Vegetarian Dining in the Philippines

Posted on by PETA

Finding vegetarian restaurants in the Philippines is a piece of cake (vegan chocolate cake, that is!). If you’re dining out anywhere in the country, a great way to try new foods is to eat at restaurants that offer a variety of vegetarian entrées—and fortunately, there are lots to choose from!

At Chinese, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Thai, and other ethnic restaurants, you’ll find bean-curd (tokwa) dishes, vegetable fried rice, pasta, fabulous vegetable curries, lentil soup, potato-filled samosas, vegetable sushi, exotic dips, and other delights.

The following are some additional tips for finding great vegetarian food in any Philippine town:

  • If you’re stuck at a behind-the-times restaurant without many meat-free options, ask if the chef can whip up a vegetarian entrée. Some easy dishes include roasted eggplant, vegetable chop suey, pancit, kangkong adobo, and laing. Most restaurants will gladly accommodate special requests, and you’ll be surprised by the creativity of some chefs!
  • When dining at someone else’s house, let your hosts know in advance that you’re a vegetarian. Offer to bring a vegetarian dish to share, or buy some vegetables at a local market and prepare a dish for everyone to try.
  • Street stalls throughout the country offer meat- and dairy-free foods, such as banana-que (fried bananas), fried tokwa, cassava cakes, plain puto, kamote-que (fried sweet potatoes), turon, and suman.
  • Don’t forget—most Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlets offer soy milk as an alternative to cow’s milk in their drinks.

There are dozens of vegetarian restaurants scattered throughout the country. Try the following for some of the best vegetarian food in the Philippines!

  • Angeles City
    Healthy Vegetarian
    SPC Building (next to Chow King at the big circle intersection)
    Downtown Angeles (2009)
    0921 2402 555; 045 888 3419

    Healthy Vegetarian serves authentic Taiwanese vegetarian food, including many vegan options. Take-out is available, prices are reasonable, and the staff is friendly and helpful. Many locals—meat-eaters and vegetarians alike—say that Healthy Vegetarian is one of the best Asian restaurants in town!

    Linpopo Veggie Restaurant and Mini-Mart
    16-12 Grande Street
    Riverside Subdivision
    Barangay Anunas
    0905 311 1982; 045 321 0294

    Linpopo’s owners started their Chinese-influenced restaurant to show everyone just how delicious vegetarian food can be! Diners can eat outdoors in a garden setting; take-out is also available. The mini-mart sells wide range of faux-meat and faux-fish products—the soy barbeque is an absolute must-try!

  • Bacolod
    Sian Tian Food Center of the Bacolod Divine Institute of Chong Shu
    6100 Burgos Street at Lacson Street (near the YMCA)
    Negros Occidental

    Sian Tian is located in a temple, and with flat-bottomed spoons and wooden chopsticks provided for diners, your visit is sure to be a unique, authentic experience! À la carte menu options include stuffed tokwa, sweet-and sour “fish,” and savory potato salad, all served with healthy organic red rice. The temple also sells frozen mock meats, silken and firm tokwa, and fresh soy milk.

    Bacolod Veggies and Health Food Corner
    Centrum Mall (Downtown Bacolod, opposite Central Market)
    Negros Occidental

    Run by Seventh-Day Adventists, Bacolod Veggies offers a variety of à la carte Filipino-inspired dishes; many options include mock meats, whole-wheat bread, and/or soy milk. Take-out is available.

  • Baguio
    Azotea Greens
    La Azotea Building, 2nd Floor
    Session Road
    Baguio City

    This small, quaint café serves very reasonably priced vegetarian dishes that will give you a true taste of the Philippines and Baguio. Be sure to try the adobo, afritada, nilaga, kaldereta, ginataan, and the best-selling mushroom sisig. Azotea Greens also sells a variety of frozen mock meats, soy milk, cruelty-free body-care products from Human Nature, and dairy- and egg-free cookies from Love Bites.

