Turning Vegetarian

In Manila, vegetarian fare has become more accessible. While most establishments have vegetarian fare on their menus, the folks at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ate their way around the Philippines to search for the best meatless meals.

PETA’s Top 10 Vegetarian Restaurants

Azotea Greens’ veggie nuggets are among the must-try greener foods, according to PETA.

Alanis Morrisette, Alicia Silverstone, Gwyneth Paltrow, and locally, actress KC Concepcion, singer Geneva Cruz, and models Isabel Roces and Raya Mananquil have made vegetarian living chic. But far from just adopting trendy eating habits, vegetarianism in all its forms actually reduce the risk of obesity, cancer and diabetes; as well as promote concern for animal rights, global warming and the environment.

In the Philippines, vegetarian fare has finally become more accessible. But while most establishments have vegetarian fare on their menus, the people at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ate their way around the Philippines to search for the best meatless meals.

Greens Café and Restaurant
92 Scout Castor Street, Quezon City
415-4796 or 376-2781

Greens is tucked amid a garden in a quaint and homey Quezon City home-turned-restaurant. The menu is filled with such vegan favorites as the Greens Vegetarian Barbeque (P75), Barbeque Wrap (P80), Vegetarian Sisig (P140) and Cheesy Soy Sticks (P80). Also try the eggless desserts like the Walnut Caramel Apple Pie and Carrot Cake, and the chocolate cake, described by PETA as “an astounding taste experience that is guaranteed to be the subject of daydreams for weeks to come.”

Bodhi (also known as Evegreen)
SM Cubao, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM South Mall, SM City Manila, SM Makati

Also voted the Best Affordable Vegetarian Food for 2007 by PETA Asia Pacific, Bodhi’s focus is mostly on well presented mock meats. Try the kare kare, menudo, asado, bopis, ginataang langka, and broccoli with “beef”.

Corner Tree Café
150 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati
(0917) 848-1004

Owned by Francesca Mabanta, Corner Tree Café’s must-try include: tofu walnut burger (P240), Spinach and Pechay Chowder (P95 for the cup and P150 for the bowl) and a starter plate (P180), a combination of Egyptian dukka and white bean hummus served with chunks of whole wheat bread and vegetable sticks.

Daily Veggie N’ Café
540 Banawe Street, Quezon City
711-8209 or 711-3214

PETA recommends the curry (on its own or with noodles), sweet-and-sour nuggets, and the sizzling fillet, which is “so fish-like that it’s almost scary (the seaweed looks and tastes like fish skin).”

Hapilife Healthy Food Corner
#18 Corpuz St., West Tapinac, Olongapo City
(0921) 872-0258 or (047) 611-0249

For PETA, the “range of tempting options” plus their great service make this place worth visiting. Must-tries are the combo meals with vegetarian versions of steak, tuna, drumsticks, and roast duck, and meat- and dairy-free versions of traditional Filipino fare.

Mandala Spa
Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
(036) 288-5858

For this venue in the party-island of Boracay, try the the pan-fried tofu, served stir-fry style with beans, asparagus, pechay, and sprouts and topped with peanut sauce and crushed peanuts, and the Pad Thai topped with a sweet tamarind-based sauce and spring onions.

Bliss Café
Hotel Elizabeth, Gibraltar Street corner J. Felipe, Baguio City
(074) 619-0367 or (0917) 8464729

From traditional Pinoy fare and merienda to international cuisine with dishes originating from Seoul, Tokyo to Zurich and Mexico City – this place has it all.

The Farm
119 Barangay Tipakan, San Benito, Batangas

This place’s raw lunch and dinner buffet is beyond satisfying.

Ima’s Gulay Bar
46 Fernandez Street, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
(0920) 533-3210

This place’s must-tries include: Mexican burritos, pizza, and jambalaya to fresh salads, filling soups, and a variety of sandwiches and vegetarian burgers. PETA suggests asking for the “vegan versions of the spicy bean burger, curried tofu sandwich, or sausage fajitas”; as well as the spicy okra and mango pasta or the exotic shakes in soy coffee, carob, ginger, or fruit flavors.

Azotea Greens
2nd Floor, La Azotea Bldg., Session R, Baguio City
(0910) 802-8927

This place, says PETA, is sure to give you “a true taste of Baguio without all the cholesterol and cruelty to animals.” Try the adobo, afritada, nilaga, kaldereta, ginataan, and the bestseller, mushroom sisig. Finish meals with dairy- and egg-free cookies from Love Bites.

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