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“Best, upscale, cleanest and most elegant Filipino Restaurant in NYC/Queens” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Payag Restaurant

Payag Restaurant
51-34 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377
(347) 935-3192
Website
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Ranked #13 of 127 restaurants in Woodside
Cuisines: Philippine
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Astoria, New York
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Best, upscale, cleanest and most elegant Filipino Restaurant in NYC/Queens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

COME HERE FIRST to get fresh authentic Filipino food. The restaurant opened a few years ago and is located further west along Roosevelt avenue. When you enter you get the impression that you are not in a Filipino restaurant, but in an elegant upscale Manhattan style Chinese restaurant. And not the run of the mill cheap Filipino eatery.

Once you sit down, then you experience top quality Filipino cuisine. The food is not heavy and is lightly cooked. If you like that heavy greasy stuff, go else where, but if you want the best and healthiest choices, eat here. The staff really know how to prepare a decent meal.

True, service can be a little slow, but I guess waiting for a top quality dining experience is worth it. And the staff are very friendly too.

Management has created a spacious and well lit dining experience, with plenty of natural daylight

Only other negative, I can think of, is that this being a much more upscale experience Payag is much more pricey. For two people you can easily spend anywhere between $60-75, including drinks and desert. However, if you want to wow a non Filipino friend, definitely come here for that special occasion. First impressions mater when it comes to food, just like everything else.

Overall i would rank as #1 on my list of Filipino Restaurants in NYC (see my other reviews if you are new to the city and Filipino restaurants in particular).

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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13 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    5
    6
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Elegant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

I really enjoy the place, because they put elegance on Filipino culture. I was shock to saw lambanog on the bar, the guy said it's only for display, I hope lambanog is available in your restaurant because I've been dying to introduce it to some of my friends. Thank You and more success.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastchester, New York
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Great food, really nice staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

I am American and work in a hospital with Filipino Nurses and we go here often because they know the best place to get authentic food. Nice place for a date too

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“After a Delightful Mother's Day Lunch, I Raised My Rating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

My review of Payag after my first visit was mostly positive, but I felt there were still some things to work on. And though the service could still be faster, overall they have improved enough to rate another star. My daugher and her husband and sister-in-law joined my wife and me for a lunch on Mother's Day, and it was one of the most enjoyable of such special occasions we've experienced. My son-in-law and his sister, not Filipino, and not experienced with Filipino cuisine, raved about the food. We made reservations for 11 AM, because Mother's Day is so busy, and had a little trepidation about whether the kitchen would be ready. The waitress and waiters were friendly, and granting the fact that the day is harrowing for any restaurant, the service was good. Our whole party was impressed with the decor. They had been seated at one of the close-to-the-ground tables while I parked the car, and when I said I needed more leg-room we were quickly and graciously moved. The water with lemon and cucumber is a nice welcoming touch. Unfortunately we couldn't get San Miguel until noon because of the "blue laws." (I don't think Connolly's Pub would make you wait but then, they don't have San Miguel either.) We shared appetzers like Chili Shrimp, Beef Salpicao and Lumpia, and all were delicious. I was a bit unnerved when told they no longer offered Short Ribs on the menu, which had been my favorite on two previous visits, so I ordered Crispy Pata. It was great! I had never had it off-the-bone before, and found that to be a lot easier to enjoy. My wife had Garlic Shrimp, which was delicious. My son-in-law and his sister ordered Squid, which I thought was a bit brave since they weren't familiar with Filipino cooking, and might be expecting the breaded, fried variety, but they loved it. They ordered the Banana Tapas for dessert and my wife and daughter shared a Halo Halo, while I had my favorite, Avocado Cheesecake. As I mentioned in my first review, my wife, like a lot of Filipinas, usually sniffs at Filipino restaurants, saying she cooks better at home. And while she IS a good cook, she had nothing but praise for Payag.

Just another note: I don't know what agenda the reviewer had who kept saying the place was EMPTY! (his exclamation), so it must be bad, but the people were streaming in to Payag on Mother's Day and I guess it's catching on, and I'm glad we went early.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Food that can transport your senses and palate to an exotic Land in the South East!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

Payag- a Filipino restaurant in NYC that's authentic in flavor and loyal to the palate where it came from. I'm a Filipino who live in the US most of my lifetime. I'm glad NYC became my adopted home with of it's fusion of people from foreign lands that brought with them their own cuisines. So I adopted with gusto to all that's Italian, American (North & South), French, Indian, Greek, you-name it cuisine, and I love most of them. One cuisine that left me wanting and hanging has been the Filipino cuisine. Until I found Payag! The crispy pata (pork knuckles) was served boneless (unlike in Krystal's and Ihawan), so crispy outside, tender and juicy inside. It's hard to resist, those with chlesterol problem, beware! The eggs rolls for appetizer were not your typical-of-most-Fil-restaurant-served egg rolls. They were home-made delicious, paired with generous amount of-long thinly sliced-pickled papaya-like vegie. The "halaan" clam soup, brought me back to my childhood, I thought I was back home again, I slurped and surfed until the very last drop. A meal without "pansit" noodles is not a complete Fil. fare . So I ordered pansit canton, which did not disappoint my palate. How can I forget the beverage? The buco juice, with good serving of thinly sliced young coconut, so sweet and tender. Even the water at our table had a Zen-like quality, in carafe with slices of lemon and cucumbers. Was it also infused with "pandan"? I have to go back Payag again and soon, I'm have this halo-halo dancing in my head. Oh, before I fogot, I love the decor, refine and and loyal to the artistic core of the Philippines, the capiz chandeliers were beautiful.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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