Best Cafes in Manila for Coffee, Brunch, & Dessert

28 Best Cafes in Manila for Coffee, Brunch, and Dessert

From award-winning coffee shops to vibrant dessert parlours!

If you’re a coffee lover and planning a trip to the Philippines sometime in the future, many locals would tell you to make a beeline for Metro Manila. The country’s capital region has quite the burgeoning coffee scene, after all. From hipster coffee shops to trendy multi-concept stores, the best cafes in Manila always manage to impress even the most discerning tastes. But wait — what if you’re not into coffee? Fret not because there’s definitely something for everyone.

Beyond third wave coffee shops, there’s also a handful of Manila cafes that cater to those who prefer pastries, desserts, milk tea, and more. So, we’ve come up with a list of the best cafes in Manila that you should check out on your next visit. All of these offer cosy ambience, #aesthetic interiors, and of course, excellent menu offerings that’ll leave you wanting more! 

Also read: 14 Stylish Airbnbs in Metro Manila With Pools Worth Dipping Into

Coffee shops in Metro Manila with interesting concepts

1. The Curator

Speakeasies are nothing new, but how about one that’s a speciality coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar at night? Now, that’s something you wouldn’t find often. If The Curator sounds familiar to you, that’s because it has been on Asia’s 50 Best Bars consistently since 2016! You’ll find this in a quiet corner of Legazpi Village in Makati. However, if you prefer a better-lit space, you can either opt for its outer area or head over to the park across the street

Pro tip: You can have your drink (whether coffee or cocktail) customised by their world-class baristas. 

Address: 134 Legazpi St. corner C. Palanca St., Legazpi Village, Makati, 1229 Metro Manila

2. The Coffee Academics

Also within Legazpi Village is The Coffee Academics, a speciality coffee shop from Hong Kong that serves creative drinks made with locally roasted beans. The brand has received numerous awards since 2012, when it first emerged. And yes, their cafe in Manila upholds the same menu standard as their OG branch. 

What we love about their Legazpi Village shop is the laid-back, rustic ambience — highlighted by soothing shades of tan, brown, and grey; making it an ideal hangout spot on any day of the week. Not to mention, it has a lush al fresco area that offers an urban oasis feel amid the bustling Makati scene. 

Address: 109 C. Palanca St., Legazpi Village, Makati, 1229 Metro Manila

3. EDSA Beverage Design Group

Ask any third wave coffee lover in Metro Manila about EDSA Beverage Design Group, and they’ll probably say that it’s one of the pioneers of speciality coffee here. You’ll find its flagship store in a nondescript building literally along EDSA (yes, that traffic-prone highway that locals have a love-hate relationship with). So, it’s definitely not like other Manila cafes, which are often housed in malls or less noisy streets! This spacious complex houses the coffee bar, roasting laboratory, and the brand HQ. 

Fun fact: Some of the owners are also the same peeps behind The Curator! 

Address: 209 CLMC Building, Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Mandaluyong, 1555 Metro Manila

4. Caravan Black

Situated on the ground floor of a corporate building in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), you’re likely to find a lot of white-collar employees getting their caffeine fix at Caravan Black. Its interiors have this “modern Art Deco with a hint of surrealist and rustic” style. The best way I can explain this is: It’s like a Jazz Age fan and a René Magritte patron decided to do a collab for an eclectic yet cosy space. Anyway, this cafe in Manila derives its name from the caravans used to transport coffee beans across continents centuries ago! 

Address: G/F Seven NEO, 4th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

Also read: 12 Instagram-Worthy Airbnbs in BGC for an Urban Escape

5. Angkan Coffee Company

Another notable coffee shop in the bustling Bonifacio Global City would be Angkan Coffee Company. Fun fact: It’s a venture of the former local partners of the Japanese speciality coffee brand, % Arabica. That said, we highly recommend the Spanish Latte — which many would say is the best in town.

While they have a handful of stores across the metro, the one at Twenty-Five Seven Mckinley Building is our fave. And let us tell you, they sure went all out. Is it just us or does it lowkey resemble that East High cafeteria from High School Musical, but more chic-minimalist? We don’t know which design element is more impressive: the over-counter bean cellar or the amphitheatre-style seating area that’s actually inspired by the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao!

