Whenever we find out someone’s vegetarian, the usual reaction is to bombard them with questions like “Where do you get your protein?” and “How do you live without bacon?!”
Committing to this permanent lifestyle change gives way to the common misconception that you’re missing out on a lot, but what meat-eaters don’t know is that you’re perfectly fine and that your food is just as great as theirs!
So for the vegetarians out there, here’s a list of the 10 all-time best vegetarian restaurants in Metro Manila where you can bring your friends to. It might just help them understand that your life ain’t bad at all!
10. Country Vegefoods
This restaurant doubles up as a grocery store and it’s got everything a hungry vegetarian could ever need. With frozen goods like frankfurters, tapa, tocino, and burgers (all made from wheat and soy protein), you’d never run out of recipe ideas for your next healthy meal. But if you’re not in the mood to cook, take a seat and simply order from their menu!
Dishes are freshly cooked here with a different selection per day. Sometimes you get to grub on tofu sisig and vegetarian meat spring rolls, and other days you get surprised with sausage pastel and adobo. But the prices here are constantly wallet-friendly. For dessert, get yourself a cup of their chilled taho for just ₱12.75!
Country Vegefoods can be found at 161 Luna Mencias St., San Juan, Metro Manila.
9. Gandiva Cafe and Archery Range
If you’ve always fantasized about shooting bows and arrows as a kid but your parents never allowed it (for obvious reasons), you can fulfill that dream at Gandiva! Here you can channel your inner Katniss or Legolas and show off your aiming skills!
But what not a lot of people know about Gandiva is that it’s not just an archery range. It actually doubles up as a vegetarian restaurant! After you’ve exhausted yourself from all the action, reward yourself with dishes like their Roasted Vegetable Pasta, Pesto Pasta, Four Cheese Pizza, or Tomato Basil Pizza.
But what you really need to try is their sisig. Marjorie G. raves about it in her looloo review, saying it tasted anything but tofu!
Gandiva Cafe and Archery Range can be found on the 7/F of One Corporate Center, Julia Vargas Ave. cor. Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila.
8. Likha Diwa Vegetarian and Seafood Cafe
Whoever says that vegetarians only eat salads have obviously never been to Likha Diwa. This humble, little eatery in UP Diliman has impressed many with its ability to take typical meat dishes and turn them into something completely healthy and vegetarian. In here, you get to indulge in things like Kare-Kare, Bicol Express, Dinuguan, and Sisig sans the guilt.
Be sure to watch out for their Saturday buffets they hold from 11AM to 2PM and 5PM to 8PM. The fun part is you get surprised with a different theme per week! Abby R. said on her looloo review that so far, she has tried the Vietnamese, Filipino, and Women’s Day themes and has yet to be disappointed.
Likha Diwa Vegetarian and Seafood Cafe can be found at 1 Lt. J. Francisco St., Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
If we could all cook the way SUSI does, then none of us would mind switching to a plant-based diet. This restaurant is living proof that looks and flavor do not need to be sacrificed for the sake of better nutrition. Creativity runs wild here as seen in the way they use vegetables to imitate the taste and texture of different food items.
A popular pick at SUSI is The Gaudi, a raw lasagna made with layers of zucchini, pesto, cashew cheese, and raw marinara. You wouldn’t mind foregoing real pasta for this! If you’re into meatloaves, take a bite of The Emerson and be blown away. It’s hard to believe that this baked lentil-mushroom loaf served with ratatouille and mashed potatoes has zero meat.
SUSI can be found on the G/F of Bellagio 2, Forbestown Rd., Burgos Circle, Taguig, Metro Manila.
6. The Vegetarian Kitchen
It’s no secret that Filipinos thrive on meat because almost all of our dishes use it as a main ingredient. Knowing this, The Vegetarian Kitchen has taken our love for beef, pork, and chicken and used that to cook up dishes with a healthier twist. If you didn’t know you were chewing on veggie meat, you’d swear they were the real thing. Deception at its finest!
Start your meal with the Spinach and Cream Cheese Dumplings, their most popular appetizer, and then order up their best-selling Caldereta in Gata and Lengua in Mushroom Sauce for your mains. These entrees are all packed with the flavors and textures we grew up with, making it hard to believe they’re purely vegetarian!
The Vegetarian Kitchen can be found at 65 B Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila.
