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10 Beloved Filipino Dishes That Should Never Be Left Out Of Your Holiday Buffet


We Filipinos love Christmas so much! We start celebrating way before December 25 hits, preparing festive feasts at home for our friends and family. Whether it’s Noche Buena or any holiday gathering, it’s Filipino food that our guests always look for. So to get you started on your Christmas buffet spread (or any party you plan to host), here’s our definitive list of favorite Filipino dishes—sweet and savory, traditional and modern—that will be surefire hits with your guests.



1. Kare Kareng Kasuy or KKK by Pepita’s Kitchen

Famous for her lechon stuffed with rice, Dedet de la Fuente of Pepita’s Kitchen offers many other Filipino dishes with a twist worth ordering. Her version of kare-kare is a must, with tender oxtail cooked in a cashew (instead of peanut) sauce, a generous serving of vegetables, and homemade bagoong—giving your pure collagen pleasure in every spoonful.

Price upon request, (0917) 866-0662, email:, FB: Lechon Diva of Pepita’s Kitchen



2. Double Decker Ube Leche Flan Cake by Bellefleur by Beatrix

Bellefleur is known for Pinoy-inspired dessert combinations like Frozen Ube Brazo and Ube Leche Flan. A treat that’s twice as nice, this Ube Leche Flan Cake is a clever combination of ube chiffon cake layered with sweet leche flan for a creamy and satisfying end to any meal.

P100/slice, G/F Unimart, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan, (0917) 825-8730, email:, FB: Bellefleur by Beatrix, IG: @bellefleurbybeatrix



3. House Crispy Sisig by Manam Comfort Filipino

There’s really nothing like Manam’s version of this sizzling fatty pork dish from Pampanga. Whether you order it as a topping on pansit or rice, you can never go wrong. Manam Sisig straddles the balance between crunchy and tasty, with a vinegary kick. The crunch isn’t overpowering, and the richness is just right, never bordering on overindulgent.

P145/small, P260/medium, P398/large, branches in BGC, Greenbelt, Greenhills, SM Megamall, Ayala Fairview Terraces, Mall of Asia, FB: Manam Comfort Filipino, IG: @manamph



4. Narda’s Chicken Inasal by 13 Ubay St. Comfort Dining

These generous chunks of chicken inasal on a stick work as a tasty substitute to pork barbecue. Tangy and tinged with vinegar and annatto, these inasal skewers are grilled till tender, using boneless chicken meat, easier to eat without having to deal with chicken bones.

P500/10 persons, P950/20 persons, P1,400/30 persons, P275/500 grams (frozen), 13 Ubay Street, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City, (0917) 857-7159, FB: 13 Ubay St. Comfort Dining, IG: @13ubay



5. Pork Adobo sa Gata by Party Toques by Chef Rob Lau

You can savor Chef Rob Lau’s take on traditional Filipino cooking with this Bicolano version of adobo cooked in coconut milk. Available as a party tray, the pork is braised in vinegar and coconut milk until soft and tender, then topped with hard-boiled eggs, huge chunks of garlic, and red chilies for a kick that your guests will love.

P1,119/8 to 10 persons, (0916) 434-2169, email:, FB: Party Toques, IG: @partytoques



6. Crab Gulong Gulong by Pepita’s Kitchen

They say that a feast is not a feast without crab or alimango. Pepita’s Kitchen offers among the best crab dishes in town, especially this orange madness of a dish filled with crabs cooked in aligue and a special secret sauce. For those too lazy to pick out the crabmeat from the shells, this dish is also available as “himay” with the crabmeat already removed from the shells.

Price upon request, (0917) 866-0662, email:, FB: Lechon Diva of Pepita’s Kitchen



7. Young Coconut Pie by Wildflour Café + Bakery

Wildflour takes the classic buko pie to the next level. Flaky crust, packed with young coconut in between layers of creamy filling, this pie is made fresh for people to enjoy, served with a velvety crème anglaise. You won’t want to go back to the original buko pie after a bite into this version!

P1,800/8-inch pie, branches in BGC, Salcedo Village, Legaspi Village, The Podium, Greenhills, Rockwell, IG: @wildflourmanila,



8. Beef Caldereta Pie by La Mère Poulard

This meaty Beef Caldereta Pie by La Mère Poulard is a sophisticated take on the familiar beef stew cooked in tomato sauce with veggies. But this time, the caldereta is encased in a flaky and buttery pastry. The mini pies can be served for merienda or as appetizers, while the whole pie is perfect as the main course and centerpiece of your holiday table.

P1,600 /10-inch pie, P850/3 individually wrapped mini pies, SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, (0917) 580-0137, FB: La Mère Poulard-Philippines, IG: @lamerepoulard_manila



9. Empanadas by Casa Daza

TV host, food writer, and restaurateur, Chef Sandy Daza is well known for his unique takes on Filipino and international dishes. From his restaurant, he now offers perfectly shaped empanada with an assortment of generous fillings. Using traditional kaliskis pastry (resembling fish scales), the empanadas stay crunchy on the outside, with a soft, buttery layer inside. Just heat them up and enjoy for Noche Buena or any time during the holidays.

P55/piece, 2nd Level, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, (02) 720-2290,

FB: Casa Daza by Chef Sandy, IG: Casa Daza by Chef Sandy



10. Coffee by Hineleban Farms

Stay awake for more holiday moments with Coffee by Hinelaban. Rich and aromatic, these hand-picked ripe Arabica beans are nourished by cool mists from Mount Kitanglad in Bukidnon. Give your loved ones a nutty, fruity, and caramel-tinged Philippine coffee experience.

P650/500 grams, email:, FB: Hineleban Farms, IG: @hinelebanfarms,



Cover by Pat Mateo

Produced by Janelle Año

Photos by Pat Buenaobra

Styling by Angelique Castro

Art Direction by Butchie Peña

Shot on location at Discovery Primea

Special thanks to Margaux Hontiveros