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10 Best locally-owned cafes to work and study in Cebu City

Cebu City is teeming with so many coffee shops where freelance workers and students alike frequent to get serious work done. We take a special shine to locally-owned cafes.

Going out to be in serious work or study mode in Cebu City is a bit challenging not because there aren’t a lot of places to be in, but because there are too many of them. There are cafés everywhere, and the tyranny of choice effectively wastes your time.

You can always go back to the big-name, mainstream coffee shops that you always frequent. Or, you can start exploring other cafés that are worth the try. There are many choices of course, but you can narrow them down by going local: support locally-owned coffee shops that are, at the same time, very conducive for working and studying. Many of these locally-owned cafés have managed to escape the radar, thereby making them hidden gems as well. This makes it all the more exciting to go to these places because there is much to discover; there is a feeling of pride as well over having been here before everyone else had.

We have compiled a list of coffee shops that perfectly fits this description. Here are the best locally-owned cafés to work and study:

Bintana Coffee House

Source: Zomato

Bintana Coffee House is for art lovers and enthusiasts, writers, and artists. It is an isolated old house that was transformed into a café and features artworks from local artists. Its rustic and ancestral-looking interiors and the wonderful pre-loved books they sell at bargain prices really appeal to the romantic at heart. 

If you want a quiet afternoon remote from the hustle and bustle of the main streets, then Bintana is the place to be. They serve Filipino food and snacks like fries and burgers. They import their coffee beans from Sagada. 

Bintana Coffee House is located at 181-K Elizabeth Pond Street, Kamputhaw, Cebu City. They open from 11:00AM to 9:00PM, Mondays to Saturdays.

Balai Café

Source: Jacob Maentz | Mabuhay Magazine Facebook Page

A.S. Fortuna Street is lined with many Japanese and Korean restaurants and dainty cafes. One can be overwhelmed by the many food places that can be found here.

Which is why when you don’t look carefully enough, you will miss the small sign that will lead you to Balai Café, an unassuming coffee shop that offers an all-day brunch menu. 

Opened in January 2017, Balai Coffee is a residential property turned coffee shop. They have in-door seating which is dim and smells like breakfast all-day long, and al-fresco seating which is surrounded by trees and protected from the clamour of the main street. They also have an elevated space with sofas and tables and chairs – perfect for when you just want to read and enjoy your drink in peace.

Balai Coffee is located in 909 A. S. Fortuna St, Mandaue City, across Oakridge Business Park. They are open daily from 6AM to 12MN. 

Toast Café 

Source: TripAdvisor

Cuarto Hotel is not only renowned for its hotel rooms and terrific service, but also for their chic and illustrious café: Toast Café. Its brick walls and wooden furniture will simultaneously remind you of your grandparents’ house and those Western brunch cafes. The space is not that huge, but Toast Café manages to maximize that space with tasteful interiors which lets you focus on your own meal, book, or laptop.

Toast Café is open daily from 6AM to 11PM. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and other beverages. They are located in G/F Cuarto Hotels, J. Llorente Street Corner Gil Garcia Sreet, Cebu City.

Drip and Draft

Source: TripAdvisor

Drip and Draft is quietly nestled in the hallway of the Streetscape arcade in Banilad. They have a specific selection of specialty coffee beans and filter coffees which they source from overseas and locally through a Manila distributor. They also offer quiet a variety of brewing methods, espresso-based drinks, tea, healthy yoghurt bowls and smoothies if you’re out of your caffeine fix. 

They have craft beer tap options as well, hence their name ‘Drip and Draft’. After gruelling hours of hard work, you can unwind here with their carefully selected craft beers on tap and their spacious, relaxing interiors.

Drip and Draft is open from 7AM to 2AM. They are located at The Streetscape Mall on Paseo Saturnino, Maria Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City

Kuyang Coffee Shop

Source: Find Local Businesses

Kuyang Coffee Shop is a small cafe offering affordable coffee fix and brunch options. They are a favourite spot for freelance workers and students as the place is peaceful and not always crowded. 

