Stop holding off on the whip cream and just let go of your sweet cravings once you enter Lava Mocha Cafe in Angono. Don’t be fooled by the somewhat funky though slightly tacky interiors. This cafe aims mainly for the student market from a nearby school. Prices are budget friendly yet in good portions and value. Most of all, they taste better than they are priced. But what you really come here for are the desserts.
From what started as an online business of selling baked goodies and treats in Instagram and Facebook, Kim is Hungry Cakes + Cafe is one sweet success story. With enough loyal customer base who enjoyed her dessert offerings, Kim Gonzales, the owner, managed to open her own cafe. Now, her customers and walk-ins can enjoy her cakes, and cupcakes with the addition of coffee, frappes and other meals.
I have a friend who’s known as the “Sound Check Guy”. He’s musically inclined and decided to live in La Union for good, finding he felt more at home there. He worked as a barista for a small coffee shop for a while and that’s where I first heard about El Union Coffee. This small cafe ran by Kiddo and Sly sources locally grown coffee beans from around La Union. Their signature blend became a hit among the locals and tourists alike. The cafe quickly outgrew its original site and had to move to a new location along the MacArthur National Highway.
It’s been more than three years since J.Co Donuts and Coffee came to the Philippine shores. I still remember the unbelievable long queue on the very few branches they had. We can’t blame those people as happyfoodies too raved about their not-too-sweet but delicious donuts. Lately, J.Co has a more relaxed atmosphere with more manageable lines that doesn’t seem to be in a state of panic to take home boxes. People can enjoy coffee, frappes and their donuts in an unhurried pace and actually share some quality chats with friends. Happyfoodies was just glad to find a window-side table with comfy chairs and get to try what’s new to add to their old-time favorites.
It’s off the usual route and takes a bit of traveling to get to but Cioccolo is an interesting place to go to at night. Right in the middle of a dark field, it seems a place of enchantment has sprung up, magically lit up at night. There’s R2-D2 in one area, Elvis in another as well as Roman statues here and there among a host of other curiosities that catch the eye and piques one’s interest no matter how blasé he or she can be. There are even huge banquet halls spread out on the spacious lot that looked like settings for a medieval tale complete with trompe l’oeil ceilings, huge chandeliers, gilded walls and ornate furniture. Cioccolo’s truly kitschy as kitschy can be but in a pleasant way, maybe strangely romantic even like a fantasy world. Contrastingly, the coffee shop looks “normal” and “real world”, warmly lit and inviting for a nightcap. The whole place looks every bit interesting but we wonder if the food could be as “kitschy” good as well.