1. Little Manila in Woodside, Queens

Phil Am in the micro neighborhood of Little Manila

Home to authentic Filipino restaurants and businesses, “Little Manila,” which runs from 63rd to 71st Street in Woodside, has made Filipino immigrants feel at home. New York State’s Filipino population numbers about 200,000, and the majority of these Filipinos live in Queens (50,000 to 70,000 live in Woodside). After the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, Filipino medical professionals moved to Woodside, many working at nearby Elmhurst Hospital, and most Filipinos felt welcome since the area had been predominantly Irish Catholic at the time.

One orienting point in this neighborhood is the bee that greets customers outside the Filipino fast food chain, Jollibee. Though there are over 500 of these chains worldwide, Little Manila’s Jollibee, established in 2009, was the first on the East Coast. Red Ribbon, a Filipino chain bakery, also found its place here in 2010. Other restaurants include Ihawan, famous for its traditional barbeque and Renee’s Kitchenette which sells traditional Filipino dishes. One of the most popular stores in the neighborhood is Phil-Am Food Mart, which features everything from ube desserts to Filipino meats and dishes like lumpia (spring rolls) and balut (fertilized duck egg). There is also a Philippine National Bank, a Filipino recreational center, and Filipino salons and grocery stores.

This article was co-written by Stephanie Geier, Brennan Ortiz, and Billy Hagberg. This article has been edited and updated by Noah Sheidlower.

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