(SPOT.ph) We are firm believers that the best Starbucks is either the branch nearest your current location or the cup currently in your hand. What we love about this coffee brand is not its cameo on The Devil Wears Prada or its mission to energize us with coffee—whether we need it or not—anywhere we go. We love that every outlet is different, adapting to the vibe of the neighborhood. There are Starbucks that are made for daylong comfort, there are Starbucks that are a bit more no-nonsense. There is a Starbucks for every situation in life.
By the way, we're already awarding the one in Tagaytay as "Most Beautiful," so don't expect that category on this list.
This is not a sponsored post. We just want to help you navigate through the numerous Starbucks outlets in Metro Manila.
The Starbucks with the best view is at Harbor Square, Pedro Bukaneg Street, CCP Complex, Pasay City.
This Starbucks is on a boardwalk that sets it up for an excellent view of Manila Bay. While glass walls are signature Starbucks, the view behind the ones at Harbour Square isn't of traffic or people rushing through the daily grind. Instead, you'll see the gorgeous paved walkway, the yachts, and the horizon beyond that are calming and serene. Make sure to catch the sunset.
Open from 6:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Saturday)
The Starbucks that will help you save the planet is at Crossroads Building, 32nd Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
There are a couple of solar-powered Starbucks stores in the Philippines, but the enormous branch at Crossroads is the only one (so far) with an LEED certification—that's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This outlet is a favorite for its drive-thru, but stop for a minute and appreciate the table tops made with recycled coffee grounds, low-emitting materials for paints and coatings, and energy-saving lights.
Open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and 24 hours (Friday to Saturday)
The Starbucks that's best when you're in a rush and on the run is at Metropoli Libis, Quezon City.
We love that this drive-thru is right along one of the city's main arteries, which makes it perfect for an early-morning, pre-work jolt or a traffic buddy on the way home. It's also near a gas station, so you can use it as a little pit stop of your own.
Open from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (Friday to Saturday), 6:30 to 1 a.m. (Sunday)
The Starbucks for when you're feeling extra chic is at S Maison, Pasay City.
This Starbucks is one of the newer ones and it is absolutely gorgeous. It's a Reserve (Starbucks' version of a third-wave) and you can definitely detect an edgy quality in the unfinished accents and the wooden details. The ceiling, which is made with hundreds of wooden boxes, is a great conversation piece.
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Starbucks that's ideal for some leisurely reading is in Capitol Commons, Pasig City.
All Starbucks branches are designed for some leisurely time, whether it's studying, working, or just hanging out with your cup. We find that the stand-alone outlet in Capitol Commons has all the elements that make it perfect for some me-time with a good book. The couches are plush and comfortable, the tables are low and unintimidating, but it's the overall neighborhood vibe about this branch that really hits home, especially considering it's right next to a mall.
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The Starbucks that will take you back in time is at 15A Puerta de Isabel II, Muralla Street corner Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila.
The outlet in Intramuros should be on every must-try Starbucks list, if ever there was one (you're reading one right now). Instead of constructing a totally new building, this Starbucks takes the area's famous walls and works around it. A former tunnel, the 16th-Century adobe walls from the Spanish days embrace the entire coffee shop, making it curved and cozy.
Open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday), 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Sunday)
The Starbucks that's perfect for ducking out from the world is at Robinsons Forum, Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City.
There are around three Starbucks branches on Pioneer alone. We like the privacy at the Robinsons Forum branch, however. Because only the counter is visible from the outside, many of the cubicle-dwellers nearby opt for a grab-and-go. Off to the side, however, is a staircase that leads to a roomier basement complete with long and work-friendly tables.
Open from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Saturday), 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Sunday)
The Starbucks that's perfect for a post-drink respite is at Sapphire Bloc, Sapphire Road, Pasig City.
This Reserve is right beside Pasig's hottest night spots, making it the best post-drink venue before you make your way home. The tall ceilings and wide layout also make it an effective place to collect yourself after a night of serious partying. This Starbucks will save you, we swear. On a minor note, we also also love the sailor knots that hang from the ceiling.
Open from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Monday to Friday), 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
The Starbucks that's ideal for a blind date is at St. Charbel Executive Village, Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
This Starbucks is Goldilocks in terms of size—it's not too big, not too small. The glass walls welcome sunlight that bathes the spacious arrangement in a golden glow. Tiny two-seater tables are set up by rows on opposite sides of the restaurant. It's almost as though it's arranged for speed dating. The vis-a-vis seating is conducive to tête-à-têtes.
Open from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (Sunday to Thursday), 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. (Friday to Saturday)
The Starbucks most ideal for waiting is at Starbucks NAIA 1, Pasay City.
Let's face it. You always need a stopover to kill time before your flight.
Open daily from 3:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Starbucks Intramuros photo courtesy of Lakad Pilipinas