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Ah, coffee shops. The place to escape to and be alone, the place to go to and meet clients; it’s where we all go to, to beat deadline into a pulp, or a place for cheap first dates and hohols.

With the bustling University Belt right smack in the middle of the city, Manila has a lot of these magical places to offer. Below we list six that have become a favorite or are slowly becoming popular among students.

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1. Amo Yamie Crib
First established in Pampanga, Amo Yamie Crib—and sometimes Movie House—now has four locations in Metro Manila. Amo Yami serves a variety of delicious food and souped up drinks that still remain student budget-friendly: items of the menu range from P100-150—super sulit, right? They offer milk teas, coffee, cheesecakes, and comfort food—yay for Pizza fries!—but the main attraction really is their milkshakes. They’re all very good being over-the-top, super Instagram-worthy, too. Just as the place itself: Amo Yamie is packed with cubicles that resemble little houses. These “cribs” as Amo Yamie likes to call them can fit up to 6 people, or ehem, “Cribbers” at most.

Must-try: Once Upon Nuttella (P139), Cinderella’s Carbonara (P129)

Amo Yamie
Photo courtesy of Amo Yamie Crib

Amo Yamie Crib is located in España, corner P. Noval street, Manila with branches in Mendiola, Malolos, Katipunan and Pampanga. +639178335017. Mon-Sun, 10am-10pm

2. Café Pression
After a day of roaming the historical pavements of the Walled City of Manila, Intramuros, Café Pression can offer you a homey vibe with its comfy bedroom-like structures—where you can actually sleep in, in fact! A huge wall covered with pictures and sticky notes made by customers will give you a warm welcome, which should also clue you in: Pression can get pretty damn busy with eager guests.

Its menu is typical of coffee shops but much care and attention is given to its presentation and taste making you feel like every centavo dropped is worth it. Café Pression is indeed a cozy venue to spend time with your friends whether it’s a group work or for fun times.

Must-try: Java chip Frappuccino (P200)

Pression
Photo courtesy of Cafe Pression

3/F Intra Mall, 721 Escuala St., Intramuros, Manila. 8am-11pm

3. Beyond Coffee
Looking for a place that is ~artsy~? You may want to visit Beyond Coffee in Sampaloc, Manila. This coffee shop is a combination of art and good coffee. The whole area has artworks hanged and even painted on its wall. The place may not be spacious—actually, it’s tight—but the good coffee and good food on more more than make up for it.

Must try: Red Pesto Tinapa Pasta (P165), Truffle Chicken (P155), Nacho Gwapito (P195)

Beyond Coffee
Photo courtesy of Beyond Coffee

 928 P.Paredes St. Sampaloc, Manila. +632 7332636. Mon-Sat, 1pm-10pm

4. Coreon Gate Internet Café
Need to finish a research project or download a few movies? Coreon Gate is the place for you. Located at the heart of Malate, Coreon is popular among students for, of course its signature coffee, but moreso for its fast internet connection. Uh huh, its 200 MBPS internet speed will let you download a movie for just 15 minutes. Zippy, right?

The cafe is built for group works and general hohol. There are also single laptop desks for people who want to have that precious #alonetime.

Must-try: Ramyeon (Starts P99), Choco Caramel Frappe (P140), Caffe Latte (P120)

Coreon

2/F HRC Bldg. 1774 M. Adriatico St. Malate, Manila with branches in Makati and Vito Cruz. +632 2516933. 24/7

5. Café-UK Co.
This 24/7 cafe located in Dapitan is a must-try. They are known for their designer cakes and quality interior design. The place is conducive for studying, meetings and even gatherings. Architecture and advertising students can and will appreciate the 60x100cm-drafting tables for those peskly plates that need to be finished.

There are also embedded iPad units on their cafe tables with free 10 MBPS WiFi connection for faster browsing!

Must-try: Mocha Peppermint (P155), Coffee jelly (P155)

Cafe Uk
Photo courtesy of Cafe-UK Co. Dapitan

Dapitan corner Gelinos St., Sampaloc, Manila. +63 2 2449187. 24/7

6. Café Noriter
“Noriter” is a Korean word that means playground—yep, Café Noriter is a Korean inspired café on Taft Avenue.  This homey cafe can definitely accommodate a large number of customers—what with its floor space and a huge seating capacity. But for those who need a private space, cramming for a test or finishing up a report, not to worry. Noriter also an area for you.

While waiting for your order, you can show your creativity through doodling. There are cupboards filled with cups for the customers to draw on. Sounds fun!

Must-try: Choco Caramel Frappe (P155), Noriter Sandwich (P130)

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Photo courtesy of annalyn.net

2/F Reyes Building, Taft Avenue corner Estrada St. Malate, Manila. Mon-Fri, 10am-10pm, Sat 11am-8pm

Illustration: Madel Crudo

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