Artesa Deli + Coffee
Unit 2D Strip Building, 20 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) When asked how they would describe Artesa Deli + Coffee in one word, it only took half a second for Chef Jeferson Lim, Michael Villarosa, and Edrian Chua to agree on the word “handcrafted.” Not only does the word “Artesa” actually mean handcrafted in Catalan, but their Latin-inspired menu uses elements that are mostly homemade as well, perfected through months of trial and error by Chef Jef himself.
At only two months old, Artesa opened along United Street in the ever-evolving Kapitolyo district with two goals in mind: to create a space where they can serve good-quality comfort food and drinks and showcase homegrown products from local entrepreneurs like themselves.
Artesa’s expertise lies in adding a little extra shebang to everyone’s favorite classics. Their Cubano (P235) has been reimagined with a baguette instead of white, buttery bread to keep everything together (read: no sauce dripping on your hands), and they’ve added pulled pork on top of the classic ham-pickles-cheese combo. You’d think that the sweetness of the pulled pork would overpower the rest of the ingredients, but the flavors end up blending harmoniously, while the bread stays crunchy outside and soft and intact inside, down to the very last bite. Pizza lovers will find themselves ordering The Zeppelin (P205), with pepperoni, marinara, and lots of mozzarella—it’s basically a pizza turned into a sandwich.
Artesa also serves up a mean burger. The Burger Standard (P165) gives you a 100-gram U.S. beef patty that will remind you of your usual cheeseburger, but with slices of bacon sandwiched between two pillow-soft buns. The key, however, is pairing the right sauces for your buns. You can never go wrong with the good ol’ House Sauce but if you feel a little adventurous, go and add some tangy Sriracha Mayo. But if you're craving something specific, you can actually "customize" your own burger or sandwich. You can choose from any of the sandwiches or burgers in the the Subs and Buns menu and go crazy with add-ons like cheddar cheese (P25), mozzarella (P25), bacon (P40), beef patty (P75), fried chicken (P75), or egg (P20). Villarosa shares, “[A] bodybuilder even came here once to get both the chicken and beef patty in one burger for his proteins.”
This deli may be bread-heavy, but they also serve rice meals. Artesa offers two types of protein—boneless fried chicken or U.S. beef patty—but Chef Jef mentions two more will be coming in the next few weeks. We recommend getting their Tomato Gravy (P220) with the beef patty for an elevated version of the classic burger steak. This gravy is a balanced, well-flavored dressing that is healthier and less aggressive than the ones you’d usually find.
And while the spotlight is understandably on the mains, the Best Supporting Actor award goes to their homemade Wanton Crisps that come with every meal. It's so good and addictive that you’d wish they offered bags of it.
Artesa’s bright and clean space is a haven for students and freelancers wanting to come to the district to work remotely. Not only do they have a sufficient number of electric plugs, Artesa also serves top-notch coffee to help you stay awake while working. The classic coffee drinks are a given, but there are a couple of drinks from the menu that deserve special mention. The Espresso Soda (P165) is a double-shot espresso mixed with tonic water and lemon. With every sip is a citrus aftertaste that’s a little different from usual, but still, serves its purpose—it’s refreshing, relaxing, and mind boosting. For a more straightforward coffee drink, have the Shakerato (P130), a double-shot iced espresso that can last you the afternoon. And if you’re more into lattes, their creamy and earthy Matcha Latte (P150/hot, P160/iced) is easy to fall in love with.
Chef Jef recommends another drink from the menu that customers should get to partner with their subs and buns with. Artesa’s Orange Julius (P90), a drink invented in California in the 1920s, is a blend of orange juice, milk, and ice—it’s like a less frothy milkshake.
So whether you’re in Kapitolyo for some food, coffee, work, or all of the above, the new kid on the block has you covered. Just be sure you’re ready to fall in love with carbs all over again.
Photos by Patrick Martires