    Bliss Café
    Hotel Elizabeth
    Gibraltar Street (corner of J. Felipe)
    Baguio City
    074 619 0367

    Bliss Café always seems to be packed with friendly people, perhaps because of its peaceful atmosphere and convenient location. The menu offer has something for everybody—from traditional Pinoy fare and merienda to international cuisine, with tastes from Seoul and Tokyo to Zurich and Mexico. Be sure to try the Energetic Embutido, which can be made vegan by opting for no cheese (even omnivores swear it’s better than the real thing). Bliss Café offers all-day brunch, with vegetarian classics such as scrambled tofu with soy sausage.

    Heaven on Earth Vegetarian Center
    Abanao Square, 4th Floor
    Abanao Street
    Baguio City

    Heaven on Earth, owned by local Rafael Wasan, was opened to encourage people to embrace a healthier lifestyle through vegetarian eating. It serves delicious Filipino-inspired dishes including adobo, afritada, and sisig; other dishes include faux meat and tokwa accented by fresh spices such as basil and oregano. Prices are very reasonable.

    Oh My Gulay!
    La Azotea Building, 5th Floor
    Session Road
    0918 667 6025

    Oh My Gulay! (owned by independent-film director Kidlat Tahimik) is well worth the trek up five flights of stairs at the La Azotea Building. With lush indoor gardens, breathtaking viewa, and art space, the restaurant is a tourist attraction in itself! Even nonvegetarians can’t help but love the lumpia salad—a mix of fresh lettuce and watercress tossed in Asian dressing and served alongside pieces of deep-fried lumpia filled with tofu, mushrooms, and vegetables. Oh My Gulay’s best-selling dish is the Pasta Primadonna (hold the cheese and butter), a robust mix of Baguio vegetables (beans, carrots, baby corn, cauliflower, green bell pepper, and tomatoes) topped with a sweet tomato sauce. It’s best paired with the restaurant’s delicious dayap iced tea.

  • Batangas
    The Farm, San Benito
    119 National Road
    Lipa City
    889 1150

    The restaurant at The Farm spa and resort offers extensive raw lunch and dinner buffets. Don’t let the “raw” factor scare you—this raw food is delicious! The elegant cuisine—made entirely from fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds prepared without cooking in order to retain nutritional value—will tempt your eyes and satisfy your palate. Delightfully creamy yet dairy-free pastas, rich soups, tangy stir-fries, and fresh salads blanket the buffet tables.

  • Boracay
    Prana at the Mandala Spa & Villas
    Boracay Island 5608
    036 288 5854

    With a focus on health, rejuvenation, and relaxation, the Mandala Spa in Boracay is the place to be when you really want to get away from it all. In keeping with its focus on health, the spa has a completely vegetarian restaurant serving classic cuisine that’s filling yet nutritionally balanced. Try the pan-fried tofu—which is served stir-fry-style with beans, asparagus, pechay, and sprouts and topped with peanut sauce and crushed peanuts. Another favorite is the pad Thai (hold the egg), which is topped with a sweet tamarind-based sauce and spring onions. Finish off the meal with a light dessert of scrumptious apple crumble.

  • Butuan
    Natural Health Care and Vegetarian Cuisine
    Cor. Gomez and M. Calo Street
    Butuan City
    085 360 1430

    Owned by a doctor, this restaurant offers healthy, reasonably priced vegetarian options in sparkling-clean setting. The menu features dairy-free carrot cake, veggie burgers, stir-fries, and more.

  • Cavite
    244 Buck Estate (at Metro Manila)
    Alfonso, Cavite City
    0919 860 0389

    Set inside a private garden hideaway in Tagaytay near Sonya’s Garden restaurant, Rohini’s relaxing atmosphere and gourmet cuisine are not to be missed. Lunch is served as an eight-course meal with drinks and dessert for around P600. Call ahead for reservations.

    Nature’s Original
    Km. 53 Gen. E. Aguinaldo Highway No. 082
    Brgy. Buho, Silang
    Cavite City

    Vegetarian grocery store Nature’s Original offers local candies and sweets, herbal teas, barako coffee, vegetarian cookbooks, cocoa tablets, and a variety of frozen and dried mock meats.

