Little Pampanga is a small and simple operation, but one of the best-kept secrets among locals who appreciate traditional Filipino food. The restaurant's entrance is through Joshan, a neighboring Filipino grocery store that sells everything from ube ice cream to large sacks of rice. Customers line up and choose from the day's selection, simmering in steam tables behind glass windows. Fish is the shining star at Little Pampanga, whether it's the fried tilapia or buttery chunks of swordfish served in a bright sinigang broth. The $1 upcharge for beef orders is totally worth it for the earthy kare-kare peanut sauce. Most customers take their food to go, but the small dining room has at least four tables if you plan to stick around awhile.
How to order: Be prepared for lines that grow long and move slow at times. Come early. Some items sell out by early afternoon.