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GTA Filipino Restaurants

I'm having a hard time finding info on Filipino restaurants in/around Toronto. Any ideas?

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  1. Hi, I just asked my Filipino co-workers and came up with the following:
    Jessie Jr -Sheppard and Brimley
    Remely's-Sheppard and McCowan
    Good question, I had been curious myself for sometime!

    2 Replies
    1. re: deabot

      Jesse Jr. - Kennedy and Lawrence. sw corner

      1. re: eliisadick

        There's also a newish Jessie Jr at the nw corner of Markham and Kingston Rd.

    2. I don't 100% subscribe to their opinions, but do find the Street Eats research a good starting place.

      1. I was in the York Mills & DVP area the other day and drove past what looked like a new Filipino restaurant called Casa Manilla. I don't know anything about it other than its location on York Mills just west of the DVP. If you try it out, I'd be curious as to your thoughts about it.

        5 Replies
          1. re: Juniper

            Went there before and I had the kare-kare (ox stew) and the lechon kawale (deep fried pork belly). I'm no expert on Filipino food, but relative to what Filipino restaurants we have in Toronto it seemed pretty good. I haven't had Remely's in a long time, but I'd put the food at about that same level. The place is a good size, bright and clean. I'd go back. I miss the food in the Philippines even if it was ridiculously unhealthy.

            1. re: spiffy_dude

              I reviewed Casa Manilla several months ago.
              You can google it.
              It is interesting, but not addictive.

              1. re: spiffy_dude

                Spiffy Dude seems to like this cuisine and is bold enough to state how this fat laden cuisine is so unhealthy. No one has commented to the posting for a year and I do agree and finally just have to post. A lot of frying and fat contribute to Filipino cuisine, not that a delicate Pancit is not exquisite. Generally speaking, no thanks to an unrenowned cuisine so close in geography to more welcome Malaysian, Thaiu, Vietnamese, etc.foods

              2. re: Juniper

                Just used my groupon there on saturday and came away quite impressed. Food was flavourful, and the chef came out and explained they try and make the meals as healthy as possible.

                We had the Pork Sisig, which could server 4 easily as an appetizer, Beef Kare Kare - nice sauce but very fatty meat, and Pancit Canton, very tasty.

                The portions were huge and heated up well as leftovers the next day. I think it would be a fun place for large groups.

              3. Just bumping this thread to see if anyone has any recommendations in the downtown area? I have a Filipino friend who says there is a large Filipino population in St James Town, which would be great for me because I live close by.

                2 Replies
                1. re: neuf

                  There's a Filipino take out place on Parliament doors south of Wellesley. I haven't tried it, because the one time I was in I was looking for Filipino crab cakes (they don't make them) and everything looked very greasy.

                  1. re: hungry_pangolin

                    Wow Philippines Eat Bulaga? Never been inside. You're braver than I.

                2. There are quite a few on Wilson, at Bathurst. Haven't tried any but they look interesting. I'd be game for them, for sure. I've had Filipino home cooking and it was great.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: magic

                    Jesse Junior is fantastic, they have a couple of tables but is basically a takeout joint, a huge variety of dishes kept hot behind the counter - we tried a few and they were all fabulous. They are open 8-8 everyday except Monday.
                    In east end, driving upto Donlands and O-Connor, the Ritz is kept by a Filipino couple who do normal diner food plus some Filipino dishes, havent had it myself but other reviews say they were good.
                    Another fantastic Filipino resto near Bathurst where we went last year, can't remeber the name but it has a distinctive appearance, biggish place - will post name later if I can find it.

                  2. Ellen's - located at Mississauga..different environment from "pick-and-go" type filipino restaurants. they have a stage for karaoke lol

                    Bario Fiesta - Sheppard and Neilson? <-I think... kinda like Remely's but less attractive..they sell ready made foods and I think it's also a grocery store. so dark in there =/

                    FV Foods - Warden and Eglinton. and there's also one in Mississauga at dundas. Warehouse and they sell snacks and cakes etc. and packaged stuff. most packaged food from remely's such as their "san rival" cake and "braso de mercedes" are made by this company.

                    Jocelyn's - it's right beside Remely's...looks like a convenient store.. go inside and they sell these chicken chicharon (kinda like pig cracklings, but chicken lol..too salty for my taste, but my family likes them) and other food similar to Remely's

                    Sino-Pino- plaza where Remely's is..lol

                    there's also this other restaurant where they serve buffet-style..haven't been to it..it's like in mississauga or something.