  • Laguna
    Vita Grazia Vegetarian Grocery
    Santa Rosa, Laguna
    049 837 6710

    Vita Grazia offers frozen, dried, and ready-to-eat mock-meat products; soy milk; vegetarian oyster sauce; and fresh juices.

  • Lucban
    Steps to Eden
    102A Mabini Street
    Quezon Province
    042 540 2440

    This restaurant offers a wide variety of vegetarian menu items, including veggie burgers, salads, casseroles, organic pasta, fresh juices, and shakes as well as raw-food options (dine-in or take-out). Cleansing and rejuvenation programs are also available.

  • Naga City
    Green Earth Café
    Third Street cor. Soriano Avenue
    Villa Sorabella Subdivision (4400) at Concepcion Grande
    Naga City
    054 475 5018; 09285505246

    This quaint café with a relaxed atmosphere serves an extensive array of salads, burritos, stir-fries, pasta dishes, pizzas, and nachos. Outdoor seating is available in a peaceful garden setting.

  • Olongapo City
    Hapilife Healthy Food Corner
    18 Corpuz Street
    W. Tapinac, 2200
    Olongapo City
    0919 807 0968

    Tucked away on a quiet street in Olongapo is this little gem of a restaurant, which offers great food at very reasonable prices as well as excellent service. The range of tempting options includes vegetarian “steak,” “tuna,” “drumstick,” and “roast duck” mock-meat combo meals; meat- and dairy-free versions of traditional Filipino fare, including adobo, sisig, pancit miki, and misua soup; and detoxifying fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

    Ro-Dhel Vegetarian Restaurant
    Public Market, Lot 10 Blk. 13
    Mayumi Street (in front of Conti-J)
    Olongapo City
    0917 512 1499

    Ro-Dhel serves healthy Chinese- and Indian-inspired vegetarian food and drinks, including carrot juice and fresh green salads. Herbal products are also available.

  • Puerto Princesa
    Ima’s Gulay Bar
    46 Fernandez Street
    0920 533 3210
    Puerto Princesa

    The menu at Ima’s Gulay Bar boasts such a wide variety of dishes that it’s hard to choose just one! From pizza, Mexican-style burritos, and jambalaya to fresh salads, filling soups, and a variety of sandwiches and veggie burgers, you’re likely to find whatever you’re craving at Ima’s! Try the spicy-bean burger, curried-tofu sandwich, or sausage fajitas (hold the cheese and sour cream). If you’re in the mood for something different, try the spicy okra and mango pasta. Finish off your meal with a delicious soy shake, available in a variety of fruit flavors as well as coffee, carob, and ginger.

    Suma Ching Hai Vegetarian Restaurant
    79 Burgos Street
    Puerto Princesa City
    048 433 9248

    This vegetarian restaurant is operated by followers of the Supreme Master religion.

  • San Fernando
    Nature’s Bounty Vege Café
    213 Cuyugan Street (2000) (at Gen. Hizon Avenue)
    San Fernando
    045 961 4761

    Nature’s Bounty is a vegetarian restaurant that aims to educate people as well as feed them. Lectures on health, nutrition, and disease prevention are offered on Sundays. Various publications on health and nutrition are also available for sale.

  • Santa Rosa
    Vita Grazia Vegetarian Grocery
    B8 L16 Myna Road
    Southdrive Village, Santa Rosa City
    917 826 5826

    Vita Grazia offers frozen, dried, and ready-to-eat mock meat products; soy milk; vegetarian oyster sauce; and fresh juices.

  • Makati
    Bodhi (aka Evergreen)
    Branch in SM Makati

    If you’re craving traditional Pinoy food, head to the nearest Bodhi stall. Fortunately, they’re easy to find; stalls are located in many Metro Manila malls. Bodhi offers great vegetarian food at affordable prices—try vegetarian versions of Pinoy dishes such as kare-kare, menudo, and afritada. Pure and simple, Bodhi’s mock meats have it all over the “real thing.”

