The 14 Best Filipino Restaurants in NYC
Where to go for halo-halo, sisig, and other favorites.
Filipino cuisine encompasses a wide range of dishes, flavors, and cooking styles that are well represented in NYC. In Woodside, you’ll find family-owned restaurants serving traditional Filipino fare, grocery stores, and bakeries along a stretch of Roosevelt Avenue known as Little Manila. And in Manhattan, diners can choose from an array of modern Filipino restaurants with updated takes on classic dishes, offering more widespread appeal and an introduction to Filipino cuisine for the uninitiated. Whether your preference is spicy, sizzling sisig, or a bright purple stack of ube pancakes, there’s something for everyone, and Filipinos are all about making sure everyone is fed. “Kain na” (meaning “eat now”) is a common phrase you’ll hear at any Filipino gathering where there’s food involved.
In honor of Filipino American History Month (October), we’re taking a closer look at some of the best Filipino eats the city has to offer. “To me, Filipino food is the food I grew up eating or a version of it, that reminds me of my mother and cooking together with her,” says Leah Cohen, chef and owner of Pig and Khao. “Always adobo, and very specific flavors like shrimp paste, soy sauce, and vinegar.”
Filipino cuisine today is the product of a variety of influences throughout the country’s history, from agricultural trading with China and India to colonization by Spain and the United States.
Jordan Andino, chef and owner of Flip Sigi, credits pioneers like East Village restaurants Jeepney and Maharlika (now closed) with paving the way for NYC’s burgeoning Filipino restaurant scene. “I’d like to think that Flip Sigi, along with many other great Filipino restaurants that came after Jeepney and Maharlika, have helped put Filipino food on the map. I’m proud to say that now my country’s cuisine is definitely in the spotlight and is gaining respect amongst critics and novice eaters each and every day.”
Here are 14 of the best places to explore Filipino cuisine around the city.
Meaning “casual dining” in Ilocano (the third most spoken native language in the Philippines), Saramsam is a new addition to the NYC dining scene. It’s part of Ravi DeRossi’s plant-based Overthrow Hospitality Group and, as such, serves a vegan menu inspired by Filipino staples, which is no easy feat considering many traditional dishes are meat or fish-based. On the menu you’ll find dishes like roasted mushroom adobo; plant-based sizzling “sisig”; and pancit canton with Impossible ragu. The chef’s choice Kamayan Feast offers a sampling of the majority of the dishes on the menu.
How to order: Reservations are recommended and available on Resy for both indoor and outdoor seating. Order takeout via DoorDash, Seamless, Uber Eats.
When three Filipino nurses working in the Upper East Side wanted easier access to Filipino cuisine after their shifts, they teamed together to open this casual sit-down restaurant. And since opening in August, these frontline workers have been on double duty as both healthcare providers and restaurateurs. Bilao’s all-day hours start early at 8am (9am on Sundays) with dedicated breakfast items like tapsilog (marinated beef with garlic fried rice and egg), in addition to traditional fare like kare kare, lechon kawali, and arroz caldo (porridge with chicken).
How to order: Indoor and outdoor seating is first come, first served. Call ahead for pickup or delivery at 212-650-0010.
Filipino flavors meet Mexican staples like tacos and burritos at this casual Filipino taqueria. Tacos are topped with chicharrónes and filled with your choice of soy-braised adobo chicken; longanisa (sweet cured Filipino pork sausage); tamarind braised short rib; or jackfruit (their vegan and gluten-free option). The secret menu Brunchwrap Supreme created in collaboration with @IndulgentEats features longanisa (Filipino sweet sausage), a fried egg, cheese, avocado, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, chicharrones, and banana ketchup.
How to order: Outdoor seating is first come, first serve. Indoor dining is not currently offered. Order takeout via website and delivery via Uber Eats.
Barbecued bites take center stage at this relaxed Filipino haunt with homey vibes. Their backyard has an outdoor setup that feels like a family cookout, accented with hanging plants along with rustic chairs reminiscent of a mother’s kitchen. Colorful shakes in flavors like ube, mango, avocado, and sago (palm sugar with tapioca pearls) pair well with FOB’s food menu, and brunch offerings include traditional silogs (garlic rice and fried egg with your choice of breakfast meat); halo halo waffles; and a giniling (ground beef) omelet.
How to order: Indoor, outdoor, and backyard seating is first come, first served. Online ordering is also available on their website.
In the heart of Little Manila in Woodside, Ihawan is a longtime favorite that’s been open since 1995. The street entrance takes you to the kitchen area (where takeout orders are picked up), and a short flight of stairs leads you to the main dining room. They serve Kapampangan-style Filipino cuisine (from Pampanga, a province northwest of Manila), including dishes like sisig, menudo (a stewed pork dish with a tomato-based sauce), and grilled dishes galore. Make sure you leave room for halo-halo, a colorful dessert featuring crushed ice, evaporated milk, red and white beans, and mixed tropical fruits.
