Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Foodie's Guide to Must-Try Filipino Food and Restaurants in Vancouver

Are you a foodie looking to explore the diverse culinary scene in Vancouver? Look no further than Filipino cuisine! With its bold flavours, unique ingredients, and rich history, Filipino food is becoming increasingly popular in Vancouver and Canada.

Last year, Filipino Restaurant Month in Canada was launched to promote Filipino cuisine in Canada and support Filipino restaurants. The event is spearheaded by the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Calgary and the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) and jointly undertaken by the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, the Philippine Consulates General (PCG) in Toronto and Vancouver, the PDOT, and the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

For the whole month of April, participating restaurants will feature prix fixe menus that showcase the diversity of Filipino food and ingredients. Here's a guide to some must-try Filipino dishes and restaurants participating in the event.


First on the list is adobo, a classic Filipino dish made with meat (usually chicken or pork) marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. The result is a savoury and tangy flavour that will satisfy your taste buds. It is best eaten with a cup of rice. Adobo can be found on the menu at most Filipino restaurants in Vancouver, but I have a confession to make. I don't buy adobo from restaurants because the "best" adobo for every Filipino is the one from their own home perfected by a grandparent or parent. My dad's adobo is still my favourite.

However, you can head to Pampanga's Cuisine or Plato Filipino for their take on the adobo.


Lumpia is a Filipino version of a spring roll. It is made with a thin pastry wrapper filled with ground meat, vegetables, and spices. Lumpia is often served as an appetizer or snack, and it's the perfect finger food to share with friends. Try the Lumpiang Shanghai at Little Ongpin in Richmond, BC, for a crispy and flavorful version of this dish. It's the best lumpia I have tried so far in Metro Vancouver.

Two orders of lumpiang shanhai (Filipino-style spring rolls)
Lumpiang Shanghai from Little Ongpin


Kare-Kare is a stew made with oxtail, vegetables, and peanut sauce. It is a hearty and flavorful dish that is usually served with rice. This dish is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the bold flavours of Filipino cuisine. Head to Max's Restaurant for their take on this classic dish.

Kare-Kare from Max's Restaurant


Lechon is a whole roasted pig that is a popular centrepiece for Filipino celebrations. The meat is roasted until it is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and it's usually served with a side of liver sauce. You rarely find lechon at Filipino restaurants in Vancouver, but Kumare offers a belly roll version every weekend. Be sure to give them a call before heading there to ensure availability.


Sinigang is a sour soup made with meat, vegetables, and tamarind. It is a comforting and flavorful soup that is often served with rice. This dish is perfect for a rainy day or when you're feeling under the weather. Try the Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp) at Grandt Kitchen for a flavorful and comforting version of this soup. However, if you want the same sour soup flavour in a more familiar fries, head to Shameless Buns and try their drool-worthy Sinigang Fries.

Lunch from Shameless Buns, including my favourite, Sinigang Fries.


No Filipino meal is complete without dessert, and Halo-Halo is a popular Filipino dessert that is perfect for a hot day. It is made with shaved ice, sweet beans, jellies, fruit, and evaporated milk. It is a refreshing and colourful dessert that is sure to cool you down on a hot summer day. Check out Liberte Café & Restaurant for their version of this dessert.

There you have it, a foodie's guide to must-try Filipino food and restaurants in Vancouver. From savoury stews to crispy spring rolls and refreshing desserts, Filipino cuisine has something for everyone. So why not grab some friends and explore Vancouver's diverse and flavorful culinary scene?

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