    Corner Tree Café
    150 Jupiter Street
    Bel-Air Village
    Makati City
    0917 848 1004

    This small café has a homey feel and comfort food that’s also healthy. Choose from the extensive menu of filling soups, fresh salads, and wholesome entrées, including stews, burgers, ethnic cuisine, and pasta. Corner Tree even has a Filipino dish of the month! Start off your meal by sharing the Starter Plate, a combination of Egyptian dukka and white-bean hummus served with chunks of whole-wheat bread and vegetable sticks. The Tofu Walnut Burger, served with sweet-potato fries or an organic green salad, is an absolute must-try.

    Magic Bread Vegetarian Store
    25 Bautista Street (cor. Buendia Avenue)
    Palanan, Makati City
    887 7921

    If you want dairy-free breads and baked delights, look no further than the Magic Bread Vegetarian Store, where you’ll find yummy treats and fresh-baked breads. And because they’re delicious and healthy, you won’t feel guilty about indulging!

    Wabi Sabi Noodle House and Vegetarian Grocery
    7274 Malugay Street, Brgy.
    San Antonio, Makati City

    Wabi Sabi serves Japanese- and Chinese-inspired dishes including ramen with “fish” balls and chunks of mock meat, dumplings, sipao (Chinese-style stuffed buns), vegetarian chicharon, and more.

  • Metro Manila
    Barbara’s at the Orchidarium
    Rizal Park, Maria Orosa Street cor. Finance Street
    (located inside the park; enter via Finance Street or Maria Orosa)
    522 9507

    Barbara’s is a Taiwanese-style restaurant that offers a buffet—including soups, appetizers, and tofu and vegetable dishes—for P199 per person.

    Blissful Belly
    (formerly Satya’s Vegetarian Junction)
    Llanar Building, 2nd Floor
    77 Xavierville Avenue
    Quezon City
    426 6363

    If you want great-tasting vegetarian food with a local flair, look no further than Blissful Belly! The menu features great takes on classic Filipino dishes such as sisig and adobo, and the desserts and shakes are to die for! With its serene and peaceful ambience, Blissful Belly also offers diners a respite from the hustle and bustle of Quezon City.

    Bodhi (aka Evergreen)
    Outlets at SM Cubao, SM North EDSA, SM MegaMall, SM South Mall, SM City Manila, SM Makati, Tutuban Center, and Banawe Street cor. Del Monte Avenue

    If you’re craving traditional Pinoy food, head to your nearest Bodhi stall. Fortunately, they’re easy to find; stalls are located in many Metro Manila malls. Bodhi offers great vegetarian food at affordable prices—try vegetarian versions of Pinoy dishes such as kare-kare, menudo, and afritada. Pure and simple, Bodhi’s mock meats have it all over the “real thing.”

    Country Vegefoods
    161 Luna Mencias Avenue
    San Juan, Metro Manila
    724 4379; 723 8614; 727 5763

    Country Vegefoods is a grocery store that offers mock-meat products and other vegetarian options.

    Daily Veggie N’ Café
    540 Banawe Street (cor. Calamba Street)
    Quezon City
    711 8209; 711 3214

    Tucked away in Quezon City, Daily Veggie N’ Café is a haven for vegetarians. If you love the taste of meat but hate the cruelty and cholesterol that comes with it or if you want to introduce meat-eaters to some flavorful and fabulous flesh-free fare, this could be the place for you. Try the curry (on its own or with noodles), the sweet-and-sour nuggets, and the sizzling fillet.

    Dr. Tam’s Vegan House
    Metrowalk, 2nd Floor
    Meralco Avenue
    Metro Manila
    With upscale ambience but affordable prices, Dr. Tam’s menu includes scrumptious traditional Filipino fare (such as mechado, bopis, and kare-kare) made with mock meats and served with brown or red rice. Dairy-free desserts and packaged snacks are also available.

