The 14 Best Filipino Restaurants in NYC
Where to go for sisig, halo-halo, and other favorites.
Filipino food 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 and Brooklyn, diners can choose from contemporary spots with updated takes on classics.
The cuisine of the Philippines 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. But 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.
Opened earlier this year, Chick’n Rotonda in Middle Village is one of NYC’s latest Filipino eateries making its mark. Here, chef and owner Prince Torre offers a hearty homestyle-inspired menu that goes beyond its signature lechon mark (rotisserie chicken) and liempo (rotisserie pork belly). In addition to traditional dishes like lugaw (rice porridge) and sinigang with red snapper, familiar favorites like a mac n gouda cheese or a chicken cobb salad are also available. And for all of your Filipino must-haves like chicken adobo, lechon paksiw (sweet & tangy pulled pork), longsilog (pork sausage), and more, order it through a dedicated section of rice box meals.
Last summer, while most of us were just trying to get through each day during a super scary time of the pandemic, Kimberly Camara (Eleven Madison Park) and partner Kevin Borja (Union Square Hospitality Group) launched their wildly successful donut and desserts brand Kora out of a Woodside apartment with two home-fryers. Since then, items inspired by Camara’s Filipino heritage and family recipes have helped amass a waitlist of more than 10K regularly waiting to get their hands on signature items like brioche donuts with ube custard.
How to order: Online ordering available via website on Mondays and pick up is in Long Island City; check Kora’s Instagram for more details.
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 last summer, these frontline workers have been on double duty as both healthcare providers and restaurateurs. At Bilao, choose from popular items like kare-kare with stewed oxtail and tripe in peanut sauce with vegetables; lumpia with sweet chili dipping sauce; and ginataang hipon with jumbo shrimp cooked in coconut milk, onion, ginger, and shrimp paste
Filipino flavors meet Mexican staples like tacos and burritos at this casual Filipino taqueria. Flip Sigi’s 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 eggplant. 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.
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 tortang omelet with charred Asian eggplant.
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 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.
Jollibee is an iconic Filipino fast food chain with locations all over the world. While there are currently only two branches within the five boroughs in Midtown and Woodside, get ready for a massive 7,000-square-foot flagship store to eventually open in the heart of Times Square. When it comes to the menu, 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.
The best way to tackle Lahi’s extensive menu of Filipino comfort food favorites is to divide and conquer: Bring your squad 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 barbecue skewers.
This NYC branch of a New Jersey mainstay offers its signature dish, sizzling sisig, in several varieties. At Mama Fina’s, choose from pork sisig made with crispy chopped pork belly (rather than the traditional pig’s head); pusit (squid); chicken; and tofu. 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 tapsilog (marinated beef); tosilog (sweet pork); longsilog (pork sausage); and tinapsilog (bangus or baby milkfish).
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.
Pig and Khao
Popular for its street food vibe and experience, chef Leah Cohen’s modern Southeast Asian menu at Pig and Khao has been a Lower East Side mainstay since opening in 2012. With her mother of Filipino descent, the former Eleven Madison Park alum and Top Chef contestant has fond memories of cooking together with her during childhood, and at her restaurant, Cohen serves Filipino-inspired offerings like pork belly adobo (served with crispy garlic and a slow poached egg); sisig (featuring braised, grilled, and diced pork head); and halo-halo topped with leche flan and a scoop of ube ice cream.
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. At Purple Yam, 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.
Renee's Kitchenette & Grille
This no-frills spot serves up homestyle Filipino dishes in a simple space, with a few outdoor tables. Mains like sinigang (tamarind soup); dinuguan (pork blood stew); and crispy pata are made to order and big enough to share.
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. At Tito Rad’s, 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).