How to survive as a Vegan in the Philippines

Let’s face it, after 3 weeks in the Philippines, I can officially say Filippino’s cuisine isn’t fit for vegans. Filippino people LOVE meat, especially porc and beef but they also love cheese so vegetarian meal often contain cheese. But nothing is impossible! I didn’t starve during the 3 weeks I spent there, I didn’t thrive either but I managed to survive ;)

If you’re a vegan heading out to The Philippines soon and you’re anxious about how to deal with food, here’s a little guide that might give you a few tips:

In restaurants

  • Check the menu or reviews online BEFORE you go. Nothing like being stuck in a restaurant where NOTHING is vegan because you didn’t know.

  • Use key words. Most Filipinos are fully fluent in English but few know the meaning of vegan. A few questions such as “is there meat/fish/cheese” or “no meat/fish/cheese, right?” work wonder and usually much better than a lengthy explanation of veganism.

  • Be concilient. I know this one isn’t going to please the most hardcore vegan among us but I decided not to be as strict as I am back home: fries are cooked in non vegetable oil? Ok. There might be some fish sauce in the soupe or the broth? Ok. Cook forgot not to put parmigiana in the pasta? OK.

In Shops

Most products in supermarkets or local grocery shops are processed, wrapped in plastic and non vegan. BUT, once a while, you find something that is accidentally vegan.

  • Oreos: classic!

  • Grower’s Nutri Bar: pretty decent snack

  • Alfredo Sugar Free Dark Chocolate: when you’re missing the choc’

  • Pringles

  • Ding dong

  • Green peas snack: life saver!

pods-vegetarian-pea-snack-60g.png

Fruit Stalls

On every road in the Philippines, close or far from a village, there' will be a fruit stall. Coconut, bananas, mangoes are just a few of the delicious fruits you can find for a very affordable price. This is definitely a good option when your options are limited!

DSC01797.jpg

Restaurants with vegan options

In Moalboal:

  • Venz Kitchen

Definitely my favorite place in Moalboal to grab a bite. Staff is super lovely and they have dedicated vegan options on top of vegetarian options! Had the yellow veggie curry which was absolutely delicious and not to miss if you’re around! Very reasonable prices too. 

hcmp94826_276206.jpeg
  • The Pleasure Principle

While staff is clearly bored of being here, they have a few (pricy) vegan options. The lentils dhal was very welcomed as we hadn’t had proteins in a few days and was also very good. Not sure about the rest. 

  • Three Bears

A bit more towards Moalboal city on the Panagsama road, this restaurant is famous for its burgers. We skipped the heavy meat based part of the menu and chose a vegetarian pizza (for him) and veggie noodle (for me). Nothing extraordinary but did the trick for our starving selves. 

  • Falaffel

Back on the Pangsama Road is a little café which is probably more suited for lunch than dinner and had a vegan falafel wrap when we were there as their main dish. Really good and cheap, definitely a good place to stop for a juice and a quick bite

In Siquijor:

  • Baha Bar

Definitely a favorite among travellers, we understood why when we received fluffy pancakes and a delicious fruit platter for breakfast! The vibe is really chilled, the space big and there’s always nice music playing (even live some nights). However, we went back for dinner and were super disappointed so would definitely recommend as more of a breakfast place. Also, it’s a bit pricy and there aren’t that many veggie options.

DSC01786.jpg
  • Marco Polo

An Italian restaurant with one of the most beautiful view over San Juan beach and its incredible sunsets! Pizzas were good and pasta 2 but their main assets? GARLIC BREAD! We went back twice and were very happy both times.

  • Luca Loko

Our 2nd home during our stay. While we passed by it several times in our first days on the island, we didn’t think about stopping because from outside it didn’t look that nice but what a mistake! The staff is lovely and the food is so so yum! They have incredible smoothie bowls which are big and filling and delicious vegan options for any meal which isn’t breakfast. Yes it’s a tiny bit pricy but it’s so so worth it if you’re a picky vegan eater.

In Siargao:

  • Bravo:

    Perfect for a beach lunch facing the sea! There’s not that many vegan options on the menu but the ones that are are delicious including hummus and a burger. Bit pricey but worth it for the super nice staff and the beautiful view!

  • Kermit:

    The place is one of the hippest hotel and restaurant in General Luna. And we understood why! The Italian menu includes delicious pizza made in a stone pizza oven and really good pasta too. Don’t forget the garlic bread as it’s to die for!

Come early though because as of 6pm you’ll have to wait at least 30 mn. 

  • Shaka:

Delicious smoothie bowl with a view on Cloud 9, what’s more to ask? Definitely one of the highlight of General Luna.

DSC01996.jpg
  • The Pleasure Point:

    Was mainly closed when we were there because of the elections but we managed to go our last day on the island. And we’re so glad we did! The place caters plenty of options for vegans including vegetable milk, fruits salad and chia pudding. Plus, it’s home to several cats and dogs which makes it even more likeable if you’re an animal lover!

  • Honest Café:

    A 100% vegan restaurant on General Luna road owned by the loveliest family. Once you take off your shoes and head up to the first floor, you’ll have to choose from a menu of bowls and sweets including fake “meat”, mushrooms and curry (the chickpea curry is to die for). Be ready to wait a bit though as the service is fairly slow. 

hcmp110549_552025.jpeg

In Coron:

Altrove:

Probably the most famous restaurant among travellers in Coron, it explains why it’s always full, including at 6pm. It’s not incredible but it’s one of the best Italian food we’ve had while in the Philippines. Pizzas are much better than the pastas. There were numerous power cuts when we were there which undoubtedly adds to the charm of the “trattoria”

  • Brujita:

    I was already in love with the name even before trying the food. Located on Coron Town’s Main Street, it’s not necessarily a place where you’d stop and say “wow I want to try it” but don’t be fooled by the appearances, it’s some of the best food we’ve had. So.many.curries and so delicious! Don’t miss the jackfruit curry which wasn’t on the set menu when we were there but written on the walls. Also the coconut milk smoothies are to die for.

  • Epic café Coron:

    If you’re craving a cappuccino, a banana bread or a chocolate cake, this is your place. A bit pricy for sure and there aren’t many vegan options but the banana frappé felt so refreshing after a day out exploring. And the place is super cute too!

Hope that helps! Remember, it’s definitely not impossible to eat vegan in the PH, it just requires a tiny bit organisation ;)

With love,

Chloé