Josephine's is a no frills, cafeteria style Filipino restaurant offering fairly affordable cuisine.
The food is overly greasy, has been sitting so is quite old, and generally is of low quality, with little attention to the nuances and finess that make this type of ethnic food normally delicious. There needs to be a greater emphasis on style in the restaurant so it doesn't have a cafeteria feel. The staff are unfriendly and unhelpful despite some very simple questions and requests. I would not recommend this particular restaurant.
I normally love Phillipino food - check out the restaurants in Toronto - but Josephine's was a huge disappointment. I've been twice, thinking perhaps the first day was just an off day with the wrong grumpy staff, and perhaps they'd switch up the food choices in the buffet style area next time. Wrong. The staff are pretty much all non-chalant at best and rude otherwise, some of the food has been sitting there for a long time (even dry and hard on the surface for the parts not immersed in the sauce), and it has a "hospital"-like ambiance that is not particularly appetizing. Vancouver still needs a stellar Phillipino restaurant from what I can see...there is a niche to be filled that a smart entrepreneur will step into, hopefully soon.
The service was rude and disrespectful - in fact, insulting - and the portions can be very misleading. On a visit to the restaurant, I pointed at a section of roasted pork behind the buffet window that I wanted, asking how much it was, and the older service staff replied $10, which seemed like a pretty good deal. However, she then asked the cook in the back to cut the pork into pieces, and I replied I didn't want it chopped up, I would cut it into slices at home later. However, a younger staff person then came out with a tinfoil with some pork wrapped up - not the piece behind the window I had been inquiring about. It looked awfully small. Upon asking her if I could take a look at it, as it seemed smaller than the piece I had pointed to that was on display, she replied "What? It's the same." I insisted on having a look again, and she was defensive, her reply was, "It's the same. We're not trying to cheat you!". When she opened up the tinfoil, indeed it was a much smaller piece, about half the size of the piece in the window, and chopped into smaller bits that made it harder to distinguish the size difference - but it was clearly much smaller. I told her I had been expecting the larger piece and wouldn't be purchasing it, and then the cook came out saying "it's obvious nobody would expect the larger piece, these are expensive" and the younger staff then piped in again, super defensive (perhaps feeling guilty by then?) now stating: "you were trying to trick us by getting the larger piece in the window", despite the fact that all along I had asked multiple times for that piece (as opposed to one that I couldn't see??) - and this ridiculous drama went on for another minute. It was pretty over-the-top, instead of simply apologizing and politely stating that there must've been a misunderstanding (although in reality it sure felt more like a run-around scam). I would definately not recommend spending dollars in a restaurant that hasn't learned that upfront honesty and respect are central in Canada for any business to thrive over the longer run.
The place is simple, looks clean, outfitted pretty much like a cafeteria, so don't be expecting any fancy service. Just go up and order your plate.
Is this the best Filipino cuisine EVER? Only if it were the last Filipino restaurant on Earth. We've had our share here and elsewhere, this is no where near the best. It's not bad, it's okay, but you can do a lot better I'm sure. Yes, it's tasty food, but it's not mind-blowing. Pretty big menu, authentic I'm sure. But it's not super-cheap either. Given the place, I would in fact qualify it as a touch on the expensive side. (Compared to your average HK tea restaurant, this is downright pricey). Rekado's is pretty good, but not worth the cost, still looking for just the right one in Vancouver....
Good for a quick bite, but not a great first exposure to Filipino cuisine. You can do better.
I went in for Filipino dinner, found out it is cafeteria self-serve style; however, the price is not. For $8.5 (plus12% tax), I got a small chicken thigh (thigh only, not leg), a tiny nappy dish of stir fry beef with onion, and a scope of rice. The meat was super salty and greasy- a thick layer of oil on the dish, it was so salty that I could not eat at all. I should have asked for a refund. Would never go back to such a horrible place.
At Josephine's you can eat good Filipino food. I can't call it incredible, however it's good and consistently good. There would be still lots of room for improvement. However, it's cheaper than Goldilocks. The fact that mostly Filipinos east here speaks for the restaurant.
The restaurant itself is nothing special. No fancy decoration or designer colours. However, I don't think that anyone would be looking for this in a Filipino restaurant at this price level. Josephine's does not carry the dessert's like Goldilocks.
They have guest parking in the alley.
This place is busy, but I suspect it is because you get lots of food for your money. But quality is another matter. Wife and I took a large doggy bag home ... and yes, this time it really was for the dog. At least he enjoyed it! Rekados on Main is a much better bet if you want to try quality Phiippino food (haven't reviewed it yet).
My experience eating at Josephine's was enjoyable. They had a large selection of food and it didn't seem very pricey like Goldilocks. The atmosphere was okay. What I really liked were the large Philippine scenery photographs. The place is pretty simple. The food's average...but all in all...I enjoyed it. Not a bad place at all.
Delicious variety of filipino dishes – I love their bbq chicken, laing, palabok and halo-halo! Friendly service! Clean and spacious!
Conveniently located at Main St & 12th Ave with lots of parking available in the vicinity. Aling Mary’s store who sells fresh pandesal (bread) is right next to Josephine’s. It’s like shooting two birds with one stone.
I've been going to Josephine's for many years and will keep coming back!!!
This place is the best filipino cuisine EVER. I love the staff and i will always keep goingback there.
I would say that the lumpia is the best, but all the other dishes are prime.
You eat your dish with rice and sinigang. It's the best!