When I first moved to the DC area, I never expected to be able to get Filipino cuisine here at all. Lately however, there’s been a lot of interest in Filipino cuisine, at least in the DC area. Most recently, a Filipino restaurant sold out in just hours for their most recent weekend pop-up. As someone who grew up on Filipino food and never considered it haute or refined, the thought of paying $60 for a five-course Filipino meal, like what the pop-up was offering, seems absolutely ridiculous!
Where to get Filipino Food in DC that’s metro-accessible?
If you’re looking for authentic Filipino food that’s metro accessible, I’d highly recommend checking out the following places when you get the chance:
I stumbled upon this place a few months ago. Located about a 10 minute walk from the Shady Grove Metro, Pampanguena Cafe operates like most “turo-turo” (pronounced TWO-roh TWO-roh) places, that is, a bunch of dishes are laid out cafeteria style, and the diner points to which dish they’d like.
For those that aren’t familiar with Filipino food, it’s a mixed-type of cuisine that’s heavily influenced by Spanish, Malay and Chinese cuisines. The cuisine is heavy on meat (specifically pork), and can be pretty fatty and greasy depending on what type of dish you get. As a side note, the Philippines is broken up into a several regions, and Pampanga is one of them.
The front entrance. Note the name change (this place used to be called Kapampangan Cuisine, but recently changed their name to Pampanguena Cafe).
My meal at Pampanguena Cafe: bistek, pork and rice. A pretty typical Filipino meal.
Hours of Operation
- Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 8:30 pm
- Thursday: 11:00 am – 5:30pm
- Take the red line to Shady Grove Metro
- Exit the station, walking past the Carmax, which will be on your left.
- Turn right onto Frederick Road and walk for about 5 min. Kapampangan Cuisine will be located on your right in a strip mall.
Whereas Kapampangan Cuisine is a totally no-frills experience, Bistro 7107 serves up an actual restaurant experience. Located less than a 5-minute walk from the Crystal City Metro, Bistro 7107 offers a more refined dining experience that’s located much closer to downtown DC. I’ve been here several times for both breakfast and dinner, and while the restaurant can be a little pricey, my guess is the restaurant will still be cheaper than some of the more newer Filipino restaurants that will be opening in DC over the coming months. Some dishes I’ve had at Bistro 7107:
Pinakbet – pork, bitter melon and other vegetables
Filipino vegetable fritters
Sisig – chopped pork, onions and garlic
Crispy pata – fried pork
Hours of Operation
- Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Friday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Take the Blue or Yellow Line to Crystal City station.
- Walk south towards 23rd St.
- Bistro 7107 is located near the corner of 23rd St. and South Eads St.