How do you like your coffee: Hot or cold? Blended or over ice? Black, white, or brown? Whatever your go-to comfort mix is, being in a quaint mountain cafe with an atmospheric ambience certainly makes a cup of coffee taste much better. Even your average three-in-one sachet could taste like speciality coffee when you drink it on a mountaintop. So, if you’re still searching for your next coffee escapade, I highly suggest you look into these 10 best mountain cafes in the Philippines.
Must-visit mountain cafes in the Philippines
1. Kamala Cafe in Tanay, Rizal
Let’s start with a recently opened shop in Tanay: Kamala Cafe, a Thai-themed coffee shop. The place has a touch of a minimalist interior design, with rustic chairs and tables spaciously spread, complementing their hardwood flooring. Their blockbuster coffee is Oliang, a traditional Thai brewed coffee with a thick taste of soybeans and sesame seeds, topped with ice and milk. Pair it with their Pad Thai or Sriracha Wings, and you have for yourself a full Thai food experience, with a bonus of lovely mountain views.
With lots of coffee shops sprouting left and right in Tanay, it’s a challenge for new cafes to stand out among competitors. But, to no surprise, Kamala Cafe has gained the attention of coffeeholics since its opening, thanks to its top-quality coffee and service.
2. Kape Natividad in Tanay, Rizal
From the outside, Kape Natividad isn’t exactly the most eye-catching coffee shop. Unlike its neighbouring modern cafes along Marilaque Highway, Kape Natividad is built simply from a group of nipa huts and fruit stands. Nonetheless, you’ll quickly understand why it is one of the most renowned overlooking cafes in Tanay once you try their food and coffee.
Kape Natividad serves lip-smacking food and beverages at affordable prices, including nine flavours of brick oven pizzas. If you’d like to try this cafe, I suggest you come early because the place is always filled to the brim, just like their coffee.
Insider insight: I frequented Tanay last year during different times: in the morning, at lunch, and in the afternoon. I’ve never seen Kape Natividad with many empty seats during these road trips.
3. Triston 360 Cafe in Tanay, Rizal
Have you ever heard of a cafe that serves hotpot together with coffee? I haven’t until I saw Triston 360 Cafe. As uncanny and bold as it may sound, the duo just makes sense. Early mornings in Tanay are usually chilly, so the one-two punch combination of shabu-shabu plus coffee? Smart idea!
Triston 360 Cafe lets you dine in their rooftop area with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains and a portion of Laguna Bay. However, if you want the best experience, arrive just about daybreak to catch its other regular visitor: a nearby sea of clouds.
4. Cafe Leanne in Binangonan, Rizal
We often associate places with blue and white accents with the iconic Santorini, Greece. Cafe Leanne gives that impression, except it incorporates nature better within its boundaries using trees and plants. From the comfort of your seat, bask upon the beauty of Laguna Bay while drinking your coffee and relishing their delightful silog meals.
5. Burrow Cafe in Antipolo, Rizal
Want to take a quick coffee break to escape the hustle and bustle of the metro? Take your stress away and visit Burrow Cafe, the definition of a perfect hideaway spot. This coffee shop embraces a different approach to a mountain cafe – instead of going up, the place brings you a few steps down inside an underground coffeehouse. Burrow Cafe has many gram-worthy angles and spots, including colourful hammocks and Masterchef-like food presentation!
6. Crate Cafe in Cebu City
Outside Metro Manila, you can find more mountain cafes – especially in Cebu. If you need a coffee break during your travel to the country’s oldest city, head over to Crate Cafe. Take your drink in their coffeehouse that looks like a cabin in the woods. Crate Cafe also has an outdoor dining area with a good view of nearby mountains. Staying true to their name, they have dainty-looking crates to arouse a rustic ambience — perfect for your peaceful time with your espresso.
7. Adventure Cafe in Balamban, Cebu
A selfie whilst drinking coffee in the middle of a zip line? This is made possible only by Adventure Cafe! They call their shop “the first resto-adventure in the Philippines.” True enough, you can take your coffee break experience to another level here. They have a small area for wall climbing, too!
Fun fact: Adventure Cafe also has a “Stress Wall” where you can throw plates to a wall at ₱25 per plate. Makes for a perfect break-up coffee shop!
8. 1sangwow Cafe by the Clouds in Sagada, Mountain Province
Drinking coffee above a vast sea of clouds is every coffee lover’s dream. At 1sangwow Cafe, you can go beyond the sky’s limit and make this dream possible. Take a sip of their hot coffee whilst feeling the cold air of the Sagada mountains.
Even if you’re allergic to coffee, being close to the clouds is an experience you don’t want to miss!
9. Gaia Cafe and Crafts in Sagada, Mountain Province
Gaia Cafe is a quaint coffeehouse located in the mountains of Sagada. Aside from their aromatic coffee, they also offer handwoven crafts and keepsakes. The overall concept of its interior design comes from the looks of an old library. As a result, Gaia Cafe gives a cosy and intimate vibe that’ll make you feel at home, as if in the comforts of your grandparent’s warm, familiar embrace. Even their coffee cups look like they came straight out of a grandmother’s cupboard.
Insider insight: It’s hard to explain, but this place gives me deja vu even though I haven’t been here before. Do you get that too? It’s as if the pictures of Gaia Cafe tell a story of our early days, when times were less complicated and just full of childlike concerns. This relaxing ambience is why Gaia Cafe ranks among the best mountain cafes in the Philippines.
10. Bungyod Camp and Cafe in Bago City, Negros Occidental
Rainbow patio umbrellas, old-fashioned coffee cups, and wooden benches on a campsite in the middle of the Negros Occidental mountains vividly depict a picture of a modest mountain cafe. But isn’t it modesty that makes for the best coffee experience? Nothing beats drinking an early morning coffee in your pj’s, with zero distractions in the middle of the woods, beside the ashes of your campfire. If you can call that your dream coffee experience, then Bungyod Camp and Cafe should definitely be on your bucket list!
Whether or not you are a coffee aficionado, the ambience and uniqueness of these best mountain cafes in the Philippines make them undoubtedly worth your trip. So the next time you feel an urge for a quick detox, hit the road and try a cup in one of these cafes.
Featured Image Credit: Emily767 via Canva Pro