After a month of exploring Bali and being spoiled by the islands endless vegan options, we made our way to Manila. I could not have been more excited to see where Patrick grew up and finally meet his family and closest friends. It was my first time in the Philippines and I didn’t really know what to expect food wise, but he had made it clear that finding vegetarian options was going to be rough, and vegan options?! Pretty much impossible.
With just a little bit of research, we learned that there was actually a growing vegan community in Manila! A few plant based restaurants had made its way into the Philippines and we were excited to give them a taste.
Our first stop was Green Bar, a cute, cozy and tucked away gem. It might be a little hard to find, but the amazing food makes this place unmissable. The business was started in 2014 by half Filipino sisters, Jade and Sarada Santos. The two were raised vegetarian and share a love of bringing these mouth watering vegan creations to life in their kitchen. Most of the ingredients are made in house, including all the yummy dressings and their plant based meats! What started as a delivery service has now grown into the sweetest little vegan cafe in downtown Makati.
The menu at Green Bar is packed with different options, from simple and nourishing bowls, to all the comfort foods your taste buds desire, like nachos, tempeh wings, longganisa soft tacos and donuts. You can taste the love and hours spent perfecting the recipes for these meals.
For our first time in, we decided to try the famous Cheesy Mac Cracklin’ Burrito we kept hearing about. Filled with smokey mac and cheese, crispy soy skin, sweet potato fries, spinach and basil, this wrap quickly became one of our favorites.
We also tried the breakfast sandwich called Bennie and The Jacks, which is like a vegan version of the Egg McMuffin. Made with a poached vEgg on an english muffin topped with sweet seitan meat, melty pepper jack cheese and a hollandaise sauce, this is the plant based breakfast sandwich we’ve all been waiting for.
We came in later for dinner, and the restaurant was bustling, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house! Another thing to note, is that the portions are huge here. We ended up having quite the extravagant dinner because there were so many things we wanted to try, but we did (gladly) leave with some leftovers. We ordered both the Popcorn Chickun and Longganisa Soft Tacos, the Wild Thing Burger, the super nourishing Hollywood Bowl and a cup of that smokey mac and cheese. Everything was so good, we truly could not stop eating!
After chatting with the owners and their amazing marketing manager Luann, we learned that they had opened another restaurant just two months earlier called Two Chickpeas.
The inspiration for Two Chickpeas started in the 90’s when Jade and Sarada took a trip to Amsterdam. They stumbled upon the concept of building your own falafel pocket with different toppings, making each persons meal customizable.
The modern vegetarian falafel house in Lagaspi Villiage offers delicious and unique ingredients to top off your gyro or bowl, like pickled basil beets, curried carrots, tahini cauliflower, and sweet potato fries. The falafel balls have the yummiest flavor and consistency. They also have a seared seitan gyro on the menu that will completely blow you away. We had a blast during our visit, creating our own gyros and chatting with Luann about veganism in the Philippines.
We couldn’t be happier to be connecting with awesome and inspiring plant based humans during our travels, who are slowly but surely making a difference around the world.
If you’re in Makati, you definitely want to check out Green Bar and Two Chickpeas. You can also order in on Food Panda, for those days you don’t feel like leaving the house.
A big thank you to Jade and Sarada for having us! A special shout out to Luann for being SO awesome and making sure we had the most delicious Cheesy Mac Cracklin’ burritos for our flight home from the Philippines. We can’t wait to come back and visit you all again!
Patrick and Kahala