If you’re considering vegan-friendly cuisine or just leaning towards eating less meat, it’s good to know that a plant-based diet is a good way to reduce your impact on the planet.
A vegan diet comes with many benefits – in health and the environment. It can help lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, and lower the risk of chronic diseases. In addition, an individual who eats a vegan diet daily help save 45 pounds of grain, 1100 gallons of water, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent and saves an animal from slaughter.
Thankfully, more plant-based restaurants are sprouting up in the Metro, not just for vegetarians but anyone who’s interested in trying out meat-free fares. To help satisfy your curiosity (and cravings), Viable.Earth listed down some of the most popular vegan-friendly restaurants in Metro Manila.
8 vegan-friendly restaurants to visit in Metro Manila
Lucy in the Sky Cafe
Location: 222 Wilson, San Juan, 1502 Metro Manila.
Bestsellers: Beanagoongan, Scream vegan chocolate cake.
Located right next to the popular Greenhills shopping centre, this artsy cafe in San Juan has bright, colourful, and cozy interiors that make customers feel like they’re inside a dollhouse.
Kids can have a blast (and parents too) in this resto because it offers fun art workshops like drawing or painting to keep them busy. The workshops do need to be scheduled beforehand.
A vegan cafe specialising in Filipino cuisine, it serves special takes on palabok (Filipino noodles with ground annatto, alt-shrimps, eggs, and chicharrones), binagoongan (salted alt-shrimps with alt-pork chink stew), and tocino (fried sweet alt-pork). Regular patrons highly recommend the cafe’s Scream vegan chocolate cake for a scrumptious dessert.
The cafe also offers ready-to-eat frozen meal packs, party sets, and whole cakes to go.
Location: G/F, 4980 P. Guanzon, Poblacion, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila.
Bestsellers: Vegan bagnet, vegan Kare-kare.
One of Poblacion Makati’s hidden gems, this quaint plant-based restaurant is located beneath the business skyscrapers of the metropolitan district. An upmarket cafe ambience offers a wide variety of Filipino and global cuisines. With dishes ranging from vegetarian Kare-Kare (peanut curry) to vegan lasagnas.
This restaurant consistently sees a long queue on peak days despite the discreet location. The meals are surprisingly affordable, and meals that taste and look like their “meat versions”.
They have versions of popular tapsilog (alt-beef strips, egg, fried rice) and even sinigang (alt-pork, veggies, sour soup). Even omnivores and carnivores, says the company, would forget they’re eating vegan.
The restaurant also offers vegan desserts like caramel custard and brownies.
Author’s note: Of course, I got curious! Despite being an omnivore, I do try to squeeze vegan cuisine into my diet. I admit they do taste good. So I dropped by the restaurant to personally try their food.
Location: 39 Malingap, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, 1101 Kalakhang Maynila.
Bestsellers: Vegetarian kare-kare, pochero.
Located in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City, Pipino is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant run by the same owners of Pino restaurant. The latter offers more carnivore, meat-centric dishes.
Pipino means “cucumber” in Filipino and specialises in plant-based meals sourced from local fruits and vegetables. Its bestsellers include vegetarian Kare-kare (peanut stew) and pochero, a Filipino-Spanish casserole made from mock beef, tomato soup, carrots, sweet potatoes, and greens)
Location: 106 Aguirre Street, Greenbelt Radisson, Legaspi Village, Makati, Philippines.
Bestsellers: Vegan doughnuts, Havana cupcake.
The Green bar is a plant-based cafe and restaurant located in Makati City. Established in 2014 by sisters Sarada and Jaderani Santos, the cafe initially opened with dishes from family recipes and a vegan deli.
“Plant-based food isn’t just boring salads!” shared the sisters. “We’re determined to create a creative and familiar menu and, most importantly, full of flavour.”
Since its launch, the restaurant has expanded its menu, focusing on Southern Californian-inspired comfort cuisine. The menu includes breakfast and brunch favourites like the Chickpea omelette and breakfast sandwich, BBQ tofu sandwich and Barbacoa tacos. It also serves generous veggie bowls like Hollywood Bowl and the Adlai Gold Bowl.
The cafe’s deep-fried doughnuts have also gained a cult following for their fluffy consistency and unique flavours that change daily. Another bestseller is their Havana cupcake – a coconut cream filled vegan cake that won Peta’s best cupcake award.
Corner Tree Cafe
Location: 150 Jupiter, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila.
Bestsellers: Thai veg curry, Baked tofu burger steak, Spaghetinni with broccoli and pine nuts.
The restaurant was established in 2009 when its owner, Chiqui Mabanta, wanted to offer a cozy cafe that would serve tasty vegan comfort food. Its location provided the name because Corner Tree Cafe is located next to a Narra tree on the corner of Jupiter Street.
“You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy our delicious food,” shares Mabanta.
The vegan cafe serves food from Asia to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. It also offers alcoholic beverages like beer and cocktails.
Since its launch, the cafe has attracted various customers from office workers, teenagers, the elderly, healthy eaters, and even curious carnivores. Even kids have their special menu, including spaghetti and alt-meatballs, buttered pasta and cheese, grilled cheese sandwich, and peanut butter and banana monkey rolls (no monkeys harmed).
Location: 2078 E Pascua, Makati, 1204 Metro Manila.
Bestsellers: Bopis, Menudo.
Greenery Kitchen is known for its affordable ready-to-eat frozen meals and diet deliveries, offering a wide variety of plant-based dishes from vegan adobo (Filipino alt-pork/alt-chicken stew) to vegan corned beef.
Aside from food deliveries, the kitchen also has a dine-in restaurant that offers a 100 per cent vegan menu that uses plant-based meat-like Vital Wheat Gluten and Meat Magic, all made in-house.
According to the restaurant, its plant-based meat is healthy as long it’s part of a well-rounded diet. A 100g serving of mock meat has about 141 calories and 25 grams of protein, making it comparable to the amount of protein in chicken or beef. However, it’s not gluten-free, so it’s not suitable for people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
The restaurant’s best sellers include Bopis (minced alt-pig lungs), nilaga (beef broth), and menudo (alt-pork and alt-liver stew).
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