                    I'm just naming a bunch that I know of on top of my head, they're not my favorites, infact I don't like any of them if you ask my opinion. My family likes to shop for food when lazy. Filipino foodsstuff are always great when made at home, not at these "turo-turo" restaurants as they are made in bulk for commercial/business venture/purposes. And as some people have mentioned..FILIPINO FOOD = ASKING FOR HEART ATTACK.lol I still love them specially the rice cakes which tend to be healthier minus the coconut and sugar and condensed milk (not the rice cakes from these stores as they have been tampered already).

                    If you like filipino food, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't go to these restaurants, but since the philippines is not a homogeous cultural entity just like every other culture, we shouldn't assume that these dishes made by these restaurants taste all the same and made the same way. I find that filipino cooking is much more variant compared to chinese cooking (ei. filipino pancit palabok/noodles can be made with different types of sauces and noodes while chinese har gow/ shrimp dumplings more or less taste similar in any dim sum restaurant).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: evr

                      There is a Bario Fiesta and an FV Foods on St. Clair West near Bathurst as well. There are a number of Filipino grocery stores as well.

                    2. and oh yeah, i forgot...

                      Mami's located inside brimley mall second floor. brimley and sheppard. their bbq on stick is pretty good =p

                      1. Here is an idea. I believe it's called Cucina Manila. Just opened a couple of weeks. Located on the north/east corner of Pharmacy & Lawrence. Tried it this past weekend. 1 item + rice = $4.00. 2 items + rice = $6.00. Don't remember the names of the items, but it was tasty.

                        1. There's a new Filipino restaurant in the Woodbridge/Vaughan area which is pretty good and reasonably priced. It's called "Pansit ng Taga Malabon". It's located on 4585 Hwy 7, Unit 19, Woodbridge ON L4L 1S6. Their phone number is 905-851-0288.

                          It's mostly a take out place. They also take special orders.

                          1. Several restaurant names thrown out here but the common thread is that they all serve cafeteria style where the food is pre-cooked and nuked for you. Symptomatic of the way it is served in the Philippines as well 99% of the time be it the roadside carinderia, the food court in a modern air conditioned shopping mall or a stand alone restaurant.

                            The only exception I can think of is Mayette's on the Danforth. Not close to downtown but not as far as Scarborough. They have the pre-cooked stuff for lunch but at dinner it is a la carte off the menu and cooked to order.


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: fogducker

                              We went to Pansit ng Taga Malabon for dinner last night. We got there at 6:30 and they didn't have much food left! They only have a long counter to eat at. They had a small 4 seater patio table which we pulled out and got their folding chairs so 4 of us could sit down facing each other.

                              We drove a long way, so we had what was left--some chicken afritada, really small bowls of binagoongan and caldereta, a plate of pancit and there were 2 turons left. She said we could have as much rice as we want (but there was no food to eat with it...) It cost us $20. The food tasted good, but you have to wonder what kind of restaurant runs out of food by 6:30 which is still height of the dinner hour. A few people came by and she had to turn them away because they had no cooked food left! And typical Filipino restaurant, they were selling SHAMPOOS along with the requisite Filipino sauces, dried mangos on the side. Nice location, but stupid setup. I prefer Cucina Manila -- they have food. How do they expect Filipino cuisine to make it big? Filipino restaurants lack atmosphere, decor and this place lacked food.

                              1. re: zztops1125

                                Perhaps they do 95% of their business at lunch and during the daytime. It's possible that the dinner hour is generally dead for them, so they prefer to sell all their food and close early, rather than get stuck with quantities of everything that they have to eat or dispose of before cooking everything fresh again the next day. I'd like to think that food that sits in a hot table all day doesn't get rewarmed the next day to sit for another full day and possibly more.

                                A lot of barbecue places in the south smoke only a certain amount of meat, to guarantee as little wasted product as possible. They're open until they run out of meat, then the doors close until the next day. Any place that prepares all dishes in advance should have this policy, in my opinion. If they don't operate in this manner, there's too much risk that they'll try to pawn off yesterday's leftovers as today's offerings, at risk to diners' health.

