1. Rice and pork dish at Tita Carinderia
    Photograph: Alison Rodericks for Time Out Sydney
  2. Donut at Tita Carinderia
    Photograph: Alison Rodericks for Time Out Sydney
  3. Rice and egg dish at Tita Carinderia
    Photograph: Alison Rodericks for Time Out Sydney
  4. The purple ube soft serve at Tita Carinderia
    Photograph: Alison Rodericks for Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants | Filipino
  • Marrickville
  • Recommended


Tita Carinderia

4 out of 5 stars

Come for the freshly-baked pandesal, stay for the ube soft serve at this Filipino street-food café in Marrickville


Time Out says

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you want to eat an authentic meal, you need to go where the locals eat. So, we take it as a good sign when we find ourselves on a rainy Friday at Tita Carinderia, a new Filipino café on Marrickville's main drag, and notice that 90 per cent of its patrons are of Filipino descent.

In case you’re wondering, ‘tita’ in Tagalog (the native language spoken in the Philippines) means aunt and this café pays homage to its owners’ late aunt, Tita Marlene. In the Philippines, a carinderia is a no-frills roadside café or food stall selling home-cooked Filipino fare for the working class. Tita Carinderia is a modern take on the OG with communal tables out front, bright yellow walls inside and sachets of Tang, Kopiko and Nestea behind the counter for a bit of kitsch.

It’s lunch hour, so we join the queue to place our order, tempted by the baked goods behind the counter. We spot Filipino cheese bread and pandesal, a soft, fluffy bread roll that’s a Filipino staple. While pandesal (pan de sal) literally means salt bread, these rolls are not salty and can be smeared with sweet or savoury spreads. Today’s offering is the everything pandesal stuffed with garlic cream cheese.

It’s service with a smile at Tita Carinderia. The staff are proud of their heritage and will happily share tidbits about their cuisine. For instance, we notice that a lot of dishes on the menu have the word silog in them and ask what it means. We are told that itlog means egg and sinangag means garlic fried rice, so silog is a portmanteau that gives you garlic fried rice topped with a fried egg. Full of flavour and very filling, silog is often eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Philippines, and we get why.

You’ve been warned, garlic is in every savoury dish – so pack a mint if you're heading out after. Our wait staff brings out our order of pork adobo and patty longsilog in cardboard takeaway containers; space is tight, so most customers prefer to order takeaway. She urges us to add a garlicky vinegar to cut through the fatty pork belly. We happily oblige and proceed to break open the golden sunny-side egg perched on top of both mains. The yolk is on the right side of runny and oozes onto the rice and meat. As for the adobo, the pork fat is tender, not chewy, and has been cooked in soy sauce, garlic and vinegar. The burger-style patty in the patty longsilog is made from longganisa, a Filipino-style sausage with – you guessed it – tons of garlic.

Good thing then, that we’ve got a Manila latte to wash it all down. This cold coffee with oodles of condensed milk definitely hits the spot, even if you’re a ‘I-never-put-sugar-in-my-coffee’ kind of person.

Have a separate stomach for dessert? Great! The glass counter beckons with Filipino sweet treats. There’s pan de coco that’s stuffed with grated coconut and jammy brown sugar, ube Basque cheesecake and maja blanca cookies that’s based on a traditional coconut corn pudding. Choices, choices.

Given that the owners of Tita Carinderia are the same family behind Donut Papi, we try the ensaymada donut – a Donut Papi creation topped with a healthy dose of grated cheese(!). We were a bit sceptical when it was recommended, but its sweet-salty flavour is quite unique. And we can't resist the vibrant purple ube soft serve. Going by the number of customers clicking pics of their cones, this bestseller is drool-worthy and Insta-worthy.

As we leave the café, we see a sign that reads: Kahit isang saglit’ (even for a moment), which is a reminder to hug your loved ones. It’s easy to see why people are flocking to Tita Carinderia. The vibe is homely, the food is tasty and generous, the service is friendly – just like visiting your favourite aunt.

Time Out Sydney never writes starred reviews from hosted experiences – Time Out covers restaurant and bar bills for reviews so that readers can trust our critique.

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Shop 4
359 Illawarra Rd
Marrickville NSW
Opening hours:
Wed-Sun 9am-3pm
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