HOME > Chowhound > China & Southeast Asia >
Are you making a specialty food?

Espresso and coffee in Makati? Philippines

rln Nov 22, 2009 09:05 PM

Hi-- I will be going to the Philippines over the holidays!

We'll be staying in Makati and I'm interested in finding good places for espresso drinks. I know there is a Coffee Bean there... anything else? I'm from San Francisco, and usually coffee is Peet's, Blue Bottle, etc.
Thanks for any suggestions!

  1. c
    chutster Apr 28, 2010 10:24 PM

    Unfortunately I haven't found a 'Third Wave' quality coffee shop in Manila. Nothing on the level of Blue Bottle, Toby's Estate, Zambra, etc. Perhaps the closest thing to one is Tommy's Coffee, which is a micro roaster and sells freshly roasted, locally grown coffee beans as well as espresso based drinks at the Salcedo Market on Saturdays.

    Some years ago, I did some barista training so I've been pulling my espressos at home and at the office using Tommy's Coffee beans. I like his Metropolitan blend which uses Arabica from the Batangas lowlands and from the Benguet highlands (if I remember correctly).

    There are some restaurants that serve good espresso such as Sala/Sala Bistro and Elbert's Steak Room, but unfortunately there isn't a great coffee bar yet. Malcolm's Deli sells Tommy's Coffee beans but they use a dinky coffee machine which is a pity.

    1. jin.loves.to.eat Dec 1, 2009 03:19 AM

      Go to the Japanese chain UCC for the best coffee! Must try their Sumiyaki, my favorite! Ask the server for crystal sugar if you want it sweet, otherwise they just give you regular white sugar. In Makati, UCC is available in Greenbelt 5, Rockwell, Paseo Center, and at the park outside Shangri-la. Pair it with their tiramisu, the best in town!

      Another must try is the Sumibi coffee at Kohikhan in Rockwell mall. Of course, you gotta have their Le Royale and baked cheesecake, too!

      1. jberendzen Nov 25, 2009 07:08 PM

        The coffee in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel is some of the best I've ever had.

        1. pilinut Nov 24, 2009 11:16 PM

          There's a local chain, Figaro, which you may want to check out. They've actively promoted Philippine coffees, which can be very good,


          I know they have a cafe at Rockwell in Makati, and in other major malls as well.

          I think the patisserie Bizu in Greenbelt Mall serves Illy, my preferred coffee, as do a few other restaurants.

          Philippine coffees are quite varied: I believe most of the coffee grown is Robusta, though there's some Arabica as well--I still remember something called "Kalinga Gold" which was as good as any coffee I've had from Blue Bottle--not to mention the famous, or infamous, Liberica, a.k.a. Barako "wild boar", which can be rich and aromatic, or downright putrid.

          There's also a Japanese chain, whose name escapes me at the moment, but someone else may remember the place. Caveat: I;ve had espresso there twice, and didn't like them at all. But maybe that's just me. The regular brew was ok, but I'll stick to Illy.

          1. r
            rln Nov 23, 2009 07:17 AM


            Cafe de Lipa and this blog may help!

            1 Reply
            1. re: rln
              rln Nov 23, 2009 07:25 AM

              PS. I found the info above from Dessert Comes First Blog. Thanks!

            2. p
              prasantrin Nov 22, 2009 09:26 PM

              Starbucks is everywhere, but I'm not sure I would recommend it.

              You can check out Desserts Come First blog. The writer loves coffee and has some recs on her blog. I went to one of the places in Tiendesitas, and it was fine (it's not near Makati, but if you happen to go out to Greenhills to check out the pearls, there's a shuttle bus from Greenhills to Tiendesitas).

              9 Replies
              1. re: prasantrin
                klyeoh Nov 22, 2009 09:35 PM

                There are 3 Starbucks in Glorietta Mall, Makati, which also has a Gloria Jean's, Cafe Cibo and Bo's Coffee. But nothing comes near SF's Peets or Blue Bottle :-(

                I'll be in Makati over Christmas, too, so any suggestions nearby will definitely help!

                1. re: klyeoh
                  prasantrin Nov 22, 2009 10:40 PM

                  I'll be there over Christmas, too! Well, only from the 19th to the 22nd or 23rd in Manila, then to Bacolod.

                  Anyone want to do a Chow get-together? I don't really drink coffee, but I can eat cake! :-)

                  1. re: prasantrin
                    klyeoh Nov 22, 2009 11:29 PM

                    Unfortunately, I'm only flying into Manila on Christmas Day itself - otherwise, would have loved to catch up with you!

                    1. re: prasantrin
                      rln Nov 23, 2009 06:57 AM

                      Oh, that would have been fun! Although I come in 18th, I won't be back in Makati until the 23rd.. I'm checking out Boracay on first leg.

                      (Have to find coffee there too!)

                      Thank you for these tips. Gloria Jean's and the others sound promising. Would like to avoid Starbucks if possible, but good to know they are around. I will check out this blog!

                      1. re: prasantrin
                        pilinut Nov 24, 2009 11:34 PM

                        Sounds like a good idea! I arrive on the 18th, and will be at the Salcedo Saturday market the next day (Inshallah) to make up for the months I;ve been away,

                        I'll be in Manila until the 26th, anyone else interested in meeting up--maybe at the Sunday market in Legaspi or at the dessert bazaar at Rockwell during the weekend? Or for the sisig at Cirkulo, I'll be out of Manila until the 6th of January.

                        1. re: pilinut
                          klyeoh Nov 25, 2009 05:25 AM

                          26 Dec - that's Saturday, right? Is Salcedo Market on that day? I'll want to go!

                          Sunday, I'm off to Tagaytay - dining at Antonio's.

                          1. re: klyeoh
                            rln Dec 27, 2009 10:55 PM

                            Our friends took us to Antonio's in Tagaytay last night. What a beautiful restuarant-- we had a great time. I felt guilty getting duck breast here while I contstantly crave good Filipino food in San Francisco, but it was very good. Highlight also included baked oysters in a truffle sauce.

                            What did you think?

                            1. re: rln
                              klyeoh Dec 27, 2009 11:04 PM

                              Antonio's was great - but I agree, we should really have stuck to Filipino food whilst in the Philippines! And Sonya's Secret Garden a little way up the road from Antonio was a great change! We lunched there yesterday & met Sonya Garcia herself :-)
                              Beautiful secluded place with lots of greenery and organic food from her gardens cooked straight up & served very fresh - simply unforgettable! And don't miss the cheese hopia from the patisserie there.

                          2. re: pilinut
                            prasantrin Nov 26, 2009 12:14 AM

                            Legaspi on the 20th? I could do that! I'm already planning on going--probably early-ish in the morning. I'm still annoyed that I'll probably miss Salcedo on Saturday, unless they end up opening all day! My flight doesn't arrive until 1, so I'm SOL! :-(

                            My e-mail is prasantrin at yahoo dot ca if you want to get in touch!

                    Show Hidden Posts