Known for being the “Pearl of the Orient”, the vibrant and hyperactive capital city of Manila has always featured its exceptional array of food businesses the metropolis has to offer. Such are the greater examples with 1919 Grand Cafe Manila and Kapetolyo by SGD. Recently, we sought to try the amazing sets of delicacies both establishments respectively had at their menu as well as admire their distinct and compelling atmosphere as two of Manila’s newly outstanding restaurants and cafés.
1919 Grand Cafe in Binondo Manila
The remnant of Filipino lineage is more than a mere relic but an experience to immerse ourselves with. This was proven when setting foot within the 1919 Grand Cafe that is located in the lobby of a neo-classical building built during the 1920s which is considered as one of the enthralling heritage destinations in Binondo. It isn’t every day that we can eat heartily in a restaurant and coffee shop that undoubtedly excels in fine dining as well as take a short yet mesmeric tour in a setting and environment that is arguably capable of competing with your daily museum here in the Philippines.
It was truly captivating for our eyes to be captured by the two-floored structure’s overall colonial theme and presentation which further accredits their high regard for our country’s prolific history, culture, and tradition. Plenty of its furniture was adorned with rare and striking decorations while its walls displayed pictures depicting Manila more than a century ago. The general interior felt spacious, atmospheric, relaxing, and simply a place to take your mind off stressful manners.
Binondo is one of the famous places in Manila and it is known as Chinatown. It is the oldest Chinatown in the world that was established by the Spaniards.
How to get here:
Via LRT 1:
- Drop to Carriedo Station (approx. 10-30 mins) (depending what station you came from)
- Walk towards Escolta (1-2 mins)
- Move towards to Quintin Paredes Street or New Binondo Chinese Arc, it is at the end of Escolta Street. (approx. 5-10 mins) then cross to Grand 1919 Cafe.
Via LRT 2:
- Drop to Recto Station (approx. 10-45 mins) (depending what station you came from)
- Ride a jeepney with signboard of Taft Avenue/ Manila City Hall and drop to Escolta. (approx. 5 to 10 mins).
- Walk towards Quitin Paredes or New Binondo Chinese Arc, it is at the end of Escolta Street. (approx. 5-10 mins) then cross to 1919 Grand Café.
Via Ferry Boat:
- Drop to Escolta Ferry Station.
- Take a short walk towards Quintin Paredes Street or New Binondo Chinese Arc (approx. 1-2 mins) and then cross the street to 1919 Grand Café (approx. 2-3 mins).
- From Divisoria, ride jeepney with signboard of Manila City Hall or Taft Avenue (approx. 10 to 15 mins) and drop to 1919 Grand Café along Juan Luna Street.
- From Baclaran, ride jeepney with signboard of Taft Avenue Pasay City ride jeepney going Divisoria (30 mins to 45 mins) and drop to Quintin Paredes Street or New Binondo Chinese Arc and then cross to 1919 Grand Café.
Superb Customer Service
When we were finally done taking photos of the stunning exhibits, we sat down and enjoyed one of the most memorable and remarkable local and international cuisines our buds have savored. Their menu featured a wide range of Western and Filipino meals which were nothing short of flavors as well as a list of refreshing beverages and smoothies to drink along the way. Alongside that was their crew of accomodating professionals towards our customer needs which further cemented our experience her as exciting, enticing, and worth coming back for more in the future.
Considering your budget
The cost of their foods and beverages is just enough for the quality. Not cheap but just a fair price for this kind of place, PHP 500 to PHP 3000 for the main dish.
1919 Grand Cafe
117 Juan Luna Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines, 1006
Link to website
Price range: Php 200 to Php 2000
Kapetolyo by SGD Coffee
Following the list was the small yet great café of Kapetolyo. For many, it was highly risky for businessmen to set up a business during a global pandemic. However, they along with support from the local government proved themselves exceedingly preeminent upon opening as they easily draw a regularly superb amount of visitors with their flavorful and sublime food and drinks served readily by them.
Indeed, no one would want to miss out on their exclusive assortments of delectable meals for customers to eat any time of the day. From pastries, sandwiches to sweet and sugary desserts, we chose from its mouthwatering selection what were suiting partner for us and our freshly brewed coffee and tea. Of course, when we needed anything, we were undeniably pleased with how attentive and cheerful their staff was. According to the crews, during night time there’s a band playing music, that added to the attraction.
The setting was minimalist and roomy with its two floors and beautiful for the amount of trees and plants it had as well as an entire garden outside, giving us a breath of fresh and natural air to inhale. Music that is sometimes performed live by musicians were also played throughout. The café focused on ambience, coziness, and exquisite to a greater extent which paid off for everybody including us who very much indulged ourselves with the aesthetic and alleviating attraction.
Ermita is on of the district in Manila. It is a central part of the city, the district is a significant center of finance, education, culture, and commerce.
For commuters, coming is so easy. You can choose between a railway or jeepney.
Via LRT 1:
- Drop to Central Station (approx. 10-30 mins) (depending what station you came from)
- Take a walk towards Cecilia Munoz Palma Street (walk approx. 2 mins)
- Famous landmark is Universidad De Manila or Bonifacio Shrine.
- From Monomento Caloocan City ride jeepney going Manila City Hall (approx. 1 hour)
- Drop to Manila City Hall or Lawton (3-5 mins away)
- From Baclaran, Taft Avenue Pasay City ride jeepney going Divisoria (30 mins to 45 mins)
- Drop to Manila City Hall or Lawton (3-5 mins away)
Value for money and the menus
We came here just in time for breakfast, got surprised because they my most favorite breakfast, the Champorado or Chocolate Rice Porridge, price range to Php 240 (ala carte) and Php 270 (with drink). SInce we love coffee, it was paired with what they called, Black coffee, award winning variant that has original price of Php 150 (ala carte). We also tried their best selling breakfast, the Inadobo sa kape or coffee braised pork belly serve with freshly sliced tomato, mango and black mountain rice and price range to Php 395 (ala carte) and Php 425 (with drink). The foods we tried was really delicious and i should say they have their own signature when it comes to food selection and somewhat unique, i should say. We have been to different kind of restaurants and coffee shop but their menu is different and made their own twist.
When you come over you can have a decent meal for less than Php 300. They serve all-day breakfast, pasta, sandwiches, coffees (hot and cold) and non-coffee beverages, desserts, chips, nachos and fries.
KAPETOLYO by SGD
350 1000 Kartilya ng Katipunan Park Cecilia Munoz Palma Drive, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila
Link to website
Price range: Php 120 to Php 425
What may plausibly be two of Manila’s best may just be the tip of the iceberg as we look forward to return and try out the other restaurants within the city. It is no wonder that this place has become a hot spot for varied cuisine. The upcoming days will surely be thrilling as today was just a tasteful glimpse into Manila’s finest and newest cafes.
Aside from food, you can also visit the nearby tourist spots that are just around the corner and that makes more exciting. Places like Binondo Church, Escolta (former business district), Lucky Chinatown Mall, Divisoria, thats nearby 19191 Grand Cafes while for the Kapetolyo, there are the Intramuros, Refurbished lagunislad, Bonifacio shirne, Mehan Garden, SM Manila.