In this season of Lent, many of us Cebuanos are probably practicing some abstinence from meat. Others may have their own reasons for deciding not to consume meat in their daily lives, so here's a little guide to some delicious vegetarian fare you can have in Cebu.
Everyday fresh veggie meals described as "lami, barato ug maayo" (delicious, affordable, and good for you) are available from Healthy U. This cafeteria-style establishment is located in the Urgello area, near Southwestern University.
Some healthy meals available all day at the cafeteria are ampalaya with tofu, gulay sariwa, pinakbet, sautéed eggplant, bihon mix, pancit mix, adobo Meat Magic, and adobo gluten. Meat Magic is actually a textured soy product manufactured by Geltech Hayco.
You could also avail of free mineral water, atchara and hot appetizer or soup when you eat at this establishment. Healthy U offers healthy drinks to wash down your veggie meal, like lemon drinks, soya milk with organic pandan, chocolate soya drinks, yogurt shakes, and ube splash.
Healthy U accepts lunch orders to be delivered to offices, but the order should reach a minimum amount as well as come from within Cebu City. Fresh tofu a.k.a. tokwa, frozen veggies, juices, and Papa Timoy wheat cookies are also sold by Healthy U.
To order a meal from Healthy U, you may call (032)511-9352, (032)511-9164 or (0922)832-2500 and ask for the day's menu. You may also send an e-mail about your inquiry to [email protected] or have a look at the cafeteria's Web site, http://healthyuvg.weebly.com/
Shiv Dal Roti Corner
Another vegetarian establishment near Southwestern University is Shiv Dal Roti Corner, which offers purely vegetarian Indian food. With a variety of dishes that include biryani (with tofu), dal, pakora, roti, samosas, and faux meat (made with gluten), it caters to locals and the foreign students who study at SWU. It also serves the yogurt-based Indian drink known as lassi.
Shiv Dal Roti Corner offers outdoor seating and is open Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's located at European Building on Aznar Street in Urgello, in the same block as Healthy U. You may call this place at cell phone number (0916)824-3349.
Kuya's Special Lumpiang Sariwa
One of the franchises of Empeño-Reyes Foods, Kuya's Special Lumpiang Sariwa can be found on the second floor of SM City Cebu. This food business offers lumpiang sariwa or fresh spring roll, which consists of vegetables encased in lumpia wrapper and served with tasty sauce.
Kuya's Special Lumpiang Sariwa may be considered vegan food, as it contains no animal or dairy ingredients. Another good thing about lumpiang sariwa is that it's inexpensive. Visit the food stand for this vegan-friendly treat at C204 in SM City Cebu.
Miller Hospital Canteen
Eating in a hospital might not seem particularly enticing, but you should be aware that the canteen inside the H. W. Miller Memorial Sanitarium and Hospital is vegetarian since the hospital is owned and run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, whose members have a tradition of eschewing meat. The hospital canteen serves tofu and gluten dishes, soy milk, whole wheat bread, cinnamon bread, and much more.
As "the vegetarian's best friend at breakfast and lunchtime in Cebu City," it's inexpensive and offers a lot of variety in its food. The canteen always includes a few options for vegans, and it is a smoke-free establishment.
Miller Canteen offers free Wi-Fi Internet access and is open Sunday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Miller Hospital is located at 400 Tres de Abril Street in Barangay San Nicolas, behind the PLDT building. Its telephone numbers are (032)261-1974 local 116 and (032)261-2100. You could also check out http://www.sulit.com.ph/2927698 for more information.
The restaurant known as Lemon Grass is not in fact a purely vegetarian establishment, but it deserves a mention here because this purveyor of Vietnamese and Thai cuisine provides a selection of vegetarian options, which is quite rare in the Cebu dining scene. If you're dining with someone who hasn't given up meat, then you'll both be able to find things that you can eat contentedly.
Some dishes to try are the spicy red curry with vegetables, stir-fried veggies in lemongrass sauce, fried tofu in lemongrass sauce, and pineapple fried rice. For inquiries and reservations, you may call Lemon Grass at telephone number (032)233-8601.
The Grand Majestic
Another dining establishment that is not purely vegetarian but is vegetarian-friendly is the Grand Majestic, which is located in the Grand Convention Center along Archbishop Reyes Avenue. The Grand Majestic offers a separate vegetarian menu with options of mock-meat dishes and fresh vegetables.
The restaurant also has a daily lunch buffet for less than Php500, with several vegetarian options like the soup, veggie rice, spring rolls, and sweet-and-sour mock beef. The Grand Majestic has one of the more extensive vegetarian menus in town.
Open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Grand Majestic accepts credit cards, which is convenient because, like Lemon Grass, its food is somewhat pricier than that of the other establishments mentioned on this list. You may call the Grand Majestic at (032)232-1103.
A. Healthy U, A. Tormis Street, Urgello
B. Shiv Dal Roti Corner, Aznar Street, Urgello
C. Kuya's Special Lumpiang Sariwa, SM City Cebu
D. Miller Hospital Canteen, Tres de Abril Street, San Nicolas
E. Lemon Grass, Ayala Center Cebu
F. The Grand Majestic, Archbishop Reyes Avenue