Estudyante brews: Eight unique cafés near colleges and universities |
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Estudyante brews: Eight unique cafés near colleges and universities

by Jillian CariolaPublished: October 11, 2017Updated: October 12, 2017

Whether you need a place for poring over books or relaxing after a long day at school, these coffee shops have something different to offer.

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities

As a college or university student, this is probably a good summary of how each day goes: you wake up extremely early for school, sit through (and try to stay awake during) long classes, take hard exams, then maybe you have the occasional talk with your professor about your grades. Then you do it all over again.

Stress basically goes hand-in-hand with life in school, and one of the best remedies is a nice cup of joe in a café that invites you to unwind. Of course, there are also those who flock coffee shops to cram in some studying before, in between, and after class hours. Either way, cafés are now far from just being an after-school treat; they have become part of the entire college experience for most students. How else can you explain the rate in which they’re popping up around different campuses in the metro?

Grabbing a steaming cup at your staple Starbucks Coffee or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the most convenient way to go especially since you’ll definitely find one or the other just a few feet away from your school. But if you’re looking for something a little different, these eight distinct cafés are definitely worth your precious study or R&R time.

Diligence Café

2/F Elizabeth Hall, President Carlos P. Garcia Ave., Diliman, Quezon City
Nearby schools: Miriam College, Ateneo De Manila University

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities Diligence Cafe D-Caf
Diligence Café. Photo from the Diligence Café Facebook page

What do you look for in a café? Great coffee, nice music, and a peaceful ambience are probably in the top three, but Diligence Café doesn’t stop there. Here, customers are also offered facilities for napping and—get this—showering. The idea behind Diligence Café, or D-Caf, is providing students and professionals with a place of productivity outside of school, work, or home. New customers might be confused by the Php70/hour or Php350/day entrance fee at first, but what you get is totally worth your peso: a power supply and Wi-Fi connection for your laptop or phone, unlimited juice or coffee, and napping facilities. For an additional Php100, they will let you shower and provide you with a towel and shower kit. Freelancers or small business owners could even rent one of their conference rooms to meet with clients or suppliers. Pulling an all-nighter for a major exam? Open from 12 p.m. to 7 a.m., D-Caf can quell your rumbling stomach with a menu that includes rice meals, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and pastries.

Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe

2/F J&R Concon Center, Rosa Alvero Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Nearby schools: Ateneo De Manila University, Miriam College

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities Barkin' Blends
Barkin' Blends. Photo from the Barkin' Blends Facebook page

What can soothe your mind and nerves better than sipping a drink while staring into a pair of loving puppy-dog eyes? This is probably the concept behind Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe, a.k.a.  paradise for all canine lovers. An entrance fee of Php219 includes one free drink and two hours of play time with their Barkin’ Buddies (resident dogs) like Marley the Golden Retriever, Skye the Siberian Husky, and Bubbles the Dalmatian. In case you get hungry, their list of edibles includes the Clydehouse (Php168), a clubhouse sandwich named after Clyde the Poodle; and the Vader burger (Php180), the namesake snack of Vader the Lhasa Apso. Barkin’ Blends is typically open every day from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. except Tuesdays.

Cool Beans Library Café

Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City
Nearby schools: University of the Philippines Diliman

Cool Beans may have been brought to the spotlight when it was featured in the local indie film English Only, Please, but that’s not the café’s only claim to fame. Touted as the first library café in Metro Manila, Cool Beans is in the radar of every caffeine-addicted bibliophile who has mastered the art of downing cup after cup even with their nose stuck in a page. Cool Beans is proud to stick to its Filipino roots, with an interior very reminiscent of Baguio, as well as coffee made solely from Sagada, Kalinga, and Benguet beans. But their collection of texts is not purely local; with over a thousand pieces from national artist N.V.M. Gonzales to British genius Neil Gaiman to even the Bible and Quran, it transcends all genres so there’s something for everyone. A simple hot Sagada brew costs Php80, which you can accompany with a full meal like the Crunchy Sizzling Pork Sisig (Php185) or a light dessert like the Fried Oreo Delight (Php65 for three).

