The island nation of the Philippines is influenced by a wide variety of cultures from around the world, including those of Japan, China, India, and Spain. As such, the country serves amazing dishes that speaks to both its influences and its individual ingenuities. Filipino food seems to be experiencing an ever-important moment among foodies these days, and we’ll take this opportunity to jump on that jeepney. Join us by trying these tip-top Filipino restaurants in New York!
A homey, quirky space with a black-and-white striped bar, come to Maharlika if you’re interested in the best Filipino food in Manhattan. This popular East Village eatery serves Spam fries (a must-try) to start, chicken and ube waffles for a main, and transcendent Kare Kare oxtails with peanut butter sauce. Their rice bowls, or silogs, won’t disappoint, particularly the Sizzling Sisig, a mixed seafood dish prepared on a skillet right in front of you to get your mouth a-watering. 111 1st Ave., 646-392-7880, maharlikanyc.com
Right up the street from Maharlika is another stellar Pinoy option for your belly: Jeepney. Named for the motorized passenger trolleys native to the Philippines, Jeepney serves classic dishes like garlic rice, pancit malabon (a rice noodle dish), and exquisite halo halo (purple ice cream!). If you’re looking for a filling, flavorful meat entree, go for the Bicol Express. It’s pork shoulder with spicy sauce—and rice, of course! 201 1st Ave., 212-533-4121, jeepneynyc.com
Pig and Khao
Though not a true-blue Filipino place, Pig and Khao deserves a spot on this list for its loving, innovative twists on classic dishes. You’ll love the sweet-and-sour Shan noodles, sizzling sisig, and fall-apart pork belly adobo. At brunch, the champorado, chocolate pudding with bacon bits, makes a perfect sweet-and-salty dessert. The space has a hip, 70s vibe: tiny tiles on the floor and bright splashy paintings on the walls. I.e. you’ll want some group pics. 68 Clinton St., 347-704-2398, pigandkhao.com
Spicy pork and chicken adobo are mainstays of Filipino cooking. At Grill 21 in Gramercy, you’ll want to order one pork adobo at minimum, along with pancit palabok (noodles with shrimp sauce) and Lumpiang Shanghai (pork and vegetables wrapped in small egg rolls). If two pork dishes aren’t enough—never too much pork with Filipino fare—try the fried crispy pata, if you’re into pork knuckles. 346 E 21st St., 212-473-5950
Once a food stand at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg market, Lumpia Shack has set up its own brick-and-mortar lumpia shop in the West Village. To start, order lumpia, the fried egg rolls for which the shop is named, with pork or mushrooms. As mains, Lumpia Shack offers build-your-own rice bowls and specials like the Fried Bangus Milkfish Rice Bowl (milkfish is the signature fish of the Philippines, FYI). The shop seats about 5 guests, so come on a lovely day where you can eat outside at Washington Square Park! 50 Greenwich Ave., 917-475-1621, lumpia-shack.com
If you happen to find yourself deep in Queens, you’ll be rewarded with experiencing the vibrant Filipino influence in Woodside. Papa’s Kitchen stands out for its authentic and truly tasty take on all the classics: Lumpiang Shanghai, crispy pata, kare kare, and the one and only chicken adobo. 65-40 Woodside Ave., 347-724-9568