Tomas Morato: Afters Espresso & Desserts
20 Lansbergh Place, Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout Castor St., Quezon City 1103, Philippines
+63 2 791 8789
If you are tired of the typical coffee chains lined up along Tomas Morato, Afters is one nondescript café worth visiting. Situated right beside one of the metro’s biggest coffee giants, Afters has become a beloved escape for those living in the north who want to hole up studying in somewhere new. The place itself is dimly lit, but it adds to its homey feel—complete with a hands-on manager who will assist you all throughout your dining experience like a caring mother. The best part of its menu, other than their salted caramel latte, is the dessert portion: a wide assortment of cakes, pastries, cookies, and brownies, not to mention, their bestselling homemade gelato. Their gelato selection ranges from green tea, to sea salt, to Nutella chocolate—a unique experience you can bring home with you in pints, perfect after a whole day’s worth of reading.
Noise level: Low to medium
Price range: P50-P200
Makati: Tutto Domani
New World Renaissance Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati, Philippines
+63 932 811 6702
Tutto Domani is Makati’s version of the Leaky Cauldron: Easy to drive past it, but difficult to uncover by the normal onlooker. Though if you stop and look a bit closer, you’ll notice a small sign along the gallery of one of Makati’s most prestigious hotels, leading you to a quaint lifestyle café with a stark difference from your average Starbucks. Its odd assortment of mismatched chairs and wide array of games and toys aligned in its bookshelves will easily warm anybody’s heart. The best part of this place, however, lies in its generous servings of food and coffee. For P140-P160, you can easily get a whole pitcher of iced caramel coffee big enough for two, not to mention the local favorite among all the pasta selections—a hefty bowl of Saffron Cream Sauce and Mushroom Truffle Sea Salt Pasta. Top it off with a plate of the café’s very own “crounds” for dessert, sweet bite-size pancakes in different flavors, and you have yourself a comfortable fort in the middle of the city, perfect for your studying needs.
Noise level: Low
Price range: P100-P300
Bonifacio Global City: Luna Specialty Coffee
G/F NAC Tower, 32nd street, Bonifacio Global City
+63 915 309 4347
Coffee all day, beer all night. You may find yourself wanting to study the day away but letting yourself loose once the night arrives. If this is the case, then Luna may be the perfect mix for you. There are only a few establishments in town where you can indulge in artisan coffee side by side a pint of draft beer, while watching their nightly showing of the World Cup to cap off the whole afternoon’s hard work. During the day, their 80s hits become the perfect background music, almost inaudible to allow you to read your law books in peace as you indulge in their all-time favorite White Rabbit or Flat Tops iced coffee, perfect with a chocolate yema cupcake from Slice. Or, if you’re feeling a tad bit whimsical, try their Irish Coffee during their Happy Hour…for a slightly different coffee experience.
Noise level: Low (During the day)-High (During the night)
Price range: P150-P300
BF Homes: Magnum Opus
2nd Floor, The Prime Building, #115 A. Aguirre Ave, Parañaque, Philippines
+63 939 920 0701
Tucked away in southern suburbia is a small artisan café in the middle of the long winding road that is Aguirre Avenue. Blink and you just might miss it, unless you’re wise enough to ask a passerby where it’s located (but even then, they might not know). Found at the second floor of an inconspicuous building is a quiet haven, home of the famous Belgian Heartbreaker, a smooth mocha blend that will keep you awake through your late nights with your cases. Even their bathroom is a novelty; the entrance is an exact replica of England’s blue police box, known to all Doctor Who fans as the Tardis, the first of its kind among all cafes in the metro. With all this in store, Magnum Opus is most definitely a must-see if you happen to chance by somewhere in the South.
Noise level: Low-Medium
Price range: P150-P300