The Citiblog

Chef Suzanne Cupps Brings Her Filipino Heritage to Lola’s in Flatiron
April 4, 2024, 8:35.33 pm ET


Chef Suzanne Cupps

Lola’s, from Chef Suzanne Cupps, is now open in Flatiron. Lola’s is Chef Cupps first independent venture after working in some of New York City’s finest kitchens, including Annisa, Gramercy Tavern, Untitled, and 232 Bleecker. At Lola’s, Cupps tells a personal story of heritage and history, drawing inspiration from her Filipino-American background, South Carolina upbringing, and 15 years in professional kitchens.

Photos: Liz Clayman

Lola, meaning “grandmother” in Tagalog, the language of central Luzon in the Philippines, is named in honor of Cupps’ grandmother –Annunciasion "Noning" Rocamora Paraiso – whom she never got to meet but was tremendously inspired by. Noning’s story is one of resilience and tenacity, having fled her home during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. After ensuring the safe arrival of her children to a nearby island, she passed away, leaving behind a photograph and a jade stone that Suzanne wears as a pendant. Lola’s is a celebration of her grandmother's legacy, rather than her recipes.

Lola's eclectic menu seamlessly weaves together Southern and pan-Asian influences, paying tribute to the diverse experiences, especially her roots growing up in Aiken, South Carolina. The restaurant showcases her commitment to sourcing the finest ingredients and her profound appreciation for genuine hospitality. This ingredient-first approach is evident as she allows the natural flavors to take center stage.

Look for dishes like Southern Stuffed Littleneck Clams; Chilled Lemongrass Gulf Shrimp; Crispy Chicken Thighs with pantry pickles and fermented hot honey; Heritage Country Rib Skewers with baked beans and Carolina BBQ sauce; Stir-Fried Egg Noodles with early spring greens and silk chili crisp; and the Union Square Bento with banana squash + bacon jam, pink cabbage pancake and malt vinegar potatoes.

For dessert, Cupps is cooking up Chocolate + Black Sesame Pudding Cake with toasty meringue, Leche Flan, and Mutsu Apple Hand Pies with coconut caramel.

From the bar, guests will find a variety of highballs like the M&M (Mezcal + Montenegro); the Ferrari (Campari + Fernet); and a Shandy (Pilsner + Lemon); as well as cocktails like the Leche de Tigre (Mezcal, Ginger, Jalapeno); the Boozy Pandan Soda (Vodka, Pear, Calpico); and Suzanne’s Special (Cocchi Americano, Orange, Olives). Lola’s also features housemade sodas and shrubs, in addition to bottled kombuchas and non-alcoholic beer and wine.

The space designed by Ben Krone of Gradient Architecture includes a front bar made of ash with pale wood fluting underneath and mirrored back with ash shelving. To honor her grandmother, Cupps chose to feature jade green tiling throughout the open kitchen – a daily reminder of her lola’s strength and fortitude – more green tones can be found on the striking green terrazzo kitchen counter. Polished concrete floors, painstakingly restored from the restaurant's storied past, provide a sturdy foundation.

Lola’s is located at 2 West 28th Street, New York (646) 941-4787. For more information, visit