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19 Fantastic Filipino Restaurants Around San Diego

Fill up on pancit, lumpia, adobo, and more

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Filipino food is more than just lumpia and pancit — two popular dishes commonly served at gatherings and parties. The cuisine is an amalgam of the island nation’s rich history, factoring in Chinese and Muslim influences and extending to the country’s time as a Spanish colony and U.S. occupation before it became an independent nation. And San Diego County is rife with eateries specializing in Filipino food due to its huge pinoy population, the second largest in the U.S. Here’s a primer on where to go for pancit and lumpia as well as adobo (the national dish of the Philippines) and more. Note: map points are not ranked

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

CARiN de RiA

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If a cute cafe serving Filipino food is your style, this Encinitas eatery checks all the boxes. The food includes grilled, braised, and stewed dishes that you might find in a home kitchen with grilled milkfish, beef stew (caldereta), and vegetable coconut stew (ginataan) some of the top entrees to explore.

Plates of Filipino food. CARiN de RiA/Facebook

Andell's Bakery and Kitchen

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Filipino bakeries like Valerio’s abound in San Diego but at Andell’s, they take pandesal, a sweet roll, and transform it into a sandwich. Fillings include spam, eggs, cheese, fried bananas, peanut butter, chicken adobo, sardines with olives and corned beef. Also try the cheese ensaymada, a Filipino-style brioche bun topped with cheese, butter and sugar.

Squares of ube cake. Andell’s Bakery and Kitchen/Facebook

R & B Filipino Cuisine

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This turo-turo (point-point) spot covers all the bases with its selection of beloved Filipino dishes. Some standouts include dilis (fried anchovies), sinigang, and kare-kare but R & B excels in their lechon kawai (fried pork belly). It’s served with a potent vinegar dipping sauce to cut through the fat.

Max's Restaurant, Cuisine of the Philippines, San Diego

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Fried chicken headlines the menu at this Filipino chain but it’s unlike the fried bird you may be familiar with. Max’s fried chicken is not breaded so you get flavorful crispy skin hiding succulent meat underneath. Don’t skip out the banana ketchup dipping sauce, either. Recommended sides include garlic fried rice plus sinigang, a hearty tamarind soup served with your choice of pork or shrimp.

Fredcel Lumpias & Catering

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This longstanding spot is popular choice for those looking to order large amounts of food for a party but solo diners will benefit too. Lumpia by the piece is under a dollar and combo meals include Filipino classics like fried rice and pancit.

Piles of lumpia surrounding a dipping sauce. Fredcel Lumpias & Catering/Facebook

Starfish Filipino Eatery

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Modern takes of Filipino food with global influences can be found at this spot in Sunset Cliffs. Classic entrees like adobo, pork belly sisig, and lumpia are on the menu but vegetarians don’t have to miss out. Must-orders on the vegan menu include an adobo rice bowl with mushrooms, cabbage, bok choy and carrots and a gulay ginataan featuring a masala coconut milk curry.

White Rice

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Renowned Filipino-American chef Phillip Esteban’s project at Liberty Station offers a range of Filipino rice bowls. Head in early before popular items like lechon kawali (crispy pork belly) and tocino manok (grilled chicken) sell out for the day. Wash it all down with housemade calamansi iced tea or ube milk tea. An added bonus: Open Gym, Esteban’s nonprofit, matches and donates the sale of every meal to those in need.

Bowl of lechon kawali White Rice/Facebook

Oi Asian Fusion

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This mini-chain with locations in Barrio Logan and Carmel Valley touts its fusion bowls but the menu is loaded with familiar Filipino dishes like adobo. The adobo bowl features braised pork belly with adobo sauce and a soft boiled egg atop of rice or opt for the chicken longanisa bowl featuring sweet-garlicky Filipino sausage with garlic fried rice.

Bowls of Filipino food.
Oi Asian Fusion/Facebook

Snoice/Kababayan Bakery

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This two-in-one spot features Kababayan Bakery for combination plates packed with chicken or pork adobo, pancit and lumpia with dessert offered by Snoice (it also has a location in Kearny Mesa) that includes boba drinks and ice cream. Save room for the halo-halo; roughly translating to “mix-mix,” the dessert includes ube ice cream, sweet potatoes, purple yam, coconut jelly, jackfruit, palm fruit, red bean, flan, and evaporated milk over shaved ice.

