Jollibee: Filipino Fast Food in America

Jollibee: Filipino Fast Food in America

Justin Carl Claudio, Staff Writer

Opened in 1978 by Filipino food magnate Tony Tan Caktiong, Jollibee started as an ice cream parlor and has since become the most famous fast-food chain in the Philippines. Embracing a brand that emphasizes hard work and happiness, the company has found a niche in Filipino culture that is beginning to catch on here in America, particularly among young people. There are now three Chicago locations: Lincolnwood (3534 W. Touhy), Albany Park (5033 N. Elston) and downtown (116 S. Michigan). Beyond their dine-in, drive-thru, and delivery services, Jollibee also offers catering for birthdays, holidays, and special events. 

Personally speaking, I have been to this restaurant so many times I can’t even count. To say nothing of the food, the atmosphere is something to experience. The décor is over-the-top. Their walls are painted orange, yellow, red, and green and are covered with Jollibee characters, including Jollibee himself (a bee, get it?) and side-kicks Yum, Twirlie, Hetty, and Popo. The vibe is kid-friendly, but you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. 

But what about the food? Jollibee’s food menu includes fried chicken, Jolly Spaghetti, Palabok Fiesta, burgers, chicken sandwiches, and desserts. Jollibee’s most famous dish is the Chicken Joy. Crispy and juicy, the chicken is coated in a thick batter with seasonings and deep-fried to perfection. No Jollibee meal is complete without a side of Jolly Spaghetti and Palabok sauce. I know fried chicken & spaghetti might sound weird, but don’t knock it until you try it.

 Yes, I highly recommend going to Jollibee, and soon Jollibee might be coming to you. Every day, it becomes more popular. They are expanding to other states across the country. If you’re looking for unique cuisine that is affordable and family-friendly, Jollibee is the place for you.