5. Edgy Veggy
It’s impossible to run out of food choices at Kapitolyo, but when you’re vegetarian, picking a place to eat could get tricky. Good thing Edgy Veggy branched out from its stall in Legazpi Sunday Market to open up a space in Kapitolyo where herbivores can get their grub on. Owned by agriculturist Denise Celdran, the ingredients for her restaurant are freshly handpicked from her natural farm in Nasugbu, Batangas.
To warm up your belly, get yourself a bowl of their Laksa which takes rice noodles, tofu chunks, and vegetables and combines them in a spicy coconut lemongrass broth. For the main chow, you can easily get full with their Vegan Longganiza Panino, craftily made with mushrooms for that meaty flavor, and their Big Burger Burrito, a flour tortilla wrap stuffed with barbecue beans and mushroom sausage.
Edgy Veggy can be found at 3 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig, Metro Manila.
4. Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe
The healthy lifestyle can take a toll on the wallet because organic vegetables and mock meat don’t exactly have the friendliest price tags. But Greens understands the struggle and has come up with affordable entrees that vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike can appreciate. Even James F. who’s not the biggest fan of veggie meat said on his looloo review that the food in this quaint hideaway has turned him into a convert.
A visit to Greens wouldn’t be complete without sampling their tastiest dishes. One of which is the Vegetarian Barbecue (you get 2 sticks for just ₱100!) that can fool anyone into thinking they’re sinking their teeth into succulent pork covered in tangy sauce. You also can’t miss their ₱155 Sisig, complete with the salty-sour crunch you’d get with real sizzling pork.
Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe can be found at 92 Sct. Castor St., South Triangle, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
3. Agico Vegetarian Cafe
Meat-eaters know that burgers are all the rage in the country right now. But as much as we can’t get enough of them, the calories pile on with every bite and so do the pounds. It doesn’t mean we have to completely deprive ourselves though because Agico has come to the rescue with healthier versions of this well-loved food item. Some of their creations include the Pinoy Best Burger which has “sisig” in it and the Bacon Mushroom Burger with bacon strips so real like you wouldn’t believe!
Agico’s also got chops for cooking up vegetarian versions of popular Japanese dishes. Try their Philadelphia Torch Maki, Beef Ramen, and Katsudon for a full-blown healthy but fulfilling meal. Jonna B. said on her looloo review that Agico has made her transition into vegetarianism a lot more delicious and less of a distressing experience.
Agico Vegetarian Cafe can be found at 83 Araullo St., Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila.
2. Pipino Vegetarian Food
Maginhawa’s Pino is skilled in luring in carnivores with big plates of their glorious meat entrees. But for vegetarians, or those who want to work up to someday becoming one, its healthier twin Pino would be a great place to indulge without that pang of remorse after. You’re not going to feel like you’re at a disadvantage either because Pino’s menu is robust in variety, which means you’re not going to get stuck with a plate of lettuce and carrot sticks.
For a nutritious start, order up a serving of their Tofu Lemongrass Skewers drizzled with garlic-chili sauce and topped with alfalfa, or their Kamote Croquettas flavored with aioli and cashew cheese sauce. Follow up your appetizer with their best-selling Vegetable Kare-Kare served with vegan bagoong brown rice. Don’t worry, their bagoong is made with red beans so you can have as much of it as you want!
Pipino Vegetarian Food can be found at 39 Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
1. Corner Tree Cafe
We wouldn’t normally use the words “healthy” and “hearty” in the same sentence but Corner Tree Cafe is exactly that. This cozy nook in Jupiter, Makati has found a way to make simple, down-to-earth dishes that don’t only do the body good but satisfy the stomach and comfort the soul as well. From yogis, to corporate professionals, to the more bagets crowd, it draws in anyone and everyone who wants to make better food choices, even if it’s just for one meal. That said, call and reserve ahead of your visit because this tiny restaurant can only take in so much at a time.
Whet your palate with refreshing and flavorful appetizers like the Veg Dumplings, Spinach Feta Croquettes, and Quinoa Salad. Reserve space though because their mains will take up a lot if it. On looloo, the favorite pick from Corner Tree seems to be the Baked Tofu Walnut Vegan Burger which has left a lot of us a lot scratching our heads in wonder. How can something so healthy be so darn delicious? You also can’t go wrong with the Arroz a la Cubana, Veg Bibimbap, and Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna.
Corner Tree Cafe can be found at 150 Jupiter St. cor. Saturn St., Makati, Metro Manila.