Locations: For the full list of stores, click here.

6. Three Squares Cafe + Bar at Design Story

Three Squares Cafe + Bar is located inside the gallery-like furniture shop Design Story, which you’ll find at The Alley at Karrivin Plaza: an arts hub in the quieter part of Makati. Every corner in this showroom-slash-cafe-slash-bar is absolutely Instagrammable, so no need to look for the right spot just to get that perfect shot! BTW — most of the lovely items here are for sale; from the mid-century modern desks and sleek Scandinavian-style chairs, to the sculptural lamps and chic vases.

Address: Unit C-11, 2nd Floor, Building C, The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati, 1232 Metro Manila

7. The Den

best cafes in Manila

Image credit: The Den Facebook Page

In the historic district of Binondo in the City of Manila, there’s a speciality coffee shop that doubles as an artists’ space: The Den. Once in a while, it also serves as a venue for exhibits, workshops, and other events that focus on local contemporary culture; from music and visual arts to history-centric tours. Clearly, if there was one cafe in Manila that fully encapsulates the city’s creative millennial spirit, then this is definitely it

Oh, and it’s also located in a nearly-hundred-year-old Art Deco building along Escolta Street: the country’s former financial hub from the Spanish Era up until the 1950s. How cool is that? Nowadays, the area is home to a slew of indie stores and studios — most of which are run by entrepreneurial creatives, too.

Address: HUB Make Lab, First United Building, 413 Escolta St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila

8. Exchange Alley Coffee House

In the southern part of Metro Manila lies Exchange Alley Coffee House, named after the historic street in London that’s known for centuries-old cafes and taverns. Fondly nicknamed EACH by patrons, it’s become quite the crowd favourite in Alabang district. Industrial interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows make it conducive to getting work done, while the second floor also serves as their roastery for locally sourced beans. 

Address: Building 7, Molito Lifestyle Center, Madrigal corner Commerce Ave, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila

9. Caffe Pocofino

In search of a 24/7 cafe in Manila that doesn’t scrimp on quality? Look no further than Caffe Pocofino: the first Philippine outpost of the Italian heritage coffee brand, Pocofino. It’s an absolute must-visit for coffee aficionados who want legit Italian espresso shots and blends. Beyond the standard espresso drinks, we recommend signatures like the Iced Pocofino Latte and the Iced Tiramisu Latte. 

We can’t get enough of the retro-inspired interior that makes it even more of an ambient space for every occasion; be it weekend solo time, coffee dates, or remote work.  Oh, and did we mention that it’s pet-friendly, too? Expect to meet some fur babies when you’re here. Or if you’re bringing your own, you can even order them a special drink!

Address: BGC Corporate Center 2, 30th St. corner 5th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

10. Yardstick

Hailed one of the best cafes in Manila, Yardstick has been a huge part of the metro’s third wave coffee scene for over a decade now. It also doubles as a roaster and equipment supplier for other cafes across the country, so you know they’re really at the top of their game. Yardstick started out as a quaint indie shop in Makati and later expanded to more locations.

Most of their stores feature an effortlessly cool blend of eco-industrial and Nordic design elements. This combo sets the mood for enjoying their meticulously prepared drinks, whether you’re there on a slow weekend or a busy weekday. And while you’re at it, you might also want to bring home their products; they have a fine selection of both single-origin and blend beans.  

Locations: For the full list of stores, click here.

11. Odd Cafe

Image credit (L-R): Odd Cafe Official Instagram Page; Lauren Ong

True to its name, Odd Cafe is a study in chic eccentricity. Step inside and you’ll see that it looks like a hip coworking space straight out of a Pinterest board. This pet-friendly cafe in Manila boasts a well-lit interior that’s spacious enough for many seating options — as well as photo spots!  Think vibrant couches, tall windows, neon wall decor, and even an acrylic selfie mirror.  

As for their menu, you can take your pick between standard espresso drinks and more adventurous concoctions. For the latter, we recommend their French Kiss, Cinema Brew, and Dirty Oddchata! Vegans will also be pleased to know they have yummy plant-based options. 

Note: Keep an eye out for their community events that range from acoustic performances to pop-up shops. 

