10 Coffee Spots for Hanging Out Solo in Manila
Coffee for one, please.
(SPOT.ph) Hanging out with friends and lovers is great and all, but sometimes you just want to be alone. Admittedly, there are times when you don't really have a choice. But that's okay. Going out solo could be fun—if you want it to be. Comfort, after all, is only as far as a great cup of coffee. Who needs friends? Who needs significant others?
Whether you're single or not, if you're flying solo, make it worthwhile by going on a fun but quiet caffeine chase to these solitude-friendly coffee shops.
Eight Ounce Coffee + Kitchen
This coffee place is the chic oasis in a scruffy gas station. White tiles and black details whisk you away from the hurly burly outside to a quiet and cosmopolitan hideaway. Due to its location, there's not a lot of foot traffic (which is the basis of its appeal), but there's actually a lot of goodies in here—from a comprehensive coffee selection to light snacks. Dutch company Douwe Egberts is their coffee of choice.
Must-tries: 15-hour Cold Press Concentrate (P95)
Eight Ounce Coffee + Kitchen is at 1227 Pasig Boulevard, Pasig City. Read more about Eight Ounce.
Luna Specialty Coffee
Luna has two branches in Bonifacio Global City, but we're partial to the original in NAC Tower. The food menu is considerably bigger than your everyday coffee place, but we appreciate that they blend their coffee to work with their quirky Filipino-inspired dishes. The folks at Luna are very playful with their offerings (kakanin shot, anyone?). Their nifty bar seats come in a functional shape and with a back rest so your body won't be stressed as you masturdate with your cup. If you're bored, start a conversation with their friendly baristas.
Must-tries: Mochaccino (P190), White Rabbit Candyccino (P140)
Luna Specialty Coffee is at NAC Tower, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Luna Specialty Coffee.
We recommend Lizzy Latte for those who like a sweeter turn with their caffeine. Set in Legazpi Village with a wall full of Post-Its and Polaroids, this shop really takes to heart that neighborhood vibe. Even if you walk in solo and sit by the bar, you definitely won't feel alone here. Lizzy Latte may peddle blends like Blueberry Bliss and Piñacolada, but they're not filled to the brim with sugar. The beans are imported and this coffee shop makes sure that they highlight their premium ingredients.
Must-tries: Blueberry Bliss (P160), Green Tea Grandeur (P160)
Lizzy Latte is at Builder Center Building, Salcedo Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City. Read more about Lizzy Latte.
The Coffee Room
The Coffee Room looks like that ultra hip pad you've always wanted to live in. Tiny and somewhat hidden inside a clinic, it's rough, rustic, yet edgy all at once. We love the wood and kitsch against the pristine white walls. It's a great place to duck out when you want to get away from the grind. The Coffee Room has your standard coffee iterations—Long Black, Flat White, the whole nine yards—as well as cold-pressed juices and light snacks. It's their s'mores, however, that's making rounds on social media.
Must-tries: Caramel Latte (P90), Grilled Cheese and Onion Balsamic (P85)
The Coffee Room is at 3/F Hollywood Square, West Avenue, Quezon City.
It took years for Miguel Vargas to finally open a home base for his brownies-but-not-brownies specialties, but we're only glad he did because his chocolatey treats work best with a cup of joe on the side. We don't want to generalize the feel of this place with the term, but Bucky's Counter is on the hipster side: copies of Monocle lying around, cool caricatures on the wall, and just enough plant life to look cool on Instagram. This rabbit hole vends Yardstick coffee, but it's really the Buckies you want. Pimp your Buckies with ice cream, syrup, waffles, and more!
Must-tries: Buckies ranges from P70 to P100. Try add-ons like Casa San Luis Salted Caramel (P40) or Carmen's Best Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream (P150).
Bucky's Counter is at 169 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City. Read more about Bucky's Counter.
A white and black color scheme, high ceilings, and exposed foundations create a one-of-a-kind mood at Habitual Coffee. Back when it was in Ortigas, the shop was situated inside a boutique, but they've moved to a more conspicuous location in Makati. Kaye Ong was so fascinated by San Francisco's Blue Bottle that she, along with co-owners Raph Garcia and TJ Rocomora, sought to replicate the experience. The tiny coffee bar uses an AeroPress for shorter brewing time, and the baristas are considerate enough to customize the brews to customers' specifications.
Must-tries: Single Origin White Cold Brew (P160), Aeropress Brewed Coffee (P160)
Habitual Coffee is at 2135 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.
Local Edition is a cozy neighborhood nook that pushes locally sourced coffee beans. They're famous for their signature Perea Blend made especially by Kape ni Maria and a tiny nibbler in the form of an iced gem. The steps to getting a brew at Local Edition are simple: choose between two blends, pick your preferred prep, then customize with some add-ons. Bar seating surrounding the restaurant guarantees a pretty private solo sipping sesh, but communal tables in the middle of the space lend a helping hand to meeting a new friend (in a totally not creepy way). Even if it's perfect for some peaceful alone time, the bright indoor foliage and burlap buntings promote a delightfully festive vibe.
Must-tries: Perea Blend Latte (P135), Wednesday Blend Flat White (P135)
Local Edition is at 116 Perea Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City. Read more about Local Edition.
This covert little cafe is hidden in plain sight. In the E. Rod-situated The Grove, but concealed behind a Starbucks and a grocery store, Precynct is automatically a quaint getaway from one of Manila's busiest thoroughfares. The place takes inspiration from Melbourne's coffee culture, which not only focuses on quality caffeine and service, but also on the sense of community. The coffee is excellent (the brews are developed by Yardstick's Andre Chanco), the food is amazing (the toast is heaven), and the interiors are inspired. With bright blue chairs, clean lines, geometric details, and marble tabletops—it feels like you've stepped inside the pages of Kinfolk.
Must-tries: Faux Cappuccino (P160)
Precynct is at Retail Row, The Grove by Rockwell, 117 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Pasig City.
16 United, the unnamed building that's becoming one of Kapitolyo's must-visit foodie hubs, gets pretty busy during the evenings. By day, however, it's a cool place to "disappear" into when you want to excuse yourself from the world. When you're on this side of Pasig, the best place to spend those moments is at United Coffee. It's comfortingly unassuming. From lattes and cortados to con pannas and black eyes, you can get a fix for every coffee craving.
Must-tries: Kalita Wave (P160), Espresso + Milk + Ice (P140)
United Coffee is at 16 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Behind the mainstream coffee shops of Katipunan Avenue is this hip little stop (the wood-lined ceiling is really cool) that peddles coffee from countries near the equator—think Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and more. Their customer base is composed of mostly students, but if you want to get lost in the anonymity of a crowd, then Equatorial is where you should be. Hours can melt away really fast so make sure you pair your brews with their food menu. It features light-to-heavy snacks, like sandwiches and pasta.
Must-tries: White Mocha (P135), Salted Caramel Frappe (P155)
Equatorial Coffee is at 325 Miranda Building, Katipunan Avenue corner F.B. Dela Rosa Street, Quezon City.
Photos from the official social media pages of Precynct, The Coffee Room, Equatorial, and Habitual Coffee; and from the SPOT.ph archives