by Mich Escultura
While Starbucks and The Coffee Bean are some of the most popular hangouts for folks looking for a relaxing place to get a coffee fix, it wouldn’t hurt to venture out and find a café that gets your creative juices flowing just by being there. There are a ton of unique themed cafés scattered around Manila, and we’ve compiled a few of the ones that can give you more than just your regular coffee experience.
If you’re a gamer looking for a board game café to visit, we’ve got an entire article dedicated to that particular theme!
1. UKE Box Caffe
UKE Box Caffe is a themed café that specializes in making you feel like you’re relaxing by the sea with its soothing music, local coffee paired with sumptuous dishes, and of course, the beach-themed interiors. Amid the busy southbound lane of C5 lies this oasis of relaxation that not only serves a multitude of refreshments and live music, but also transforms into a creative learning space.
What’s there to do? You can also learn to play the ukulele with their workshops. And that’s not all; UKE Box Café can also be your venue of choice for teaching and displaying your artsy side through DIY and handicraft seminars.
Address: 187 Village Center Euloguio Rodriguez Jr. Ave Brgy. Bagumbayan Libis, Quezon City
Love all things old school? Then you’ll love this themed café that lets you take a journey to the past with analog music, curated books, and accessories, and of course, coffee. It’s the perfect place to sit back and listen to the music of yesteryear (and some beautiful new tunes but with a vinyl touch) while looking around at all the crafty or sentimental trinkets that adorn the cafe.
What’s there to do? For a truly unique musical experience, pick a record and ask the attendants to play it for you. Sometimes, Satchmi also transforms into a venue where artists display their works to the tune of live music.
Address: 4th Floor, SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
3. Antiteasis: Books and Brews
The book and brew (in this case, tea) combination are as old as it is constant. And while so many cafes out there boast a few books scattered about their shelves, no other laid-back venue caters to more exceptional tastes like Antiteasis. This book/library-themed café houses books that are carefully chosen to suit almost every literary taste, so you can take your pick and read to your heart’s content within this homey haven.
What’s there to do? Read and relax with their huge selection of teas like the organic licorice and spearmint infusion or the Teekanne pure lust blend.
Address: Unit C, 154 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
As the country’s first photography-themed cafe, Caffera is a coffee shop where every inch is covered with all things photography. So as you can image, whether you’re a digital photographer or an analog lover, you’ll find something in Caffera’s extensive displays that will pique your interest, or perhaps even revive your lost love of the art of photography.
What’s there to do? Aside from trade tips and tricks with fellow photography lovers over a few lens-themed cups of their Frappertures, you can also attend Caffera’s discussions and seminars on photography. The next discussion, Composition 1010, is scheduled for May 6th, Friday, and their speaker is professional photographer Richmond Chi.
Address: 2/F Dona Zenona Suites, 54 Maginhawa St. cor. Mahusay, UP Village, Quezon City
5. Caffe Piansa
Ever wondered what it’d be like to be jailed for a day, only to be freed as soon as you pay your bill? Caffe Piansa gives you just that with their jail-themed, well, everything! As soon as you walk inside, you’re greeted with holding cells, a mug shot corner, and a magistrate’s court where you can appeal for your orders. And their menu? This is undeniably the only place that serves forcible entrees, tortured pizzas, execution pasta, and guilt-inducing last meal requests!
What’s there to do? It’s all about the experience! While the waiters won’t exactly treat you like a criminal (they’re in jail too, after all), you can still indulge in your jailbird fantasies with tons of photos! And yes, you can totally sit on their electric chair for a genuinely shocking photo op.
Address: 57 Dragon Street, Midtown Subdivision, San Roque, Marikina City
6. Museum Café
After a culturally eye-opening trip to the Ayala Museum, you’ll probably be looking to get something to eat. But why settle on any old café for your gourmet fix when you can continue with the cultural exploration at the Museum Café? The Museum Café is a refreshing break from the typical mall restaurants, and its lofty, well-lit interiors make it the perfect place for a romantic date or a casual lunch with friends.
What’s there to do? Once the sun’s down, the Museum Café transforms from a quiet respite to party central with dance events care of their guest DJs! So who says museums are boring?
Address: Level 1, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Museum, Ayala Center, Makati City
7. Artsy Café
Walking into Maginhawa’s Artsy Café is like walking into a Pinterest search page. It’s got everything to keep your eyes roaming around the interiors, from the endless array of quotes about love and life to the adorable furniture that you won’t resist trying to DIY at home. And as for the food, they’ve got your typical fare of entrees, pasta, sandwiches, and steaks, alongside refreshing coolers like their famous lemon basil drink.
What’s there to do? Other than indulging in the food, you can simply surround yourself with this café’s laid-back prettiness. Oh, and if you’re a huge fan of quotes about love and life, you’ll pick up a few gems here.
Address: 36 Maginhawa St., UP Village, Quezon City
A plain and simple cuppa at your usual café is great, but every once in a while, you’ll want to add a little more fun to your experience. These unique themed cafés offer more than just food and coffee; they offer a creative outlet for you to refresh or relax your mind. So which of these unique themed cafés are you going to check out first? Let us know below!
Main image by LittleMissTeaPat