Address: 7/F Finman Centre Building, 131 Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati, 1227 Metro Manila

12. SGD Coffee Bodega

SGD Coffee Bodega is all about championing Philippine coffee, as they directly partner with smallholder farmers in Sagada. The cafe is also home to the Coffee Science Center, where they offer various classes; from basic barista lessons and cupping sessions to more in-depth courses on coffee production. As for the menu, don’t miss out on their PH Single-Origin Black Coffee and AVPA Award-Winning Black Coffee. 

Another factor that makes it stand out from other coffee shops in Manila is that it’s inside a restored decades-old house. Tucked away in the quiet Teachers Village in Quezon City, it remains a best-kept secret among locals who prefer to have their coffee in a low-key setting. So, if you have time to escape the more touristy areas in Metro Manila, this is your best bet! 

Address: 45 Maalalahanin St, Diliman, Quezon City, 1100 Metro Manila

Also read: 8 Hidden Benefits of Drinking Coffee Every Day, According to Science 

Best cafes in Manila for brunch and pastries

13. Bake House

Bake House started out as a vibrantly designed cafe inside the ritzy Shangri-La The Fort, before launching another store in the equally upscale Shangri-La Plaza. Despite these locations, its menu offerings are actually not as expensive as you’d expect. The interiors showcase rustic colours mixed with industrial and Art Deco elements. Sort of like a setting in a whimsical rom-com movie, if you’d ask us! In a way, it offsets the sophisticated array of French pastries lined up at the counter; a perfect balance between bougie and cosily welcoming

Pro tip: They have the best flat white in town! Yes, even if you’d compare it to foreign coffee shops that are also found in the area (more on that later). 


  • G/F Shangri-La The Fort, 30th St. corner 5th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila
  • G/F Shangri-La Plaza (North Wing), Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 1552 Metro Manila

14. Wildflour Café + Bakery

Looking for the best cafes in Manila with both great food and drinks? Head over to Wildflour Café + Bakery, which many locals consider as the quintessential brunch spot! The dishes come at a rather hefty price, but the (relatively) cheap yet delicious coffee more than makes up for it. Their cronuts are certainly a must-try, if only for the fact that it was Wildflour that introduced this to the local scene.

It has several locations, with slightly varying concepts, around the metro. Though, if you had to pick just one, we recommend their flagship store at Six/NEO building in BGC. It has an adjacent ice cream parlour where you can satisfy your sweet tooth after that hearty brunch! 

Locations: For the full list of stores, click here.

15. Poison Coffee & Doughnuts

Craving yummy doughnuts to go with your cuppa? Skip the usual Krispy Kreme and try out the homegrown Poison Coffee & Doughnuts instead! Unlike most Manila cafes that are brightly lit, this one looks straight out of a sci-fi anime with its neon lights and seemingly “menacing” signs. The doughnuts are a must-try, with unique flavours like Ube Milk Tea, Garam Masala and Egg Custard Brûlée! 

You’ll find this at the burgeoning creative enclave that is The Alley at Karrivin Plaza. This former warehouse also houses art galleries and boutiques that you can visit after getting your caffeine + pastry fix. 

Address: G/F Building C, The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati, 1232 Metro Manila

16. Toby’s Estate

Toby’s Estate is known as one of the leading coffee brands in Australia. So, it’s no surprise that its Philippine stores easily became one of the best cafes in Manila. As of writing, it has over 10 locations; some serve only coffee and pastries, while others offer scrumptious food, too! You’ll find most of ’em in malls and business districts, but if you prefer the most vibrant and spacious, head over to the one along Ruby Road in Ortigas. It’s situated behind an events space and also serves as the commissary. 

Locations: For the full list of stores, click here.

Also read: 15 Countries With a Coffee Culture Worth Travelling For

17. Bungalow Café & Bakery

Bright and airy interiors, decadent pastries, and all-day breakfast? It’s easy to see why Bungalow Café & Bakery is a crowd favourite, especially among those who frequent (or live in) Alabang. Dining here feels like staying in a countryside home, with its rustic decor and laid-back atmosphere that invite you to take your sweet time. 

