October is Filipino American (Fil-Am) History Month

Check out "Thursday Nights: Polyrhythmic Percussion of the Philippines" at the Asian Art Museum. Photo courtesy of the Asian Art Museum.

Join BARTable in honoring the history, pursuits, accomplishments, and legacy of Filipinos in the US. Such a tribute is especially relevant in the Bay Area, home to the country's second largest Filipino American community. Show your love to this community by visiting these BARTable events and restaurants.

Editor's Note: Please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or at an in-person event. Before you travel on BART, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. Learn what to expect when you return to BART here.


The San Francisco Public Library has several celebrations this year. Photo courtesy of Lydia Ortiz.

San Francisco Public Library's (SFPL) celebrations

This year, the SFPL’s celebration honors the Filipino American community's role in the Bay Area’s resilience against the tragedies and travails of the COVID-19 pandemic with the theme darating ang liwanag, or “Hope will come.” Throughout the month of October, the public is invited to learn more about the unique history and contributions of this community through interactive workshops, demonstrations, book readings and more. Additionally, check out the library's curated booklists for all ages.  

Where: 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Station: Civic Center/UN Plaza
Walk time: Three minutes

Thursday Nights: Polyrhythmic Percussion of the Philippines at the Asian Art Museum

Satisfy your appetite for culture on Thursday Nights at the Asian Art Museum. Roam the galleries and discover your favorite artwork, mix and mingle with friends old and new while savoring a drink and a bite to eat, shop the boutique, and unwind to the sounds of local musicians. On Oct. 28, kick off your weekend early with dynamic ensemble Kultura Kapwa and experience the joy and unifying power of tribal Philippine polyrhythmic percussion music. 

Where: 200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Station: Civic Center/UN Plaza
Walk time: Four minutes


Lumpia from The Lumpia Company. Photo courtesy of The Lumpia Company.

The Lumpia Company

The crispy, deep fried spring roll known as lumpia is a Filipino cuisine staple, and The Lumpia Company reimagines it in the best way possible. By creating lumpias filled with the flavors of other Filipino dishes, like chicken tinola soup, or entirely different cuisines like a bacon cheeseburger, owner Alex Retodo hopes to share his experiences as a Filipino American.

Where: 372 24th St, Oakland, CA 94612
BART station: 19th St/Oakland
Walk time: Nine minutes

FOB Kitchen

Steady yourself for a blast of the tropics — from its interior design to the cocktail menu, FOB Kitchen brings a little piece of the Philippines to Temescal. FOB Kitchen started as a pop-up in the San Francisco Mission district and moved into this permanent location late last year. Chefs Brandi and Janice Dulce play with the regional diversity of the Philippines in their menu, working to include several vegetarian and vegan options as well.

Where: 5179 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
BART station: MacArthur
Walk time: 16 minutes
Website: FOB Kitchen

Cafe Gabriela

This Downtown Oakland cafe features an array of local delights, including their beloved pulled-pork adobo sandwich that puts a tasty spin on a traditional Filipino dish. Cafe Gabriela also has a full coffee bar and delicious cookies to complete your meal. 

Where: 988 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
BART station: 12th St/Oakland City Center 
Walk time: Six minutes
Website: Cafe Gabriela

Kusina Ni Tess

Translated as Tess’s Kitchen, Kusina Ni Tess serves the Tenderloin community Filipino classics like lumpia, fried spring rolls, and sinigang, a savory tamarind-based soup. It’s hard to find a lunch under $10 in the heart of the city, but Kusina Ni Tess cooks up authentic Filipino dishes for reasonable prices.

Where: 237 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94102
BART station: Powell St
Walk time: Five minutes


The suffix -silog adds a fried egg and fried rice to any Filipino dish, and that’s just Tselogs does best! From sizzling sisiglog to the more familiar spamsilog, Tselogs’s most delicious specialties are anything that can be served with a fried egg — meaning almost every Filipino dish!

Where: 11b San Pedro Rd, Daly City, CA 94014
BART station: Colma
Walk time: Eight minutes
Website: Tselogs

Manila Bowl offers many Filipino dishes. Photo courtesy of Manila Bowl.

Manila Bowl

Offering several signature Filipino dishes at the Market in the Twitter building, Manila Bowl serves as a great introduction to the cuisine. A beautifully seasoned sisig or slow-roasted adobo saves you a 14 hour flight to the Philippine Islands themselves.

Where: 1355 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
BART station: Civic Center/UN Plaza
Walk time: Five minutes
Website: Manila Bowl

JT Restaurant

Hidden on the first floor of Mint Plaza, JT Restaurant has a homey feel, serving Filipino staples like tangy sinigang soup and juicy longanisa sausage in affordable combinations.

Where: 953 Mission St, San Francisco CA 94103
BART station: Powell St
Walk time: Seven minutes
Website: JT Restaurant

Señor Sisig

It all started in 2010, when Chef Gilm Payumo set out to reinvent his dad’s sisig, but spicier. In partnership with Evan Kidera, Payumo launched Señor Sisig, which started with several fusion food trucks all over San Francisco. Now, business continues to grow with brick-and-mortar restaurants in Oakland and San Francisco.

Where: 990 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 / 1628 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94612
BART station: 24th St Mission / 19th St/Oakland
Walk time: Nine minutes / Four minutes
Website: Señor Sisig

Turo Café and Grill

Turo’s praise on Yelp is well deserved, as this restaurant has caputured all the important nuances classic Filipino foods demand — crispy lumpia fried just right, pancit noodles at just the right consistency. With a rotating menu of daily specials and another menu of everyday favorites, you can turo (point) at any dish for an authentic Filipino experience.

Where: 2275 San Jose Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112
BART station: Balboa Park
Walk time: One minute

Kona's Street Market

The focus at Kona's Street Market is cocktails inspired by street markets from all around the world, and there's also just enough food for dinner. Started by the team behind award-winning cocktail bar Pacific Cocktail Haven (PCH), the cocktails focus on familiar and unfamiliar ingredients and spirits. Food comes from Francis Ang’s Filipino pop-up, Pinoy Heritage.

Where: 32 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Station: Montgomery St
Walk time: Three minutes

Let's be social. 

Let us know when you visit a Filipino-owned business or take in an experience via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable events, places to eat and places to have fun around the Bay. 

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