The Best Places to Eat Filipino Food in Toronto
In recent years, Filipino cuisine has been steadily gaining popularity in Toronto, with more and more restaurants opening up in various corners of the city. From street food to traditional homestyle dishes to upscale fusion creations, Filipino food is as diverse as it is delicious. If you’re looking to get a taste of the Philippines, below are some of the best places to get an authentic bite in Toronto.
669 Queen St. West, Toronto
Lamesa serves Filipino food like you’ve never seen before. They’re known for taking regional specialties and transforming them into modern, upscale dishes; adding their own creative spin to it. Here you’ll get to taste the traditional flavours of the Philippines while also sampling new and exciting flavour combinations. Their brunch, lunch and dinner item prices range from around $10-20.
Jumpstart your foray into Filipino cuisine by eating like a local: try a traditional hand-to-mouth kamayan feast ($40) highlighting the best ingredients from the Philippines. You can also try their lechon kawali; crispy pork belly with papaya slaw, which is a national favourite. For a taste of home, get their chicken adobo, which comes with a salad, poached egg and garlic rice.
634 St Clair Ave. West, Toronto
Located in midtown Toronto, LASA is the sister restaurant of Lamesa, and offers a different approach which focues on traditional Filipino dishes served in a fast-casual setting. If you’re not too familiar with Filipino cuisine, LASA eases you into the experience by providing explanations for all their items on their colourful menu board. You can grab a meal for less than $15.
Go for their daily special, and you won’t be disappointed. Their silog plate, which comes with a choice of protein, green salad, egg and garlic rice, makes for a satisfying lunch. Their sweet and savory BBQ pork skewers are also popular. For something more homey, try their chicken adobo or oxtail kare kare.
707 Dundas St. West, Toronto
Just east of Dundas and Bathurst, where a number of ethnic food stalls reside, this little food booth is known for their home cooked Filipino dishes. Kanto’s menu features 14 items, highlighting the flavours of Northern and Southern Filipino cuisine. Everything is made in-house from scratch every day to ensure quality of taste. Kanto is budget friendly, as all of their items are under $10, which makes it a good spot to grab lunch with friends.
One of their bestsellers is the tapsilog, a play on steak and eggs with garlic rice and tangy papaya slaw. It pairs nicely with their tart and refreshing calamansi iced tea. Their lumpia Shanghai, a Filipino take on spring rolls, makes for a delicious snack on the go. For dessert, grab a plate of turon, crispy bite-sized fried bananas that boast just the right amount of sweetness.
4830 Sheppard Ave. East #16, Scarborough
Venture uptown to Scarborough once in awhile and you’ll come across hidden gems like Remely’s. This cozy family-owned restaurant offers dine-in, takeout and catering services. Their menu is expansive, and their food is laid out cafeteria-style so you can pick and choose as you please. You can grab a filling meal for less than $15.
One dish worth trying is the fresh lumpia, which are vegetables wrapped in a thin crepe, and served with a delectable sweet sauce. Other notable dishes include their sweet and savoury BBQ pork skewer and their turon, which is caramelized to perfection. Lastly, a visit to Remely’s isn’t complete without their halo-halo, a signature Filipino dessert filled with goodies like ube ice cream, flan, coconut, condensed milk and shaved ice.
31 Howard St., Toronto
This hole-in-the-wall eatery offers a unique dining experience that is worth checking out. Grab your friends and come sample a traditional kamayan feast that is both a meal and a cultural experience. Kamayan feasts are a communal affair in the Philippines, where an array of food is spread of on banana leaves for the table to share, and diners forgo utensils and eat with their hands instead. For $15, you’ll be able to enjoy different flavours of the land and sea, and have a great time with friends.
The meal consists of a variety of seafood, vegetables and meat laid atop a bed of delicious garlic rice. “Tinuno” means “grilled,” and most of the items come with a nice smoky char. The fish is crispy and moist, the pork is sweet and savoury, and the vegetables are subtle. The many flavours and textures laid out allow your taste buds to be stimulated with each bite.
Did we miss any of the best Filipino food in Toronto? Share your favourite spots in the comment section.
Featured Image: Instagram/@tiffanyc_
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