There’s no arguing that the pandemic has shifted our outlook on life. Staying at home for prolonged periods of time has taught us what matters to us. Over a year into this, we’ve learned that some seemingly negligible things can be considered essential. For many, it was lugaw. For us, it’s coffee.
Needless to say, the experience of staying in coffee shops has drastically changed in the new normal. Gone are the days of us lounging in comfy seats, with the air conditioning hitting our faces in full blast. Now, we’re seeing more and more roadside coffee shops around the Philippines — and we’re not mad at all! In fact, these blink-and-you-miss-it cafes are so innovative that we’ve relearned to love the coffee shop experience amid this new normal. To celebrate that, here’s a list of our favourite roadside coffee shops in and around Metro Manila.
Roadside coffee shops in Metro Manila
1. Blocleaf Café
Walk by the streets of Malate and you might find a quaint coffee shop bursting with character. Blocleaf Cafe, with its humble 23sqm space, was originally designed for customers to grab and go. That said, if you want to linger for a bit, the glass shop has a few outdoor tables you can dine in.
Despite its size, Blocleaf Cafe impresses with its menu. It offers choices of Philippine speciality coffee, as well as food such as chicken cutlets, breakfast sandwiches, and egg noodles.
For more information, visit Blocleaf Cafe’s official Facebook page.
2. Presko Coffee
What was once a vegetable shop is now a roadside coffee shop in Parañaque. Fresh Finds Manila converted its establishment into Presko Coffee last January. Now, the stall sells flavourful coffee, their bestsellers including Caramel Mocha Latte (₱135) and Cocoa Hazelnut Latte (₱135). Beyond beverages, Presko Coffee continues to sell fruits, vegetables, and herbs fresh from Baguio.
A tiny glasshouse in Makati, Papakape is a stunning cafe that banks on biophilic design. And like its aesthetic, its menu is full of garden-fresh summer drinks. Some bestsellers include Kape Gingerccino (₱90) and Blue Ginger Salabat (₱70), which are delicious, healthy, and super IG-worthy!
For more information, visit Papakape’s official Facebook page.
4. Flower Ranch Cafe
Flower Ranch Cafe must be one of the prettiest coffee shops in the Philippines. As its name implies, this bijou cafe actually started out as a flower shop in Mandaluyong. A few years after purely selling floral arrangements, the owner decided to expand her shop. Now, Flower Ranch Cafe also offers good coffee, made with 100% Arabica beans sourced from local farmers of Mount Apo.
5. Inarawan Café
A tiny roadside coffee shop in Marikina, Inarawan Cafe offers affordable brews for every coffee lover. Albeit small, this coffee shop has it all: from strong cups of Benguet Arabica (₱60) and Batangas Barako (₱50) to sweet and refreshing glasses of Lychee Fruit Tea (₱60) and Iced Butterscotch (₱90). If you’re a budding plantito or plantita, you’ll be delighted to know that the whole cafe is brimming with foliage!
Roadside coffee shops outside Metro Manila
6. Muni Coffee
A Japanese-inspired coffee shop along the National Highway, Muni Coffee is the epitome of a new normal cafe. Its structure mainly serves coffee to-go; many bikers flock to the area just to grab their favourite orders. Muni Coffee has a budget-friendly menu, with espresso-based drinks all just ₱75 and below!
For more information, visit Muni Coffee’s official Facebook page.
7. Typica Coffee
Founded during the pandemic, Typica Coffee was a project that boomed for its ingenuity. You’ve probably heard of it as the sari-sari-store-turned-coffee-shop in Taytay. Typica Coffee draws inspiration from the simplicity of Japanese architecture: No frills — just good and affordable brews.
For more information, visit Typica Coffees’ official Facebook page.
8. Barrio Café
Another pandemic baby, Barrio Cafe was launched in Aug 2020 in Bay, Laguna, just in front of its owners’ home. With its establishing date, it’s unsurprising that the baybayin-inspired cafe has a few trendy items on its menu. Their Mini Basque Burnt Cheesecake (₱200) is a must-try; it goes perfectly well with the Barrio Signature Coffee (₱80)!
9. Sspace Cafe
Sspace Cafe is a minimalist roadside coffee shop in Cavite. Its name stands for “slow space,” as the cafe encourages its customers to quiet down and enjoy their cups of coffee. With its location, Sspace Cafe is the idyllic stopover area for travellers on their way to Tagaytay. Here, you can relish in the gentle breezes of the city, with a latte in hand.
For more information, visit Sspace Cafe’s official Instagram page.
The coffee scene in Metro Manila is definitely growing, but we can’t miss coffee shops in Pampanga. If ever you find yourself shopping in Dau, you might want to stop by Cofeat. An unassuming cafe, Cofeat just opened its doors last March and has since welcomed many javaholics. While its floor area is minimal, it has a wide outdoor space, a rooftop, and even a hammock! Undoubtedly, this cafe is perfect for alfresco dining.
For more information, visit Cofeat’s official Facebook page.
There are a lot more roadside coffee shops both in and outside Metro Manila. Once travel is possible again, we’re looking forward to discovering more cafes around the Philippines — from nearby cities like Quezon City and Ortigas to exciting destinations like Cebu and Cagayan de Oro!