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10 Minimalist Cafes In Manila That Are So, So Pretty

Cameras at the ready.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/tellemaywhy, (RIGHT) Instagram/karislee

Looking to refresh your feed with photos straight out of Kinfolk? If it’s minimalism you’re after, these cafes definitely won’t disappoint. Make a date with your Instagram other half, because the places below totally fulfill all the things millenials look for in a hangout spot.

  1. Kale Cafe + Restaurant

    Location: Fairview, Quezon City
    Need a good reason to venture out to the Great North? Kale Cafe + Restaurant might just be it. Flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s the kind of place that gets bathed in tons of natural light on a bright and sunny day (though we can imagine it’s just as atmospheric when it’s gloomy out). Hunker down at the concrete bar with a cup of their decadent ‘Smores Latte, or gather around the communal table with servings of Kale’s Bibimbap, Scotch Egg, Steak, and Tinapa Aglio Olio.

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  2. Bad Cafe

    Location: Legazpi Village, Makati
    The new kid on the block in the Makati coffee shop scene, Bad Cafe is nothing like what its name suggests. After all, what negative thing can ever come out of a place that offers specialty coffee, baked treats, and comfort food? Design-wise, the café ticks off all the right boxes in every millenial’s minimalist checklist—slabs of marble serving as countertops, unfinished concrete walls, and just enough greenery to calm frenzied minds. On rainy days, warm up with a cup of their Matcha Latte; once temperatures rise, go for the refreshing Cucumber Mint Slush. Feeling sinful? The Fried Chicken + Mac n Cheese combo should do the trick.

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  3. Cup Point

    Locations: SM Megamall, Mandaluyong; SM Southmall, Las Piñas; SM Marikina, Marikina
    It’s a known fact that anything the girl bosses behind the Sunnies brand turns to gold—Sunnies Face crashing servers and selling out lippies is just the tip of that iceberg. Their next venture? Cup Point, the pretty, peppy, and totally photogenic cafes nestled in select Sunnies Specs stores nationwide. Coffees and milkshakes are on the menu, but if we’re being honest, the biggest draw here is the retro decor straight out of a Wes Anderson set. Go now before the crowds take over.

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  4. Latitude Bean + Bar

    Location: Malate, Manila
    What is it about Latitude Bean + Bar that just feels screams cozy? It might be the deep blue walls that seem to envelop you in a comforting hug, or the warm yellow lighting that bathes everything in a fuzzy candlelit glow. Or maybe it’s the abundance of leafy things, whether of the fresh or dried variety. Of course, it could be the offerings on the menu, the kind you’d want to take solace in after a long, tiring day. Your best bets are the Truffle Pasta and Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich, though we wouldn’t say no to any of the cakes on display. If you’re after something other than coffee (not to worry, Latitude has its fair share of those), the colorful Dusk Till Dawn is an interesting choice.

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  5. Prominent

    Location: Banawe, Quezon City
    You might have heard of Prominent from the Bun Appetit pop-ups they’ve hosted at their space. Maybe you even made the drive to Banawe just to get your hands on those lobster rolls. Sans collab, Prominent is one café you won’t mind coming back to. The clean, minimalist interiors may have a lot to do with it, but we bet it’s the quirky, innovative beverages that would compel you to revisit. Toasty, a hot beverage topped with a giant molten marshmallow, sounds like the perfect holiday pick-me-up; while Butterball is essentially your favorite childhood candy in liquid form.

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  6. Blocleaf Café

    Location: Malate, Manila
    You’d be spoiled for choice for coffee houses like this next one on our list in tourist hotspots as Kyoto and Bangkok, but in Manila, they’re unfortunately harder to come by. As such, Blocleaf Café feels like a gem once discovered—a diamond in the rough, if you will. But while the café’s interiors, with its concept of bringing nature in, are on par with those in hip neighborhoods abroad, the coffee is decidedly Filipino and highlights Benguet-grown beans by Kalsada Coffee.

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  7. % Arabica

    Locations: W City Center, Bonifacio Global City; The Podium, Mandaluyong
    Though % Arabica’s 40 (and counting) branches around the world are often designed to work with the town or city they find themselves in, each café’s clean white interiors are on-brand to exhibit Japanese minimalism. At the local BGC branch, climb up to the second floor for a spot of people watching; or claim one of the tables downstairs to snap your drink against the bustling coffee bar. Either way, the logo on your coffee cup is unmistakably Arabica.

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  8. White Camp Coffee

    Location: South Triangle, Quezon City
    BGC and Makati may be where all the trendy restaurants are setting up shop, but, as this list proves, there’s no shortage of cafes worth visiting in the QC area. With its white interiors punctuated by pops of red, White Camp Coffee is a great choice for a hearty breakfast paired with a solid cup of coffee. Make that a hearty meal—whether it’s nine in the morning or nine at night, you can enjoy the café’s Sukiyaki Tapa, Buttermilk Waffles, and Korean Fried Chicken. Needless to say, you can’t leave the place without a cuppa, whether it’s a Cortado or a Cold Brew you’re after.

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  9. Chapter Coffee Roastery & Cafe

    Location: Maginhawa, Quezon City
    Maginhawa is always a foolproof option when you want to eat well without blowing your bank account. After tucking in to a filling meal, head to Chapter Coffee Roastery & Cafe to extend the evening. The café’s high ceilings give the place an airy, relaxing vibe, perfect when the only thing on the agenda is to chat the night away. Get the Horchata if you don’t fancy lying awake at 3:00 a.m., though you probably won’t want to skip on Chapter’s own brand of beans.

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  10. Harlan+Holden Coffee

    Location: One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City
    Like the Rockwell Glasshouse before it, Harlan+Holden Coffee in BGC is where you go to see and be seen. Upon entering, your eyes are immediately drawn up to the looming glass pillar filled with lush vegetation, its height only emphasizing the cavernous feel of the space. The bar seats around this structure is quite possibly the best spot to take photos, since you get views of both the baristas behind the gleaming counter and the lit-up “because coffee” sign.

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