Where is The Nearest Filipino Restaurant Near Me

filipino restaurant near me
filipino restaurant near me
House of Sisig Kamayan Dinner

I can not stop thinking about Filipino food since I started researching it last month. In fact I have caught myself twice this week googling – “nearest filipino restaurant near me”.

It’s a delicious melting pot of different cuisines. Vibrant flavors like tamarind, sweet vinegar and fish sauce swirl through each dish invigorating the taste buds.

I’m not trying to make a generalization here, but in my experience, all of the Filipino friends I have ever made have these things in common – they are all charismatic and funny as hell, the woman are drop dead gorgeous and the essence of the word hospitality is engrained in who they are.

It would make sense then that their cuisine be as equally beautiful and heartwarming as the Filipinos themselves.

A funny thing I’ve picked up on while dining in Filipino establishments.  Every spot I go to always wants me to try their lumpia. Out of all the soups, stews, perfectly grilled meats, noodle dishes and succulent roasted pork these guys wanted me to order, for lack of a better word, fried egg rolls?

I consulted my friends on this and they confirmed it. They often judged a Filipino restaurant on how good the lumpia were. And although this tasty snack is always made with virtually the same ingredients they taste curiously different from place to place.

My favorite Filipino food experiences in San Francisco have all been really different. I’ve tried food trucks, turo turos, kamayan dinners, silog joints and pop ups. Although all of them were special experiences these are the four that stood out for me.

Click on each link below to read their story:

Elena Una

The Salo Series

The Sarap Shop

AJ’s BBQ & Cafe

filipino restaurant near me
Sisig-silog at Tselogs

Other Filipino spots to definitely check out include:


House of Sisig


Senior Sisig

No Worries – Filipino Vegan Cuisine

The Lumpia Company

FOB Kitchen

Patio Filipino

Mitchell’s Ice-cream – for authentic Filipino flavors like ume and halo halo

I am not exaggerating when I say that Filipinos truly put their heart and soul into their food and the dining experience. Your going to be blown away by how much you are treated like family.

So when you catch yourself googling that phrase “filipino restaurant near me” think of these spots.

And remember, when you go to a Filipino restaurant don’t forget to try the lumpia!

filipino restaurant near me
Another happy customer enjoying the lumpia at AJ’s BBQ & Cafe

The Sarap Shop

The Sarap Shop
The Sarap Shop
The Sarap Shop

You can not help but fall in love with owners JP Reyes and Kristen Brillantes of The Sarap Shop. With his cooking chops and her passion for business they have created some of the most innovative and tasty “meals on wheels” in the bay area. If you have ever thought about opening your own food truck or you’re a sucker for love stories, I recommend checking out their article – How We Opened A Food Truck In 6 Days. It’s pretty amazing.

From the moment I read the menu with dishes like “I love my adobro” and “Why you laing” I was sold. The Sarap Shop uses their sense of humor and playfulness to make Filipino food approachable for everyone. Their menu has 50% vegan and 50% meat offerings and are all unapologetically Filipino-American. The portions are huge and all of their dishes have that classic American comfort food feel with a Filipino twist. Sarap, meaning something that is delicious and makes you feel good, defines their food.  Filipino food to JP means bringing people together. He describes his culture as “welcoming” and I agree with that 100%. His truck is family run and everyone pulls shifts as needed.

The Sarap Shop
Dynamite lumpia, I love my adobro and the vegan sisig sandwich

The vegan sisig sandwich, which JP claims started it all, consists of diced tofu cooked with vinegar and serrano chilies, stuffed in pita bread with French fries, cornices (Filipino corn nuts) and cabbage slaw, drizzled with tamarind-garlic aioli. I found it much easier to eat with a fork than to pick it up and eat it like a sandwich. It’s a hot mess (and I mean that in the best of ways) and it is ridiculously delicious.

The I love my Adobro over rice is a plate made up of crispy pork belly cooked in soy, vinegar and garlic, rice colored neon yellow with annatto seed, sweet corn and truck-made pickled bitter melon.

