While previously overshadowed by other other Asian cuisines—such as Thai, Japanese, and Chinese—Filippino food is coming into popularity in the US. American food enthusiasts have begun to familiarize themselves with the delectable foods of this tropical archipelago of a country, but nothing compares to enjoying the food at its source. If your travels plant you inside of the metropolitan hustle of Manilla or upon the sandy beaches of El Nido, seek out these vegan-friendly restaurants to fuel your days.
1. Satya Graha Café and Restaurant, Los Baños
The nation’s capital may be the most vegan-friendly, but the province of Laguna also offers a medley of vegetarian restaurants with plenty of plant-based options. Among the local’s top picks is Satya Graha Café which serves up vegetarian versions of traditional Filippino cuisine. Try the Sizzling Mushroom Sisig, Soykatsu, or Vegchon Kawali.
2. Green Bar, Manilla
Find a little bit of everything at this Makati neighborhood vegan café; the menu includes burritos, a variety of deli sandwiches, and a build-a-bowl bar. Save room for dessert—an assortment of cupcakes, doughnuts, and cinnamon rolls is always on offer.
3. Tagaytay Highlands, Tagaytay City
When the mountains are calling, none can outshine the breathtaking views of this popular vacation destination. Tagaytay Highlands is the place to stay in the city, and the resort offers an abundance of vegan-friendly meals—from breakfast to dessert. With a dozen restaurants on the property spanning cuisines from traditional Filippino to Japanese to Cantonese, no vegan will go hungry.
4. The Wholesome Table, Manilla
While this consciously sourced chain does serve animal products, the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus all offer solid plant-based options. Try the berry or chocolate chia pudding for breakfast, the vegan cheese plate and carrot-pumpkin soup for lunch, and the vegan poke bowl for dinner. Complete your meal with a scoop of coconut or strawberry N’ice Cream.
5. Café Mediterranean, multiple locations
With eight locations in the Philippines, it’s easy to find plant-based options at this Mediterranean-inspired microchain. Both vegan and vegetarian dishes are clearly labeled, and they include far more than the expected hummus and pita. Start off with the Sample Plate of moutabal (an eggplant and tahini dip), foule (an Egyptian fava bean dip), and falafel—then move on to ratatouille or Mediterranean pasta. With so many options, you’re going to want to come back before you leave.
Angelo Castelda works as a contributor for a news magazine in Asia. He loves to learn and understand diverse cultures and aims to share through his writing his experiences around the world.
Photo credit: The Wholesome Table