Foodie: Van Gogh is Bipolar

By July 31, 2019Foodie

Previously on our “Foodie” series, we’ve covered restaurants and regions that will challenge your concepts of traditional food. (See our previous blog on where to try bugs). Today, we take you to a quaint restaurant in Manila that seeks to expand your awareness, and compassion, towards mental illness.


Van Gogh is Bipolar

Manila, Philippines


Located in a quiet Manila neighborhood, Van Gogh is Bipolar is a bit of the charm from Alice in Wonderland mixed with the calmness of a health food store. Its mission is the intersection where compassion and culinary meet. As you may know, the 19th century artistic genius, Van Gogh, suffered from bipolar disorder which eventually led to his suicide. Like Van Gogh himself, the restaurant staff also suffer from depression and anxiety, and some are suicide survivors. All seek to share their stories so that others will not feel so alone.


Upon arrival, you will be given a map of the place. In addition to showing you how to order food, you will follow a path through the establishment that includes quirky things to do like:

  • A deep breathing exercise in the garden
  • Writing out troubling thoughts on a piece of paper
  • Preparing “mood tea” based on your mood upon visiting, and how you should brew it
  • Picking out and wearing a hat

Guests are encouraged to stay as long as they’d like and even take a nap in the garden if they desire. We strongly encourage you to explore the many fascinating nooks and crannies and take in the plethora of fascinating knick-knacks.

Self portrait of Van Gogh on a postage stamp

Like Van Gogh himself, many of the staff at Van Gogh is Bipolar have depression and anxiety. Some are suicide survivors.


Meal Options

Guests will find a variety of dietary options available including vegan and pescatarian options. Whichever dish you choose, you can rest assured that your food is free of preservatives, artificial ingredients, and processed ingredients. Each table is outfitted with an old fashion bugle horn. When you’re ready to get the bill, just give it a squeeze.

If you’d like to make a visit here, be sure to book a reservation in advance. The restaurant may seem larger on Trip Advisor’s photos, but there’s really only room for about 12 guests.


If you’d like to explore Van Gogh is Bipolar for yourself, call Jaya! We’re happy to arrange a customized tour centered around this unique culinary experience.


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