    Green Wok Deli & Café
    70 Kamuning Road
    Quezon City
    382 7018

    If no one told you that all the food at Quezon City’s Green Wok Deli & Café (GWDC) is vegetarian, you’d never know! This small street-side carinderia sells traditional Filipino cuisine that packs all the flavor of meat-based dishes but lacks the cruelty and cholesterol. Menu items include barbecue, caldereta, pancit malabon, and vegetarian curry. Favorites of PETA’s staff include the GWDC Adobo and the Green Wok Sisig. The Vegetarian Humba—GWDC’s take on the traditional sweet-and-sour braised dish and made with faux-meat cutlets, laurel leaves, saba, and banana blossoms—is another must-try. For the truly adventurous, try the Black Bean Nuguan, a thick and chunky vegetarian version of dinuguan made with black beans, radishes, eggplant, and tofu. Green Wok also sells a selection of fruit- and herb-based drinks and has one of the best veggie burgers in Metro Manila. It’s a great place to show nonvegetarian friends and family members just how hearty and flavorful vegetarian cuisine can be!

    Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Café
    92 Sct. Castor (off Tomas Morato)
    South Triangle, Quezon City
    413 2705

    A visit to Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Café, located in the heart of Quezon City, is a truly memorable experience. It’s hard to say which is better: the tempting traditional sisig and embutido dishes or the mouthwatering modern fare, such as the clubhouse sandwich and various veggie burgers. But one thing is certain—the vegan chocolate cake is taste experience guaranteed to be the subject of daydreams for weeks to come.

    Happy Veggie Health Food
    958 Masangkay Street
    245 9257

    If you want a vegetarian-only Chinese café, then look no further than Happy Veggie Health Food. The food is delicious and healthy, prices are inexpensive, and the staff is super-friendly. Happy Veggie’s extensive menu includes pictures of each dish so that you can see exactly what you’re getting!

    Heavenly Grace
    (near Sakya School and Metropolitan Hospital)
    1451 G. Masangkay Street (near Bambang Street, Tondo)
    252 6852

    Heavenly Grace offers delicious vegetarian food at great prices!

    Kong Tiak
    27 Macopa Street
    Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City
    732 1917; 0917 608 7362 (cell)

    Kong Tiak serves vegetarian Chinese food that is delicious, healthy, and affordable. Open for lunch and dinner, Kong Tiak offers vegetarian stir-fries, mock-meat dishes, and more.

    Manila Sanitarium Hospital
    Ground Floor, 45 Donada Street (cor. San Juan Street)

    This unique vegetarian-only cafeteria is located inside a Seventh-Day Adventist hospital. Although it may seem like an unusual location, the food is worth the trip. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack on the run or just a break from the hustle and bustle of Pasay City, be sure to stop in and try it.

    Quan Yin Chay
    821 Masangkay Street
    243 3356

    This Chinese restaurant specializes in mock meats—including “fish,” tempura “shrimp,” and even “shark-fin” soup! The restaurant is 100 percent vegetarian, and the majority of the dishes are vegetable- or soy-based. The food is great and inexpensive!

    Soy Yummy
    SM MegaMall, Ortigas Center
    (just inside the southeast ground floor entrance)
    Mandaluyong, Metro Manila

    Soy Yummy operates small food booths in multiple SM and other Metro Manila malls. The chain offers soy milk in regular, chocolate, and melon flavors as well as several soy fruit shakes and taho.

    Varona Vegetarian Health Foods
    2008 Leveriza Street
    Pasay City
    525 0389; 536 7426

    Varona Vegetarian Health Foods has a canteen offering lots of vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options as well as a fantastic store with a huge range of mock meats. For just P175, you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet meal. Free cooking lessons and vegetarian seminars with nutritionist Dr. Blessy Varona are also available; call for schedules.

    15-B K-H Street
    West Kamias, Quezon City
    435 3465; 433 4364

    Looking for the perfect vegetarian fish sauce? Vegemix has exactly what you need! This vegetarian restaurant also has its own store where you can buy everything from mock meats to vegetarian sauces.

    Veggie Planet
    ABS-CBN Mother Ignacia Street
    Quezon City
    379 5665

    Veggie Planet serves vegetarian-friendly pastas, panini sandwiches, salads, and Asian rice meals.

    Veggie to Go
    168 Mall Food Court, 3rd Floor
    Divisoria, Manila

    Veggie to Go offers inexpensive vegetarian meals (P60, with two viands). Check with the cook about vegan options, as some dishes contain egg white and dairy ingredients.