10 Beautiful Cafés in Metro Manila
Get your camera phones ready.
(SPOT.ph) You may not be aware of this, but there are some people who need to consider a list of factors when they’re scouting for their next café to chill in. Besides excellent espresso-based drinks, the ambience plays a significant role in their decision-making process. Is the café bright? Does it have comfy couches and big enough tables for my laptop and books? And most importantly: Will it look good on my Instagram feed?
We round up 10 of the most beautiful cafés in Metro Manila that will make you want to linger longer. A lot of them have taken inspiration from the industrial design aesthetic, perhaps only illustrating how trendy our cafés have become.
Cartel Coffee + Deli
Suffused with dark shades, wooden materials, and touches of greenery, Cartel Coffee + Deli seems a tad bit dim for your average café. The thing is—it isn’t your ordinary neighborhood coffee shop. On the left side of the café stands a large fridge that stows various retail goods, from fresh produce to local handcrafted beer, while parallel to it is a counter where you can choose from a smorgasbord of cold meat and thick sandwiches. Grab some food and drinks at Cartel Coffee + Deli if you fancy a place with a downright homey vibe—we guarantee it will make you feel warm inside, like the bread they serve fresh from the oven.
Cartel Coffee + Deli is at 119 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Tucked in one of the small streets beside Katipunan Avenue is a café which has a standout aesthetic. To complement Equatorial Coffee’s polished style, black chandelier light bulbs hang from the ceiling. On the other hand, a metal geometric accent wall immediately draws attention. There aren’t any distracting elements here—but this place stands out due to its simplicity and uncomplicated look, making it a favorite hangout for students from the nearby universities.
Equatorial Coffee is at 325 F. Dela Rosa Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
Ella and the Blackbird
What once was the space of Craft Coffee Revolution is now the home of Ella and the Blackbird. Although the café’s rebranding was drastic and unprecedented, many people were pleased to know that they’ve kept the previous coffee shop’s cool and artistic vibe. Its signature wall, where various artworks are pinned, add to the café’s character. Incandescent light bulbs adorn almost every corner, making the place picturesque especially after sundown.
Ella and the Blackbird is at 88 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
At first glance, Little Owl might remind you of a modern house, but you'll later discover that it's actually a chic, minimalist brunch place in the heart of New Manila. Both its white walls and large windows play significant roles in the café’s cheerfulness, creating a bright space if you want to clear your mind. Its marble tables and neutral-colored upholstery provide an elegant and sophisticated touch that can’t be missed.
Little Owl is at 65 Broadway Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City.
Like most of its other branches, Toby’s Estate’s signature brick wall as well as triangular patches of green and white are still present in its Ortigas offshoot. In spite of that, there are a few details that are particularly unique in this branch, like the hints of copper you’ll see atop a communal table, or the gray-toned mural of what seems to be office-goers in a rush designed by Archie Geotina. Nevertheless, the café is easily one of the best places to go to if you want to start your day right due to its vibrancy that will set you in the mood for crunch time.
Toby’s Estate is at Robinsons Cybergate Beta Building, Ruby Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Exchange Alley Coffee House
Exchange Alley Coffee House or EACH is the only specialty café in Alabang. With the goal of making third-wave coffee more accessible and approachable to south-based residents, it seems that EACH is doing a good job. With the café’s hip design, who wouldn’t be drawn in? A sunny yellow espresso machine is the first thing to greet its customers upon entrance. The lively color complements the rest of the elements in the room: white tiles, black-painted panels, and a big red coffee grinder.
Exchange Alley Coffee House is at Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
This may be the prettiest café along the stretch of White Plains. Casual and laid-back, Common Folk succeeds at being that kind of neighborhood joint you’ll automatically think of when you just want to chill. The interiors feature basic textures and contemporary hues. Common Folk is unadulterated and it stands out through its sheer simplicity and modish flair. There are definitely “no bad days” here.
Common Folk is at 79 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains, Quezon City.
Restock Coffee & Curiosities
Restock Curiosities is a hidden gem in San Antonio Village. Here’s a tip if you’re planning to visit: Look for an outline of a bear painted against a dark gray background. Inside, the café is quaint and ornate as it is decorated with quirky and vintage-looking trinkets, like psychedelic posters or Polaroid photographs—the café’s interesting wall installations differ from time to time.
Restock Coffee & Curiosities is at 7635 Guijo Street, San Antonio, Makati City.
Writer’s Block may just be a little nook inside The Alley at Karrivin Plaza but it has a big personality. Its minimal floor area is elevated by its likewise minimal design and light-colored walls, making the space look larger than it actually is. The coffee shop is refreshing and organized, making it a nice place if you just want to be alone with your thoughts.
Writer’s Block is at The Alley at Karrivin, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Magallanes, Makati City.
Caffeined by Mozaic Living
This café is every design geek’s haven. Caffeined is seamlessly integrated with furniture and lifestyle store Mozaic Living as both share a single space. Its vogue yet simple look stands out from all the other coffee shops in the vicinity. Caffeined does not scrimp on beautiful embellishments from various interior design genres; on one corner, you’ll see Scandinavian-inspired chairs while the other end showcases a more earthy ambience.
Caffeined by Mozaic Living is at 7 Sheridan Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City.