The Best Filipino Restaurants in San Francisco

Lumpias | © pulaw / Flickr
Lumpias | © pulaw / Flickr
Photo of V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi
Northern California Writer27 June 2017

Filipino fare is in the middle of a renaissance. This Asian food with Spanish influences is a fresh discovery in the culinary sea of tried-and-true Chinese, Japanese, Thai and other Asian cuisines. Filipinos are the second largest population of Asians in the United States, and the largest in California, so it’s only natural that Pinoy cuisine should enter the spotlight. So, where can you try out Filipino food in San Francisco? Check out the following eateries offering your food fix from the Philippines.

Manila Bowl

Restaurant, Asian, Filipino
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Located at the Twitter headquarters on Market Street, Manila Bowl allows you to craft your perfect Filipino bowl. Rice or healthier options, such as salad and quinoa, serve as the base. The culinary team then adds traditional Filipino food, such as chicken adobo or lechon porchetta, along with unlimited toppings and sauce on the side. Vegetarian options, such as veggie lumpia or tofu inasal, are also available.

Tselogs

Restaurant, Asian, Filipino
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Tselogs, which has three locations in the Bay Area (SF, Daly City, and Colma), wants to bring Filipino comfort food to the mainstream. Some of these dishes include pancit bihon (rice noodles stir fried with meat and vegetables), maja blanca (coconut pudding) pie, and, of course, lumpia Shanghai.

AJ’s BBQ and Cafe

Cafe, Asian
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Right across the street from the Balboa BART station is this casual eatery. AJ’s serves traditional Filipino food such as adobo, lumpia, and pinakbet (mixed vegetables, sometimes with pork, steamed or cooked in fish or shrimp sauce), but it also has an American menu with classic items such as cheeseburgers, bagels, and popcorn chicken.

Kusina Ni Tess

Restaurant, Asian, Filipino
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Kusina Ni Tess
Kusina Ni Tess | © Gary Stevens / Flickr

Casual eatery Kusina Ni Tess (Tess’ Kitchen) serves authentic Filipino food from the town of Bulacan. They aim to make food reminiscent of home cooking by Lola (grandma), with dishes such as squid adobo, pork lumpia, and chicken with coconut milk.

Pampanguena Cuisine

Restaurant, Asian, Filipino
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Calling itself the “home of Filipino barbecue and sisig,” Pampanguena Cuisine has a menu that doesn’t disappoint, in terms of variety. There are a ton of options, from lechon kawali (crispy, deep-fried pork) and kare-kare (a traditional oxtail stew in a peanut-based sauce) to ginata-ang hipon (shrimp with coconut milk, jalapeño, and spinach).

FOB Kitchen

Restaurant, Asian, Filipino, $$$
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This Filipino kitchen in The Mission, run by first-generation Filipino Americans, is bringing Pinoy classics to the Gashead Tavern five days a week. Nosh on some longanisa (house-made sweet garlic pork sausage, served with garlic rice and a sunny-side-up egg) or a plate of daing (fried whole Idaho red trout marinated in garlic and vinegar).

Señor Sisig

Food Truck, Asian
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The Señor Sisig food truck
The Señor Sisig food truck | © Esque Magazine / Flickr

This Filipino fusion food truck makes its way around the Bay Area, serving an updated version of sisig, using pork shoulder, chicken, or tofu. The culinary team uses it to make a variety of portable options, including tacos, burritos, salads, fries, and nachos. It’s like the lovechild of a Filipino eatery and a taqueria.

Malasa

Restaurant, Asian, Filipino
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If you’re craving Filipino food on the weekends, head over to Malasa at Crawstation. The pop-up serves traditional Pinoy breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and it has a 4.5-star rating on Yelp. After all, malasa does mean “tasty” in Tagalog.

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