How to order: Reservations are available by calling 718-205-0105 for indoor and outdoor seating or takeout.
Jeepney Filipino Gastropub
Eating utensils are optional when dining at Jeepney, an OG of the NYC Filipino food scene named after the most popular form of public transportation in the Philippines (one that’s so iconic that it has become a symbol of Philippine culture). In addition to an à la carte menu, Kamayan feasts are served on banana leaves covering the dining table and eaten with your hands, and tiki cocktails from the bar menu help keep the party going. For the COVID era, Jeepney is delivering heat-and-serve meal kits (serving two or a crew) on Fridays. Called Tita Baby Kita Kits, the meal kit offerings change weekly and can be ordered on their website.
How to order: Outdoor seating is first come, first served. Indoor dining is not currently offered. Order delivery via website.
Jollibee is an iconic Filipino fast food chain with locations all over the world––two of which are in the NYC area (Midtown Manhattan and Woodside). The Chickenjoy (crispy on the outside and perfectly juicy on the inside) is a must-order, and you can even get it with a side of Jolly Spaghetti (for the uninitiated, this may seem like a strange combination, but it totally works). For dessert, the peach mango pie is a winner; flaky, warm, and filled with sweet Philippine mangoes.
How to order: Walk in for to-go orders (dine-in not currently offered).
Midtown: Call ahead for pickup at 212-994-2711. Order delivery via DoorDash.
Woodside: Call ahead for pickup at 718-426-4445. Order delivery via DoorDash.
The best way to tackle Lahi’s extensive menu of Filipino comfort food favorites is to divide and conquer: Bring your quarantine pod and order a variety of dishes to share––just make sure you get enough rice for everyone. Popular menu items include crispy pata; pancit (sauteed noodles with meat and vegetables); sisig (served on a sizzling hot plate); and BBQ skewers.
How to order: Indoor and outdoor seating is first come, first served.
This NYC branch of a New Jersey mainstay offers its signature dish, sizzling sisig, in several varieties. The pork sisig is made with crispy chopped pork belly (rather than the traditional pig’s head); and pusit (squid); bangus (milkfish); chicken; and tofu round out the sisig offerings. Filipino breakfast is served all day and consists of garlic fried rice, two over easy eggs, and your choice of breakfast meat, with options including tapa (marinated beef); tocino (sweet pork; and longanisa.
How to order: Outdoor seating is first come, first served. Order delivery via website.
Siblings Maribeth and Miguel Roa run Papa’s Kitchen, named in tribute to their father. The menu leans toward traditional fare and includes pork-filled lumpia (fried spring rolls); crispy pata (deep-fried pork trotters); chicken adobo; and lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly, a popular choice for birthdays and other celebrations. On weekends, they serve ube (purple yam) pancakes infused with mascarpone cheese, topped with a creamy ube sauce, chicken cracklings, and seasonal fruit.
How to order: Indoor and outdoor seating is first come, first served. Order delivery via website.
Pig and Khao
Chef Leah Cohen’s modern Southeast Asian menu is typically served in a bustling, vibrantly colored dining room that reflects the bold flavors of the dishes. For 2020, they’re serving up a street food menu from a walk-up window. Filipino-inspired offerings include chicken adobo (served with baby bok choy and jasmine rice); sisig (featuring braised, grilled, and diced pork head); and halo-halo topped with leche flan and a scoop of ube ice cream.
How to order: Walk up to the takeout window (dine-in not currently offered). Order delivery via Caviar.
Crispy ukoy (vegetable and shrimp fritter); kare kare (oxtail stew with peanut sauce, served with fermented shrimp paste); and chicken adobo (their most popular dish since day one) are just some of the classic Filipino dishes offered at this cozy eatery with additional seating in their backyard. Make sure to save room for dessert for classics like leche flan; halo-halo; and buko pie; plus a calamansi tart with blueberries and guava sorbet.
How to order: Outdoor seating is first come, first served. Indoor dining is not currently offered.
Renee's Kitchenette & Grille
This no-frills spot serves up homestyle Filipino dishes in a simple space, with a few outdoor tables added for socially distanced dining. Mains like sinigang (tamarind soup); dinuguan (pork blood stew); and crispy pata are made to order and big enough to share.
How to order: Outdoor seating is first come, first served.
Tito Rad's Grill & Restaurant
This laid-back spot specializes in Filipino comfort food, with a menu that encompasses popular staples and unique house specialties that aren’t as commonly found. Classic dishes like sinigang; adobong baboy (pork adobo); beef kaldereta (spicy beef stew); and pancit are offered alongside house specialties like inihaw na panga (grilled tuna jaw); kalderetang kambing (spicy goat meat stew); and inihaw bangus (grilled whole fish).
How to order: Reservations are recommended by calling 718-205-7299 or 718-205-7295 for indoor and outdoor seating. Order delivery via Uber Eats.