Those looking for tummy-filling dishes should try the Maple Blueberry & Ricotta Pancakes, Adobo Rice, and Squid Ink Seafood Pasta. These are best paired with their Vietnamese coffee or their Pink Sangria… depending on your plans for the day! But if we’re talking about bestsellers, that would be their doughnuts, which come in a wide variety of flavours that are updated every week. (FYI — we suggest pre-ordering online, as these sell out quite fast!)

Address: Building 5, Molito Lifestyle Center, Madrigal corner Commerce Ave, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila

18. Apero

Unless you frequent the area of Temple Drive in Quezon City, it’s quite likely that you wouldn’t even notice Apero. Despite being somewhat underrated, it’s one of the best cafes in Manila that boast aesthetically pleasing design and top-notch brunch staples. Take in the part-tropical, part-Art Deco interiors while munching on savoury tartine, freshly baked pastries, hefty rice bowls… or all of the above! Don’t forget to pair these with something from their extensive coffee menu. 

Pro tip: This is also where you can have your dose of coffee from Intelligentsia aka one of the OG third wave coffee companies — which isn’t really easy to come by around Metro Manila!

Address: Unit 101C Corinthian Hills Clubhouse, Temple Drive, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila

Also read: 12 Airbnbs in Quezon City for Stress-Free Staycations

Manila cafes with outdoorsy settings

19. Papakape

Among the best coffee shops in Manila, Papakape remains to be a hidden gem. Nestled in a laid-back Makati neighbourhood, its name is derived from the Tagalog line, “papa-kape ako” (“I’ll be treating people to coffee”). The main attraction? A coffee bar inside a glass house that looks stunning no matter what time of the day! 

The dining area is all al fresco, with lush greenery and blue walls that are a subtle nod to Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh. Combined with their unique roster of ginger-infused coffee and tea, you’re guaranteed to have a soothing time. 

Address: 5641 Ampere St, Makati, 1235 Metro Manila

Also read: 15 Roadside Coffee Shops in & Near Metro Manila

20. Kandle Cafe

Looking for a cafe on the northern side, for a change? Kandle Cafe is the way to go! Apart from the top-notch comfort food and speciality coffee and tea, its original store in Quezon City has what’s arguably the best al fresco area among Manila cafes. Set in a (relatively) quiet neighbourhood, their lush garden offers a lovely respite from the hustle and bustle of the metro, which is honestly a rare find

Oh, and they also have a nursery for blue butterfly pea flowers — picked fresh daily and added to select drinks and dishes! So, plant lovers: you might want to add this to your bucket list.

Address: 113 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila

21. Brewed Specialty Coffee

When we talk about weekend lounging at a cafe, Brewed Specialty Coffee is certainly a good place to start. For one thing, it sets the mood for beachside relaxation amid the hustle and bustle of Pasig. Think earthy colours, tropical and rattan accents, and floor-to-ceiling windows allowing streams of natural light. Bonus points for the breezy terrace area, where you can enjoy your handcrafted beverage on a sunny day. 

Address: 2/F The Red Dot, 1609 C. Raymundo Ave, Pasig, 1609 Metro Manila

22. Flossom Kitchen + Cafe

Want more pretty, bloom-filled locations for your ’Gram? Flossom Kitchen + Cafe in San Juan is one of the best cafes in Manila for that! As its name suggests, it’s filled with floral elements, making every corner a sight to behold (yep, even the ceiling). Just like the previous item, it’s also perf for an urban garden escape. And, of course, it goes beyond just aesthetics by adding edible flowers and/or floral patterns on their drinks and dishes, too! 

Address: 187 N. Averilla Street, San Juan, 1500 Metro Manila

23. harlan + holden coffee

Most coffee snobs would usually think twice before trying cafes spearheaded by retail brands. Yet, harlan + holden coffee — their BGC store, in particular — proves that it’s more than just a gimmicky hangout. (Although, we certainly don’t mind the stunning glasshouse-like design, complete with a plant encased in table-to-ceiling glass.) 

Their signature drinks are enough to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your required caffeine dosage. Our personal faves include the Campfire Coffee, Sea Salt Latte, and Butterscotch Latte. While you’re there, you might also want to try their freshly baked snacks! 