Two cups filled with halo-halo and ice cream.
Snoice/Facebook

Ching's Famous Hopia

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If you’re familiar with Chinese mooncakes, then hopia isn’t a big stretch. This National City bakery bakes them fresh and offers varieties filled with ube, buko pandan, mongo (mung bean), pineapple, baboy (winter melon), and langka (jackfruit). If they have it, don’t bypass the ube crinkle cookies or garlic peanuts.

Darlene Alilain-Horn

Tita's Kitchenette

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Newcomers to the cuisine might want to start at National City stalwart Tita’s Kitchenette. Steam tables are filled with the usual suspects like lumpia and adobo, but those willing to expand their tastes should try dinuguan, affectionally called chocolate meat by many Filipinos. There’s no chocolate in the dish — instead, pork pieces are stewed in pig blood, garlic and spices.

Filipino Desserts Plus

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One step inside this cozy bakery and you’ll be welcomed with colorful sweets that include coconut milk and glutinous rice. Buy small variety packs with a selection of kalamay, kutsina, pitsi-pitsi, puto, and maja blanca. And don’t miss out on bibingka, an addictive sticky rice cake topped with brown sugar and coconut milk, or turon, banana lumpia with a caramel coating.

Rolls of turon next to plantains. Filipino Desserts Plus/Facebook

Zarlitos Family Restaurant

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A mix of Filipino, Mexican, and Hawaiian dishes are served here but the Filipino food shines with their all-day breakfast or silog. Served with garlic rice and fried eggs, it includes your choice of menudo, Spam, longinasa (sweet pork sausage), and marinated milkfish.

Villa Manila

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The menu includes delicacies from three main regions of the Philippines. There’s kare-kare (peanut stew with bok choy, eggplant, oxtail, tripe and beef shank) from Luzon, ubod (crepe-style lumpia stuffed with coconut heart, carrots, celery, crab and pork) from Visayas, and kinilaw (seafood marinated in vinegar) from Mindanao. Villa Manila’s real claim to fame is their kamayan-style dining, a Filipino tradition where food is laid out on banana leaves and guests eat with their hands.

Darlene Alilain-Horn

Serbesa

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The name means “beer” in Tagalog and you’ll find popular Filipino accompaniments at this spots inside National City’s new food hall Market on 8th. Owned and operated by Khris Astudillo, the food stall serves chicken adobo, ribeye bistek, and fried chicken based on his family’s restaurant. There are also specials throughout the week that could include longanisa sliders, garlic butter shrimp, and pancit palabok.

Paper boats filled with pancit and lumpia. Serbesa/Facebook

Cafe Indonesia

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Bobby Alfonso’s food stall at Market on 8th is a mix of Indonesian and Filipino cuisine that pays tribute to his heritage and his family’s restaurant. One look at the menu and the Filipino influences immediately appear in dishes like the red adobo chicken supreme sandwich and the adobo fried chicken. Try it with nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), kropek (shrimp chips), and a refreshing kalamansi limeade.

Toto's Grill

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This National City spot caters to Filipino street food meaning almost everything is skewered. A few dollars can fetch hot dogs, pork, chicken, beef, quail eggs, sesame balls and more. The food extends into Filipino comfort food like lugaw or arroz caldo, a chicken rice porridge seasoned with garlic, ginger and fish sauce, available only on Fridays and Saturdays.

Gerry's Grill

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With more than 100 locations worldwide, the branch of this Philippines-based restaurant at Westfield Plaza Bonita is one of a small handful in the U.S. Known for its large, shareable platters of food, the menu offers an array of grilled items like inihaw na pusit as well as as classic dishes including sisig and crispy pata.

Mexipino Craft

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When the Philippines and Mexico where both part of Spain’s empire, the cuisines and cultures intermingled. You can taste the modern day fusion at this Chula Vista spot. One highlight is the breakfast sandwich with choice of meat, avocado and eggs on conchita bread. The menu also includes traditional Filipino breakfast plates along with huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.

