My Favorite Neigborhood Coffee Shops!

Can't function without coffee? Me, too! Here are my favorite neighborhood coffee shops for you to try!

In the pursuit of life's simple pleasures, two things have become an indispensable part of my routine: a good cup of coffee, and captivating stories that unfold within the people around me.

Coffee, with its rich aroma and invigorating warmth, has been my loyal companion since the moment I decided to be independent, moved away from the province, and the comfort of my family.

When I arrived in Cebu City in 2013, I met a friend who always brought a piping hot caffe mocha from Starbucks every week or so in his attempt to befriend me. (We’re still good friends today.)

It was then that I realized that coffee was more than just a morning pick-me-up cup; instead, it was a realm of diverse flavors, textures, and possibilities in a single cup. Each cup held the potential for a unique experience, a symphony of tastes that could be delightful or disappointing, depending on where it was brewed.

My craving for coffee took hold, fueling my desire to explore beyond Dunkin Donuts and Jollibee, the only places in my hometown back then where I could get a decent taste of black coffee.

From then on, I started to discover the true essence of local coffee shops. With every sip, It became a personal quest to unearth the hidden gems nestled within my neighborhood, where passionate baristas and distinctive brews awaited me, enchanting my curious taste buds and filling my life with stories every cup.

Without further ado, here are my favorite coffee shops around town.

Read more and let me know if you’ve ever been, or if you’d agree with me! ☕️👍🏻

Cebu City

I spent my entire young adulthood in Cebu City. From 2013 to 2020, right before the pandemic, Cebu molded me into the person I am today. It is where I learned so many things, discovered a lot of beautiful places, met so many wonderful people, and had my heart extremely broken. It is an enchanting place filled with bittersweet memories.

One of my many happy memories is found in coffee shops where I spent a great time reading, writing, and everything else in between.

Image from Google Images

This was my ex and, by default, my go-to coffee shop. Degree 9 was open 24 hours, and it was near the ex’s place so we always frequent here because he had to study for law school.

Degree 9 roasted their beans, and their coffee was really good! My favorite part was getting into the coffee shop and smelling the coffee beans — they filled every crevice and flower pot with coffee beans. I would not miss the irresistible coffee aroma with notes of dark chocolate, earthy undertones, and a hint of smokiness. I loved the smell.

I always ordered caffe mocha. And a cup would keep me awake for a good number of hours. The coffee was so strong it overpowered the chocolate. The espresso and the chocolate were not balanced, but I would not have it any other way. I loved how strong it was, but at the same time, I could still taste the chocolate.

Unfortunately, Degree 9 is permanently closed today.

Image from Google Images

Whenever I wanted to go out for a stroll on a weekend, I would always want a cup of Classic Mocha from Seattle’s — sometimes paired with their breakfast food: two eggs, sausages, bacon, and some pancakes.

But what I loved most was their Classic Mocha! Contrary to Degree 9, Seattle’s Classic Mocha is very sweet. My favorite part was the chocolate bar slowly melting on the brim of the cup, till eventually falling down the bottom. It tasted sweet like a cup of Christmas cocoa drink. 🩷

The place was also good and convenient because, well, it’s in the mall.

UCC was not really my go-to coffee shop, but whenever I felt fancy and wanted a taste of good bitter coffee, I’d want a cup of caffe americano from UCC.

I thought their cup of caffe americano was pure espresso. What I meant was, the coffee was dark and the texture was a bit sticky that when I looked down at the cup all I saw was darkness and nothing else lol But I always loved it that way, albeit a bit expensive, it’s super worth it.

Image from Google Images

Since ABACA Baking Company opened in Ayala Center Cebu way back in 2016, it then became my go-to coffee shop during lunch or whenever my “lunch buddy” and I have time and energy to walk to Ayala. The mall was just a 5-min walk from the office so most of the time, we would go out for a walk to unwind for a bit.

And ABACA’s cold brew didn’t disappoint! It tastes so good that my day would not be complete without drinking one. The cold brew was bitter, but it had a note of ripe banana, and the flavor usually enhanced whenever I add more sugar syrup. I didn’t know for sure if there was banana in it, but it sure tasted like it had one — and I loved it.

Yolk was also one of my favorite small coffee shops in Cebu! The place looked really good and contemporary. I enjoyed their espresso and their caffe americano. I thought they have the same caffe Americano as UCC, but Yolk was a bit more on the strong side.

Sadly, the same with Degree 9, Yolk is no longer in business today.

Ozamiz City

A few months prior to the pandemic, I was already decided to come home for good for a couple of reasons: 1. We lost my adoptive father so I had to stay for the parental; and 2. I really had nothing else to do in Cebu anymore.

After having been stuck at home for a long time, one day, I decided to finally explore what was around town, since I already decided to stay here for the rest of my life, why not just enjoy the things around me, right?

So as an explorer, here are the best coffee finds around town.

Latei is my friendly neighborhood coffee shop. I love staying here to do some work or even for a quick coffee run. I do my walks every day, mostly in the late afternoon or early evening, and I love stopping by to get a boost of energy. The robustness of the coffee and the touch of sweetness harmonize flawlessly, leaving you craving another sip of this exquisite concoction.

My go-to drink is always iced caffe Americano with hazelnut syrup for work and more energy. But I loved their iced Spanish Latte. A cup has a harmonious fusion of bold, strong coffee and subtle sweetness that delights my senses. With each sip, the robustness of the coffee and the touch of sweetness harmonize flawlessly, leaving me craving for more.

Their coffee tastes really good, albeit a bit toned down for my taste buds, but it’s still perfect. I brew a strong coffee at home (I think) and Latei’s variety of coffee gives me a certain satisfaction.

Image from Google Images

Yup, I liked Nikko’s better when they were on the cart before. Their coffee was good, and the service was fast. They also had rich, strong, and indesputably good coffee then. I don’t know what happened now. I haven’t been back since.

Okay, I got to say, Très’ coffee is hands down one of the best there is in town. The prices are really affordable for a good quality sip, too. It is far from mediocre for its price.

The place is pretty far — roughly a 10-min drive from my place, but I would love to frequent here on good days, though I know I’d always go for convenience so I might not be frequent here, after all.

It’s a pretty chill place as well. It’s also pretty small compared to your average-sized popular coffee chain, but the two-story coffee shop is Instagrammable enough.

Coffee is a need to get us going the entire day, and coffee shops are haven for making this godly drink possible.

Do you have a favorite coffee shop as well?

Let me know in the comments so I can also give it a try!

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