There are so many coffee shops in Manila these days, it’s hard to keep track of them! One of the latest additions that stands out for me is Cartel in Salcedo Village – they offer a stylish interior, great coffee and not only a full breakfast, but also wine, cheeses, cold cuts, sandwiches, salads and pasta for a full meal all day long. And if you like it, you can even purchase the products and take them home!
On our regular visits to the Salcedo Market, we always stop by a coffee shop beforehand. On a busy stretch that already has a Coffee Bean, a Toby’s Estate and Wildflour, there is now another contender: Cartel. The first thing that I noticed was the very modern interior, with an industrial look, lots of natural wood and metal. You’ll find a counter to order your food and drink, as well as some retail shelves to purchase products to take home and small tables & stools to sit down. It feels a little cramped, so I wouldn’t plan on working or lounging for extended periods of time here, but this store would fit right into San Francisco or Sydney as a stylish neighborhood coffee shop!
The next surprise was the pretty long menu. While you can of course pick your favorite coffee or tea from a long list of options, to go with some pastries, you also get a nice selection of hot breakfast dishes, as well as salads, sandwiches or pasta. And many of the ingredients, like the fresh bread, pastries, cold cuts or cheeses, as well as packaged salads, sandwiches or yogurts are on sale to take home.
On our visits, we tried the coffee, pastries, fresh yogurt and fruit as well as a hot croissant-wich! I really enjoyed the strong and well made cappuccino that was also nicely presented. The croissant-wich was freshly prepared and very tasty – and so was the rest of our food!
I also liked the selection of cheeses and cold cuts that’ll make for a great sandwich with the fresh bread. If you are planning a visit for dinner, the wine selection is pretty wide, if a bit expensive.
Bottomline: Cartel is a stylish addition to the Manila coffee shop scene, with a wide selection of food to go with coffee or tea and even a long wine list. Add to that the retail selection to take your favorite foods home, and it earns its place in a competitive space! Give it a try when you are in the neighborhood!