QC eats: This Maginhawa cafe serves keto, vegan-friendly fare with a heart

Kara Santos

Posted at Feb 20 2020 05:56 AM

Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe. Kara Santos

MANILA -- There’s a new restaurant to check out in Maginhawa Street. 

Gourmet Gypsy Art Café recently launched its second branch on the popular food strip in late December 2019. The art-filled relaxing space renovated from an old house on the quieter side of Maginhawa offers more spacious parking options for diners.

Gourmet Gypsy’s first branch along Roces Avenue which opened in 2014 is known for serving global gourmet food inspired by chef Waya Araos-Wijanngo’s travels abroad. 

Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe. Kara Santos

Along with regular offerings of appetizers, sandwiches, grain bowls, salads, small plates, sides and desserts, the Maginhawa branch features a few vegetarian, vegan dishes and keto options on the menu. 

Diners can pick unique dishes based on their cravings. There’s Indian butter chicken (P295), Greek chicken souvlaki (P275), Miso-glazed chicken (P275) inspired by Japanese cuisine, Vietnamese beef stew (P320), Thai fish cakes (P295) and Coco Mango Pasta with shrimp (P295).

Coco Mango Pasta. Kara Santos

The restaurant continues to experiment and expand their vegetarian and vegan offerings depending on diner’s feedback. 

It recently launched a vegetarian/vegan menu for Valentine's Day, which included Adlai Tabbouleh with Grilled Ahloumi Salad, Vegan paneer and Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Arugula, Pesto and Walnut.

Vegan quesadillas. Kara Santos
Chips and Dips of hummus and babba ganouj. Kara Santos

Those on a plant-based diet can try the Vegan Spring Rolls (P295), Roasted Veggie Hummus Sandwich (P240), Dips and Chips (which comes with pita chips or focaccia toasts) of hummus and babba gannouj (P120 for 2 dips), and Vegan Quesadillas served with sweet potato shoestrings.

Baked goods at Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe. Kara Santos
Keto goods and items for sale. Kara Santos

Meanwhile, keto dishes on the menu include Keto laksa (P350), Keto palabok (P495) and a range keto baked goods like mini cheesecakes, cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins and tablea fudge cake. 

They also serve keto ice cream which comes in unusual flavors like Manchego Walnut and Miso butterscotch (P160-265).

Beyond the tasty and unique dishes, what makes this restaurant really stand out is how it aims to build inclusive communities and spark kindness among diners. Gourmet Gypsy Art Café cafe serves as a training laboratory for partner institution Open Hand School, a vocational school for adults with special needs. 

Open Hand School. Kara Santos

More than 30 percent of Gypsy Gourmet Cafe’s staff have special needs such as autism, ADHD and other developmental and intellectual deficiencies. They work in all areas of the restaurant from the dining room, bar, kitchen, bakery and office.

The restaurant provides students with a space to work and sell their livelihood products from SPED enterprises including small potted plants, bags, keychains. mugs and artwork.

By buying products, diners can help train students with essential life skills they need to be independent and productive citizens of society.

For those looking for a place to work or study, Gourmet Gypsy also houses a quiet collaborative co-working space and offers office cubicles and small and large meeting rooms ideal for NGOs and freelancers who live and work in the area. 

Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe. Kara Santos

Gourmet Gypsy Art Café is located on 28 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Co-working space seats starts at P75 per hour to P480/day. Small meeting rooms (good for up to 10 pax) cost P350 per hour to P2.500 per day while large meeting rooms (good for up to 20 pax) cost P600 per hour to P4,000 per day.