Address: G/F One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

24. La Cathedral Cafe

Stepping into La Cathedral Cafe feels like being transported to one of those rooftop restaurants in Europe with panoramas of nearby historic buildings. Situated beside the famous Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, it offers a one-of-a-kind view that makes it a great setting for both casual gatherings and romantic dates. We recommend coming here in time for sunset, just in time to see the capiz lanterns lit up and the sky changing in dazzling hues. 

TripZilla Tip: Make sure to reserve a table in advance if you’re planning to dine in from 3pm onwards! 

Address: 636 Cabildo St, Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila

Also read: 8 Heritage Restaurants and Cafes You Can Find in Metro Manila

Best cafes in Manila for dessert

25. Carmen’s Best Ice Cream Parlor

This one’s for those looking to indulge in ice-cold desserts to beat the Manila heat! Carmen’s Best Ice Cream Parlor is a spin-off of the homegrown artisanal ice cream brand that many locals adore. So, imagine our delight when they finally set up a dessert cafe a few years back. As of writing, there’s only one branch at Power Plant Mall in Makati, which is quite reminiscent of an old-school Filipino cafe. 

Trust us when we say you’ll have a hard time choosing among different flavours. You might even want to bring a friend along; that way, you’ll get to try even more! Crowd-favourite flavours include the Malted Milk, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, and Dark Chocolate. Most of these also come in the form of sundaes, milkshakes, and even ice cream cakes. 

P.S. — They have another store coming up at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay

Address: Level R2 Power Plant Mall, Hidalgo Drive, Rockwell, Makati, 1224 Metro Manila 

26. Scout’s Honor

Images courtesy of Tasteless Food Group brand team

As its name suggests, Scout’s Honor is all about serving only the best-tasting cookies in town. Here, you can try out a wide variety of speciality cookies; from classics like the  Ultimate Chocolate Chip to fascinating combos like the Matcha Oreo and Cookie Butter Duo. Top it all off with a glass of ice-cold milk for a truly nostalgic experience! 

We also love how each of their Metro Manila cafes has cute camping-themed interiors. Think angular ceilings meant to resemble a tent, quirky illustrations on how to signal for your cookies like a proper Girl or Boy Scout, and even board games you can borrow. That said, it’s one of the best dessert cafes in Manila for both kids and kids at heart.

Note: Scout’s Honor also offers Doggie Cookies for those bringing their furry pals along!

Locations: For the full list of stores, click here.

27. Flour Jar Manila

Admittedly, most dessert cafes in Manila and beyond tend to go for cutesy decor. So when we came across one with a boho-chic vibe, we couldn’t help but get curious. All the way down south in Las Piñas is Flour Jar Manila, which started as a home-based pastry supplier for other cafes in the metro. Eventually, it became a well-loved neighbourhood bakery-slash-cafe that specialises in indulgent treats such as cookies, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, and even smoothie bowls! 

Address: Unit C, Pilar Development Corporation, Rose Avenue, Pilar Village, Las Piñas, 1740 Metro Manila

28. Black Scoop Cafe

One look at the menu, and you’ll see why Black Scoop Cafe is one of the best cafes in Manila for lovers of milk tea and other cold desserts. An absolute must-try is their Milk Tea Swirl: milk tea-flavoured, soft-serve ice cream with boba pearl toppings. A glorious match made in dessert heaven, if you’d ask us. 

Always experimental and never boring, their unique drinks often incorporate nostalgic sweets like White Rabbit, Yakult, and Ovaltine — take note, ’90s kids! Fortunately, they have over 20 stores across the metro, so there’s no excuse to not add this to your Manila cafes bucket list. 

Locations: For the full list of stores, click here.

Also read: 12 Hidden Gems Around Manila for an Adventure Off the Beaten Path

It’s no secret that the Philippines is well-known for its beaches and islands; most travellers make a beeline for these and skip a tour of the capital region. Yet these best cafes in Manila clearly show why you should stick around the metro for a while. Whether it’s for a caffeine fix or satisfying your sweet tooth, there’s something for everyone indeed. 

On the other hand, if you’re a local and you’ve already been to these Metro Manila cafes, we’d love to hear about your visits there! As always, don’t be shy and share your Instagram snaps by tagging @tripzillamag

Facebook image credit (L-R): Papakape; Bake House | Official Instagram Page

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.