Panglao island in Bohol is very easy beach destination for vegans if you know where to eat. This is the complete vegan restaurant guide to Alona’s best culinary experiences from breakfast to dinner and without forgetting coffees, snacks and drinks.
Shaka has the ultimate vegan breakfast with absolutely delicious smoothie-bowls with fresh fruits, nuts, berries and home made granola, massive superfood smoothies and super fresh juices. Lattes and cappuccinos can be all ordered with soy milk and display fridge has plenty of different vegan pastries like muffins and cakes. For lunch and dinner Shaka serves vegan burgers with home made potato fries, small snacks like hummus and wraps plus delicious cocktails. Try watermelon sangria or surprisingly good Filipino kraft beers in tap.
Nikita’s English Cafe’s coffees can be ordered with soy milk, and they make some simple oatmeal with soy milk and baked beans on (dairy free) baguette to fill your morning belly.
On the beach
All beach restaurants offer fruit juices (shakes always contain milk!), but fruit platter is most of the time the only option for vegans. Even toast generally contains milk in the Philippines, so you better check before ordering your ah so delicious toast with jam for brekkie.
When returning from morning dives or just feeling peckish after relaxed morning sunbathing, most tourists look around the beach for something to bite. Unfortunately Alona beach offers very limited lunch options for vegans, but try Buzzz cafe’s vegetable pastas, soups or super-gingery eggplant kinilaw with brown rice. But here comes the most amazing thing about Buzzz cafe: Their ice creams are all coconut based and dairy free! Cone is made of cassava so it’s naturally gluten free. This ice cream is absolutely best thing on the beach and was actually one of the reasons we decided to stay in Alona (no kidding!). Some flavours may contain honey, ask before ordering. Their chocolate is creamy, spicy ginger super hot, banana and peanut very yummy. If you feel adventurous, try durian or sea weed.
EDIT 25th of March: We recently found out, after many assurances that their ice cream is dairy free (manager and kitchen staff claimed all ice creams are dairy free), that in fact most of the flavours contain dairy after all. Only malunggay and mango are vegan!
ISIS bungalows on the beach offers quite nice red thai vegetable curry, pad thai with tofu and green mango salad for those who wanna stay on the beach for lunch and don’t mind waiting a bit (because the service needs improvements).
If you ask any dive instructor in Alona, best lunch in Panglao is Andrea’s Mango Hauz local eatery (first turn left on Ester Lim road). Lunch starts at 11 when all the pots filled with delicious vegetables, beans, tofu and salad are brought to the serving table. You can choose as many items as you want and bill in the end is based on how many you ordered. Malunggay mung bean soup and tofu are always on my plate, but eggplant, dark green fried beans, cucumber salad and coconut pumpkin are favourites too. Excellent value for money.
Sundays Andrea’s is closed, then you can try Korean; Dae Jang Geum on the way to Alona beach, they have some delicious (but a bit pricy) mock-meat dumplings with kimchi and other side dishes. Or Bobs on the main road you can order e.g. Korean version of sushi rolls, Gimbabs.
If you fancy leaving Alona for a little trip, try Cliffside resort (about 10 minutes with a tricycle) with many vegan options and a great sea view. Try their tofu curry, bruschetta or Chinese style tofu with vegetables, black beans and mushrooms. If you pop by for late lunch, most days you can find our dear dreadlock diver there too.
Luna Rossa Italian vegetarian restaurant has plenty of vegan choices from quinoa salad to burgers and of course classics from Italy. Great ambience of the place caters a great place to enjoy your coconut based cheese cake with some dessert wine.
WOK BAR near Luna Rossa has the best vegan tofu curry in whole Panglao. You’ll find the inexpensive dish on their “Specials” list among some other tofu dishes, which are not as good as the curry though. If your general knowledge is sharp, join Wok’s legendary quiz night on Tuesday evenings at eight.
Bamboo & Elephant Bleu at Rona’s corner offer not just excellent music and cocktails but also some great bites too. Vegan pasta bolognese is my choice, but beany burger and bruschetta are recommendable too. This is THE place for late night drinks.
If you fancy some Sicilian flavours, Giuseppe’s thin crust focaccia with home made hot sauce won’t disappoint you. Try adding some extra toppings if plain is not gonna satisfy your hunger. Few pastas are vegan too. Beautiful restaurant with wood fire oven, excellent service and great wine selection guarantees a successful night out.
Paraiso Chino family style cooking offers absolutely delicious Chinese food. Plates are massive and meant for sharing, but prices are very reasonable. Ultimate combo includes the best eggplant dish ever with weird vinegar potatoes that blow you mind topped up with some family style bean curd and home made garlic fried noodles. Their calamansi juice is the best on the island.
Last but not least… Great pub food with your beer:
Legendary Birdwatchers at Alona beach offers the ultimate vegan dinner at its best: Beer and chips (also called french fries some part of the world hah). Crispiest and tastiest chips of your life are washed down with cheap ice cold San Miguel listening to surprising live music.
The only bar in the island offering wide range of Filipino kraft beers is Alona Pawikan. This bar has also probably the most variety of different alcohols on their shelf, so head here if you’re looking for some other rum than Tanduai. Few times a week Alona Pawikan (also called Ken’s place among us locals) surprises you with Japanese menu and many vegan options, I think the dumplings are the best.
Next post is Al’s BAR GUIDE TO PANGLAO, so more about drinks and snacks coming soon!