Exploring San Diego


Filipino restaurants in San Diego you must try

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2019-04-04 17:22:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Filipino cuisine has inserted itself into the conversation when it comes to the great food San Diego has to offer.

San Diego is home to many authentic Asian restaurants, with Filipino eateries among them. Local Filipino restaurants specialize in re-creating the dishes that will remind Filipinos of home or give others a chance to discover the many tastes and flavors that are a part of Philippine culture.

If you’re looking for a great place to try Filipino food, here are a few recommendations:

Tita’s Kitchenette
2720 E. Plaza Blvd., National City
-- One of San Diego’s most well-known, go-to restaurants for authentic Filipino cuisine, this National City eatery always has long lines of people waiting to order their food, which is served cafeteria style. Their combination plates have huge portions, with many customers repeatedly returning for Tita’s sinigang (tamarind-based sour soup with meat and vegetables), dinuguan (pork cooked and served in pig’s blood), and barbecue chicken or pork on skewers.

Zarlitos Family Restaurant

505 E. 8th St., National City
-- A place that has been serving traditional Filipino dishes for many years, Zarlitos continues to be one of San Diego’s most popular destinations for those searching for Filipino food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The National City restaurant also comes through with a Mexican-Filipino mashup menu on weekend mornings.

Max’s Restaurant

2127 Olympic Pkwy., #1001, Chula Vista
-- Chula Vista residents, and other San Diegans for that matter, flock to this restaurant best known for its special-recipe fried chicken.

Fredcel Lumpias & Catering

3876 38th St., San Diego
-- A cash-only establishment in City Heights area popular for its party trays of lumpia -- order ahead and get in line early on Super Bowl Sunday! -- and lunch plate selections.


8423 Paradise Valley Rd., Ste. #B, Spring Valley
-- SNOICE offers their own take on some traditional Filipino desserts for those looking to satisfy that sweet tooth. Try out the shaved ice topped with fruits and condensed milk or the halo halo (shaved ice served with evaporated milk, ice cream and other toppings).

Nanay’s Best BBQ

6715 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego
-- This spot located in a busy strip mall off always-busy Mira Mesa Boulevard serves up large portions in their combination plates, but many Yelp reviewers rave about their barbecue chicken and pork.

Mexipino Craft

1660 Broadway, #14, Chula Vista
-- A Chula Vista breakfast/lunch restaurant where two cultures come together to serve unique food. The eclectic menu has Mexican dishes, Filipino dishes and dishes that combine both cuisines.

Carin de ria

124 West I Street, Encinitas; 3440 Del Lago Blvd., Escondido
-- The family-owned Carin de Ria has two locations where North County residents can satisfy their Filipino food cravings. Traditional Filipino dishes such as pancit (stir-fried rice noodles with meat and vegetables) and adobo (meat dish with sauce base consisting of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and pepper) are available, as well as classic desserts such as leche flan and halo halo.