They also offer coffee-all-you-can at a very reasonable price, which is why this place is frequented by people with the same agenda as you. You can stay here for hours without having to worry of running out of your caffeinated elixir. 

Kuyang Coffee Shop is open from 10AM to 12MN. They are located at 531 cogal building, j. Alcantara street near USC – South Campus Girls High.

PAGE Study Café

Source: Coworker.com

PAGE Study Café, as its name suggests, is a place that is designed to cater to those who wish to study. They have individual cubicles and work stations for those who are looking to hog the space for themselves for some hard-core study session, and a fast Wi-Fi connection to boot. 

PAGE Study Café offers an array of affordable coffee and dining options. They are a co-working space that is open 24/7 and charge Php50 for the first hour and Php35 for the succeeding hours – quiet budget-friendly especially for those who are looking to spend long hours here. They are located in 93 E Urgello Rd, Cebu City near San Vicente Ferrer Parish.

The Good Cup Coffee Company

Source: Zomato

The Good Cup Coffee Company prides itself on not only its quality coffee that they roast and supply to other coffee shops and coffee patrons, but also with its bringing a global appreciation of coffee into Cebu.

They have set up their own Barista Academy with three espresso machines that can accommodate coffee trainings for anyone who is interested. 

The Good Cup Coffee Company is located near Velez Medical College on Ramos Street in the City, They are open from  9AM to 5PM.

Murals Hostel & Café

Source: Booking.com

Murals Hostel and Café is a great co-working space for many reasons: there is free-flowing coffee, a no corkage-fee policy where patrons can store food in their refrigerator, and affordable rates for space usage.

Located inside a residential village, Murals Hostel and Café offers a working space that is quiet and conducive for any type of work you want done since they have the usual tables and chairs, and bean bags for those who wish to sit more comfortably. They also have leisure and fun activities like quiz nights inside, acoustic nights outside, and gatherings where you get to mingle with people from all over the world.

Murals is open daily from 6AM to 12AM. They charge Php150 for 3 hours, Php250 for 6 hours, and Pgp350 for one whole day. They are located at President Roxas Street, Villa Aurora, Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City.

The Mezzanine Café

Source: Mezzanine’s Twitter Page

“Study, work, relax” – this is the theme of Mezzanine Café, a study/work center in Jakosalem Street that boasts of a space where their patrons can do exactly just what their theme is. Their industrialist interior is nicely complemented with comfortable thinking chairs, big for  spreading out books and papers, great lighting, lockers, colorful bean bags and pillows, and coloring books and stress balls. 

Mezzanine Café is teeming with positive vibes with their motivational quotes painted on the walls and the rest of their interiors. They allow their guests to use for free some common school supplies like papers, ruler, scissors, coloring materials and pens, and they also offer printing and photocopy services. Power outlets can be found all over the place, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of lithium juice for your gadgets wherever you sit.

Mezzanine Café provide all-day breakfast meals, sandwiches, and drinks like smoothies, coffee and frappes. They are located at Unit 103, Centro Maximo Building, D. Jakosalem Street, Cebu City, a few blocks from Jollibee across Iglesia ni Cristo. They are open daily from 10AM to 2AM.

32 Umber Café

Source: TripAdvisor

32 Umber is an elegant coffee shop situated along Grand Convention Center near Ayala Center Cebu and Cebu Business Park. It is a small area that can house approximately only 20 people at a time, but its glass enclosures overlooking Archbishop Reyes Avenue makes it look more spacious than it is. If you are one for intimate corners and enjoying the sight of busy people on the streets, 32 Umber Café is the right place.

32 Umber offers coffee that comes in two brewing methods: V60 and Aeropress. They are located at The Forum, Archbishop Reyes Ave, Cebu City, Cebu. They are open Monday to Saturday 8AM-10PM, and on Sunday 11AM-10PM.

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