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Feb 18, 2007 03:19 PM

Philippines vegetarian food options

I will be in the Philippines next week, spending a week in Manila then a few days in Bacolod. I'll stay in Makati and would like vegetarian options. I done need to go to necessarily a vegetarian restaurant, but I do need to go to a place that serves some vegetarian food. Indian, Thai, Italian, Greek...?

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  1. Some Chinese restaurants have vegetarian items on their menus. I think that Shang Palace at the Shangri-la Hotel has a veg section, and many other Chinese restaurants will serve dishes made with tofu, and will leave meat out of many dishes. Mey Lin on Jupiter Street is also quite good, and they have hand-pulled noodles which are cooked to order, so you can specify what they can cook it with.

    For Italian, the restaurant at the Peninsula (forgot the name) is quite good, and the pan-Asian restaurant , Spices, isn't bad. (Not great, but the Indian breads have usually been very good.) For Indian and Chinese (two menus, one restaurant), Queen's on Jupiter is the place to go in Makati.

    There's no lack of restaurants in Makati. Check out the Greenbelt Mall (People's Palace Restaurant for Thai); the Glorietta; the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell (Mati for Greek, Longgrain for Southeast Asian, Via Mare for Filipino); Serendra in Fort Bonifacio (Hossein's for Persian and Indian, Portico for modern Filipino, and Ms. Desserts). Each is a cluster of shops and over a dozen dining places, usually with menus displayed outside--varying greatly in cuisine and price range. You should have no trouble finding something you can enjoy.

    I would strongly urge you to get yourself to the Salcedo Village Farmers' Market on any Saturday morning. Lots of freshly prepared food you can buy and enjoy in the open-air dining area.

    I haven't been to Bacolod in years, but the food is some of the best in the Philippines. The sweets are particularly delicious. (I could say more, but I'm thinking of all sorts of non-veg stuff.)

    Vegetarians in the Philippines are few, but slowly increasing in number. It won't hurt to speak to the maitre d' or manager when you first enter a restaurant to explain your needs: the manager will be in a better position to communicate with your server and the kitchen what you'd like.

    Have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: pilinut

      Do they really call that Saturday market "Salcedo Village Farmers' Market"?

      As far as I can tell, theres only about 3 or 4 real farmers' stall in the whole market.


      1. re: Elvis Goldberg

        I think it did start as a much smaller market with a few farmers' stalls and a few miscellaneous stands, but there are now a lot more prepared food stalls. This is probably due to consumer demand and the high rental costs of space. The serious markets, for most households (including the same upper-middle class that shops at the Salcedo Saturday Market) are not in high-rent Makati. They are in Cubao, Guadalupe, and several other sites scattered around Manila. There's also a place called Market Market that is a cleaner version of those markets. It's in the Fort Bonifacio development beside Makati.

        Interestingly, I notice the same thing (prepared food vendors increasing their share of space) is happening in the farmers' markets in the SF Peninsula, though not yet to the same extent.

    2. A lot of restaurants nowadays have vegetarian options, even fast food restaurants have those. Its just that people nowadays are broadening their taste buds to the world of vegetables, the Philippines in particular where the vegetation is good, most restaurant here have expanded their horizons.

      A lot of Italian restaurants serve pastas purely in vegetable, I agree with Pilinut that almost all Italian restaurants here serve vegetable dishes, the one in Peninsula is great. Chinese food has a great option in the veggie meals, they have noodles with purely vegetables, as pilinut mentioned Mey Lin is good.

      There is one restaurant that comes in mine when you say Greek, Persian, Thai and Indian:, its Hossein's Persian Kebab, the place has three branches, one in Fort Bonifacio, its right across the NBC tent. A few kilometers away is their serendra branch, beautiful place I must say. It looks like they copied it from the arabian nights. And, their Makati Branch, its right across burgos street in Makati Avenue, cozy place.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joey Saporteza

        I wonder if life for vegetarians in Philippines has improved since 2007?

        My hubby B and I are heading there this Saturday. We transited through Manila a couple of years ago so we didn't
        get to sample much food, except for our hotel's GIANT breakfast buffet. The last time B spent much time in Philippines was over 10 years ago, in Boracay.

        We don't have much time in Manila and I don't want to resort to eating Italian so any other cuisine I can get readily here in Boston. Is there such a thing as vegetarian Filiipino food? If so, please educate me. I want the local cuisine! (I do eat seafood, but I don't want to eat it the whole time we're in Philippines (little less than 2 weeks...El Nido, Bacuit, Mindoro, Manila for a couple of days).