5 Global Pinoy Restaurants You Need to Watch For
Filipino food is ready to go global.
The world is buzzing about Filipino food. Writers and food nerds from the world over can't stop talking about the bright, bold, sometimes confusing, and always fascinating flavors of Pinoy cuisine. Whether it's umami-packed adobo or the colorful halo-halo, people can't seem to get enough of the food that we Pinoys know and love.
In honor of the rise of the Filipino food scene, we've collated a handful of restaurants that are proudly waving the flag for Pinoy cooks everywhere. Now's the perfect time to be proudly Pinoy.
This tiny Washington D.C. restaurant just bursts at the seams with Filipino spirit. Headed by a trio of Filipino-Americans with over 30 years of culinary experience between them, Bad Saint is one of the buzziest new restaurants to hit the American capital in quite a while. The food here is unabashedly Pinoy, even with the modern tweaks the chefs made. Here you'll find kinilaw served with avocado puree, tapa topped with a slow poached egg, and even the classic ukoy drenched in vinegar and soy sauce.
There is more than enough reason for Filipinos to be proud of Qui Restaurant in Austin, Texas. Chef and owner Paul Qui is a bit of a culinary superstar, having won Top Chef and a James Beard Award, as well as earning the title of GQ's Best Restaurant of 2014.
It also doesn't hurt that Paul spent his childhood growing up in Manila, meaning that he totally understands what Filipino food is all about. His most obvious and loving homage to his home is his pulutan menu, which features streamlined versions of kare kare, dinuguan and kinilaw.
Pig & Khao
While not exclusively Filipino, Leah Cohen's pan-Asian restaurant in the Lower East Side serves up some of the boldest and heartiest Filipino and Filipino-inspired dishes in NYC. New Yorkers flock to the intimate space to have a go at Leah's classic take on sizzling sisig and her adobo-glazed chicken wings, all washed down with good swig of frosty Asian beer.
Manila Social Club
Manila Social Club offers diners Filipino food with a healthy dose of swag. While the dishes themselves aren't exactly classic (think bistek but slow-cooked, and dredged in leek and onion ash) their spirit is undeniably Pinoy. Playfulness and fun are key to the food here, with offerings ranging from Spam fries served in an actual Spam tin to a $100 donut glazed in edible gold leaf.
You could say that Jeepney is the one that really started it all. Based in NYC, the colorful spin-off of the more muted Maharlika is labelled as a "Filipino gastropub," the walls decked in kitschy Pinoy paraphernalia, the food even bolder and more colorful than its surroundings. Dining here is an experience, whether you decide to order the balut (servers start shouting "Balut!" as soon as the dish comes out of the kitchen) or go all out and dig into the massive kamayan feast with your bare hands.