Four Standout Cafes in Manila, Philippines

These creative third-wave cafes are a perfect example of the extraordinary specialty-coffee culture that is growing in Manila.



Cover photo Photo courtesy of Ralph Lorenz Yu, depicting Prominent Coffee’s black sesame matcha as well as chocolate Dalgona coffee

Apart from its delicious food, famous beaches, and a vibrant and lively culture that is alive with art and music The Philippines is also gaining an enviable recognition for its Third-wave culture of coffee. In the last few years, the nation’s variety of third-wave coffee shops has grown exponentially and each cafe featuring traditional Filipino tastes like the calamansi (a Philippine lime) and ube, as well as single-origin coffees from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries and the farms of the islands that are located in Benguet, Batangas, Cavite and beyond.

If you reside in Manila or plan to visit the Philippine capital in the near future here are four top cafés that should be added to your list of places to visit.

Traditional Filipino breakfast at YDG Coffee. Photo taken by Sid Cabatingan.

YDG (Your Daily Grind) Coffee

YDG Coffee was initially an unassuming, 100-square-foot area within an office building in Makati before it was transformed into a storefront in Mandaluyong. In addition to its wide selection of distinctive beverages (including an impressive caramel torched latte) The cafe is also well-known for its menu of food, which includes dishes such as silog silog, which is the traditional Filipino breakfast consisting of eggs and rice, as well as with a selection of fish and meat that has been grilled.

If asked about the growth trajectory of third-wave espresso in Manila, Sid Cabatingan of YDG shares, “There’s no denying that (the presence of third-wave coffee) is constantly growing … (but) we believe there’s plenty of room for third-wave coffees to flourish in Manila.”

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Take a look at YDG Coffee on their Instagram.

In September, Yardstick Coffee will host the Philippines’ AeroPress Championship. Photo by Andre Chanco.

Yardstick Coffee

The shop has the locations of Legazpi Village, Salcedo Village and Mandaluyong, Yardstick Coffee plays an important part in Manila’s third-wave café culture. The shop has a wide selection of single-origin whole-bean Philippine coffees from farms like Sitio Belis, Sitio Naguey, Sitio Kisbong and many more. In this year’s edition, Yardstick will also host the Philippines’ AeroPress Championship HTML0to choose who will represent the Philippines in the World AeroPress Championship December 1-3 in Vancouver, B.C. Follow Yardstick Coffee on their Instagram.

Image alt=”The exterior of the Bad Cafe located in Makati.” class=”wp-image-52149″ height=”623″ sizes=”(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px” src=”” srcset=” 550w, 265w, 552w” width=”550″/>
In Makati, Bad Cafe merges art with fine coffee drinks as well as food items. Photo taken by Brian and Dianne Westphal.

Bad Cafe

Brian and Dianne Westphal started Bad Cafe as a place to combine their love of coffee and pastries with their love of art. The menu at Bad Cafe includes sweet treats like genmaicha brown sugar milk tea, and calamansi pies, as well as savory dishes like mushroom tartine or honey garlic chicken fried.

img alt=”Three drinking vessels in the bar in Bad Cafe.” class=”wp-image-52150″ height=”825″ sizes=”(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px” src=”” srcset=” 550w, 200w, 683w” width=”550″/>
Bad Cafe uses gorgeous pottery created by local artist Ugu Bigyan. Photo by Brian and Dianne Westphal.

The Makati-based eatery also serves its drinks and food in mugs and dishes designed by the local potter Ugu Bigyan. It’s an unassuming gesture that pays tribute to the nation’s rich heritage of art and craftsmanship. You can check out Bad Cafe on their Instagram page.

Prominent Coffee is in Metro Manila’s Quezon City. Photo by Ralph Lorenz Yu.

Prominent Coffee

In Quezon City, Prominent Coffee offers the standard espresso-based drinks as well as specials such as honeycomb latte and chocolate dalgona and tiramisu latte served with vanilla Mascarpone cream. Prominent Coffee also offers freshly-baked goods such as sourdough bread as well as pan de sal–classic Filipino bread rolls.

These are just a few amazing coffee shops Manila offers Some of the best are Commune and Each Coffee. If you happen to be in the region, make sure to go to these places!

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In Los Angeles, Emily Joy Meneses (she/her) is an artist and writer who is who is passionate about culture and collective responsibility. You can often visit her in Echo Park Lake, drinking cortado while writing about the astrology of art, astrology, Animal Crossing and her goals. Explore her short stories, poetry as well as soundscapes, on her site.

This article was first published at Barista Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to baristas and coffee professionals.

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