Breakfast sandwich with conchas as the bun. Mexipino Craft/Facebook

CARiN de RiA

Plates of Filipino food. CARiN de RiA/Facebook

If a cute cafe serving Filipino food is your style, this Encinitas eatery checks all the boxes. The food includes grilled, braised, and stewed dishes that you might find in a home kitchen with grilled milkfish, beef stew (caldereta), and vegetable coconut stew (ginataan) some of the top entrees to explore.

Plates of Filipino food. CARiN de RiA/Facebook

Andell's Bakery and Kitchen

Squares of ube cake. Andell’s Bakery and Kitchen/Facebook

Filipino bakeries like Valerio’s abound in San Diego but at Andell’s, they take pandesal, a sweet roll, and transform it into a sandwich. Fillings include spam, eggs, cheese, fried bananas, peanut butter, chicken adobo, sardines with olives and corned beef. Also try the cheese ensaymada, a Filipino-style brioche bun topped with cheese, butter and sugar.

Squares of ube cake. Andell’s Bakery and Kitchen/Facebook

R & B Filipino Cuisine

This turo-turo (point-point) spot covers all the bases with its selection of beloved Filipino dishes. Some standouts include dilis (fried anchovies), sinigang, and kare-kare but R & B excels in their lechon kawai (fried pork belly). It’s served with a potent vinegar dipping sauce to cut through the fat.

Max's Restaurant, Cuisine of the Philippines, San Diego

Fried chicken headlines the menu at this Filipino chain but it’s unlike the fried bird you may be familiar with. Max’s fried chicken is not breaded so you get flavorful crispy skin hiding succulent meat underneath. Don’t skip out the banana ketchup dipping sauce, either. Recommended sides include garlic fried rice plus sinigang, a hearty tamarind soup served with your choice of pork or shrimp.

Fredcel Lumpias & Catering

Piles of lumpia surrounding a dipping sauce. Fredcel Lumpias & Catering/Facebook

This longstanding spot is popular choice for those looking to order large amounts of food for a party but solo diners will benefit too. Lumpia by the piece is under a dollar and combo meals include Filipino classics like fried rice and pancit.

Piles of lumpia surrounding a dipping sauce. Fredcel Lumpias & Catering/Facebook

Starfish Filipino Eatery

Modern takes of Filipino food with global influences can be found at this spot in Sunset Cliffs. Classic entrees like adobo, pork belly sisig, and lumpia are on the menu but vegetarians don’t have to miss out. Must-orders on the vegan menu include an adobo rice bowl with mushrooms, cabbage, bok choy and carrots and a gulay ginataan featuring a masala coconut milk curry.

White Rice

Bowl of lechon kawali White Rice/Facebook

Renowned Filipino-American chef Phillip Esteban’s project at Liberty Station offers a range of Filipino rice bowls. Head in early before popular items like lechon kawali (crispy pork belly) and tocino manok (grilled chicken) sell out for the day. Wash it all down with housemade calamansi iced tea or ube milk tea. An added bonus: Open Gym, Esteban’s nonprofit, matches and donates the sale of every meal to those in need.

Bowl of lechon kawali White Rice/Facebook

Oi Asian Fusion

Bowls of Filipino food.
Oi Asian Fusion/Facebook

This mini-chain with locations in Barrio Logan and Carmel Valley touts its fusion bowls but the menu is loaded with familiar Filipino dishes like adobo. The adobo bowl features braised pork belly with adobo sauce and a soft boiled egg atop of rice or opt for the chicken longanisa bowl featuring sweet-garlicky Filipino sausage with garlic fried rice.

Bowls of Filipino food.
Oi Asian Fusion/Facebook

Snoice/Kababayan Bakery

Two cups filled with halo-halo and ice cream.
Snoice/Facebook

This two-in-one spot features Kababayan Bakery for combination plates packed with chicken or pork adobo, pancit and lumpia with dessert offered by Snoice (it also has a location in Kearny Mesa) that includes boba drinks and ice cream. Save room for the halo-halo; roughly translating to “mix-mix,” the dessert includes ube ice cream, sweet potatoes, purple yam, coconut jelly, jackfruit, palm fruit, red bean, flan, and evaporated milk over shaved ice.

