Restaurants / Bars

Try This: Gourmet Donuts at Green Bar That You Won’t Believe Are Vegan

April 23, 2017

Jade and Sarada Santos are sisters who co-own vegan restaurant Green Bar Café in Makati City, formerly a vegetarian deli in Westgate, Alabang. Having been vegetarian all their lives, they grew up learning how to cook their own food. But it was only two years ago that they got into vegan baking, a challenging feat since veganism prohibits the use of dairy and eggs. They rose to the challenge and learned how to make cupcakes, but what really enchanted us are their vegan donuts, which they just started offering late last year and have since become a bestselling treat, with you having to either drop by their café early to pick up a piece, or ordering a box in advance.

The intimate Green Bar Café is a quiet spot to work and offers tables for groups or bar seats for those visiting solo.

They worked on the recipe for four months before finally perfecting it. “As a plant-based company, we can’t use dairy or eggs to help the dough rise or anything like that, so it was really a lot of trial and error, and fiddling with that recipe for a while,” explains Jade. “A lot of trial and error,” continues Sarada, “to find the ingredients here that’s going to work in baking, for example alternative milks. We had to test different brands because some will put in sweeteners, which will make the dough not rise as well, et cetera. So we really had to get the most pure ingredients as possible.”

“Not all soy milks are created equal,” adds Jade, laughing.

Grab a book and a donut (or six), and settle in a quiet corner of Makati where Green Bar is tucked away.

Most people who have tried the donuts have not been able to tell that they were vegan at all. In fact, more than 50% of their customers don’t adhere to the vegan diet but visit Green Bar for their tasty food, snacks, coffee and free wifi.

“We try to make our food as accessible as possible. Most people eat meat. We’re the minority in this situation . . . I want them to become curious and [realize] that vegan food can be as satisfying or comforting . . .”

The sisters tell us that vegan doesn’t necessarily mean having to ‘eat leaves all the time’ like the stereotype connotes, and many vegans enjoy their own versions of junk food. “As far as donuts go, these are cholesterol-free. Cholesterol has to come from an animal product, so they’re still healthier in that sense,” says Jade, “but they’re still dough, they’re still deep-fried so you’re still going to get that comfort from any junk food you would buy.”

Pictured top to bottom: cherry vanilla, white pistachio macadamia, and mixed berry vanilla.

The vegan donuts, just as they described, are indistinguishable from their non-vegan counterparts. With a crackling, finger-licking outer glaze and a light, soft interior, these vegan donuts can give Krispy Kreme a run for its money. Coming in an array of flavors that rotate daily, we were most partial to speculoos-filled chocolate donut, mango with coconut ‘bacon’, and cookies and cream, though quite frankly, biting into any of their sweet flavors is sure to satiate your donut desires.


Green Bar is a vegan restaurant that specializes in vegan donuts.

Contact: / 0917-8450004
Spend: 50-250 PHP
Follow: Instagram / Facebook

Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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