November 12, 2021

20 Tampa Bay Filipino restaurants and eateries everyone should try at least once

Filipino American History month was in October, but we’d like to highlight businesses throughout Tampa Bay that specialize in Filipino cuisine whether they’re brick and mortar restaurants, food trucks, pop-ups or at-home caterers.

Food is an integral part of the Filipino experience—whether a 23-hour flight separates you from your motherland or not—and these 20 Filipino businesses bring a taste of home to the Tampa Bay area.—Kyla Fields

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Abuhan sa America
1258 Highland Ave. S, Clearwater
Abuhan sa America literally just opened, and is already setting itself apart from other restaurants in the area with a Cebu-inspired menu that highlights cuisines from southern regions of the Philippines. Fried milkfish, sinigang—a popular sour stew—and the infamous dinuguan all occupy this menu—to be served alongside steaming piles of white rice, of course.
Photo via Adobe

Abuhan sa America

1258 Highland Ave. S, Clearwater
Abuhan sa America literally just opened, and is already setting itself apart from other restaurants in the area with a Cebu-inspired menu that highlights cuisines from southern regions of the Philippines. Fried milkfish, sinigang—a popular sour stew—and the infamous dinuguan all occupy this menu—to be served alongside steaming piles of white rice, of course.
Photo via Adobe
Pinoy
170 47th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg
This Filipino joint recently made the move from downtown St. Petersburg’s Baum Ave Market to farther north in Pinellas county. With cuisine inspired by the Pampanga region of the Philippines—located slightly north of Manila—Chef Raquel ‘Jingle’ Baluyut dishes out comforting classics like pork belly lechon kawali and pork lumpia, alongside playful takes on traditional flavors, like their fried chicken adobo balls served with a sweet chili sauce. 
Photo via pinoystpete/Facebook

Pinoy

170 47th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg
This Filipino joint recently made the move from downtown St. Petersburg’s Baum Ave Market to farther north in Pinellas county. With cuisine inspired by the Pampanga region of the Philippines—located slightly north of Manila—Chef Raquel ‘Jingle’ Baluyut dishes out comforting classics like pork belly lechon kawali and pork lumpia, alongside playful takes on traditional flavors, like their fried chicken adobo balls served with a sweet chili sauce.
Photo via pinoystpete/Facebook
Masarap Bowls food truck
Various locations throughout Tampa
Online Tampa foodie groups have been gushing about this new food truck since it opened this summer. Masarap serves all of the classic Filipino entrees, from sisig (sizzling pork cheek) to BBQ skewers, in a build-your-own-bowl style that lets you choose your base, protein, and sauces inspired by different regions of the country. It posts daily about where it’s parked, specialty dishes, or if the truck is sold out of something, so keep an eye on Facebook for updates.
Photo via masarapbowls/Facebook

Masarap Bowls food truck

Various locations throughout Tampa
Online Tampa foodie groups have been gushing about this new food truck since it opened this summer. Masarap serves all of the classic Filipino entrees, from sisig (sizzling pork cheek) to BBQ skewers, in a build-your-own-bowl style that lets you choose your base, protein, and sauces inspired by different regions of the country. It posts daily about where it’s parked, specialty dishes, or if the truck is sold out of something, so keep an eye on Facebook for updates.
Photo via masarapbowls/Facebook
Mata’s Philippine Cuisine
4350 W Waters Ave. No. 102, Tampa
??After decades of operating a stand at Tampa’s annual PhilFest, Delio and Ellen Mata decided to open their own brick-and-mortar in early 2020. After trying Mata’s pinakbet—an indegenous Illocano dish from northern Philippines—Creative Loafing’s food reviewer, John Palmer Claridge, stated “it exhibits layers of satisfying flavor; you really can’t go wrong.” Adorned with statues of baby Jesus, money trees, and the sound of a Filipino soap opera faintly playing in the background, Mata’s is the type of place where you leave feeling like family.
Photo by Melissa Santell

Mata’s Philippine Cuisine

4350 W Waters Ave. No. 102, Tampa
??After decades of operating a stand at Tampa’s annual PhilFest, Delio and Ellen Mata decided to open their own brick-and-mortar in early 2020. After trying Mata’s pinakbet—an indegenous Illocano dish from northern Philippines—Creative Loafing’s food reviewer, John Palmer Claridge, stated “it exhibits layers of satisfying flavor; you really can’t go wrong.” Adorned with statues of baby Jesus, money trees, and the sound of a Filipino soap opera faintly playing in the background, Mata’s is the type of place where you leave feeling like family.
Photo by Melissa Santell
Filipiniana Philippine Cafe
3848 W Waters Ave., Tampa
Strip mall neighbors with fellow popular Southeast Asian eatery Saigon Deli, Filipiniana Philippine Cafe offers a balanced menu that highlights both the savory and sweet side of Filipino cuisine. Sweet treats include the beloved halo-halo, shaved ice desserts, ube cakes and freshly-baked pandesal, while traditional dishes like adobo, lumpia and BBQ skewers occupy the entree portion of the menu. The longsilog (sweet pork sausage, served with fried egg and garlic fried rice) is worth the wait, too.
Photo by Ray Roa

Filipiniana Philippine Cafe

3848 W Waters Ave., Tampa
Strip mall neighbors with fellow popular Southeast Asian eatery Saigon Deli, Filipiniana Philippine Cafe offers a balanced menu that highlights both the savory and sweet side of Filipino cuisine. Sweet treats include the beloved halo-halo, shaved ice desserts, ube cakes and freshly-baked pandesal, while traditional dishes like adobo, lumpia and BBQ skewers occupy the entree portion of the menu. The longsilog (sweet pork sausage, served with fried egg and garlic fried rice) is worth the wait, too.
Photo by Ray Roa

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.