Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Whenever I travel, I'm always on the lookout for a unique coffee shop. Whether it's in Metro Manila or in a sleepy town in a remote province, I always make sure that a cafe visit wonderfully slows me down. There's nothing like a hot beverage and a cake slice (or any local dish) to perk up my trepidation-filled itinerary of an area that's strange to me.

In my four years of travel blogging, I managed to list down 16 such cafes that will definitely be part of my schedule again should I make a revisit in the locations where they can be found. I enjoyed my cuppa once and I will surely enjoy it the second time around.



ACC Coffee & Crepe
ACC Coffee & Crepe
1. ACC Coffee & Crepe
Location: Roxas City, Capiz

ACC Coffee & Crepe
Owned by Dr. Victor Acepcion, ACC Coffee & Crepe is popular among locals and tourists in Roxas City when it comes to, well, coffee and crepe. It's considered as a delicious institution especially now that it has a couple of stores in this side of Capiz. Its presence in the province is definitely a breath of fresh air because the city is known for its seafood and the folklore of aswang, but not a beverage that keeps one up at night such as coffee.


"It's considered as a delicious institution especially now that it has a couple of stores in this side of Capiz."


Thanks to Dr. Acepcion's predilection for French cuisine, the cafe naturally began as a sideshow in his clinic where guests could feel relaxed while waiting for their consultation. Next thing he knew, he already opened a full-fledged store next to his clinic and another one at Robinson's Mall in Pueblo De Panay.

Read more about ACC Coffee & Crepe.



The Coffee Library
The Coffee Library
2. The Coffee Library
Location: Baguio City, Benguet

The Coffee Library
A Baguio City vacation is not complete for me without a visit of The Coffee Library. It's where everything on the menu seems to be thoughtfully prepared and has the adventurous taste buds of caffeine aficionados always delicately considered.

My high school classmate and his friend once mused about their own visit of the cafe as an authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine -- coffee and Pho Bo! They also had Turkish coffee, apple pie, and the cafe's stellar Cheese Burger.


"A Baguio City vacation is not complete for me without a visit of The Coffee Library."


My recommendations include the appetizing Buffalo Wings and an order of the local Kapangan Coffee.

Read more about The Coffee Library.






Cafe Ecija
Cafe Ecija
3. Cafe Ecija
Location: Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija

Cafe Ecija
During my stay at Harvest Hotel in Cabanatuan City, I made sure that I had a post-adventure cuppa at its affiliate F&B called Cafe Ecija. It's where I tried one of its featured cakes -- the Mocha Caramel -- which went down well with brewed coffee. The rich-tasting icing was topnotch for one of my afternoon resets and left me perked up after my visit of the Minalungao National Park.

"It's where I tried one of its featured cakes -- the Mocha Caramel -- which went down well with brewed coffee."

At Cafe Ecija, I also enjoyed hotel-quality meals that surprised me to be available in Nueva Ecija. The hamonado-filled Longganisa Spring Roll and filling Burgerniza were both memorable. My order of the cafe's drink of the month -- the refreshing Buko Lychee -- was also equally remarkable.

Read more about Cafe Ecija.

Art Circle Cafe
Art Circle Cafe
4. Art Circle Cafe
Location: Makati City

Art Circle Cafe
After a relaxing staycation at Y2 Residence Hotel, I killed time at Art Circle Cafe, a coffee shop located next to its lobby. I didn't regret having the pleasure of being idle. It was just me, my cup of Hazelnut Benguet Coffee, a slice of Black & White Tart and paintings mounted on cafe dividers.


"The cafe interiors exuded an art museum ambiance, but the presence of chairs and tables spelled out cafe."


The cafe interiors exuded an art museum ambiance, but the presence of chairs and tables spelled out cafe. The resulting encounter of such sensibilities was an artsy sanctuary that's also a fantastic coffee and dessert hangout. Being surrounded by beautiful art made a complementing sight for someone like me who simply wanted to chill out.

Read more about Art Circle Cafe.





Mellizza Cakes & Pastries
Mellizza Cakes & Pastries
5. Melliza Cakes & Pastries
Location: Makati City

Melliza Cakes & Pastries
When a planned food trip in Makati City got foiled, I decided to skip dinner altogether and just have a stroll of Kamagong St. where I was supposed to meet some former office mates. Little did I know that I'd end up sipping coffee and enjoying quiet time over a slice of delicious blueberry cheesecake at a cozy dessert nook called Melliza Cakes & Pastries.

Later on, I learned that the business was started by a group of friends who love desserts. After eating an expensive slice of cheesecake at a food chain, Melvyn Isidro, one of the friends, suggested to open a bakeshop using his mother's recipes and eventually naming the whole venture after her.


