The Best Filipino Restaurants in Jersey City, NJ

Traditional Filipino breakfast
Traditional Filipino breakfast | © Ivan Torres / Unsplash
Emily Tan

Jersey City is home to one of the largest Filipino communities in the state of New Jersey. With such a large population, it’s not too surprising to know that many of their country’s comforts have set up shop in the city. Because of this, there are lots of places to have Filipino food in Jersey City.

Whether they are chain restaurants from the motherland or a small spot that serves a specific region’s fare, there’s definitely many to choose from. Find out where to get the best Filipino food in Jersey City and what to order when you get there.

1. Rowena’s Delight and Cakehouse

Restaurant, Filipino

Located on West Side Avenue in Jersey City, Rowena’s Delight and Cakehouse may look like a small mom-and-pop food spot. But don’t let its size fool you. They’ve got a great selection of dishes that are super affordable. From soups and stews to fried and grilled proteins, a meal comprised of two proteins and two scoops of white rice costs less than $10. And if you want to try their barbecued pork on a stick, you can add it to your combo meal. Not only is it great for grabbing a quick dinner to go, but it’s also so much food that you can have leftovers for the next day.

2. Max’s® Restaurant

Restaurant, Filipino

One of the Philippines’ most popular chain restaurants, Max’s® Restaurant sits in the Journal Square area of Jersey City. The family-style casual restaurant serves their signature fried chicken, which is best eaten with garlic fried rice. They also have other Filipino dishes, including the noodle dish pancit and a tamarind-based soup called sinigang. If you have some room for dessert, try the halo-halo, a shaved ice dessert that includes sweetened fruits such as jackfruit and coconut gel, purple yam known as ube, and a scoop of ice cream.

3. Red Ribbon Bakeshop

Bakery, Restaurant, Filipino

Red Ribbon Bakeshop is a popular chain in the Philippines that specializes in cakes and other baked goods. While it’s originally based in the Asian country, there are various locations in the U.S., including one in Jersey City. They offer traditional pastries like ensaymda and a sweet sponge called butter mamon as well as savory offerings such as chicken empanadas and a panic bihon. They also create a selection of pretty cakes in various flavors, including mango and a coconut and purple yam one called macapuno and ube. While the purple cake may look too adventurous for some, give it a try, and you won’t be sorry.

4. Blue Ribbon Kitchen

Restaurant, Filipino

Located between West Side Avenue and Route 440, Blue Ribbon is one of those hidden gems that you’d only hear about from a local. Their rotating menu is served turo-turo style, which literally means “point-point”; that’s how you select the foods you want to eat. Customers get to choose two dishes and have it with rice. But if you would rather try their specialty, then order the lomi or hototay soup. Made with egg or udon noodles, depending on the dish, they are so warm and comforting and will satisfy you during the winter.

5. Fiesta Grill

Restaurant, Filipino

Previously on Newark Avenue, Fiesta Grill has set up a permanent spot at their bigger West Avenue location, which you can book for your next party. Similar to other Filipino restaurants in Jersey City, customers can look at the variety of foods displayed and create combinations of them with rice. But you can also order freshly fried calamari or a sizzling pork dish called sisig for dinner. But if you plan to order one of those or a crispy pata, which is fried pig knuckle, you should call the location in advance as these items are made to order and take some time to cook.

6. Little Quiapo

Restaurant, Filipino

Little Quiapo sits inside the parking lot next to the Philippine Bread House on Newark Avenue. And while some call it a hole in the wall, locals find them to be the best when it comes to a traditional Filipino breakfast. If you’ve never had one before, it features garlic fried rice, a pickled papaya slaw, a fried egg, and a protein of your choice. Longanisa, a Filipino sausage, a sweet marinated pork known as tocino, and fish are usually standard options.

7. Philippine Bread House

Bakery, Filipino

If there’s one Filipino baked good that most people know of in Jersey City, it’s pandesal. And if you want to get the best in the city, you have to go to Philippine Bread House. In business for more than 30 years, they bake these sweet rolls every morning and tend to sell out by the afternoon as people buy multiple bags throughout the day. The Philippine Bread House also offers a variety of other sweets, including a sugar-frosted brioche with cheese on top called ensaymada and their version of a sugary doughnut called bitso-bitso bitcho.

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