                            2. there's one downtown
                              small place but not your typical order out pinoy pack and go cafetira style food
                              ti's at the west of church, in adelaide
                              it's a treats bagel/coffee shop but they serve pinoy food
                              the beef stew is actually caldereta, they often have adobo and if you'd ask
                              the counter they have a daily special that varies everyday
                              from their daily specials i've tried papaitan, kare kare,adobo, etc

                              the best thing is that foods are served hot and they have big servings

                              1. In Mississauga, other than the popular "Ellen's Place" which has terrific Kare Kare (served with a side of fried bagoong - yum!) and is one of the largest sit-down filipino bar/restaurants in the entire GTA, these two takeout places have become my personal faves in the west end (both equally as good and by no means ranked):

                                1. "Kusina" - 3024 Hurontario Street (northwest corner of Hurontario and Dundas St. W). In addition to having the best Crispy Pata (deep fried pork leg) which is made fresh on weekends and intended for you to enjoy at home alongside an alcoholic beverage of choice (namely a cold San Miguel Pilsner), Halo Halo offers great value in their lunch combos. Dishes from from Chicken Tinola (chicken soup) to Menudo (pork and potato stew in a tomato based gravy) make Kusina a home away from home. I basically go there whenever I need my fix of "everyday" pinoy cuisine (versus the usual suspects found at a fiesta/family party). Their Dinuguan (pork blood stew) is satisfying albeit a little on the oily/fatty side at times;

                                2. "Halo Halo" - 2385 Burnhamthorpe Road West (just west of Erin Mills Parkway) - Basically a surprisingly amazing hot table located at the back of a homestyle filipino themed convenience store. Halo Halo offers the best tasting mass produced Pancit (traditional filipino noodles) I've had ANYWHERE in the GTA by far! Their Pancit is SO tasty and satisfying that I personally endorse enjoying this dish on its own, versus as a side dish intended to compliment other meat focused mains. Halo Halo's Dinuguan is also among the best in the GTA - reminiscent of the thick and clumpy Ilocano style with larger morsels of "lean" pork. I personally detest the times I have chomped down on a huge block of fat hidden in this savoury dish I sometimes refer to as "Chocolate Meat".

                                NOTABLE MENTION: Whenever I find myself in the east end of the GTA, I always try to find my way to the huge hot table found at "Golden Valley Foods" - 2 Principal Road, Scarborough (south of Ellesmere between Warden and Birchmount). Located in a semi-industrial complex, this is a hidden gem. Fans of filipino cuisine MUST check this place out!!

                                1. If you're craving for pancit bihon then go to Barrio Fiesta, they make the best (outside of your mom's or Filipino friend's mom's version) IMHO. I still haven't found a decent restaurant made pancit palabok. Luckily I have an aunt who still makes tocino from scratch.

                                      1. re: ensaymada

                                        Menu looks quite good. Do they serve their dishes fresh made (i.e. to order) or is the food sitting on heating trays?

                                      2. There's a new place that just opened in May in the Queen West/Bathurst area. There's been a lot of heated discussion (good and bad) about them on some blogs. My sister and her husband (filipinos) and 2 of their friends tried their tasting menu and were really happy about the food.

                                        Lamesa Filipino Kitchen - http://lamesafilipinokitchen.com/menu/

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mammoth

                                          I actually went to Lamesa a few weeks ago for my bday. There was a dozen of us and it was awesome! We all tried the pre-fixe menu for $35 (incl. appetizer, amuse bouche, main entree and dessert). If you're looking for an overfilled styrofoam container this is not the place. If you want to go for a unique filipino meal with professional wait staff and funky cocktail drinks, you've gotta try it out!

                                          I was really glad to experience their take on filipino cuisine with duck confit pancit, a deconstructed pork adobo, and a flaky dessert empanada.

                                          Mmmmm... I gotta go back asap!

                                        2. A little pricier, but truly the best and only Filipino restaurant worth going to, to enjoy always is Max's of Manila in the north west plaza at Dufferin and Steeles! Understand a second larger location will open I think in Scarboro. I'd rather pay to go to Max's of Manila and otherwise avoid all the others, as in the past!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Jar

                                            Nice posting of the Lameska Filipino Kitchen! Unknown to me as living north-west out of the city, was told and taken to the only best Max's. Checking the Lameska site is interesting and appears to be a higher point restaurant, but with some great fusion, seemingly smaller portions appear on the plating! However, the site seems to indicate a second well worthy choice, one I will be happy to frequent soon! It will be great to have higher quality and interesting Filippino restaurants abound, while of course as in any culture, there will be the need for basic mom/pop type establishments!!

                                          2. I am trying to find some Maruya (those delicious banana fritters). Would anyone recommend one of the restaurants listed here that has this on the menu? Thanks.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: blizzardgirl33

                                              i would be happy knowing who makes the best lumpia, either ready made or frozen and ready for the fryer...