In the staunchly meat-centric Filipino culture, it’s fascinating to see a shift towards vegetarian lifestyles and the emergence of local vegetarian restaurants. While consuming a vegetarian diet can be a challenge for some, we tried to smoothen the process by rounding up of some of these delectable vegetarian dishes – they’re so good, you won’t even miss the meat!
1) Mushroom Soft Tacos (Earth Kitchen, BGC)
Earth Kitchen’s mushroom soft taco is popular favorite amongst vegetarians and meat eaters alike! It is made of shiitake, button and milky mushrooms, salad greens and a dash of lime hoisin sauce to add a little kick to it! Other popular vegetarian dishes from this restaurant: kamote tops ravioli and watermelon and arugula salad! But this farm-to-table restaurant has been creating a lot of buzz in the metro for reasons beyond their scrumptious food.
Not only are dishes here made from scratch (pastas, sauces etc), but this partnership project between Hizons Catering & The Got Heart foundation supports marginalized farmers in Tarlac and other parts of the Philippines to make sure their produce gets to market at a fixed price.
2) The Portobello Inasal (Pipino Vegetarian, Makati)
Searching for a healthier and meatless alternative to Bacolod’s specialty? Pipino’s Portobello Inasal might be what you’re looking for! It has a roasted and “baconized” taste to it, served alongside a red beet puree, eggplant ensalada and brown rice.
3) Veggie Burger (Green Pastures, Ortigas)
If you’re looking to eat something sinful yet organic, then Green Pasture’s “Veggie Burger that Doesn’t Suck” fits those requirements! Its inch thick patty is composed of chickpeas, mushrooms, leeks, and eggplant, topped with a generous amount of cheddar cheese which brings about a meat-like texture that could easily fool you carnivores out there!
4) Burrata Caprese (Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza, Makati)
Ironically, the burrata caprese is probably one of the most talked about dishes at this pizza parlor! Burrata, a quality cheese made of mozarella and cream, isn’t a dish frequently found here in Manila. In Gino’s, it’s freshly made and served atop some pesto, surrounded by cherry tomatoes and drizzled with some olive oil. When the burrata is sliced open, the soft, pillowy white curds that ooze out will probably make your mouth water! A definite must eat for cheese (particularly mozzarella) lovers – but it isn’t a particularly light dish by any means!
5) Beni’s Falafel (A-Venue, Makati)
Craving for some shawarma ? This hole-in-the-wall is frequented for its namesake dish: the famous Beni’s Falafel. It’s a pita pocket sandwich loaded with three chewy mini patties, shredded cabbage, tomatoes and the crowd favorite garlic sauce. The falafels, which are made of chickpeas, fava beans and other concoctions, are deep-fried but pack in a fair share of protein thanks to the chickpeas and beans.
6. Glutten-Free Waffles and Vegan Mushroom Longganisa (Runner’s Kitchen, Quezon City)
Longnissa has long been a breakfast favorite for Filipinos. Runner’s Kitchen puts a healthy twist on this delicacy by creating faux sausages made of mushrooms. It’s a lovely savory side dish to accompany a stack of gluten-free waffles and some peach-mango compote to freshen up the palate.
7) Ricotta Eggplant Tortellini (Va Bene Pasta Deli, BGC)
Carb lovers, rejoice! Va Bene Pasta Deli is one of the first Italian restaurant that offers handmade pasta in Manila. Originally located at a Petron Gas Station on the corner of Edsa and Pasay Road, this popular resataurant has relocated to BGC. Pasta options are diverse enough to cater to different preferences. Their Riccotta Eggplant Tortellini which stuffed with basil pesto, pecorino cheese and topped with arrabiatta sauce will definitely give you a taste of Italy!