10 More Cafes in Manila That Are Perfect for Book Lovers
Because when it comes to eating, drinking, and reading, we can't get enough.
(SPOT.ph) They may not be what you would call "legit" library cafes (compared to our old list, anyway), but these establishments took the extra step to make popular tomes available. A shelf or two isn't just a cool aesthetic or a clever trick to pass the time while the kitchen takes their time crafting masterpieces. It encourages the nearly lost art of reading books.
Caffé Bene is famous to KPOP fans and non-KPOP fans alike because they serve Korea's finest brews. Yuppies and students also frequent this café for their selection of books and their Instagram-worthy waffles and bingsu.
Book Count: The number of books per branch varies, but their main branch in Eastwood has around 70 books.
Book Finds: They have best-selling novels, almanacs, world history. They also have volumes on Korea as well as books written in Korean!
Book Policy: Customers may pick any book and enjoy reading it while in the café. Books are provided by the management but book donations are always welcome.
Enjoy With: Misugaru Latte (P160), Honey Bread (P285) and their selection of waffles (P165), Strawberry Bingsu (P240)
Click here for a list of Caffé Bene branches.
Hillcrest Wellness Café
This place is where people can relax, study, and exchange ideas over great food and drinks. Because Hillcrest Café is dedicated to the wellness of body, mind, and soul, their chosen books usually promote positivity.
Book Count: Around 200 books, most of which are for sale
Book Finds: They have Christian books, novels, educational books. Authors include C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham, and Brian McLaren.
Book Policy: The books are second-hand and for sale, but guests can read them while in the café. Spill something on them though, and they're considered bought.
Enjoy With: Mountain Brew (P95/Regular, P105/Large), Coco Macchiato (P140/Regular, P150/Large), Focacciadilla (P145), Tim’s Sandwich (P185)
Hillcrest Wellness Café is at 48 Malingap Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City (433-2129; firstname.lastname@example.org). Open daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Café Diem is a great venue for friends and family, and it never gets loud enough to be noisy for a person flying solo or studying. A wide variety of books and board games are also available for everyone to enjoy as they aim to be an intellectual, creative, and artistic haven for everyone.
Book Count: An approximate number of 500 books within the vicinity, with genres from fiction and non-fiction to self-help guides and references
Book Finds: John Green, Dan Brown, E.L. James, Mitch Albom, Haruki Murakami, plus Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, and Sen. Miriam Santiago. They also have classics from Shakespeare, Plato, and many more.
Book Policy: The books have to be read in the café, but management is working on library cards for customers. Fines for damaged books range from P300 to P500, but only after a thorough investigation. Unintentional damage isn't fined. Customers can also donate books that meet the owners' standards and the donors get a cup of coffee in return! They ask donors to leave a note on the first page so the next reader could get a glimpse of how the book would make them feel, what they could learn from it, and how it could touch their lives.
Enjoy With: Rita Mae Brown Juice (P90 to P100), Mitch Albom Frappe (P130 to P165), Walt Whitman Hot Beverage (P85 to P120), Stephen Richards Non-Caffeinated Drink (P150)
Café Diem is at Unit 1 3BB Building, 79 Kamuning Road, Quezon City (734-5846). Open from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. (Monday to Saturday).
Local Edition Coffee and Tea
People in the creative industry and freelancers usually gather at Local Edition Coffee and Tea for inspiration and quiet time. Since they started their book exchange project #BookProjectManila, they have attracted the attention of book lovers who work in the central business district in Makati.
Book Count: They have roughly 50 to 60 books at any given time.
Book Finds: Their selection varies, but most books up for exchange are fiction. Authors include Haruki Murakami, John Grisham, Paulo Coelho, and more.
Book Policy: Bring a book and you can take one home with you. Honesty system.
Enjoy With: Gooey Grilled Cheese (P180), Nutspresso Coffee (P155), Caramelo (P155), Salted Caramel Milkshake (P190), Tablea Brownie (P80), Carrot Bar (P80)
Local Edition Coffee and Tea is at 116 Perea Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City (556-9655). Open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Saturday to Sunday). Read more about Local Edition.
A black wall with chalk art greets you when you enter Dorissimo Pastries. The café is modest in size, but they made room to have paperbacks for their customers to enjoy, together with their tasty snacks and cakes.
Book Count: They don’t have an exact index of the books in the café, but the number is roughly around 50. Most of the novels in their collection are straight from home or things the owners found interesting at book sales, so there's a bit of randomness in there.
Book Finds: They have books by Filipino authors like Liwayway Arceo and Bob Ong, but they also have Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Louisa May Alcott.
Book Policy: They trust their customers to return the books to the shelves as soon as they’re done. The café doesn’t allow the customers to take the books home, but they can read it while inside the establishment. Since they don’t have nor plan to have WiFi in their shop, they encourage their patrons to come back to finish the books.
Best With: Brown Brazo (P60/slice), Mango Cheesecake (P110/slice), Mango Shake (P80), Lemonade or Orange Juice (P50), Macadamia Nut Hot Choco (P60)
Dorissimo Pastries is at 112 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Quezon City (263-1463, 263-1465). Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday to Sunday).
