The cuisine known for its sweet, salty, and sour flavour profile is getting its due.
Rising from hidden-off pioneering restaurants like CASA Manila, a new wave of Filipino restaurants are pushing culinary limits and Toronto foodies are seeking them out.
Filipino cuisine is on the rise.
4 best options for a Filipino foodie adventure:
4. Lamesa: 669 Queen Street West, 647-346-2377
Lamesa is your gateway option. Easily accessible on Queen Street West, its marble countertops, picturesque chandeliers, and contemporary art pieces create an attractive atmosphere.
Modern adaptations of Filipino classics rule the menu. Come in for their chicken adobo- moist chicken thighs drenched in a rich garlic and soy sauce.
Plan a Sunday adventure: Lamesa’s Kamayan “hand to mouth” feast of traditional meats (chicken, pork), seafood (clams, mussels, milk fish), and accompaniments (garlic rice, deviled eggs, grilled corn) are served over a plate of banana leaves- only available on Sundays from 5-9pm.
3. Platito: Pop-ups and events
Platito lives on despite a fire that destroyed their restaurant. Popping up at food festivals, they attract long lines for their trendy ube (a purple yam native to the Philippines with a subtle vanilla flavour) inspired dishes. While their Baldwin Street location is closed indefinitely, follow their Instagram and Facebook to find upcoming pop-ups.
2. Tinuno: 31 Howard Street, 647-343-9294
Tinuno roughly translates to “cooking over a fire” which perfectly encapsulates the food at this low key East end spot. While the basic space won’t excite you, the food will- they serve the best Kamayan in the city.
Looking for a quick snack? Their little BBQ out front serves street food skewers to go.
1. Dolly’s: 1285 Bloor Street, 416-551-0355
Dolly’s is the brainchild of Dave Sidhu, the man behind Toronto’s Playa Cabana restaurant chain. You will immediately feel his signature vibe: Dim lighting, neon signs, and graffiti walls. Perfect for sipping mojitos (their variation is sweetened with fresh pressed cane juice) and snacking on Filipino classics such as lumpia (deep fried spring rolls) or pancit bihon (stir fried noodles).
Craving more Filipino?
- Lola’s Kusina: Located in Etobicoke, this classic spot serves up traditional Filipino dishes and doubles as a bakery dishing out specialty cakes.
- Barrio Fiesta: Scarborough is home to many Filipino restaurants serving classic dishes.
- Lasa by Lamesa: This fast casual restaurant serves extra-crispy fried chicken seasoned with a tangy spice blend.
- Bistro Manila: In between sets of live music or singing karaoke, snack on tasty Filipino sides.
- Tocino Boys: Specializing in Filipino styled bacon, they pop-up at downtown bars and events.