There’s no surprise that with Miami being a central meeting point for so many of the world’s cultures, that our culinary landscape has managed to mimic this vibrant identity. As we continue to grow into a global metropolis, Miami also offers a bountiful collection of flavors from around the world, including Filipino cuisine. Like Miami, The Philippines are also an amalgamation of many cultures and influences, so here are some places you can really dig into the best of the best of their culinary traditions:
James Beard nominee Chef Nicole Ponseca has brought her wildly popular, NYC restaurant Jeepney to Wynwood’s Asian food hall, 1-800 Lucky. After debuting two groundbreaking concepts in New York, the renowned restaurateur and author is ready to expand her Filipino empire.The Jeepney Miami Pop-up focuses on a curated menu featuring Filipino BBQ skewers, sizzling Sisig, and Pancit noodles. Along with Jeepney BBQ, dig into Philippine pastries like Bibingka, Ensaymada, and Halo Halo, the famous shaved ice loved by Anthony Bourdain and written about extensively for its festive colors and use of ube ice cream.
When a restaurant has a master chef attached to its name, our first reaction is to picture chandeliers, linens, and ingredients too obscure to pronounce. When stepping into Pao by Paul Qui, the opposite occurs. Letting your eyes adjust after witnessing the burst of ornate velvet and gold in Faena Hotel‘s decadent lobby, Pao’s jungle-infused dining room feels like a tropical escape. The award-winning Filipino chef has created an illustrious hideaway on Miami beach that we’re eager to re-visit.
Courtesy of Faena/Juan Fernando Ayora
We have always revered Miami’s love for strip and mini malls, and the inevitable amount of holes in the wall that call them home. This North Miami Beach gem is one such treasure. Lutong Pinoy‘s motto is to introduce Filipino cuisine to every American. They’re revolutionizing the concept of a turo-turo joint with homemade dishes offering a fresh take on Filipino cuisine. From street food, Binalot, Silog’s, grilled meats and seafood, to all-time Pinoy favorites, each entrée is meticulously prepared and cooked fresh.
When you really love a certain kind of food, there truly is nothing better than getting to eat in buffet-style. Aklan is one of those hidden secrets in Downtown, a place that has been around for years and beloved by many locals in-the-know, that hasn’t changed an inch. While they also offer continental classics like sushi on the menu, what you should really come here for are the array of Filipino classics as well as fresh produce. There’s a reason why this spot has nearly 5-stars on both Google and Yelp.
Not too far from Aklan sits this other eatery and grocery store in Downtown Miami. Also neighborhood-friendly and highly-rated, Manila Kantina specializes in bringing authentic Filipino dishes to the masses. Having immigrated from the Philippines in 2007, owner Judith Blasco was the head chef at a Chinese restaurant in Brickell, and on her break, would walk downtown and visit the various stores. After seeing an opportunity for a Filipino market and lunch spot, feeding and caring for the crew members has become her life’s work. They’ve recently opened up in Fort Lauderdale and genuinely deserve the expansive success!
The Filipino force is strong in South Florida, and stretches as far south as Cutler Bay. Pampangueña is another local favorite, with residents heading there on the regular for seriously flavorful food and a family-friendly ambiance. What is great about this no-frills place, is that the grocery and take-out options are extensive, which means you can fall in love with their specialties and come back to try to recreate them at home.