Two cups filled with halo-halo and ice cream.
Snoice/Facebook

Ching's Famous Hopia

Darlene Alilain-Horn

If you’re familiar with Chinese mooncakes, then hopia isn’t a big stretch. This National City bakery bakes them fresh and offers varieties filled with ube, buko pandan, mongo (mung bean), pineapple, baboy (winter melon), and langka (jackfruit). If they have it, don’t bypass the ube crinkle cookies or garlic peanuts.

Darlene Alilain-Horn

Tita's Kitchenette

Newcomers to the cuisine might want to start at National City stalwart Tita’s Kitchenette. Steam tables are filled with the usual suspects like lumpia and adobo, but those willing to expand their tastes should try dinuguan, affectionally called chocolate meat by many Filipinos. There’s no chocolate in the dish — instead, pork pieces are stewed in pig blood, garlic and spices.

Filipino Desserts Plus

Rolls of turon next to plantains. Filipino Desserts Plus/Facebook

One step inside this cozy bakery and you’ll be welcomed with colorful sweets that include coconut milk and glutinous rice. Buy small variety packs with a selection of kalamay, kutsina, pitsi-pitsi, puto, and maja blanca. And don’t miss out on bibingka, an addictive sticky rice cake topped with brown sugar and coconut milk, or turon, banana lumpia with a caramel coating.

Rolls of turon next to plantains. Filipino Desserts Plus/Facebook

Zarlitos Family Restaurant

A mix of Filipino, Mexican, and Hawaiian dishes are served here but the Filipino food shines with their all-day breakfast or silog. Served with garlic rice and fried eggs, it includes your choice of menudo, Spam, longinasa (sweet pork sausage), and marinated milkfish.

Villa Manila

Darlene Alilain-Horn

The menu includes delicacies from three main regions of the Philippines. There’s kare-kare (peanut stew with bok choy, eggplant, oxtail, tripe and beef shank) from Luzon, ubod (crepe-style lumpia stuffed with coconut heart, carrots, celery, crab and pork) from Visayas, and kinilaw (seafood marinated in vinegar) from Mindanao. Villa Manila’s real claim to fame is their kamayan-style dining, a Filipino tradition where food is laid out on banana leaves and guests eat with their hands.

Darlene Alilain-Horn

Serbesa

Paper boats filled with pancit and lumpia. Serbesa/Facebook

The name means “beer” in Tagalog and you’ll find popular Filipino accompaniments at this spots inside National City’s new food hall Market on 8th. Owned and operated by Khris Astudillo, the food stall serves chicken adobo, ribeye bistek, and fried chicken based on his family’s restaurant. There are also specials throughout the week that could include longanisa sliders, garlic butter shrimp, and pancit palabok.

Paper boats filled with pancit and lumpia. Serbesa/Facebook

Related Maps

Cafe Indonesia

Bobby Alfonso’s food stall at Market on 8th is a mix of Indonesian and Filipino cuisine that pays tribute to his heritage and his family’s restaurant. One look at the menu and the Filipino influences immediately appear in dishes like the red adobo chicken supreme sandwich and the adobo fried chicken. Try it with nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), kropek (shrimp chips), and a refreshing kalamansi limeade.

Toto's Grill

This National City spot caters to Filipino street food meaning almost everything is skewered. A few dollars can fetch hot dogs, pork, chicken, beef, quail eggs, sesame balls and more. The food extends into Filipino comfort food like lugaw or arroz caldo, a chicken rice porridge seasoned with garlic, ginger and fish sauce, available only on Fridays and Saturdays.

Gerry's Grill

With more than 100 locations worldwide, the branch of this Philippines-based restaurant at Westfield Plaza Bonita is one of a small handful in the U.S. Known for its large, shareable platters of food, the menu offers an array of grilled items like inihaw na pusit as well as as classic dishes including sisig and crispy pata.

Mexipino Craft

Breakfast sandwich with conchas as the bun. Mexipino Craft/Facebook

When the Philippines and Mexico where both part of Spain’s empire, the cuisines and cultures intermingled. You can taste the modern day fusion at this Chula Vista spot. One highlight is the breakfast sandwich with choice of meat, avocado and eggs on conchita bread. The menu also includes traditional Filipino breakfast plates along with huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.

Breakfast sandwich with conchas as the bun. Mexipino Craft/Facebook

Related Maps