Here are 10 Restaurants that Serve Great CoffeeJune 19, 2014
Damn all these third wave coffee places. They’ve set the standard for coffee really high that our usual Starbucks latte just doesn’t seem to be good enough anymore. When offered coffee or tea after a meal, a little kick of caffeine can definitely do wonders, but there are some places that are taking this simple tradition to another level. Here are a few great restaurants that don’t just serve delicious meals, but a superb cup of coffee too.
Since it opened, Wildflour has steadily found itself on the best restaurant lists of many diners. Deceptively simple food, a menu that never seems to disappoint no matter what you order, and a lively yet relaxed atmosphere, are just some of the things that make this place so popular. The never-ending board of pastries have proven that Wildflour is probably the best bakery in the city, but you can never really enjoy your bomboloni or kouign amman without a great cup of coffee. Wildflour’s choice of beans come from La Mill, brewed in a La Marzocco machine. There’s simple, robust brewed pour over coffee, but for those who like their things a little sweeter, there’s also a killer Vietnamese latte on offer.
Wildflour Café + Bakery
4th Ave. Corner, gr. floor, Netlima Bldg. Global City, 26th St, Taguig
2. Your Local
The hot new restaurant opening of the year definitely belongs to Your Local. Amidst the tireless gastropubs that have been opening left and right, the chefs behind this hidden neighborhood restaurant have come up with a menu influenced by their travels abroad. While their rendang, brisket, and salmon donburi have been making noise, their coffee is delicious too—maybe because they share a space with third-wave pioneers Yardstick. Their Summer Cold Brew which uses Yardstick’s signature coffee, then infused with milk, and rosemary is a refreshing way to end a meal here.
106 Esteban St. cor VA Rufino St. Legaspi Village
3. Tutto Domani
Tutto Domani, tucked away in New World Renaissance Hotel, definitely looks like a furniture shop cum art gallery (because it is both), but it is also an awesome café. Highly overlooked because of the hundreds of other cafés and restaurants in the city, it serves some quietly delicious food, and even better coffee. There’s a roasted chicken that is juicy and crispy, and power meal platters with pasta and sandwich combos that are definite bangs for your buck. The Italian-style coffees make this humble café a step above the rest, with delicate mochas hot or iced, and lattes with a beautiful head of foam.
New World Hotel, Esperanza St., cor. Makati Ave
San Lorenzo, Makati
Caviar has earned a fast reputation as a serious fine-dining destination in the South. The place feels just like a refined hotel establishment would, with impeccable service, and a menu of Continental classics. Most of their specials are flown in, handpicked by the proprietors, from Fine de Claire oysters, to Iberico ham, to French guinea fowl. Because of the care they put in sourcing their ingredients, and creating their menu, you know that their after-dinner coffee won’t just be any kind of brew. They serve Lavazza coffee, using a Sanremo machine, which gives a strong cup every time. It doesn’t hurt that they serve each cup with macarons either.
Caviar Restaurant and Champagne Bar
Unit A-206, Westgate Center, Alabang
5. Enchanted Farm Café
Photo by Mark Roeland A. de Castro
The best thing about Enchanted Farm Café is the fact that it highlights Filipino entrepreneurs and produce. Most ingredients come from the GK Enchanted Farm, and other social enterprises—Gourmet Keso and Bayani Brew, among others. While the menu is simple, the food still stands up and the burgers, Pinoy Pesto pasta, and kesong puti sticks, are all delicious staples. The café also proudly serves Kape Maria, a home-grown brand of coffee, which supports coffee farmers around the Philippines, making this the only place on the list to serve truly Filipino beans. They have blends from beans grown in Bulacan, Benguet, Cotabato, and Cavite, with the milder Pulag Arabika an easy favorite.
Enchanted Farm Café
Corner Commonwealth and Feria,
Commonwealth Ave, Quezon City
6. Ba Noi’s
Vietnamese is definitely one of the haute cuisines in Manila in 2014, with more and more restaurants devoted to its clean flavors opening in the metro. Ba Noi’s however, has been around for quite some time, and with good reason. It’s been known for not messing around with the flavors too much, yet has kept their food at prices accessible to most. Their unadulterated pho bo is a perfect bowl of soup, while their lemongrass pork is the right amount of sweet, sour, and salty. Keeping true to their strictly Vietnamese aesthetic, Ba Noi’s serves a mean Ca Phe Nong, or traditional Vietnamese coffee, served with a drip filter. Stir in a generous amount of condensed milk, and you’ve got something close to the original.
Ba Noi’s (UP Town Center)
UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave Loyola Heights,
7. Café Shibuya
Located in UP Town Center, Café Shibuya is a Japanese café known for their pillowy French toast. With bread made specifically for the toast, this usually mundane breakfast dish transforms into something else entirely. The bread soaks up whatever topping you ask for—original honey, Nutella, mango and caramel, or even a savory mayo cream sauce on their Shibuya Benedict. Coffee here may be a little on the sweet side, but it is the only one so far to offer Ghirardelli chocolate with their concoctions. If mochas are your thing, then Café Shibuya’s will definitely satisfy whatever craving you may have.
Café Shibuya (UP Town Center)
UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave Loyola Heights,
8. π Breakfast and Pies
All-day breakfast places in the metro seem to be in abundance these days, and one of the best ones still happens to be Chef Ed Bugia’s π Breakfast and Pies. The chef is known for his clever spins on classic dishes, and bringing that expertise to this little joint in Teacher’s Village can only mean good, comforting food. Eggs Benedict come with thick cut bacon and Sriracha hollandaise, while Spam comes caramelized with kimchi rice and a six-minute egg. The coffee, therefore, needs to be great in order to wake you up for the rest of your day, and π is one of the few places in Manila that serve Malongo coffee, whose pods are rich, and bold. The Ethiopian Moka is a favorite for those who like their coffee strong, with a long-lasting flavor.
π Breakfast and Pies
39 Malingap Street,
Teachers Village, Quezon City
9. Breakfast at Antonio’s
Everyone loves Antonio’s. It’s a constant on the Miele guide, and is often mentioned by folks when asked which restaurant on our shores deserves a Michelin star. Breakfast at Antonio’s is their more casual outfit, serving my favorite meal of the day, all day. What sets it apart, aside from the ambiance, is that they make a lot of their stuff in house, especially when it matters—homemade pastrami, English muffins, lemon curd, and chorizo. To accompany their dishes, Antonio’s uses Nespresso, which lends itself well to a Ristretto. They are also known for their intense, refillable brewed coffee, perfect to keep you awake on your drive back to the city.
Photos by Patrick Marcelo
Breakfast at Antonio’s
Lusso, one of culinary stalwart Margarita Fores’s many establishments, remains one of her best. Yes, it is definitely pricey, but the atmosphere, and the undeniable quality of its food, is often worth the tag that comes with it. The much-talked-about foie burger eclipses the roast lamb sandwich, and the angus short rib with horseradish cream, which are some of the best sandwiches in the city. Fores is infamous for being meticulous, never pushing through with a concept or dish that isn’t near-perfect, which means that even the coffee served after a meal must be of the best quality. In almost all of her restaurants, Fores uses Lavazza, which is excellent in an Americano or an Espresso.