and global retail brands, promising an unrivaled shopping experience for Bicolano mallgoers and tourists alike. The shopping mall carries much-loved global brands like innovative and affordable Japanese clothing company Uniqlo, as well as SM-branded retail stores like Our Home, which offers a wide array of contemporary furniture, decors and home accessories.
The SM Department Store has a convenient customer service center with payment services, complimentary gift wrapping, and a dedicated counter for customers of Click & Collect, SM’s upcoming online shopping service. Moreover, members of SM Prestige, the mall’s elite membership program, can relax at an exclusive lounge near the gift registry.
The most impressive part of the mall was the Food Hall, which not only has a wide array of food options but spacious indoor seating next to large floor-to-ceiling glass-panel windows, offering sweeping panoramas of Mayon Volcano – the iconic natural landmark of Bicol, and one of the most recognizable tourist attractions in the country. The country’s most active volcano is often covered in clouds throughout the day, and the view was clearest at sunset, when the mountain revealed its near-perfect cone and graceful slopes descending towards the city. For even clearer views, there’s an outdoor balcony for unobstructed views, where you can take group photos or selfies with the beautiful volcano. This has got to be the most scenic food court in a shopping mall in the country!
One of the top draws of the region is its rich and chili-hot dishes like Bicol express and pinangat (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and chili), For those searching for local fare, the mall also has homegrown restaurants located across the Food Hall like 1st Colonial Grill, known for its classic Bicolano food and, for dessert, unique ice cream flavors like sili (chili) and pili (a native nut). There’s also C Front, a popular restobar that locals love for its char-grilled seafood and Filipino favorites like crispy pata (deep-fried pork knuckles). While not a local establishment, Mesa delivers a Bicolano twist to halo-halo, the popular shaved ice dessert, by serving a version with chili syrup. My favorite culinary discovery during the visit, this spiced-up dessert is served exclusively at this branch.
Whatever your cravings may be, SM City Legazpi aims to satisfy them with a diverse selection of dining establishments. The shopping mall also brings to the local market some well-known names from Manila like Gringo, a Latin restaurant known for their fried chicken and baby back ribs, and Nanyang, a contemporary but authentic take on a kopitiam (coffee house), serving Singaporean faves like kaya toast, prawn laksa and Hainanese chicken rice.
True to the SM brand of delivering a complete malling experience under one roof, SM City Legazpi is your brand-new one-stop destination for shopping, dining and entertainment in the city – with amazing views to match!