(SPOT.ph) Think you can survive without meat, dairy, and eggs? It might sound impossible, but a lot of folks now are going vegan. The shift is relatively easier compared to a decade or so ago as we’re now seeing more vegetarian- and vegan-friendly spots mushrooming around the Metro. Whether you’re completely going vegan or just want to go meatless every now and then, here are 10 spots you should check out.
Here’s a list of restaurants with vegan options:
Amidst the hip restos and bars in Poblacion is Cosmic, a vegan-vegetarian bistro and café that highlights Filipino culture through their food and décor. It sports a traditional yet updated look with oddly shaped acacia tables, rattan seats, and a wicker hanging chair to boot. Grab a nook and get comfy with a serving of their Vegan Spinach Lasagna (P200) that has all the components of the typical baked pasta dish minus the meat and dairy. You won’t miss them anyway with this lasagna’s tasty blend of vegan marinara, vegan béchamel, spinach, mushrooms, olive oil, and their version of “bacon bits,” made from gluten. Another dish that will wow you is their Sisig with Bagnet (P170), a mix of minced seitan (gluten), tofu, and the requisite onions and chilies. Top it off with their Vegan Leche Flan (P90), an egg-free dessert, which might just convert you if you’re not yet on the vegan bandwagon.
Cosmic is at 2/F 5057 P. Burgos Street corner Gen. Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Corner Tree Café
Corner Tree Café is one of the Metro’s first vegetarian haunts. It opened in 2009—way before the height of the trend—and has practically become an institution. This cozy little spot continues to serve comfort food with flavors from all over the world. Go for the Vegan Panini (P345), full of all the good stuff: carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and sprouts with hummus and vegan pesto between ciabatta bread. New on the menu is the Veg Laksa (P340), Singapore-style noodle soup with a rich coconut broth and optional quail eggs. Aside from the regular menu items, the café also features weekly specials inspired by international holidays and other current events, so watch for those.
Corner Tree Café is at 150 Jupiter Street corner Saturn Street, Bel-Air, Makati City; and Level R3 Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City.
Many go to Sweet Ecstasy for a quick burger fix—not only are they currently Metro Manila’s best burger, but they also recently made it to the top three of 50 best burgers in Asia. By now, you must be very familiar with their beefy cheeseburgers, but have you heard about their The Beyond Ecstasy Burger (P500)? It’s a meatless alternative with patties from Beyond Meat, lettuce, tomato, onion, and vegan cheese on a toasted vegan sponge bun that’s brushed with olive oil. The patties, which are made from pea protein isolate, are cooked the same way as their other beef sandwiches—generously seasoned with salt and pepper (sans MSG) before they are placed on a sizzling griddle. Consider this guilt-free choice the next time your burger cravings strike!
See a list of Sweet Ecstasy branches.
Mediterranean is known to be one of the world’s healthiest cuisines and that’s what Hummus Elijah brings to the table. Make sure to order the item that it’s named after: Hummus Elijah (P200/small; P250/large), a plate of spiced hummus with tahini, chickpeas, olive oil, and two pieces of pita bread. You can also opt for other variants with toppings like mushrooms, fava beans, and pine nuts. For the main dish, the Falafel Balls (P150), deep-fried chickpea balls served with tahini dip, are a simple yet tasty option. Pair the dish with Tabbouleh Salad (P170), a refreshing combination of bulgur, tomatoes, parsley, lemon, olive oil, and herbs, and you’re all set.
Hummus Elijah is at 2/F Commercial Building, 7850 Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City; and 5/F SM Aura Premier, C5 Road corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
You might think that the Green Bar is too “granola” for you, but you’ll soon discover that they serve vegan versions of familiar favorites here. Take the Breakfast Burrito (P300)—their version of this Mexican staple has scrambled tofu, roasted potatoes, mildly sweet seitan sausage, baby spinach, and a creamy vegan hollandaise sauce. Apart from readymade items, you can also build your own bowl (starts at P220) where you can choose your leafy base, grains, veggie toppings, protein, and dressing. Options include mixed greens, quinoa, chickpea salad, and balsamic vinaigrette.
Green Bar is at M-104, West of Ayala, Urban Avenue, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
Shoobie Sorbet is the country’s first vegan soft-serve sorbet, which is great news not just for vegans but also for those who are lactose intolerant. You’ll be amazed to find out that this creamy dessert only contains water and fruit juices, but can still satisfy your frozen treat cravings. Beat the heat and get your Strawberry (P89/small; P139/medium; P179/large) sorbet swirl fix in this modest mall kiosk. Or better yet, sample the Shoobie Bowl (P189), with sorbet topped with sliced bananas, walnut oat crumble, and chia pudding.
Shoobie Sorbet is at G/F Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
Although Planted has a short menu, you’re guaranteed all their ingredients are good for you. For a completely vegan meal, go for the Falafel Rice Bowl (P150), with falafels, turmeric rice, pickled onions, and greens. You can also opt for their Corned Beet (P150)—planted shreds and seasoned beets to resemble corned beef with pickled onions, and dairy-free cheese sauce sandwiched in between pan de sal buns.
Planted is at The Pantree Food Hall, JCSO Building, Dela Rosa Street corner Castro Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
The Wholesome Table
The Wholesome Table debunks the misconception that organic food lacks flavor. Here, you can eat and live consciously as their diverse menu offers something for everyone—vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, even refined sugar-free—and all items are labeled respectively. The Carrot-Pumpkin Soup (P180) is a nutritious vegan starter that is made even more special with goji berries and coconut cream foam. A more filling dish would be the Mushroom Paella (P670/solo; P1,290/to share), a Spanish specialty that features saffron arborio rice and a medley of veggies like asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, roasted pepper, and walnut chorizo.
See a list of The Wholesome Table branches.
The Good Seed by Edgy Veggy
From a weekend market stall, The Good Seed has evolved into a vegan/vegetarian café, commissary, and delivery service—all rolled into one concept. The food here is light, simple, and tasty, much like their clean and minimalist interiors. Go for the hearty Mushroom Meals (P320) where you can choose from Filipino favorites tapa, sisig, or longganisa—all of which are vegan and come with brown rice and salad. Or if you feel like getting something to warm up your belly, the Pho Noodle (P330) soup, with buckwheat noodles and tofu chunks swimming in mushroom miso stock, will whet your appetite. Plus, this bowl is gluten-free.
The Good Seed by Edgy Veggy is at 3 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Hidden beside a bookstore in BGC is Medley, a grab-and-go concept that is all about Mediterranean food in the form of warm bowls, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. Although the menu is pretty short, you’ll find a handful of vegan options like the Falafel Crunch (P249/med rice; P329/hummus and pita), a nourishing bowl of crunchy falafel, tabbouleh, corn salad, fried eggplant, beet salad, and tahini sauce. Should you prefer a salad, there’s the Baked Falafel Bite (P279) that almost has the same ingredients, but with the addition of chickpea salad and a baked falafel instead of a crunchy one.
Medley is at G/F Fully Booked, B6, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.