Where to Eat Filipino Food in NYC: More Than Little Manila


 

In this video, we will take you to on a tour of Filipino food in NYC with a Philippines native. That Philippines native, of course, is none other than Jumi!  The New York Filipino community is concentrated in Queens, NYC. Many people associate it with the so-called Little Manila, but there is more than just Little Manila in NYC. Here are some of the spots where we eat Filipino food in NYC.
Take a look at the list below for all of the stops on this tour. Many can be found on the below maps:
Elmhurst and Corona
Woodside and Sunnyside
http://foodandfootprints.com/eat-queens-newyork-nyc-food-maps/

1: Kape’t Torta
83-13 Queens Blvd
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Kape’t Torta, which means “coffee and cake,” is the newest place on our list. Here, they sell something we haven’t been able to find in New York City until now. Kapeng barako, a coffee native to the Philippines, is available. We also drank kapeng barako on our visit to Davao City, Philippines last year at Tatang’s Halo-Halo.   It is a smooth coffee that pairs well with one of their cakes. Here, we ordered a Torta Cebuano, a spongy cake that has anise flavor. Also, we ordered a Cheese Ensaymada, a pillowy buttery pastry filled and topped with cheese for a savory sweet combo.

 

2: Sariling Atin
89-12 Queens Blvd
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Our second stop takes us to Sariling Atin, which translates to “our own.” This spot is a steam table or “turo turo,” which means “point point,” and also sells Filipino products. Here, they rotate the dishes they offer at the steam table. On our visit, we chose four dishes. First, Bicol Express, which is pork belly cooked in coconut milk with shrimp paste and chili. Next, we ordered monggo, which is stewed mung beans with bitter melon, tomato, chicharron and greens. Also, we chose bopis, which is an offal-heavy dish with chopped pork innards including lungs and liver. Finally, we got goat adobo, which was peppery flavored without a heavy gamey taste. Along with these dishes came a bowl of white rice.

3: Tito Rad’s Grill
49-10 Queens Blvd
Woodside, NY 11377

Our third stop brings us down Queens Blvd to Woodside. Tito Rad’s Grill is our favorite overall Filipino restaurant in NYC. We like that the chef hails from the southern region of Mindanao and there are dishes on the menu native to the region. One example is the pangga, or grilled tuna jaw. When we went to Davao City, we ate tuna jaw along with other tuna dishes, which come from nearby General Santos. Of course, we ordered the tuna jaw here and it was grilled perfectly. Even though we ordered the “small,” it was still quite large!
Next, we ordered two appetizers to pair with the pangga. Ukoy, a mix of bean sprouts, carrots and shrimp are fried to a perfectly crisp consistency and bulaklak, which is fried pork intestines. Bulaklak goes really well with the side of spicy vinegar.

4: Renee’s
69-14 Roosevelt Ave
Woodside, NY 11377

Our next stop takes us to the epicenter of the Filipino community in NYC. Although it is often called “Little Manila,” we refuse to call it that, as the Philippines is much more than just Manila. Rant over.
Renee’s is one of the oldest restaurants in the neighborhood and has stood the test of time for good reason. Here, they specialize in the cuisine from Pampanga, which many call the culinary capital of the Philippines. One of the famous dishes that originated from Pampanga is sisig, so that was a must-order here. What we like about the sisig here is that it actually is served with chopped up pig face and ears, unlike other places that use crisp pork belly to simulate the crunch. Always make sure to ask for an egg on top to mix in.
One of our favorite dishes here is the tinapa, or smoked bangus fish. It is served whole and very crispy to the point where you can eat the entire fish, bones and all. The flavor and consistency make it seem like a fish bacon. This is a must order! Another Filipino classic that we ordered here was the Kare Kare. Oxtail and beef tripe are cooked in a peanut sauce along with mixed vegetables including bok choy and green beans. On the side, the bagoong, or fermented shrimp paste, is a must to pair with it.

5: Krystal’s (now Amazing Grace)
69-02 Roosevelt Ave
Woodside, NY 11377

Our final stop takes us to Krystal’s, which has recently been renamed “Amazing Grace.” As full as we were, we decided to get some dessert here. They are known for halo halo, which is especially good because of the quality of their leche flan. Here, they are also generous with the ube halaya, so it has a deep purple color.
Let us know in the comments below which dish you would most like to try.
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