Artist's Haven is an art gallery and café that serves its customers comfort food while being surrounded by beautiful art. The place has been used for art workshops since the '80s but recently, an area was converted to a dining place. Aside from paintings by Fil Delacruz and Gel Jamlang, they also have books available for reading.
Book Count: Around 20 books can be located in the main gallery.
Book Finds: Mostly art books about the lives of both local and international artists, models, and art in the Philippines. There are different authors, but Manuel Duldulao's books stand out.
Book Policy: Customers are allowed to read them while in the store.
Enjoy With: Artists Haven Cheese Steak Sandwich with a side of Apple Salad (P280), Chicken and Jam Panini with a side of Apple Salad (P175)
Artist’s Haven is at 190 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City (825-8810, 825-0691). Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday to Saturday).
Millie’s All-Day Dining
Millie’s All-Day Dining at Microtel by Wyndham may look like your everyday hotel restaurant, but an extra touch makes them more special. Not only do they offer dishes from international and local cuisine, their good taste in books makes the dining experience extra enjoyable.
Book Count: They have around 40 books. Around 27 are displayed in the restaurant, while the rest are stacked near the entrance.
Book Finds: They have reference books and picture books such as National Geographic’s The Temples of Anchor, Grand Canyon Country, and How They Are Changing Our Coastlines, as well as The 20th Century—The Pictorial History and Excavating Jesus: Beneath The Stones, Behind the Texts. They also feature lifestyle books such as The Encyclopedia of Planting Combinations, Complete DIY Manual, Food for Life: Good Food for Good Health, and Life by Design by George Beahm. Their novels include The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, and more. Biographies and memoirs include An American Childhood by Annie Dillard, Gaga by Johnny Morgon, and Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal.
Book Policy: Guests can read books while dining but they are not allowed to take it home or bring them to their hotel rooms.
Enjoy With: Seafood Marinara (P295), Microtel Club Sandwich (P285)
Millie’s All-Day Dining is at G/F Microtel by Wyndham, UP Ayala Land Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (804-6888 local 818). Open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Books and Beans Café and Restaurant
Books & Beans Café and Restaurant is your friendly neighborhood bistro that serves good coffee, fruit shakes, blended juices, and affordable home-style cooked meals in a warm and homey setting. A true blue book-themed café, their wallpapers are even designed to look like shelves filled with books! They also have custom-made sofas from Pampanga which make for great reading nooks.
Book Count: They currently have a small book collection of about 20, but the owners are in the process of filling up their shelves and adding more from their personal collection. They’re also right beside a bookstore so book lovers can hang out in the café after their purchase and have a start on their new find.
Book Finds: The genres of the books they have now range from inspirational to motivational, business to fiction. Authors include Jude Deveraux, Paullina Simons, John Maxwell. They also have a book about People Power and some mythology.
Book Policy: Customers are free to read the books while they dine, provided that they return them once they leave the shop. Donations are also welcome.
Enjoy With: Hot Coffee (P55 to P85), Blended Coffee such as Mocha Frappe (P115) and Mudblood (P125), Fruit Shakes (P70 to 75), sandwiches (P50 to P75)
Books and Beans Café and Restaurant is at G/F Quad Alpha Centrum Building, 125 Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City (897-8596, 897-8598). Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday to Friday).
DITO: Bahay ng Sining
An art café for artists and their passions like stage, film, and music, DITO: Bahay ng Sining also has an entire wall of books and board games for their patrons to enjoy.
Book Count: Over 100 from the proprietor's collection
Book Finds: Short stories, art textbooks, comics, plays, fiction, and more.
Book Policy: Books are for in-store use only. They use the honesty system when people want to read. They trust their customers to be responsible enough to return the books after use and to pay in case of damage.
Enjoy With: Mug Cake (P80), Coffee (P80)
DITO: Bahay ng Sining is at J. Molina Street corner Guisama Street, Marikina City. Open daily from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Inside Neil’s Kitchen is My Father’s Bookstore. The restaurant has always been used as an events place and training venue for companies so the idea to put bookshelves at the end of the function room made sense. That idea eventually evolved into an actual bookstore because the owners believe that their customers always crave learning and inspiration.
Book Count: Since their books are for sale there isn’t an exact count but they usually have around 300 books in stock and displayed on the shelves.
Book Finds: Mostly Christian, inspirational books. Some of them touch on different subject matters with a corresponding "Christian-like" solution. Authors include Chinkee Tan, Ed Lapiz, Maloi Salumbides, Randell Tiongson, Marvin Germo, Jayson Lo, Dennis Sy, Joey Bonifacio, Clem Guillermo, Peter Tsukahira, David Oliver, Miriam Quiambao, and Ardy Roberto.
Book Policy: The books are for sale, but patrons can also browse and read the books while in the store.
Enjoy With: Sinigang Paella with Grilled Pork Belly (P350), Bagoong Paella with Kare-Kare (P395), Suman with Mangga and Chocnut (P250)
Neil’s Kitchen is at Westgate Filinvest, Lot C 701-704, Muntinlupa City (0917-311-2916). Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Read more about Neil's Kitchen.