Many people abstain from eating pork, beef, chicken, and other types of flesh on Good Friday, but why do they continue to slaughter and serve up our friends from the sea? Fish feel pain and fear and deserve our consideration, too, yet they are killed by the billions for food every year.
Commercial fishing has caused the extermination of 90 percent of large predatory fish populations. Hundreds of billions of fish—along with “nontarget” animals, including sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, and whales—are caught each year in ocean-ravaging nets or dragged for hours on longlines where ships unreel as many as 120 kilometers of line bristling with hundreds of thousands of baited hooks. Once hooked, some animals drown or bleed to death in the water, and many others struggle for hours until the boat returns to reel them in. Industrial fishing methods such as “bottom trawling” catch and kill thousands of fish at a time and wreak irreversible havoc on the sea floor.
As Easter approaches, we’ve compiled 10 picks for Manila restaurants that dish up delicious meat-free meals on Good Friday (and year-round). Serving everything from local Pinoy eats to Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Thai cuisine, these restaurants spare cows, pigs, chickens, and fish immense suffering by offering vegetarian options:
This all-vegan café serves up sandwiches, wraps, and create-your-own salads featuring hearty ingredients like homemade meaty seitan sausage—the perfect filling for Green Bar’s famous breakfast burrito.
Green Bar, inside the Beyond Yoga Building at Westgate Center (Filinvest and Commerce avenues), Alabang; 831-2211;
Green Bar Satellite Branch, Mezz 104 West of Ayala Bldg., 252 Gil Puyat, Makati; 885-7537; Facebook.com/GreenBarCafe
Beni’s Falafel’s signature dish features crispy falafel patties tucked inside a warm pita pocket and topped with salad and hummus—plus unlimited creamy tahini and all the spicy chili sauce you can handle.
Beni’s Falafel, 4634 Valdez St., Poblacion, Makati; 0906-349-1300; Facebook.com/Benis-Falafel-172344889586325
Daily Veggie n Cafe
The Daily Veggie boasts an extensive Chinese menu, including the Sizzling Tao Pao Roll—exquisite-looking mushrooms and veggies rolled in tofu skin and served on a hot sizzling plate. The Daily Veggie also sells soy-based vegan meats for home preparation.
Daily Veggie n Cafe, 114 Sto. Domingo Ave., Bgy. Siena, Quezon City; 711-8209; Facebook.com/DailyVeggie
Good Food Vegetarian
Good Food Vegetarian offers traditional Filipino food with a vegan twist. Highlights include vegan pork sinigang and vegan sisig, and the rotating menu changes daily. Each week’s offerings are published on Good Food’s Facebook page at the beginning of the week.
Good Food Vegetarian delivers to Quezon City, Makati, Mandaluyong, Ortigas, and Pasig; 0932-766-2206; Facebook.com/Good-Food-Vegetarian-1547050948904233
Spices offers a fine-dining experience with numerous vegan options—just hold the oyster sauce. Its wide variety of Southeast Asian specialties includes yam som-o, a refreshing pomelo salad tossed with lime, chili, and peanuts.
Spices restaurant at the Peninsula Manila hotel, on the corner of Ayala and Makati avenues, Makati; 887-2888; http://manila.peninsula.com/en/fine-dining/spices-asian-cuisine-restaurant
Green Dot Vegetarian Catering Service
Green Dot’s large vegan menu includes tasty samosas and the Good Friday–ready mock-fish curry. But Green Dot’s menu extends beyond its Indian specialties, offering everything from Indonesian nasi goreng to Italian pasta dishes such as the delicious vegan fettuccine Alfredo.
Green Dot Vegetarian Catering Service delivers anywhere within Metro Manila; 782-5264; GreenDotCatering.com
It’s easy to veganize the delicious burritos, nachos, and street tacos at El Chupacabra—just ask for no meat, cheese, or sour cream.
El Chupacabra, 5782 Felipe St., Makati; 895-1919 Facebook.com/Elchupacabraph
Greens Spot Café
Greens Spot’s menu of nourishing, affordable meals includes the popular pad Thai, the vegan Grilled Liempo, and the Heart Burger, which comes complete with Greens Spot’s signature egg-free Soyanaise.
Food Square Building, 51 Magiting St., Teachers Village, Quezon City; 577-3387; Facebook.com/greensspotcafe
A photo posted by Vinson Romeo (@akavince) on
This delivery service features vegan meats in its local Pinoy dishes, which include the popular vegan Lechon Kawali, vegan Filipino-style corned beef, and vegan tocino.
Greenery Kitchen delivers for lunch only; 0927-606-9983; Facebook.com/greenery.kitchen
Jasmine Restaurant offers an à la carte menu of authentic, healthy vegan Chinese dishes, including the Wok-Fried Abalone Mushrooms with Cashew Nuts and Black Pepper Sauce and the House Special Vegan Meat.
Jasmine Restaurant at Level 2, New World Makati Hotel, Esperanza St., corner Makati Ave., Ayala Center, Makati; 811-6888; http://manila.newworldhotels.com/en/promotions/promotions-dining/vegetarian-dishes-jasmine/