By Mariel Abanes
For a century and almost two decades now (119 years to be exact), Filipinos have been commemorating June 12th as the day we first tasted freedom. So what better way to celebrate Independence Day than by having a toast and filling ourselves with the best Filipino food? These proudly Pinoy restaurants will give you your fill of heartwarming, homey, and yummy dishes served with lots of love and Philippine pride!
1. Locavore Kitchen & Drinks As its name suggests, Locavore supports local while still keeping their promise of Filipino food you can’t find in your home. Its hip, industrial interiors provide a welcome respite, and the comforting aroma and vibe inside instantly puts you in a feel-good mood. Try their signature Kilawin sampler with your favorite local brew for a night out with friends or be merry and eat lunch with a spread of Filipino food with a twist like the Sizzling Sinigang, Lechon and Oyster Sisig, Boneless Lechon Belly, and Liempo Buns. Visit Locavore Kitchen & Drinks at 10 Brixton St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
2. Sarsa Kitchen + Bar Chef JP Anglo spoils every sarsa-loving Pinoy with contemporary Negrense-style cooking. On the table are signature dips and sauces that we grew up with like soy sauce and calamansi with chili on the side, but wait until you take a bite of their bestsellers—the Sarsa Batchoy Special is made really ‘special’ with egg, bone marrow, and bacon-cut liempo, Sizzling Kansi is in its perfect sour-savory taste minus the soup and Liempo Q complements their in-house coconut vinegar. Yum! Visit Sarsa Kitchen + Bar at Unit 1-7, Forum South Global, 7th Ave. cor. 25th St., Bonifacio Global City.
3. Your Local. It will fill you with so much pride knowing that you’re dining in one of the world’s best restaurants, according to Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List in 2016. Since opening its doors to serve Southeast asian dishes a few years ago, Your Local continues to tease palates with well-loved favorites like the Pomelo Salad, Braised Beef Pasta, Chorizo Sandwich, and Beef Rendang Buns. A mouthful is enough to convince you why. Visit Your Local at G/F Universal LMS Bldg., 106 Esteban St. cor. V.A. Rufino St., Legazpi Village, Makati City.
4. Pedro ‘N Coi This casual dining restaurant is a brainchild of Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner up Shamcey Supsup and her husband, Lloyd Lee. Expect nostalgia in every corner -- ride the ‘70s Sarao jeep, laugh over funny, relatable signages, and enjoy classic Pinoy favorites in witty names. Don’t miss Dyesebel & Friends (seafood sinigang in miso), Inasal Reymundo (chicken inasal) and Pahipon Naman (ginataang hipon). Now, don’t those sound appetizing? Visit Pedro ‘N Coi at 3/F Fisher Mall, Quezon Ave., Quezon City.
5. Salu Get a taste of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in one place! No need to travel so far for the ultimate food trip—in Salu, regional fusion fare are the highlight. On top of our list are Hardinera, KBL, and Tiyual Itum to complete the LuzViMinda experience. Oh, and don’t leave without trying the tusok-tusok, of course! Visit Salu at 26 Sct. Torillo cor. Sct. Fernandez, Quezon City.
6. Manam Comfort Food Don’t mind the queue because once you get a table at Manam, we promise you the long wait will be worth it. Their offerings are just comforting and homey, you’ll never get umay or sawa no matter how many dishes you order. From the klasik Tokwa’t Baboy and Dinuguan with Puto, to the usual Pinoy fare with a twist in Sizzling Bulalo Steak and House Crispy Sisig, everything on the menu is a must-come-back-to. Visit Manam Comfort Food at G/F Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City.
Honestly, if Pinoy food is this good, there’s more than enough reason to visit these restaurants than Independence Day! Why not go on a fantastic Filipino food adventure for the rest of June? It’s going to be an oh-so-yummy month for sure!
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Banner photograph from Locavore.