Café Chronicles: Manila’s Top 10 Must-Visit Coffee Shops

Embark on a Coffee Odyssey: Unveiling Manila’s Coffee Culture, One Sip at a Time, and Discover the Brew-tiful Stories Behind the Beans in These Top 10 Must-Visit Coffee Spots.

A dynamic and ever-evolving coffee culture welcomes both local caffeine enthusiasts and globe-trotting coffee connoisseurs in the bustling heart of the Philippines. Manila, a huge metropolis where history and modernity collide, has a booming café scene that seamlessly integrates rich Filipino traditions with international coffee trends. From tucked-away nooks in quiet neighborhoods to fashionable urban hangouts, these cafés serve as havens for individuals looking for the ideal coffee, a serene vacation, or a spark of creative inspiration.

Join us as we travel through Manila’s meandering alleyways in search of the top 10 cafes that every coffee lover and cafe-hopper must visit. Whether you’re looking for beautifully produced artisanal brews, Instagram-worthy aesthetics, scrumptious sweets, or simply a welcome ambience to unwind and absorb the essence of the city, Manila’s cafes have something for you. So, grab your favorite mug and prepare to be immersed in the rich, scented world of Manila’s coffee treasures.

01. The Curator

The Curator has a well-deserved reputation in town for its unrelenting attention to both Specialty Coffee and Craft Cocktails. Their menu constantly evolves to reflect the freshest products and their commitment to create excellent customer experiences. As one of its major characteristics, the business takes great satisfaction in providing real and individualized client care. 

Image credit: The Curator Official Facebook Page

02. Three Squares Cafe + Bar at Design Story

Situated within the Design Story furniture store, Three Squares Cafe + Bar can be found nestled within The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, an artsy enclave in the tranquil area of Makati. This unique café-bar seamlessly mixes into a gallery-like setting, making every nook and corner a possible Instagram-worthy backdrop. There’s no need to look for the ideal location; it’s all right here for that great image!

Image credit: Three Squares Cafe + Bar

03. Exchange Alley Coffee House

Exchange Alley Coffee House is located in the southern section of the Metro and is named after the famous thoroughfare in London known for centuries-old cafes and pubs. Patrons have affectionately dubbed it EACH, and it has quickly become a fan favorite in the Alabang region. The industrial architecture and floor-to-ceiling windows encourage productivity, while the second story doubles as a roastery for locally sourced beans. 

Image credit: Exchange Alley Coffee House 

04. Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

Wildflour Café+Bakery is a culinary gem that has grabbed the hearts of Fort Bonifacio’s foodies. This much-anticipated café and bakery serves a delectable mix of Western and Continental cuisines. The menu reflects the culinary team’s personalities, producing an engaging, casual, and lively ambiance. Wildflour’s growing menu and busy restaurant attest to its success in providing a one-of-a-kind culinary experience that leaves diners happy and satisfied.

Image credit: Wildflour Café + Bakery Website

05. Poison Coffee and Doughnuts

Poison Coffee & Doughnuts is not your typical cafe. Nestled discreetly within the artistic enclave of The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, this intriguing establishment is a portal to a bygone era of childhood reminiscence. It’s a place where doughnuts and coffee are more than just a treat; they are gateways to treasured memories of Pinoy candies and a hint of the unexpected.

Image credit:  Poison Coffee & Doughnuts

06. La Cathedral Cafe

La Cathedral Cafe in Manila’s Intramuros neighborhood provides a one-of-a-kind eating experience with a rooftop view of the famous Manila Cathedral. The café’s charming setting compliments its broad menu, which includes pastas, Filipino comfort food, and delectable pastries. While some of the pricing are a little excessive, the cafe’s well-crafted coffee and beautiful décor make up for it. Because service can be delayed, reservations are recommended, especially during peak hours.

Image credit: La Cathedral Cafe

07. Kapetolyo by SDG Coffee

KapeTolyo by SGD Coffee embodies both style and substance. The foods and drinks are equally as delicious as the stylish, Instagram-worthy environment. It  offers all-day breakfast alternatives and is inspired by “kape” (coffee) and “kapitolyo” (capital). Notably, it proudly serves SGD Coffee from Sagada Mountain Province, demonstrating its dedication to smallholder coffee producers.

Image credit: Kapetolyo by SDG Coffee

08. KANDLE Cafe

KANDLE Café is a family-friendly paradise for coffee enthusiasts and students alike. This cafe specializes on excellently crafted coffee and was founded by four devoted siblings, including two skilled chefs, with a name creatively created from their initials. The cafe, which is located on Mother Ignacia Avenue, may appear modest from the outside, resembling a multifunctional function space. Upon entering, however, guests are met by a pleasant garden- themed environment, replete with a soothing waterfall-like feature.

Image credit: KANDLE Cafe

09. Grand Cafe 1919

The Grand Cafe 1919  in Manila’s Binondo harmoniously blends tradition and modernity. It was formerly the HSBC headquarters and now has a trendy decor with rustic-industrial charm. The menu features a fusion of Western and Asian foods, such as wagyu steak and Pasta Negra. Coffee enthusiasts can enjoy limitless morning brews, while desserts such as Taro Cloud Cake and Red Velvet Cake satisfy sweet tooths. The setting is opulent yet warm, making it an ideal spot for formal dining or a pleasant hangout in Manila’s Chinatown.

Image credit: Grand Cafe 1919

10. The Den

The Den is a hidden café near Santa Cruz Church that provides a gourmet sanctuary in the middle of Escolta’s artistic neighborhood. Enjoy flawlessly cooked creamy pasta, grilled cheese, and cheese toast before finishing with delectable waffles. Beyond coffee, The Den is a haven for art and crafts. It proudly serves locally produced specialty coffee from Kalsada, bridging the gap between farmers and city dwellers through the art of coffee making.

Image credit: The Den


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