Museum Cafe
Museum Cafe
6. Museum Cafe
Location: Makati City

Museum Cafe
Museum Cafe does not fall far from its Raintree Group of Restaurant family. It consistently affirms a pleasurable social and gustatory experience regardless of brand and location. At this dining venue, art seems to be seamlessly embraced from the walls that showcase the paper art of fellow University of Santo Tomas graduate and artist, Tes Pasola, to the simple cutlery. The dining venue was designed by Budji Layug and Royal Pineda by the way.


"Museum Cafe does not fall far from its Raintree Group of Restaurant family."


Also known as M Cafe, the place is a combined cafe and restaurant. It's where sensible business is exchanged over home-cooked meals, mostly of modern Asian cuisine. Patrons never get tired of its Canadian tenderloin, homemade sushi and dim sum, Spanish deli meats, fresh country bread, Norwegian smoked salmon, waffles and toasts, plus signature cakes, among others.

Read more about Museum Cafe.



Bona's Cafe
Bona's Cafe
7. Bona's Cafe
Location: Tabaco City, Albay

Bona's Cafe
Located at the city proper of Tabaco, Bona's Cafe is lodged at the second floor of the same structure where the backpackers' favorite JJ MidCity Inn is. The area may be highly urbanized but there isn't any decent coffee shop that has managed to get my attention since I last visited it in 2015. With numerous travelers finding themselves on layover in the city for Catanduanes, the presence of the cafe is quite ideal.

Its owners take pride in the cafe as being one of the first coffee shops in the city to bring the authentic art of brewing espresso. Customers can expect freshly brewed coffee and authentically made espresso using only the industry-standard, state-of-the-art equipment. Most patrons love its custom-made latte. What's more, the menu options are known to be quite affordable compared to mall-based stores in nearby Legazpi City.

Must-orders are its Pinangat Pizza and Pork Sisig Pasta. Pair both with a drink of either Matcha Green Tea Latte or Cookies 'N' Cream Frappe.






Small Talk Cafe
Small Talk Cafe
8. Small Talk Cafe
Location: Legazpi City, Albay

Small Talk Cafe
Operating for 17 years now and consistently delivering great comfort food in Legazpi City, Small Talk Cafe has become one of Albay's must-try stopovers by tourists. Ask any local in the city for a reliable meal that best represents Bicolano cooking and most of them will point you to this house-turned commercial establishment that's along Dona Aurora Street.

Credited for creating my favorite dish in its menu -- the Pasta Pinangat -- is Didette Peralta Factora of Small Talk Cafe.


"Small Talk Cafe has become one of Albay's must-try stopovers by tourists."


Make sure to make reservations for lunch and dinner because these are the times when local diners flock to the cafe for meals.








Qups Quarters Cafe
Qups Quarters Cafe
9. Qups Quarters Cafe
Location: Quezon City

Qups Quarters Cafe
Lodged at the lower ground floor of Madison 101 Hotel + Tower is the quirky Qups Quarters Cafe which is beloved by the former's student tenants and guests. It's the perfect venue to study whether alone or with other study mates. It's also fantastic as a secret rendezvous for those on business in the New Manila, Quezon City area.


"It's the perfect venue to study whether alone or with other study mates."


Must-try are its Peanut Butter and Chocolate drink, Matcha Green Tea, plus various cake and pasta flavors.

The cafe also serves all-day breakfast and sandwich varieties (chicken, tuna, corned beef, etc.) for those who want something hefty with their coffee orders.







Lia's Cakes In Season
Lia's Cakes In Season
10. Lia's Cakes In Season
Location: Pasig City

Lia's Cakes In Season
Whenever I needed an emotional boost in Pasig City, I head over to Lia's Cakes In Season (LCIS) to celebrate God's blessings over a cup of coffee and a piece of its signature avocado cheesecake. It's my ultimate favorite cake flavor as it's inventive and able to reconcile my craving for avocado which is known to be a seasonal fruit. This means that I had to contend with months when I couldn't have avocado for snack. The good news is that LCIS is just 20 minutes away from the city proper of Pasig where I reside and there's always a cheesecake flavor of it!


"The store is just small but compensates with a friendly neighborhood charm..."


The store is just small but compensates with a friendly neighborhood charm that I've experienced countless of times growing up in Barangay Kapitolyo. I would always sit next to the big store window and takes sips of hot coffee as I watched other residents and visitors go about their own lives in the food trip district.

Read more about Lia's Cakes In Season.


Sunnies Cafe
Sunnies Cafe
11. Sunnies Cafe
Location: Mandaluyong City

Sunnies Cafe
For reliable hot chocolate moments, I always go to Sunnies Cafe. I also love its selection of seasonal beverage like its Gingerbread Milkshake for Christmas. Others opine that the menu options here are a bit pricey, but the taste and hefty serving seem to compensate for that.


"Others opine that the menu options here are a bit pricey, but the taste and hefty serving seem to compensate for that."


Must-order are its Matcha Milkshake, Pan-seared Salmon, Spicy Pomodoro, Honey Garlic Crispy Chicken, Umami Mushroom (spaghetti, mushrooms, 65-degree egg and garlic) and its All-Day Brunch options.









