Four Austin-based spots for your Filipino food fix


Angela Lim, Life and Arts reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 26 flipbook.

Food plays a central role in Filipino culture. When someone asks a family member if they’ve eaten, their words express love and care. For Filipino-American History Month, The Daily Texan compiled a list of Filipino restaurants, food trucks and stores around Austin. 

Kapatad Kitchen and Cafe: 3742 Far West Blvd.

Kapatad Kitchen and Cafe, whose name comes from the Kapampangan word for siblings, exemplifies the Filipino importance of family. After immigrating to Texas from the Philippines, the Franco family fulfilled their goal of opening a space to share what made them feel most at home. The restaurant serves authentic Filipino and Chinese cuisine guided by longstanding recipes from previous generations. Some traditional dishes on their menu include beef kare-kare, a stew with a peanut sauce base, and pancit bihon, thin rice noodles mixed with meat and vegetables. Their diverse menu makes the restaurant an excellent choice for catering. 

Carabao Express: 2309 W Parmer Ln.

Named after the Philippines’ national animal, this casual, Panda Express-esque restaurant serves food in large quantities at an affordable, budget-friendly price. Customer favorites on their menu include chicken adobo, a marinated chicken dish, and lechon kawali, deep fried pork belly. Carabao Express also sells combo meal options, the largest being their boodle box, which references the “boodle fights” in Filipino culture wherein people would eat a heaping selection of food by hand, or “kamayan.” 

Filipino Asian Mart: 615 W Slaughter Ln.

From providing groceries to selling freshly made dishes, this market of hospitable Tagalog-speaking staff serves as the pinnacle hub in Austin for everything Filipino. Customers can purchase hard-to-find Filipino snacks, ingredients and seasoning for home cooking. Stop by on Sundays to taste their tocilog and losilog breakfasts, containing garlic fried rice topped with egg and tocino and longganisa, respectively. They also offer delicious desserts such as halo-halo, an ice cream treat mixed with various toppings, and maja blanca, a coconut milk-based pudding.  

Fil N’ Viet: 1720 E 12th St.

For Instagram-worthy, mouthwatering goodness, look no further than Fil N’ Viet. This food truck, founded by a Filipino and Vietnamese couple, combines the best of both cuisines. Their Filipino snacks, such as hamachi kinilaw, a light ceviche-like dish, present the flavors of the culture with a modern, vibrant twist. Customers can look forward to weekly specials that offer limited edition dishes, including their highly demanded sisig fried rice and creamy bicol express, which is pork cooked in coconut milk with shrimp paste. Make sure to check their website and social media to stay updated on what’s currently available.