New York City, NY

Filipino Food Culture Is Getting Popularity Among NYC Restaurants But Many Chefs Are Finding It Complicated

Abdul Ghani

Renee Dizon has no intention of establishing the Filipino way of life in Queens. But that is what it has evolved into three decades after she and her husband opened a small diner in Woodside. Renee's Kitchenette & Grill existed before Jeepney and Maharlika, before Lumpia Shack and Instagram-famous Ube pastries.
Filipino Food Culture in NYC.Photo byCakoolgal126 From Flickr

After her husband lost his job and she became pregnant, making it difficult for her to commute from Queens to her office in New Jersey, Dizon started off small by selling Tocino, empanadas, Longganisa, and siopao to neighborhood Filipino grocery stores.

In 1992, they created a physical location with four tables on 69th Street that lasted longer than the other two Filipino eateries Dizon can recall having when they first started. They moved into its current location on Roosevelt Avenue two years later.

On calm days, talk is interrupted by the clanging of a 7 train passing immediately outside the window.

The final relic of Filipino culture

Prior to the entrance of foreign influence, little of the history and culture of the Philippines exists. Much was lost as a result of three centuries of Spanish domination, 50 years as an American colony, and the Japanese occupation that followed in World War II.

Nicole Ponseca, a Filipino American from southern California, recalled seeing stacks of books on Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese history and culture whenever she visited the library.

In the early 2010s, her eateries Jeepney and Maharlika are credited with popularising Filipino cuisine in New York. Ponseca remarked, "Even walking down the cookbook aisle, there was nothing for us.

The food culture of the Philippines has a very distinctive flavor

Ponseca's eateries, on the other hand, received significant praise and served as the city's stalwarts for Filipino presence.

There isn't a society that doesn't value food so high, whether it's related to family, time, or culture, she claimed. However, there is something really particular about Filipino food, culture, and identity.

Her restaurant Jeepney, which is credited with popularising Kamayan—eating meals with your hands off a banana leaf—had its run end last year in one of the city's most fashionable neighborhoods.

A little measure of justice was served by romanticizing a practice for which her father had endured abuse when she was a youngster.

Final Thoughts

It provided a tiny bit of visibility in a city that might not have seen it otherwise. Ponseca always intended to alter the subject by bringing up food. What exactly is it about Filipino food that people wonder?

Ponseca remarked that "for Filipinos, it's a variety of tastes, foods, and ingredients that we call home."

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Member Of Freelancers Union (USA), Freelance Writer!, and Digital Creator. Ghani Mengal is an enthusiast Freelance blogger and digital marketer. His content has been published and featured on many popular blogs, websites, and publications. Including TeelFeed,, Data-Driven Investor, TextSniper, Scientific Publication The Predict, The Startup, The Ascent, Heart Affairs, Illumination, And The List goes on.


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