MANILA -- While many vegetarian and sustainable restaurants have been serving plant-based dishes in the Philippines for a few years now, it seems like big name fast food joints are making the shift and offering healthier alternatives on their menus.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen several mainstream fast food joints launching meat-free burgers. With multiple branches, wider reach, more affordable prices, and presence on delivery platforms like GrabFood and LalaFood, the meat-free items are now more accessible for average consumers stuck at home.
Here are just a few fast food joints in the Philippines now offering plant-based burgers for home delivery.
Burger King’s Plant-based Whopper
Burger King Philippines recently unveiled its Plant-based Whopper in the Philippine market, which was immediately met with good feedback and interest from the public. Originally debuted in the U.S. in 2019 as the “Impossible Whopper,” the signature Whopper in the local market makes use of a non-meat patty from Australia’s No. 1 plant-based company V2Food.
The burger’s patties are made mainly with soy proteins, but the burger has the same smoky, flame-grilled meat of the regular Whopper we know and love. Unfortunately, this is not a burger for vegans, as it’s prepared on the same grill used for beef patties (which may explain the excellent flavor and smokiness). It also contains regular cheese and mayo, but it’s a good option for those who want to reduce their meat consumption.
With a price point starting at just P89 for the Junior Plant-Based Whopper and P175 for the Regular Plant-Based Whopper, this burger is worth trying. Make sure to order some onion rings on the side.
Burger King’s Plant-based Whopper was launched on November 16 in all Burger King Metro Manila branches and can be delivered via GrabFood, LalaFood and other delivery platforms. It will be heading to provincial branches nationwide soon.
The Goood Burger by Shakey’s
Last month, Shakey's launched The Goood Burger, a sandwich that they claim to be a healthy, meat-free, cheese-free and guilt-free counterpart to their “Baaad Burger” which makes use of Angus beef.
The Goood Burger is composed of a plant-based patty, potato bun, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, white onion, pickles, vegan thousand island dressing, and ketchup.
The patty is sourced from unMeat, a vegan meat alternative made with non-GMO plant-based ingredients, zero cholesterol and trans-fat, produced by Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) and sister company Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc.
Shakey’s also offers the Goood Goood Burger, a 100% meat-free burger boasting of the same plant-based patty, tomato, cucumber, white onion, and pickles, and drizzled with vegan dressing which comes in a lettuce wrap instead of the buns. Both veggie burger variants cost P185 each.
Shakey's Goood and Goood Goood Burgers were added to the pizza parlor’s offerings on October 21 and are now available in all Metro Manila stores for dine-in, takeout and delivery from www.shakeyspizza.ph.
Zark's “V Burger”
Homegrown fast food restaurant Zark's Burgers has also offered a vegetarian burger option, introducing the V Burger on their menu mid-September. Zark’s V Burger is made with the locally-made Veega Meat-Free patties, topped with cheddar cheese, garlic ranch sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and brioche buns.
Veega is San Miguel Foods meat-free line of frozen products available in select supermarkets, which includes meat-free sausages, nuggets, giniling and balls. Though the patties are made with mushrooms, soy, and wheat, they are not fully vegan, as they also contain egg whites. The meat-free products are said to be high in fiber and protein, with no preservatives.
Diners can order the burger with a choice of single patty (P139), double (P219), or triple (P299).
Zark's new V Burger was launched last September 19 in select Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cavite branches and is now available via dine-in, take-out, or food delivery apps.
Sweet Ecstasy's The Beyond x Vegan Burger
As early as July 2019, Makati-based premium burger joint Sweet Esctasy introduced the Beyond Burger to Philippine diners. The neighborhood joint makes use of products from Beyond Meat, a leading Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes designed to mirror the juiciness and meatiness of actual beef in the market.
While Beyond Meat products have been available in upscale dining establishments in the country such as Shangri-La Makati, Marriott Manila and Green Bar, Sweet Ecstasy is the first fast-casual establishment to use the patties for burgers in a bid to reach more consumers.
The Beyond Ecstasy Burger is Sweet X's first-ever 100% vegan and totally plant-based burger.
Beyond Meat burgers uses no soy, no animal ingredients, or animal-based derivatives present – just a whole lot of plant protein including pea protein isolates, rice protein and mung bean protein. The burgers even "bleed" like real beef, which is achieved by using red beet juice.
Aside from the Beyond Burger patty, Sweet Ecstasy ensures that all other ingredients and fixings such as cheese, sauce and buns all 100% vegan. The bread used for the burgers are dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free (toasted in olive oil), while the cheddar slice is dairy-free Daiya, and their signature ecstasy sauce is replaced with a tofu-based one.
While the meat-free burgers have been described as “Beyond delicious” by those who have tried it, it also costs P500 a pop, making this vegan burger beyond the budget of most average consumers.
Availability is limited as well, as the burgers are cooked on a separate griddle from meat-based products which requires more kitchen space.
The Beyond Ecstasy Vegan Burger can be enjoyed dine-in or for dine-in and delivery from Sweet Ecstasy's Jupiter Street and Greenhills branches.
Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom Burger
Shake Shack made waves when they opened their first branch in Bonifacio Global City in May 2019. While this famed NYC institution is known for their meaty burgers, but they also have a signature vegetarian option that substitutes a mushroom patty for beef.
Instead of beef, diners get a large piece of crisp-fried portobello mushroom, served with the same fixings as a regular burger: ShackSauce, lettuce, and tomato. It’s not exactly healthy, as the meatless burger is filled with melted Muenster and cheddar.
Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom Burger costs P445 and is available via delivery on GrabFood from branches in SM Megamall, Central Square in Taguig and Greenbelt 5.
8 Cuts’ Falafel Burger
8 Cuts may be known for their grass-fed beef patties, but they’ve been offering a healthier meatless alternative called The Falafel for several years now.
The Falafel makes use of a patty made from a blend of chickpea, quinoa, nut, and mushroom. It’s not exactly the same as regular burgers, but this meatless sandwich has its own cult following and is said to be a favorite even of carnivores.
The Falafel Burger costs P250 and is available for delivery via Grabfood and other apps.
While most of the fast-food burgers are not suitable for purist vegans, offering plant-based alternatives is a good start for local restaurants to encourage more people to try consuming less meat. If demand is high, more restaurants may just follow suit, which will pave the way for pure vegetarian and vegan options in the mainstream market.