The Best Filipino Restaurants In NYC

NYC’s best Filipino restaurants serve up sizzling platters of sisig, banana leaf-plate dinners, and a really good time.
The Best Filipino Restaurants In NYC image

photo credit: Adam Friedlander

Yes, we love Jollibee too. But there’s more to New York’s Filipino dining scene than the fried chicken at this fast-food chain. In Little Manilla in Woodside, you’ll find spacious BBQ joints and restaurants that serve group dinners on banana leaves. There are places for the ube-obsessed in Brooklyn, and a cluster of spots in Lower Manhattan that include a Filipino fusion taqueria.

The next time you need some sisig and adobo in your life, check out one of the restaurants on this guide, and plan to stay awhile—several of these places also happen to have some of the best party vibes in the city.

The Spots

photo credit: Adam Friedlander



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Renee’s is our favorite Filipino restaurant in Woodside, which is saying a lot, considering this casual spot is in the heart of Little Manila. It might even be the heart of Little Manila—Renee’s has been serving the neighborhood from under the noisy Roosevelt Avenue train since 1992. It has an appropriately lived-in feel, with random trinkets, lanterns, and wooden spoons haphazardly hung up, like a child took over decorating duties. Start off with perfectly crispy sizzling sisig, then try the sinigang na baboy: sour pork soup loaded with tamarind and taro root. An order of kare-kare (peanut stew with oxtails and string beans) should be on your table, too.

The Best Sisig In NYC image

NYC Guide

The Best Sisig In NYC

photo credit: Adam Friedlander


Just a few steps around the corner from Renee’s is Ihawan, the first spot we send anyone who wants Filipino BBQ. For best results, bring as many friends as you can—the best way to eat here is kamayan style. This involves sample portions of dishes like lumpia Shanghai, tortang talong, and a bunch of different kinds of barbeque served on banana leaves, and eaten with your hands. The kamayan dinner is available for parties of up to eight, and there’s plenty of room for big groups in the huge dining room on the second floor. The ambience up there is somewhat lacking, but eating off banana leaves is exciting enough.

photo credit: Adam Friedlander

$$$$Perfect For:Dining SoloLunchQuick Eats

Sariling Atin is a Filipino grocery store with locations in Elmhurst and Jersey City. And while they have great snacks, like adobo-flavored corn nuts and squid crackers, don’t lose sight of what’s most important: the counter-service restaurant in the back. There’s a chalkboard menu listing a few combos, but whatever you do, get the Bicol Express, a stew with big chunks of pork belly that taste like they’ve been soaking in a jacuzzi full of coconut milk and shrimp paste for hours.

Bring a few friends to this casual BYOB spot in Woodside, so that you can try a bunch of different things. Here, you can order anything off the menu and we guarantee you’ll want to get it again on your next visit. Start with the crispy lumpia, then get a sizzling platter of milkfish sisig drizzled with mayo, and a huge portion of deep fried pork knuckles with thick crackly skin. Finish with some halo halo, which comes with ube ice cream. By this point, you might be signing along to the playlist of karaoke versions of pop songs.

You might not be able to tell from its aqua-colored facade on Smith Street, but the backyard at F.O.B. in Carroll Gardens is an ideal date night spot, where you can bond over some Filipino barbecue. Get the pork skewers, and if you’re sharing, get the spare ribs as well. We also like the sisig because it’s a pleasantly sour platter of tender meat and huge chunks of chicharon.

We’re always happy to hit Dollar Hits in Woodside, especially on a weekend night. During the day, you can serve yourself a complete lunch of staples like pancit and lechon at the counter, but you should really come after 4pm when they replace the chaffers with endless aluminum pans of BBQ skewers—stuff like tempura eggs, pork skin, and chicken butt. The skewers are $1.50 each and if you can resist trying every single one, you can get a whole meal’s worth of meat for under $15. Later in the night, it gets loud, crowded, and hot—but the chaos makes for a really good time right until closing at 11pm.

Besides making some of the best pork dishes in the neighborhood, this Woodside restaurant is also about as close to a party restaurant as you’ll find in the area. The huge, loud space is full of big groups, they often have live music and karaoke, and every time we stop by, they’ve added more sparkly string lights. Order their fabulous sisig platter and enjoy the scene. Feel free to stay as long as you want after dinner.

photo credit: Adam Friedlander

Grill 21 image

Grill 21


Grill 21 is a tiny restaurant in Gramercy Park that does its best work with the breakfast menu. Our favorite thing to get is the tocilog, a Filipino breakfast combo that comes with rice, eggs, and perfectly charred tocino. The cured pork is fiery red, juicy and caramelized, and we’d be perfectly fine if it were the only thing we could eat on Sundays for the rest of our lives. If you’re not in the mood for eggs, get the chicken adobo or some lechon kawali.

Lahi is best known for its sisig tacos, which first became popular at the Queens Night Market. Each order includes a few bite-sized taco bowls filled with crunchy, sour pork sisig and mayo drizzled on top. Come to this super casual Elmhurst spot with a few friends, grab seats outside if you want more of a vibe, and be sure to get the turon (deep-fried banana rolls) for dessert.

Tradisyon looks like the kind of place where you might be able to build a salad that you can accumulate points for on an app. It’s actually a solid, mostly takeout spot in Hell’s Kitchen that serves Filipino standards. But what you’re here for is the squid adobo, which has plentiful chewy, chopped-up pieces of squid and costs less than $12. There are about two-and-a-half tables inside, but they also have a bunch of outdoor seating.

photo credit: Bilao

This spot is Permanently Closed.

Bilao is a Filipino restaurant on the UES, and if that weren’t useful enough in the land of bland pastas and overpriced steaks, they also open at 8am. Keep it in mind for a quick breakfast or lunch date in the area—we can guarantee the food is great, even if the restaurant itself is indiscernible from any run-of-the-mill takeout spot. Navigate to the silog section of their menu, which pairs a bunch of different grilled meat options like tocino and grilled beef with a fried egg and garlic rice.

You’ll find a bunch of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese mash-ups at this Ditmas Park restaurant, but focus on the Filipino dishes, like tocino, beef tapa, chicken adobo, or lechon kawali. They also make their own ice cream and sorbet, and their champurrado deserves an award for best dessert porridge in Brooklyn, or maybe on earth. It’s fun to sit in front of the open kitchen inside and watch them work, but we prefer the private oasis of their small, bamboo-lined backyard.

Unlike the other Woodside spots on this guide, the sisig at Tito Rad’s Grill is made up entirely of pork belly. And like a great French 75, or your high school skincare routine, this sisig proves that a little bit of lemon juice can go a long way. Each bite of nicely acidic meat overtakes your innocent taste buds with all things sweet, charred, chewy, and crunchy. Share the sisig special with a small group and try to get a table in the back, which feels like one big party at your coolest tito’s house.

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