Whether it’s due to health concerns, environmental concerns or animal rights concerns, going vegan–that is, consuming only plant-based food–has gained more popularity in the Philippines in recent years. It used to be that when you asked for a vegetarian dish, you would get just a green salad.
But things have changed. Restaurants have noticed the clamor of vegans and vegetarians and have risen to the occasion. After all, healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless (or always in a shade of green). Today, there are more establishments offering vegetarian and vegan dishes to the health-conscious diner. Here, we list the must-try dishes in seven healthy restaurants in Metro Manila that you need to visit.
Greens has been around for 16 healthy years. The restaurant is one of the pioneers of vegetarian dining in the country and the beautiful gardens surrounding the restaurant make it conducive for mindful munching.
What you need to eat at Greens: Don’t pass up the chance to taste their vegetarian chicharon (P110). You won’t believe it’s not meat, but you’ll be happy it isn’t. Then indulge in the filling and flavorful shepherd’s pie (P120) that is a meal on its own.
Greens Restaurant is at 92 Sct. Castor St., Quezon City
Under the shade of an old narra tree, the Cafe serves an extensive international menu in an intimate setting. What started as a stall that used to be set up at the Sunday Legaspi Market and the American Women’s Bazaar became a beloved neighborhood cafe in 2009.
What you need to eat at Corner Tree Cafe: The Corner Tree starter plate (P295) will tickle your taste buds with different textures and flavors. Everyone raves about the baked tofu walnut burger (P345) that you can also have with add-ons like gruyere cheese and fried onions.
Corner Tree Cafe is at 150 Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati
From being a small part of the menu of parent restaurant Pino, Pipino tapped a growing demographic and found a niche in serving mostly Filipino dishes that they have turned vegan. On its 7th year, it continues to diversify its menu offerings.
What you need to eat at Pipino: You won’t miss the meat version after you have the pinakbet risotto (P265). Likewise, the tofu satay (P165) is a plateful of complete fuel for the day.
Pipino is at 39 Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
ALSO READ: 5 Best Places for Healthy Eats in NUVALI
This used to be just a stall at weekend markets (as Edgy Veggy). Luckily, Good Seed grew to become a full-fledged artisanal café and deli. They make available food that will support a Keto diet. They also regularly host wellness events.
What you need to eat at Good Seed Vegetarian Cafe: The pulled mushroom jambalaya (P300) is a crowd-pleaser. This one too: a Pinoy-favorite-inspired fix with the mushroom-based tapa with garlic brown rice (P270).
Good Seed Vegetarian Cafe is at 3 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig
Though they started primarily serving just coffee and tea, many of them sourced locally, the cafe now also offers vegan cakes and pastries. Now, they are slowly expanding their menu to include savory food. Watch out for special veggie meat meals that they roll out only on particular weekends.
What you need to eat at Kismet Cafe & Wellness Market: The Mexican burrito with nachos (P295) includes veggie meat and is dense and filling. The vegan pancakes (P195), with your choice of chocolate chips or peanut butter and bananas as topping, are a great morning pick-me-upper.
Kismet Cafe & Wellness Market is on Kalayaan Ave., Makati
It is only natural, because of their culture, for a lot of dishes in an Indian menu to be vegetarian. So it is no surprise that Little India serves only authentic vegetarian dishes. They use organic ingredients; never preservatives nor additives.
What you need to eat at Little India Healthy Cuisine: The vegetable biryani (P265) is a healthy version of the popular Indian specialty. The samosa (P80) is served hot and delicious dipped in the tamarind sauce.
Little India Healthy Cuisine is at 24-F Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
Though not a vegan restaurant, this new player in the restaurant scene uses local organic ingredients in all of their dishes. It offers two vegan-friendly dishes, though. You can choose to substitute tofu for chicken or prawns.
What you need to eat at Moxy: Start with the superfood salad (P240) with adlai and spinach. Then move on to the kimchi rice box (P270) which has that spicy kick.
Moxy is at Alphaland Makati Place, Makati
If, however, you prefer to enjoy your vegan or vegetarian food at home, Good Food Community can make it easier for you. Simply put, they are an online marketplace of organic vegetables grown by small holder farmers; you buy the produce online and pick it up at a designated pick-up point within Metro Manila. By subscribing to Good Food Community’s advocacy, you don’t only make sure that you are eating organically and ethically grown food. You will also be helping local farmers and contributing to the sustainability, conservation, and protection of local agricultural communities.