Philippine cuisine could essentially be described with three words: sweet, salty, and sour. In essence, it takes from a variety of foreign cooking influences; particularly Chinese and Spanish.
Toronto is blessed with a great selection of Filipino restaurants. Here are some of its best ones, in no particular order:
Photo cred - The Globe and Mail
1. Lamesa Filipino Kitchen (669 Queen St W)
Lamesa is a high-end Filipino restaurant that offers a great selection of traditional dishes. For a unique Filipino culinary experience, make sure to try out their 'Chef's Tasting' option, which is a tasting session involving 9 snacks and 4 main courses.
Photo cred - casamanila.ca
2. Casa Manila (879 York Mills Rd)
Casa Manila offers a hand-to-mouth eating experience, which is common practice in the Philippines. On top of a delicious menu, the restaurant is also sets a rainforest-esque vibe, with ratan furniture and bamboo decorations that will get you in the Filipino spirit.
3. Remely’s (4830 Sheppard Ave E)
Remely's specializes in a variety of Filipino dishes and desserts. They also provide a catering service for any occasion (so if you know somebody who's celebrating a debut this year, make sure to suggest Remely's!)
Photo cred - mayettes.ca
4. Mayette's Famous Restaurant (3331 Danforth Ave)
Mayette's offers a menu of dishes that infuse Spanish, Asian and Filipino cooking all in one. The restaurant has been serving Torontonians at its Danforth location since 1987.
Photo cred - avbarrios
5. Max’s (1520 Steeles Ave)
Max's is a well-established chain in the Philippines which has recently branched out to Canada. Make sure to try out their desserts as well as their fried chicken, which Max's is known for.
Photo cred - sampaguita.ca
6. Sampaguita Village Family Restaurant (322 Wilson Ave)
Sampaguita Village Family Restaurant offers classic Filipino foods at affordable prices. Some of their specialties include pancit Sampaguita, which is a chicken and shrimp noodle, and kare kare, which is oxtail and mixed veggies in peanut sauce.
Photo cred - thestar.com
7. Jesse Jr. (4415 Shepphard Ave E)
Jesse Jr. currently operates in two locations - Brimley and Shepphard and Kennedy and Lawrence. They have a large variety of pork dishes, including crispy pata (crispy pork) and pork dinuguan (pork blood stew... it's sour if you're wondering).
8. Tocino Boys (1180 Queen W)
Tocino Boys is essentially "Bacon Boys" when translated. But Filipino bacon is cooked differently than Canadian bacon - it involves coating the meat in lots and lots of sugar. Tocino Boys serve tocino on almost everything, including rice and pan de sal (filipino sweet bun).
Photo cred - foodspotting.com
9. Bistro Manila (4455 Sheppard Ave E)
Bistro Manila combines two Filipino loves - food and music. On Fridays and Saturdays, live bands play at the venue and if you're brave enough you could get on their stage and sing some karaoke!
Photo cred - youtube.com
10. Barrio Fiesta (45 Overlea Blvd)
Barrio Fiesta specializes in Oriental and seafood cuisines. The restaurant also serves a variety of traditional Filipino breakfast dishes.