5 cool roadside cafes for your coffee break

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Kara Santos
Kara Santos
Kara Santos is a freelance writer and rider based in Manila. She writes about travel, motorcycling, biking, food trips, video games, and more on her blog www.traveling-up.com.

It seems like al fresco and minimalist cafés have become the hottest trends these days, no doubt because dining outdoors is seen as a safer option compared to dining indoors during a global pandemic.

Mobile coffee shops have been popping up everywhere during the weekends in areas frequented by cyclists and riders, particularly in the areas of Rizal and Laguna.

Here are just a few notable roadside cafes where you can stop for a pleasant coffee break during your weekend out-of-town road trips or city drives.

Kape Sina Una

Kape Sina Una was one of the first local mobile coffee shops that popped up with an al fresco setup along the Marilaque highway when quarantine restrictions started to ease last year. The simple roadside cafe makes use of makeshift wooden stalls, a chalkboard signage, a couple of folding tables and chairs under outdoor umbrellas along the road and some patio lights to add to the cafe mood.

From one stall, this enterprising cafe has evolved into several branches with designated locations, offering freshly ground coffee with a great view of nature and fresh air to weekend road trippers and cyclists.

  • Kape Sina Una – Antipolo, Marcos Highway (Marilaque Road), Sitio Calumpang Barangay San Jose Antipolo City. Open Tuesday to Sunday 5 a.m.- 9 p.m.
  • Kape Sina Una – San Mateo, Timberland, C6 Road, San Mateo, Rizal. Open 4 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Kape Sina Una – Tagaytay, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Alfonso, Cavite (near Filipiniana Tagaytay Property). Open 5 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Kape Sina Una – Marikina, Marikina – Riverpark. Open Wednesday, Friday to Sunday from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Facebook Page: Kape Sina Una

Typica Coffee

With international borders still closed, travel-starved Metro Manila folk have been craving anything that reminds them of their favorite destinations. Many people are deliberately going out of their way to drive just to buy coffee at the newest cafes to open up.

Typica Coffee located along the road in Taytay, Rizal is a sari-sari store that’s gotten a new lease on life as a minimalist Japanese-inspired cafe. The cute cafe makes use of classic lines, clean wood details and white interiors. It also has a small al fresco dining area right in front of the takeout area.

The simple sari-sari store has been converted into a charming two-storey cafe reminiscent of tiny cafes found in quiet alleys of Japan, making it a popular go-to spot for weekend warriors looking for somewhere new to go.

  • Typica Coffee, 72 E. Rodriguez Avenue in Barangay San Isidro, Taytay, Rizal. Open from 10 am to 10 pm daily.
  • Facebook page: Typica Coffee

Muni Coffee

In the past few months, the minimalist Muni Coffee, located along the National Highway in the town of Kalayaan in Laguna, has also become another favorite stop among those out for a drive.

The cafe sports a minimalist, Japanese-inspired aesthetic with shades of taupe and light brown and wooden accents. Drivers who just need a quick jolt for their drive home can get their coffee to-go, but most likely you’ll want to hang out for a while at their table and benches because of the cozy and pleasant vibe.

  • Muni Coffee. National Highway, Barangay Longos, Kalayaan, Laguna. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
  • Facebook page: Muni Coffee

Lost Ranger Cafe

Lost Ranger Cafe is a mobile cafe / bar-on-wheels built within a pick-up truck situated wherever the owners feel the nature-atmosphere. Their first location, which immediately got attention on social media, was a scenic road right next to rice fields in Candaba, Pampanga overlooking a stunning view of Mount Arayat.

The cafe stores everything they need at the back of the pick-up truck, and brings out tables, chairs, a canopy, and a small kitchen out of the truck. The elaborate set-up and attention to detail complete with faux grass, coffee-inspired decor and lights, and secluded location and view is what makes the pop-up cafe so attractive among riders and cyclists.

The cafe serves budget-friendly drinks like coffee and milk tea as well as cupcakes and pastries, providing a traditional cafe experience amidst the pandemic.

  • The Lost Ranger does not have a fixed location and just announces their chosen location and schedule through their FB page.
  • Facebook page: The Lost Ranger Cafe

Inarawan Cafe

Inarawan Cafe is a newly opened coffee shop located in Barangay Concepcion Uno, Marikina City that’s fast becoming a neighborhood favorite. The shop serves the best local coffee from Batangas and freshly baked breads by Pastileria. Originally one of the many pop-up coffee stalls that sold coffee along Marilaque, the cafe actually evolved into a permanent coffee shop due to the pandemic.

With their fixed location in Marikina, the tiny cafe has been able to expand their offerings with affordable drinks and rice meals, which guests can enjoy in the cozy open-air cafe. The cafe has grill walls covered in plants, a Japanese bike hanging overhead, wooden benches and tables set up on the sidewalk.

  • Kape Inarawan. 2 Sampaguita St, San Isidro II, Concepcion Uno, Marikina City, Sampaguita Street in front of St. Vincent Hospital. Open Tuesday to Sunday 9AM to 9PM.
  • Facebook page: Inarawan Cafe

Photos from the cafe’s respective FB pages.

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