When we're talking about the Philippines' favorite coffee shops, Starbucks immediately comes to mind. This coffee chain from Seattle has remained a household name in our country for years ever since arriving in 1997. With over 300 branches in the Philippines, most people likely have a store that serves as their go-to, whether it's on the way to work, close to home, or just a cozy spot you prefer. If you love to explore different branches, make sure to check out these Starbucks stores that each have a unique experience to offer.
Starbucks 6750, Ayala Avenue
It all started here in 1997 at 6750 Ayala Avenue, where Starbucks opened its first-ever branch in the Philippines, a branch that is still considered iconic today. Starbucks' launch changed the way Filipinos consumed coffee, making it an experience and a status symbol. Of course, the original branch has undergone changes over the years to make it modern, but it still would be nice to visit the first site and how it has remained in its place for more than 20 years. Better yet, pay a visit with friends or family who remember the 6750 branch when it was newly opened and reminisce on how much things have changed since then.
Harbour Square, Manila
To enjoy your coffee with a gorgeous view of the Manila sunset, head over to the Harbour Square branch at the CCP Complex. This Starbucks branch overlooks Manila Bay where you can see yachts and the horizon, a nice refresher from the usual city skyline and traffic scenes. This would be a great spot both for people who want to wind down and watch as the sun sets and for early risers to enjoy a moment of serenity before the day begins.
Domicillo Design Hotel, Tagaytay City
When you're heading south from Metro Manila, this Starbucks store is one you shouldn't miss. Located off Aguinaldo Highway, it might be hard to spot the Starbucks hiding at the Domicillo Hotel at first, but make your way inside the area to find the store closer to the mountains. See the magnificent view of Taal Lake and Tagaytay's surroundings, whether you stay in the al fresco area or take a seat inside – the glass walls make sure the view isn't obstructed. You'll want to take your sweet time when visiting this Starbucks branch.
Saint Charbel Mindanao Ave, Quezon City
Environmentalists may be pleased to find out that a number of Starbucks stores in the Philippines use solar power. In 2015, a solar rooftop was installed at the Saint Charbel Village branch, making it the first Starbucks in Asia to use solar energy. Another branch in the metro known for its green practices is at Crossroads, Bonifacio Global City, which has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Macapagal Avenue, Parañaque City
Finding a table at this branch shouldn't be too hard – Starbucks Macapagal is the biggest Starbucks in the country! This spot is your best bet for catch up sessions with friends, as the two-storey branch can seat over 200 people, with an al fresco area and some limited edition merchandise. If you're getting your coffee on the go, they have an interactive drive-thru, too.
Puerta de Isabel II, Intramuros
Intramuros is one of the most well-known historical and cultural sites in Manila, with cobbled streets and architecture reminiscent of the Spanish era in the Philippines. Visitors are taken back in time with the historic look and vibe of the entire walled city. When Starbucks set up shop here, they chose to work around the Intramuros walls instead of putting up a new, modern building, and this makes for a beautiful Starbucks branch that is more vintage and uniquely Filipino.
Twin Lakes, Tagaytay City
Another branch in Tagaytay that overlooks a scenic Taal Lake view is at Twin Lakes, found along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road. Many have called this the "most beautiful Starbucks in the Philippines" for its Mediterranean-inspired design coupled with the greenery and fresh air that surrounds you. The entire Twin Lakes ambience contributes to the experience that people come for, thanks to its cozy location. Perfect for enjoying a warm cup of your Starbucks staple drink during cool nights!
Glorietta 5, Makati City
Are you more of a city person? This branch at the newly-renovated Glorietta 5 provides a good view of the Makati scene from the building's second floor. And since Glorietta 5 stands apart from the rest of the large mall complex, the quiet humble space that Starbucks provides is a welcome break. Good news for shopaholics: this branch is right beside the UNIQLO Global Flagship Store! Take a coffee break after a day of shopping and enjoy the indoor or al fresco seating. And you might just find yourself doing a little extra Starbucks shopping as well – merchandise is displayed right at the entrance, so be ready to be tempted by cute mugs, tumblers, and more.
Tomas Morato, Quezon City
By now, you are probably familiar with Starbucks' take on third-wave coffee, Starbucks Reserve. But around 5 years ago, this concept was new to many Filipinos when the first Reserve opened in Tomas Morato. This branch was the first in the country to introduce an elevated Starbucks experience, offering unique beverages and food that you couldn't find at your regular store. Several Reserves are now open in Metro Manila, but Tomas Morato is worth a visit to see where it originated.
Power Plant Mall, Makati City
The opening of Starbucks Reserve at Power Plant coincided with the brand's 20th anniversary in the Philippines in 2017. Each Reserve is unique in its interior design elements, and this branch has one of the sleekest. The sloped wooden ceiling is inspired by the mountains of Benguet and South Cotabato, and you'll find a long 'Reserve Bar' where you can sit and watch the coffee masters do their thing. You can choose different brewing methods for your coffee, including through the Black Eagle espresso machine, which is exclusive to select Starbucks Reserves only. Being at this 20th Anniversary branch almost feels like having a more intimate bond with Starbucks.