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The Best Filipino Restaurants in New York

It’s estimated there are around 100,000 Filipinos living in New York, so with such a large contingent calling the city their home it’s no surprise there are a number of high quality restaurants serving traditional food from the Philippines. 

Billed as the next big thing, with late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain saying Filipino food is set to become a global sensation, the tastes of the Philippines have never been more popular with a host of top-quality establishments to choose from in NYC.

While some of the restaurants are located in Little Manila, a stretch of Woodside near Roosevelt Ave., others are scattered about across the city making them a little harder to find. Here we give you a run through of the very best in New York City, so the next time you’re in the Big Apple you know exactly where to go to find the distinctive tastes of the Philippines. 

Papa’s Kitchen
Located in Little Manila, since 2012 Papa's Kitchen has been offering traditional, authentic cuisine to diners looking for a real taste of Manila.

While the menu may be somewhat conventional, the karaoke that’s open to diners most certainly isn’t, and microphone-friendly customer can belt out songs through the restaurant’s PA system between meals. 

Perhaps not the ideal spot if it’s a quiet, romantic meal you're after, but if you don’t mind a bit of bad singing, head here for a fun evening and some delicious food.

This restaurant, located in East Village, Manhattan, describes its menu as ranging “from the very classic to the very inspired” which is accurate as the chefs at the Maharlika provide a modern take on classic Filipino dishes.

Since 2011, owner Nicole Ponseca and head chef Miguel Trinidad have worked in tandem to deliver adventurous and fun adaptations of the food they were brought up on by their immigrant parents, and today they stand at the forefront of the boom in the popularity of Filipino food in New York.

The restaurant is popular for parties and large gatherings, so if you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, which serves A-grade Filipino food at reasonable prices, then you’ve found your place.

Pig & Khao
Although this place serves a mixture of Thai & Filipino-influenced cuisine, it still merits a place on our list as the food here is just so damn tasty!

Before opening Pig & Khao, owner and head chef, Leah Cohen - once a contestant on American reality TV show Top Chef - spent 18 months travelling around Southeast Asia bulking up her knowledge on the weird and wonderful tastes of the region. 

Thankfully, she now utilises every bit of that knowledge to deliver top-notch cuisine that blends the flavours from each of the stops on her itinerary.

While some of the other establishments featured on our list provide a modern, western twist to classic Filipino food, fare from the Jeepney is straight-up traditional grub that could have been teleported directly from Manila.

The Jeepney is a spin off from the Maharlika, although both of the restaurants try to offer their own distinctive menus and dining experiences, with more of an emphasis on classic authenticity at this branch. 

For large groups, the Jeepney also offers one of the best Kamayan Feasts in the city, which is basically a huge meal that a group of you and your friends eat with your hands. Don't worry about getting greasy, sticky mitts - there’ll be plenty of napkins to wipe them with once you’re done! 

Tito Rad’s Grill
If value is important when choosing somewhere to dine, you might struggle to find a better place than Tito Rad’s Grill on Queens Boulevard  in Little Manila.

With dishes such as lechon kawali (deep fried pork belly with dipping sauce)  and manok sa grata (chicken cooked in coconut milk & ginger) costing around $10 each, the restaurant guarantees to “satisfy your craving for Lutong Bahay” (a taste of home); all for about the same price as a meal at McDonald’s, which makes this place a no-brainer for us!

This post was written by Anna Mumford - for more tips and information to prepare you for your trip to NYC, visit New York Weekend Breaks.

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