Famous for the Shrine of Remedies of the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, the bohemian district of Malate has been a busy weekend place in Manila. Several restaurant and cafes offering a variety of flavors has dotted this once middle residential district. From the pricey to the budget-friendly, from the historic to the modern, dining spots in Malate has been satisfying the varying taste and preference of urban dwellers.
But for me, nothing beats a specific type of café or restaurant in the metro that offers good food, good drinks, a relaxed atmosphere, a genteel company and reasonable price. One of these Malate restaurants that meet or exceed these standards is Café Adriatico.
This quaint café/restaurant in Remedios Circle traced its beginnings as an antique shop. The antique business was not doing well as might be expected. Having such a penchant for beautiful objects owner Larry Cruz, son of Ambassador E. Aguilar Cruz, was always reluctant to sell them. Instead, he has decided to convert his antique shop into a café using his collection of old objects as conversation pieces.
Initially, the café served as a meeting place Larry’s friends. At Café Adriatico, they enjoy good coffee, tasty food and a drink or two while discussing matters while in a cozy environment. Until it came to the point people began to spill that it became necessary to set-up extra chairs and tables outside the cafe to accommodate its burgeoning clientele. By the 1980s, Café Adriatico has become a blueprint for an exciting addition to the urban lifestyle of that era.
Café Adriatico has been our favorite restaurant where we have our breakfast or dinner usually after hearing mass at nearby Malate Church. For breakfast, I particularly like their generous serving of the Pinoy Breakfast combo which they called the Landlord’s Breakfast. For dinner, our family enjoys their flavorful pastas and Filipino dishes which they served with culinary twist.
But what made us keep going back to Café Adriatico aside from the good food is the old world charm where the eccentric mix of art and antiques fills the café’s cozy space.