Attend a Filipino food gathering and there’s one thing you’ll notice: the abundance of savory servings of meat.
The Filipino’s preference for meaty fare can make it troublesome for one to switch to a plant-based diet. Having been fed staples like adobo, kare-kare, and sinigang all our lives—and fondly so by our loved ones—can almost kick the idea of a plant-based diet to the curb.
But in this day and age, where documentaries on global warming, health, and animal welfare are readily available with just a few clicks and swipes, there is a greater impetus to make the ethical choice. And so came the burgeoning of vegan and vegetarian establishments that challenge the status quo.
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply curious on trying out healthy cuisine, here’s a list of restaurants with delicious fare that may just convert you for good.
1. The Vegetarian Kitchen
If you’ve got picky eaters with you—or if you consider yourself one—The Vegetarian Kitchen is the best place to dine in with their extensive range of vegetarian choices. Take your pick from their selection of American, Filipino, Japanese, and even Korean cuisines that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates. Must-tries include their delicious Bibimbap and their invigorating Guava Lemon Cooler—a perfect combo when craving comfort food. The restaurant’s colorful and brightly lit interiors also makes for an ideal venue for catchups with friends.
The Vegetarian Kitchen
62 Mother Ignacia St., Quezon City
(02) 819 9438
2. Pipino Vegetarian
In the low-key and unassuming neighborhood of Teacher’s Village in Quezon City, you’ll find a charming vegan restaurant that’s a perfect setup for a quaint date. Pipino Vegetarian is a go-to of vegans and non-vegans alike with their delicious range of starters, salads, pastas, burgers, main dishes, drinks, and desserts. Grab a bite of their bestselling Vegan Lasagna made of eggplant, malunggay, tofu, and zucchini and down it with their refreshing Pipino Shake. Take home their lip-smacking Vegan Cookies to share with loved ones, too!
39 Malingap St., Teacher's Village
(02) 441 1773
A steaming bowl of ramen can cure the most insistent cravings. At Wabi-Sabi, get your ramen fix and more with their reasonably priced dishes that taste just like the real thing. Have your fill of their Tantanmen and Shio Ramen, and order Gyoza on the side for a hearty meal. All their ramen toppings are substituted with vegan meat, but with their succulent flavors, you'll pleasantly forget that your meal is actually meat-free.
POS Building, Scout Mandriñan St.
corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle
(0918) 962 2935
4. Lucy in the Sky Café
Step inside this café and be greeted by quirky and playful interiors reminiscent of your childhood bedroom. Lucy in the Sky Café along Wilson Street in San Juan is a vegetarian café that shares its space with My Little Art Place, an events space that regularly holds art workshops for kids and kids at heart. Once you've settled down in a cozy spot, order their bestselling Sisig, My Momma’s Burger, and Palabok, and have your pick from the gluten-free items on their menu. With the creative atmosphere and yummy meals, it’s the perfect place to dine with your young ones and introduce them to delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals.
Lucy in the Sky
222 Wilson St., Brgy. Greenhills
(02) 370 4113
5. Agico Vegetarian Cafe
Are you losing hope in your search for vegetarian-friendly Japanese food? Say no more—Agico Vegetarian Cafe serves meat-free Japanese-inspired dishes that delight customers just as much as their non-vegetarian friendly counterparts. The restaurant’s mantra is simple: “to create vegetarian dishes that are healthy and delicious”, and by the looks of the rave reviews it receives online and through word of mouth, they seem to have no problem living up to their motto. Try their bestselling Takoyaki and Gyoza Dumplings in addition to their appetizing rice bowls, and freshen up with their raw freshly pressed juices.
Agico Vegetarian Cafe
8 Missouri St., Northeast Greenhills
(02) 216 9104
6. Hummus Elijah
If you’re a hummus lover, chances are you’ve probably already heard of this low-key restaurant tucked in Makati Avenue. Perfect for your pre-night out dinners or your post-night out meals, Hummus Elijah is a no-fail destination to satiate your hunger. With its modest interiors and welcoming staff, it gives the impression of a home that welcomes you just as you are. Grab a bite of their crowd favorite Hummus with Pita and their famous Falafel Sandwich, and try their Shakshuka and Labane that are perfect for sharing. Healthy, tasty, reasonably-priced, and vegetarian-friendly—what more can you ask for?
2/F 7850 Makati Avenue
(02) 802 1885
(0905) 313 4602
7. Green Bar
A breakfast of champions is yours at Green Bar, a hole in the wall nestled in West of Ayala’s mezzanine. Known for their Breakfast Burrito, the small-scale restaurant offers savory treats that will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike. Green Bar’s flavorsome recipes are made with fresh and organic ingredients, redefining what comfort food truly stands for. After savoring their Cheesy Mac Cracklin Burrito and BBQ Tofu, have a taste of their coffee (made with almond milk) and indulge on luscious doughnuts and cupcakes.
M-104, West of Ayala
Urban Avenue, Legaspi Village
(02) 885 7537
Just when you think Poblacion has run out of up-and-coming establishments, the district surprises you with new tricks up its sleeve. Walk along the street of P. Burgos and pay heed to a sign on a wall with an eye and an arrow above it. Climb the staircase it points to and enter Cosmic, a small yet cozy restaurant that offers quality vegan food at inexpensive prices. Order their bestselling Sisig with Bagnet and Vegan Lasagna, which customers say taste just like their meaty counterparts. Besides its delicious vegan meals, Cosmic's interiors are also noteworthy, as it is decked with distinctly Filipino-made furniture.
2/F 5057 P. Burgos St.
corner General Luna
(0946) 770 0000
For tips on discovering the best spots in the city, check out DG Traveler’s Manila section.
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