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A Taste of Home: 7 Underrated Filipino Restaurants in the GTA

A Taste of Home: 7 Underrated Filipino Restaurants in the GTA

A Taste of Home: 7 Underrated Filipino Restaurants in the GTA

BY: Dominique Pangilinan

Filipino immigrants have become one of Canada’s largest immigrant demographics, with most of them settled around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). One sign that the Filipino community is alive in the city is the numerous Filipino restaurants around town. As most Filipino-Canadians would agree, sharing food with our friends and family is one of the most important aspects of our culture. Globe and Mail author Dan Clapson aptly described the culture of Filipino food as one that “embraces comfort and communal eating.”

Popular American culinary expert and food critique Andrew Zimmern predicted that Filipino cuisine would gain more recognition in North America in the next few years, and he’s definitely not lying. Google searches for Filipino food have doubled in the last couple of years according to Bloomberg. Indeed, whether you are a freshly landed immigrant or second-generation Filipino, the desire for traditional Filipino food remains.

Below, you will find a list of Filipino food establishments around the GTA that serve your favorite, home-cooked Filipino foods as well as your homegrown snacks and meryenda. And as we are currently experiencing a global pandemic, there is no better (and safer!) time to give in to that craving other than today.

Please check them out and let us support the small businesses of our fellow Filipino-Canadians. Happy Eating!

FIC Alminz Kakanin

ALMINZ KAKANIN

Unit 7, 248 Steeles Ave W, Thornhill, ON L4J 1A1

Alminz is the place to go to get assorted Filipino kakanin. They offer kutchinta, pichi pichi, puto, pandesal, Spanish bread, pan de coco, and more!

FIC Coco Banana

COCO BANANA PINOY FOOD & VARIETY STORE

248 Steeles Ave. West

Just a few stores over from Alminz, you can find Coco Banana. Aside from their daily hot food offerings, they have a section in their store for snacks and many of the ingredients and snacks you can find in a local Filipino grocery store.

DAlisay Filipino Food

DALISAY FILIPINO FOOD

800 Steeles Ave. West

Dalisay is one of my personal favourite Filipino establishments, whose food takes me back to the Philippines. To name a few, I love their dinakdakan, beef caldereta, chicken barbeque dinuguan, and pancit bihon.

FIC Kabalen

KABALEN

3778 Bathurst St.

Who doesn’t love a good boodle fight? Kabale is one of the places for the most affordable kamayan feast. For just $40, you can have a socially distant fiesta with 3 -4 of your friends. You can also order their ala carte dishes via the mobile delivery app, Door Dash.

FIC Remelys Restaurant

REMELY’S RESTAURANT

4830 Sheppard Ave. East

Remely’s has a wide variety of Filipino dishes. From their huge menu, there’s bound to be something for everyone—both in the salty and sweet departments. While they have classic desserts like halo-halo and turon, I must mention their ginataang bilo-bilo, an item I rarely see at Filipino restaurants in the GTA.

FIC Sampaguita Restaurant

SAMPAGUITA VILLAGE

322 Wilson Ave

If you want value for your money, Sampaguita has great portions. They serve both Filipino and Chinese cuisine. Because of the historical influence of the Chinese in the Philippines, Filipino-Chinese fusion was born and has become its own unique type of cuisine. They are also available on Door Dash, and take online orders directly on their website: http://www.sampaguita.ca.

FIC Summerhouse

SUMMERHOUSE FILIPINO RESTAURANT

568 Sheppard Ave. West

Filipino dishes go well with many other Asian cuisines and are often eaten together. Another fusion restaurant on the list, Summerhouse specializes in both Filipino and Thai cuisine. One dish that always comes to mind when I think of both Filipino and Thai cuisines is a mixed pancit and pineapple fried rice.

We hope this list inspires you to buy from these local Filipino establishments, and that you share the food with your family and friends (in smaller gatherings, of course, because of COVID-19 restrictions). Until next time—take care and stay safe, kabayan!

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