Finding fab Filipino feasts across NEXT three cities
By: Nicole Richie
A dobo — marinated meat — isn’t the only Filipino food to go crazy over. Filipino cuisine is multifaceted and features tons of regional dishes that are nothing short of delicious. Whether it’s street food favourites, beloved adobo or the tradition of kamayan (sharing a communal meal with friends and family that’s all eaten with your hands), these restaurants are showing Canada just what Filipino cooking has to offer. Across our NEXT Three Cities, we found the hotspots for you to enjoy a taste of the Philippines. Kain Tayo!
With three locations across Scarborough, downtown and in the heart of Little Manila, Tinuno is Toronto’s go-to spot for all things Filipino food. Its philosophy stems from its dedication to traditional Filipino food. Using an open flame, Tinuno grills the freshest seafood and meat in authentic sauces and serves it up on a banana leaf for the whole family to share. Originally a small grocery with a takeout component, this restaurant has expanded into one of Toronto’s most beloved spots for kamayan.
This Filipino stalwart has been Toronto’s spot for kamayan since the early 2010s. With communal dining at the centre of its menu, this restaurant encourages its patrons to come hungry and feast with their whole family. The kamayan is very famous and so much fun. With tons of food, like grilled vegetables, meat and seafood laid out on banana leaves for everyone to enjoy, you’ll never leave Casa Manila hungry.
The Philippines is a country made up of over 200 islands. Celebrating the island culture of their home country, the owners of iSLA’s have created a menu dedicated to the many dishes found across the Philippines. Adobo, a vinegar-based meat marinade from the Bicol region, is one of the house specialties. Served with garlic-fried rice and a crispy fried egg, this dish is something you’ll crave on the daily and keep coming back for.
Interpacific Business Park, 3132 26 St. NE, Unit # 208 amihan.ca
Amihan Grill is Calgary’s best place to find authentic Filipino street eats. Fused with Canadian flavours, this restaurant is all about celebrating the most-used tool in the Filipino kitchen: the barbecue! Most dishes made at Amihan are grilled over an open flame and charred to perfection. Its BBQ sampler is a best seller, featuring the best of what Amihan has to offer, like the pork ribs and lemongrass marinated chicken inasal.
After coming from the Philippines to Alberta in 1986, Lola and her family decided to open a takeout and catering company with which they could share Filipino food and culture with Canadians. Lola’s food is made for gathering and entertaining. Separated into different categories like baboy (pork) and baka (beef), along with finger foods and an array of sweet treats, this menu is full of traditional and delicious dishes made for sharing with the whole family.
Owner and chef Enico Manalo spent the better half of his life in Filipino kitchens. After cooking in Malaysia and opening his first restaurant featuring Filipino food, he decided to move to Canada and open up an international location of Tambayan At Kainang. Dedicated to bringing Pinoy cuisine to Calgary, this is one of the first authentic Filipino restaurants in the province.
For the last five years, Plato Filipino has been sharing its food and philosophy with the people of Vancouver. Plato has a ton of Pinoy options lined up at its hot counter. You can find dishes like kare-kare (meat stewed in peanut sauce), binagoongan (meat cooked in shrimp paste) or classic adobo here. Get a combination platter with a cup of the garlic rice and thank us later.
Rooted in food memories, Zugba’s menu is a love letter to the Philippines. Highlighting some of the most popular dishes from across the Philippines, the menu is perfect for someone new to Filipino cuisine to experience all the best of the national treats. Make sure to get an order of the grilled chicken inasal or lemongrass grilled chicken that’s commonly found on the streets of Mindanao island.
Grandt Kitchen is as much a gathering place as it is a restaurant. Serving family-style kamayan along with perfected a la carte dishes, Grandt Kitchen aims to shine a light on Filipino culture and its love for the food of the homeland. Serving up classics like the assortment of Pinoy street food, kwek kwek, chicken skin and fish balls, along with larger family style-dishes like the GK Boodle, this spot is giving us the best of what Pinoy food has to offer.