The Philippines and the Filipino cuisine isn't the most vegan-friendly so being vegan in this country and here in Metro Manila isn't the easiest but it's definitely manageable!
I've also seen the vegan scene grow A LOT in the recent years. There are now more vegan brands selling ready-to-eat vegan meals and more restaurants offering vegan options. Though the Philippines has a long way to go, we're slowly getting there!
I finally decided to make this blog post and guide on eating out as a vegan in Manila to share some of the restaurants here in Metro Manila that are 100% vegan, vegetarian, or just have vegan options worth trying!
Sharing a photo below for the list of restaurants I've put together.
I've also put together a list of the dishes I usually get in certain restaurants, arranging each one by cuisine. I don't always get to eat out in vegan restaurants or restaurants that offer vegan dishes especially when I'm out with my family and friends since I'm the only vegan so I usually make do with whatever the restaurant has to offer.
As for those visiting other parts of the country, where vegan restaurants and options might not be so easy to come by, here are some of my favourite Filipino dishes that you can try and even be made vegan!
Kare-kare: it’s a Filipino peanut stew. It usually has meat but some restaurants can make an all veggie one. :)
Sisig: this dish is usually made of pork but there’s been tofu and veggie meat versions! Though regular restaurants can’t really make it vegan for you if they don’t have tofu/veggie meat.
Adobo: this is actually more of a way of cooking so there are dishes like adobong baboy (pork), adobong pusit (squid), etc. some make adobong tofu which is really good!
Adobong Kang Kong: this is kang kong (water spinach) cooked in the adobo way which is basically soy sauce with vinegar and some spices. Really one of my favorites!
Inasal: also a way of cooking. It’s usually marinating some meat in a mix of vinegar and spices then grilling it. A local restaurant called “Sarsa” makes a good Tofu Inasal.
Chopseuy: basically a mix of veggies. It has meat and egg sometimes but you can easily tell the staff to take it out. :)
Gising-gising: this is a dish that’s usually made of kang kong or sigarilyas (winged beans) cooked in coconut milk. Sometimes it has shrimp or shrimp paste but they can usually take this out too.
Laing: taro leaves cooked in coconut milk. Some have meat/dried fish/shrimp so you can ask about this
Ginataang/Gata: Gata is coconut milk and ginataan is a way of cooking something with coconut milk so restaurants can usually make ginataang gulay (veggies in coconut milk)
Tokwa’t Baboy: this translates to tokwa which is a kind of firm tofu and pork (baboy) that’s marinated in a soy sauce + vinegar mixture with onions and chili. And it’s really good! It’s easy to have them make with with just tokwa so we’d call it Tokwa’t tokwa (tokwa and tokwa haha)
Garlic rice: you really need to try these meals with garlic rice or sinangag! We love rice with everything!
Turon: this is a dessert or snack that’s basically a banana spring roll! We use Saba bananas then we wrap them in flour wrapper before frying then coating with brown sugar. This is a common street food you’ll see around.
Banana-Q: this is similar to turon but it has no wrapper and they’re whole saba bananas in a barbecue stick. They’re fried then coated in brown sugar too. :)
Lumpiang Gulay: Fried spring rolls usually filled with bean sprouts and other vegetables. So good when enjoyed with vinegar!
I really hope these help in any way! If you'd like to see more of what I eat when I'm out, I have an 'Eating Out' highlight in my Instagram stories.