We’ve been on the lookout for interesting places around the Metro but it feels like everything’s almost the same — food parks here and there, Korean restaurants with unli food, and cute cafes for the kids-at-heart. All these places are bustling with busy students or non-stop chattering from different groups. So where does that leave people who want to peacefully read a good book while munching on afternoon snacks? Fortunately, there’s a hidden nook down the streets of Taft Avenue in Manila that’s ready to welcome millennial booklovers with a shelf full of novels that everyone will love.
Aside from letting their customers read novels and series for FREE, Cuaderno Fil-Mex Book Cafe has an interesting mix of Filipino and Mexican cuisine that’s ready to captivate the hearts (and stomachs) of their visitors. Your resident millennial recently paid them a visit to verify if they really do have a conducive environment for reading and we’re glad to announce that they did not disappoint.
When it comes to the selection of novels and series, I’d say the owners are up-to-date with the latest titles. Among their collection are writings from Rick Riordan, George R.R. Martin, Dan Brown, James Patterson, Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks, Rainbow Rowell, Stephenie Meyer, Cassandra Clare, Victoria Aveyard, to name a few. It will probably take you months to finish everything on their shelves since the cafe is only open from Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm, and customers start pouring in at around 7 pm onwards. Don’t forget to drop by early if you’re planning to stay long!
The place is also perfect for artsy kids who are on the lookout for products from local calligraphers. Inside the cafe is a small section dedicated to Maarteng Letra’s quotes, stickers, artworks, and notebooks. Everything’s sold for a reasonable price and we can attest that it’s really worth it. We got some, of course.
Speaking of artsy, walls are painted with quotes from Pablo Neruda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and adorned with framed paintings. There’s also a Mexican-inspired mural which adds up to the Fil-Mex vibe of the interior. Seats come with comfy pillows and the tables are made out of polished wood. It’s a nice Instagram feature, in my opinion.
Food isn’t a problem here but just so you’re prepared, it would be best if you have at least P500 to get a complete meal for two. There’s already room for waffles in that budget! If ever you’re really trying to save, they have Student Meals with egg and nachos for only P99.
Unfortunately, their famous Darth Vader Waffle was not available during our visit so we got nachos, burritos, and drinks instead. We’ll visit again soon and hopefully, we can update this post with photos of their fun-shaped waffles.
Cuaderno occupies a small space in Gourmet’s Garage, but the place is very comfy, clean, and relaxing. It’s air-conditioned and smoke-free even though the area is surrounded by food chains that require a lot of grilling and frying. If you’re traveling via car, be mindful that only street parking is offered nearby.
Visit them today at 1013 Estrada Street Malate, Manila. They are also open for group reservations, walk-ins, and takeout orders. See you there!