NYC Bite: Lumpia Shack Snackbar
There’s a little slice of heaven on Greenwich Avenue. It’s called the Lumpia Shack Snackbar. Now, don’t let the fact that this place actually looks like a shack fool you—you’ve got to try this food. Lumpia Shack is most famous for its Lumpia (surprise, surprise!). Lumpia are basically spring rolls, and here they’re filled with pork, mushrooms, or a daily special flavor. So good are these Lumpia that this little stand in Smorgasburg now has a west village location.
Besides Lumpia, they also make fabulous rice bowls, salads, noodles, and even a ramen burger! Plus, for anyone with a sweet tooth, they make a signature Pilipino dessert called Halo-Halo. It's hard to explain exactly what it is, but basically imagine a cup of shaved ice with fresh fruit, flavored foam, custard, and popcorn. Don’t think about it too much. Just order it.
Lumpia Shack is run by a first generation Philipino couple. They have extensive culinary experience including a degree from the Institute of Culinary Education and stints at The Gramercy Park Hotel and Tides Seafood. Together, their goal with the snackbar is to bring Pilipino comfort food to Manhattan. The couple uses fresh ingredients from local markets and farms (you can check the extensive list on the website), which is why their menu changes weekly.
I walked in here expecting just another quick, mediocre meal. Oh boy, was I wrong.
I ordered a salad bowl with adobo pork belly and grilled asparagus. The pork was perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. However, the star of the show wasn’t just the pork—it was the adobo sauce, which is like nothing I’d ever tasted before. The best way I can describe it is the world’s most delicious sweet and sour sauce. The pork is lathered in this glorious sauce, so if you mix up your bowl, it will spread and act as a salad dressing (so yummy).
Other than the pork, the asparagus were super tender and obviously very fresh. The greens were also tasty, especially when the adobo sauce got everywhere. The bowl also comes with a spicy red sauce on the side. Not for me. But, I’m sure it would taste great to a spice lover.
Story time: when the woman at the counter handed me my bowl, I began to photograph it. In case you didn’t know, that process takes a long time. And, it earns you a lot of dirty looks. People think you’re so weird when you take up half the space in a tiny shop finding different angles and backgrounds for your pictures. Anyway, after a few minutes of watching me awkwardly take pictures, the woman behind the counter came over and decorated my bowl with a few beautiful pink radishes. Great service!
All in all, Lumpia Shack Snackbar is a true gem. This place makes some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. Plus, you’ve got to love the casual atmosphere, family business vibe, and low prices.
Please, please give this place a try. It wont disappoint.
I guarantee it. -Men’s Warehouse Guy (That’s when you know it's serious)