Café UK

Barlin corner Padre Noval Streets, Sampaloc, Manila
Nearby schools: University of Santo Tomas

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities Cafe UK
Café UK. Photo from

Truly for the serious student with a need for a serious jolt of caffeine, Café UK houses everything you need to get your school work done. On top of the usual electric outlets and assorted seating, this three-story coffee house is also powered with free 10 mbps Wi-Fi, has tables with iPads, and is equipped with drafting tables. Another plus for students is that Cafe UK is open 24/7, which is perfect for sleepless night owls planning to burn the midnight oil. As for their coffee, baristas practice vacuum brewing, which is said to produce a more clean-tasting cup of joe. Try a tall vacuum coffee for Php110 with one of their many panini variations (Php140).

Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House

2/F Gordi Plaza Building, Legarda Street, Quiapo, Manila
Nearby schools: University of the East–Manila, San Beda College, San Sebastian College–Recoletos

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House
Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House. Photo from the Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House Facebook page

If the idea of living in a loft apartment sounds appealing to you, you won’t be disappointed when you walk into Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House. The layout, which is both space-savvy and unique, is just that, rows of lofts wherein guests can kick back in semi-privacy while digging into their meals and downing their drinks. Just as creative as the seating are the menu items, particularly the over-the-top Instagram-worthy frappes and frosts served in mason jars. But if simple meals and libations will suffice, try Belle’s Baked Mac (Php149) or Mini Bites (Php99) with a latte (Php75).

Yardstick Coffee

G/F Universal LMS Building, Esteban Street, Legaspi Village, Makati
Nearby schools: Makati Medical Center College of Nursing, Centro Escolar University

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities Yardstick Coffee
Yardstick Coffee. Photos from

Situated close to the many offices in Legaspi Village, Yardstick often teeming with young professionals, but its basic layout and quietness are what make it perfect for students looking for a nice and peaceful study spot. Tables and chairs do not overcrowd the place, which is good news for quiet group studies, and the ambient music and lighting will keep you focused on your work. And just in case you’ve got some free time for a different kind of studying, Yardstick also holds workshops on everything coffee. One of their most popular (and best-looking) dishes is the waffle (Php220), which is big enough to share and best enjoyed with a long black coffee (Php120).

Book and Borders Café

Tuscany Private Estates, Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig
Nearby schools: Meridian International College, Enderun Colleges

Eight unique cafes or coffee shops near colleges and universities Book and Borders Cafe
Book and Borders Café. Photo from the Book and Borders Café Facebook page

Another hotspot for the everyday book lover, Book and Borders Café doesn’t just appeal to your desire for a quiet place for coffee and conversation; it also offers reading material that goes beyond the worn-out and dated waiting-room magazines. Lining the walls are paperbacks and hardcovers spanning various subject matter, which you have your pick of in exchange for a valid ID. After dinner, grab a piccolo latte (Php115) while leafing through your chosen text, but if school ends late and you’re going in for a more substantial meal as well, tuck into some Tamarind Lemongrass Chicken (Php280).


2/F Reyes Building, Estrada Street, Malate, Manila (near the corner of Taft Avenue)
Nearby schools: De La Salle University, De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde, St. Scholastica’s College

For those who have already immersed themselves in Korean drama, K-Pop, and Korean chicken and beer chains and liked it, you’ll be remiss to not try this coffee shop. Charming and cozy with decorations like string lights, colorful bunting, and shelves upon shelves of random mugs, it would be hard not to perk up the minute you walk in. Park yourself at one of the low tables so you can stretch out on the floor, or snag one of the spaces at the wooden lofts if you’re planning to hunker down for some serious studying. You can settle for a short Americano for Php95, but if hunger strikes, try the tuna sandwich (Php140) or the honey bread (Php160).


Sources:,, Diligence Café Facebook page,, Cool Beans Coffee Facebook page, I <3 Noriter Facebook page,,, Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House Facebook page,, Book and Borders Cafe Facebook page,,

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