Across DLSU and adjacent CSB along Taft Avenue, Manila, Café Travel is a Korean-inspired coffee shop which attracts many customers, particularly students of nearby schools, as if serving truffle-stuffed unicorn trotters. Its competitive advantage has to be its unique atmosphere and cute appeal. It’s ideal for those seeking a good and quiet place to hang out for hours without the rush. We visited this “pop” venue after having lunch at Café Laya.

Review of Café Travel (Taft Avenue, Manila)

Ambiance: ★★★★☆

At Café Travel, white walls and tables are “decorated” with names, anecdotes, quotes, notes and random messages written by previous customers, making them seem like DIY art. I think the freedom for guests to write anything on the surfaces (even on the ceiling and air conditioner above) is a plus point for the café. The end result, as rowdy as it seems at a glance, brings both style and creativity to the room. Very cool! 😉

Soon though, there may be a lack of space to write on. I suggest that they put up a corkboard or hang a magnetic chalkboard, blackboard or whiteboard to ground the design instead. In this way, keeping old messages and replacing them with new ones will be easier.

Overall, the atmosphere has a great homey touch. The bright lighting looks adorable. With plenty of seating, Café Travel is a good place to study and chat with friends. Everyone has to take off his/her shoes and others have to go to the “second floor” using the stairs. Privacy is assured by walls that strategically segregate dining areas to sections per group of customers. Wi-Fi is accessible for free!

The only saddening thing was that air conditioning was poor and barely kept the room at a reasonable temperature. It was hot especially since we were seated right beside the window on a sunny day. We were sweating as if we were inside a sauna bath.

(Note: This spot in Archer s Nook was once where Zark’s Burgers stood. Now the branch of Zark’s Burgers in Taft Avenue has expanded and moved to a more accessible and visible location.)

Service: ★★★★★

Service was kind and thoughtful. The staff handed out the menu to us upon entrance. We took a moment to finalize our order and proceeded to the counter to pay. Waiting time was acceptable and our drinks and cake were served politely to our table.

Food: ★★★☆☆

Café Travel has a simple one-page menu, but there’s plenty of coffee-based drinks and cakes to choose from, making it almost impossible to decide which to get in a minute.

All drinks were super sweet. I bet that those with a sweet tooth will love every single sip and be instantly hooked! As for myself, I could not even finish one whole glass of the Travel Mocha alone. Fortunately, I have my sister to share it (the calories) with. 😛 We also tried a slice of cake which was moist and soft. The frosting was light but tasted rich and creamy as well as the strawberry that was struck in the middle.

Travel Chocolate Cookie (PhP 180)

Fresh Cream Strawberry (PhP 140)

Travel Green Tea (PhP 180)

Travel Mocha (PhP 180)

Price for Value: ★★★☆☆

Buzzed about for its ambiance and friendly vibe, Café Travel is a must-visit cafe where you can get your coffee fix without taking it too seriously. Never mind if there’s a long wait or there’s no seating available at Starbucks nearby. Prices are just about the same. Coffee purists may sniff but sugar hounds have to try their line-up of coffee-based drinks and a handful of pastries as well.

Archer's Nook Dormitory, Taft Avenue, Manila
For inquiries, call 09052248003
Date Published: 01/26/2016
15 / 20 stars


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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24 Responses

  1. Mj

    Wow this looks like a great cafe. I’ve never seen one like this in the states but I think it is perfect. I love the DIY art feel of the tables and I like that although it is a cafe, there is privacy. What is the reason for no shoes in the rooms? A cafe like this with a play area for kids would be ideal for my town.

  2. Megan Elford

    What a fun place to hang out! I love the idea of being able to leave your mark with messages and notes to one another. Years ago, we used to visit a yougurt shop where they would take photos of the customers and then put them up on the walls. The walls and ceiling were absolutely plastered with them! It was so much fun to look through them for familiar faces 🙂

  3. Marge Gavan

    Travel and coffee, two of my most favorite things in life! I’d definitely go and check it out. I so dig the scribbles on any surface, I’m definitely making my mark when I get there.

    I have a sweet tooth so I guess I’d have no problem appreciating the coffee hehe…

  4. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    This place sounds awesome. I love that the menu is only one page so they can focus on making what they do have awesome.

  5. Kelli @ 3 Boys and a Dog

    This place sounds amazing! It offers privacy of your party and the menu is awesome! (sweet tooth victim) I wonder if they encourage (or discourage) long periods of stay? Nothing like half a day, but you know, chatting with your friends over coffee for a couple of hours? Looks fun! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Cherri Megasko

    This looks like a really cool place. I think you’re right in that the ability to write a message anywhere you want is a novelty that draws people in. Plus – it may bring those same people back again to see if their message is still there! (Good marketing!)

  7. Jessica Harlow

    I LOL’d at “truffle-stuffed unicorn trotters”. 🙂 This definitely sounds like a hang out I’d love. The atmosphere looks great and good service is always welcome!

  8. Jeanette

    Those desserts look amazing! I like that creative idea “truffle stuffed unicorn trotters”. Sounds like a fun place to go I know somebody that would love to travel just to see this place.

  9. Kareema

    The foods looks tempting, but comfort for me is paramount. I dislike being hot, so that would have been a major issue for me.

    Overall all i looks like a great place for a quick sweet treat!

  10. Cara (@StylishGeek)

    Cafe Travel looks like one of those favorite hangout ‘digs’ where memories are made with friends. I love those kind of places because you can be totally casual. Thanks for sharing your impression on this place! Wish there were more just like it!

  11. Sage

    Great review as always, those drinks look delicious, and seriously packed with calories ; -)

    I love places that allow customers to write on the walls, I could sit and read for hours, especially in places that have been doing it for decades. So much fun, and far too uncommon.

  12. Vera Sweeney

    I love that you can write in so many different places in the cafe!! I think it would be fun to come back later and see if your writing was still there. All the drinks and food looks delicious, what a great place to grab a bite.

  13. Chris

    Wow I would love to go in that coffee shop, it’s really nice and very unique shop. I’ve never seen any cafe shop before lie this awesomeness.

  14. Chubskulit Rose

    Looks likea great place to have some relaxing time and enjoy some treats. I like it that they only have one page menu, it’s simple and precise.

  15. Bonnie @wemake7

    That looks like a really great café. Those drinks look really tasty.


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