They have fun with their version of lumpia creating sort of a take on the jalapeño popper. Whole serrano chilies are scooped out, stuffed with ground pork and vegetables, wrapped in a lumpia wrapper and deep fried. They are served authentically with sweet chile sauce, which actually calms the heat of the spicy serranos down a bit. Warning, these are a bit addictive.

The Sarap Shop
Owner JP of The Sarap Shop

JP plans to eventually sell hot sauces and beverages called “coolers” with flavors like Jasime and pineapple in addition to their truck grub. I had to laugh one day when I was speaking with a good friend of mine who is married to a Filipino. She said she wishes she could eat Filipino food but she cant because she is a vegetarian. I smiled and said, “I know just the place for you”.

The Sarap Shop

@SOMA Street Food Park

AJ’s BBQ and Cafe

AJ's bbq sf
AJ's bbq sf
Owner Kevin Guevarra behind the counter at AJ’s BBQ and Cafe

AJ’s BBQ & Cafe is a turo turo,  a quick service restaurant consisting of steam tables filled with delicious home-style Filipino cooking. This turo turo was passed down to Kevin Guevarra by his family and re-opened as AJ’s BBQ & Cafe, named after his son, a couple years ago. And from what I can see he is definitely doing the family proud.

This place starts out the day by serving breakfast. Kevin makes a killer cup of coffee and sells boba teas with flavors like taro and Thai iced tea. Other morning items include donuts, breakfast burritos and more traditional Filipino fare like house-made longsilog –  pork and garlic breakfast sausages served with garlic rice and fried egg. There’s a steady stream of passerby’s who come through to grab a quick breakfast on their way to work.

Aj's bbq sf
Thai iced tea and taro root bobas and Kevin’s famous lumpia

You can find Kevin most days behind the counter cooking and chatting it up with his regulars. He’s clearly passionate about what he does and it shows. He’s not just running a business he is back there doing what he loves – cooking the foods he grew up on and making everyone feel at home. Out of all of the Filipino restaurants I’ve been to this place is like a primer on the cuisine. He was serving just about every dish I had read about and was more than happy to explain each one to me.

His lumpia shanghai are hand rolled and made with ground pork, vegetables and black pepper. He also makes a mean Sinagang consisting of pork shoulder, bok choy, green beans, ginger, eggplant, tamarind, soy sauce and fish sauce. The chicken adobo he admits is an Americanized version made simply with soy, sweet vinegar, garlic, onion and black pepper. The Laing could give the best steak houses in the city a run for their money. It’s basically creamed spinach, but not just any creamed spinach. It’s cooked with minced pork, coconut milk, ginger, fish sauce, onion and garlic. OMG.

Aj's bbq sf

The chicken afritada consists of chicken legs braised in tomato, chicken broth, potato, carrot, yellow onion, celery and garlic. Pancit, I learned,  is a noodle dish traditionally eaten at birthday parties. The long noodles represent long life. Kevin uses rice stick noodles for his version and cooks them down in beef broth until the broth has completely reduced. Then garlic, scallion and cabbage are tossed in which are lightly steamed by the hot noodles.

Aj's bbq sf
Pork and Chicken BBQ Skewers

You would think it couldn’t get any better than that but it does. AJ’s is known for their BBQ chicken and pork skewers. Nice fatty pieces with the skin left lends a nice crispy texture. The skewers are marinated overnight with soy, sugar and surprisingly 7-up, drained, cooked on flat top grill, taken off to rest and then grilled one again over an open fire. The result are sticks of smoky, sweet and succulent chunks of meat.

Aj's bbq sf
BBQ skewers, Boba teas, Laing, Longanisa, Chicken Afritada, Pancit and Chicken Adobo

Kevin says “every Filipino restaurant is different”. Filipino cuisine means “home cooking passed down from family” to him. He comes from Pampanga where it is known for its good cooks. He is currently messing around with a lumpia burger to put on the menu. He envisions a patty made of lumpia filling topped with a special sauce that he is still dreaming up. If it’s anything like the rest of his food I will be first in line for that.

AJ’s BBQ & Cafe

2275 San Jose ave, San Francisco, CA 94112