Tipsy Beans
Tipsy Beans
12. Tipsy Beans
Location: Mandaluyong City

Tipsy Beans
Tipsy Beans (TB) is a coffee nook in Mandaluyong City. Its blend of drinks is based on the culture of Irish pubs that serve hot cocktails which is a conventional mix of whiskey and black coffee. The twist to Tipsy Beans' signature blends is that each flavor is served cold in a glass with brewed coffee-infused ice cubes.

"Its blend of drinks is based on the culture of Irish pubs that serve hot cocktails which is a conventional mix of whiskey and black coffee."

Such one TB flavor is the Irish Cream which co-owner Alvin Gueco initially advised me to drink in moderation. According to him, it's wise to wait for the ice cubes to necessarily melt so as to produce the creamier and smoother texture of the cream and brewed coffee combo. The concoction looked nowhere near great-tasting and the serving seemed to fall short of what's enough for a meal. However, it's not supposed to be confused with something that you drown a hefty meal with because it's designed to be a drink to last the night away. Or for some daytime guests, to linger in an afternoon delight until it's time to hit the road again. The drink was potent and great-tasting.

Read more about Tipsy Beans.


The Beanery
The Beanery
The Beanery
13. The Beanery
Location: Balanga City, Bataan

Bataan is fortunate to have The Beanery, a neighborhood cafe that has recently grown to three branches in the peninsula with two in Balanga City and one in Orani that opened in 2012. Famous among locals, the coffee hub is now considered a watering hole for techies, flavored drink lovers, and fresh brew aficionados.


"Bataan is fortunate to have The Beanery, a neighborhood cafe that has recently grown to three branches in the peninsula..."


During my tour of the province, I had the chance to dine at the hip restaurant over bestsellers of Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Cheese Bacon Sandwich, Baby Back Ribs, Cordon Bleu, Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagna and Baked Macaroni. For desserts, I took to reckless abandon over slices of Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Almond, and The Beanery's Signature Chocolate Cake. I drowned down everything with a large cup of soothing Jello Freeze!


Cafe Frances
Cafe Frances
14. Cafe Frances
Location: Davao City

Cafe Frances
When I visited Davao City for a cousin's wedding, I stayed at the elegant but affordable The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites which allowed me to dine over Pasta Carbonara, Pork Sinigang, Pork Liempo and fruit shakes at its F&B facility called Cafe Frances. I also enjoyed a small Tropical Mango Cake for a post-dinner cuppa before calling it a night.


"The hotel hospitality proved to be seamless all the way to the cafe..."


The hotel hospitality proved to be seamless all the way to the cafe because the latter is just right next to the opulent three-storey hotel lobby.

To have an idea of how great the venue is, read more about The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites.








Barako Boy Coffee
Barako Boy Coffee
15. Barako Boy Coffee
Location: Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

Barako Boy Coffee
When I toured Cagayan for almost a week in 2016, I had the chance to have a relaxing layover in Tuguegarao City via the budget-friendly Hotel Joselina. Since the lodging is along the city's highway, there's nothing much to do for leisure once you step out of the hotel room. Thankfully, there's Barako Boy Coffee that's located just across it. It was there where I settled to ease down my travel nerves with a cup of its potent Cagayan Premium (Syphon Coffee), a vacuum-brewed coffee that's served with milk.

Check out my Cagayan sojourn here.







Angel N Kiss Bakery
Angel N Kiss Bakery
16. Angel N Kiss Bakery
Location: Pasay City

Angel N Kiss Bakery
Located at the Blue Bay Walk of Pasay City, Angel N Kiss Bakery is an inventive take of a Korean venture on the local bakery scene. By fusing a wide variety of hot-and-cold beverage options with baked treats in a modern dining space, the cafe easily looks attractive.

"Its latte varieties are interesting in that there's more to the typical vanilla and caramel flavors. Cafe aficionados can choose between Sweet Potato and Sweet Pumpkin."

Its list of Korean drinks include Sweet Rice, Hot Citron Tea, and Mixed Grains Frappe. Its latte varieties are interesting in that there's more to the typical vanilla and caramel flavors. Cafe aficionados can choose between Sweet Potato and Sweet Pumpkin. The cafe also serves non-alcohol cocktail from piña colada to mojito selections.




Eager for more travel recommendations? Check out the following posts:

Unique Laguna Resorts To Book, Rain Or Shine
• 12 Offbeat Attractions For Educational Tours In The Philippines
• Farm Tourism Destinations In The Philippines
• Fields of Dreams In The Philippines
• 10 Resorts and Hotels With Attractive Swimming Pool Views
• 7 Charming Resorts and Hotels For Pre-Nuptial Photo Shoots
• 10 Luxury Hotels and Resorts To Book For Pampered Vacations
• 8 Less Explored Attractions In The Philippines
• 10 Extraordinary Resorts and Hotels To Book In The Philippines
• 3 Essential Events Place In Metro Manila For Weddings, Birthdays, and More

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