At the beginning of 2020, I dedicated a full day of meatless meals. While the thought of it scared me as a meat lover, I was actually surprised at how easy it was. Case in point, there was this one week where I found myself having my seventh meatless meal in a week. What even surprised me is how appetizing the dishes are — I didn’t feel deprived at all.
Whether you’re trying to have those Meatless Mondays or giving up meat for good, it surely is overwhelming. In my case, I have some friends and Facebook groups like Manila Vegans to thank for truly amazing recommendations. If you’re stuck and have no idea where to start, here’s a guide where you can order these delicious dishes in Manila for a wholesome and healthy feast.
Sisig with Bagnet
A hidden gem in Poblacion, Cosmic veganizes your favorite dishes and has become a go-to restaurant whenever I’m in the area. Everything on their menu is a must-try but the star is their Sisig with Bagnet (P190). They fry the seitan and tofu until they achieve a beautiful golden brown color and topped with white onions, chilis, and of course, calamansi. You can add more chili if you like. Make sure to order a cup (or two) of their garlic rice!
Where to buy: Cosmic
I’m not going to lie, I was surprised how huge their Chickun Nuggets (P200/6pcs; P395/12pcs) are. But Better serves your favorite fast food meals like burgers, pasta, and nuggets. Their Veggie Chickun Nuggets are made with jackfruit and dips are made from scratch in-house and are 100% plant-based. A favorite of mine is the Vegan Aioli and Vegan Cheese!
Where to buy: But Better
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Craving for ramen? Wabi Sabi has bowls of ramen you’ll be surprised are actually vegan. Their best-seller is the Tantanmen (P245) made with sesame paste, veggie broth, minced veg meat, and greens. There’s also the Tonyu Ramen (P275) which has a creamy soymilk soup, braised shrooms, menma, kelp, and greens. Some of the dishes are vegetarian but can be veganized upon request.
Where to buy: Wabi Sabi
An ultimate favorite among Theejay’s Barbecue is of course, the BBQ (P35). The meat is made of soy protein and wheat flour and is then marinated with soy sauce, mushroom, sugar, salt, and herbs. This barbecue is a proof that vegetarian isn’t boring and you can even eat as much you would like without the guilt!
Where to buy: Theejay Barbecue
A vegetarian since birth, the owner serves homegrown vegetarian dishes their family has developed through the years. They have Filipino favorites like Tocino, Longganisa, and Barbeque, but the ultimate must-try is their Palabok (P195/solo; P850/tray).
Where to buy: Lucy in the Sky
Taco Rice Bake
If you’re still not over that rice bake trend, Pipino Veg has something vegan-friendly for you. The Taco Rice Bake (P595) has layers of brown rice, chili con, nacho chips, and topped with vegan cheese sauce, aioli, and salsa. They also serve a vegan Embotido Rice Bake!
Where to buy: Pipino Veg
Chef Carlo Miguel’s burgers has always been a favorite of mine. They have their best-selling Umami Burger and Bleu Cheese Burger, and offer a meat alternative option by using Beyond Meat patties. These burgers taste exactly the same as their beef burgers, it’s amazing! While you’re at it, make sure you get the Onion Rings with their signature beast ketchup.
Where to buy: Burger Beast
The Greenery Kitchen’s vegan version of the famous Middle Eastern dish, Shawarma Rice (P160) is as tasty as its non-vegan version of it. A serving has a generous amount of minced veg meat, diced tomatoes, cucumber, and white onion, and drizzled with garlic white sauce that’s made in-house.
Where to buy: Greenery Kitchen
Urban Fresh’s Rolled Up Lasagna (P320) is layered with soy ricotta, fresh tomato marinara, and loads of vegetables. Everything is made from scratch and guaranteed there’s no MSG and preservatives. The restaurant serves sandwiches, pasta, and rice meals which can be made vegan upon request.
Where to buy: Urban Fresh Vegetarian Kitchen
This is definitely what kbbq dreams are made of. If you’ve been looking for a healthier version of the traditional Samgyupsal. The Sexy Kitchen has 100% Plant-based Samgyupsal! For only P450 per person, you can enjoy a flavorful spread of plant-based meat with your all-time favorite sides.
Where to buy: The Sexy Kitchen by B
Did we miss any of your favorite plant-based dishes? Let us know in the comments and we’ll definitely try them out!