Whether you are a Manila resident or an excited tourist, food is an essential part of your time in this city. Recent years have seen a rise in the number of innovative eateries and various Manila cafes have managed to fuse traditional Filipino foods with Western favorites.

Below is a list (and brief description) of 11 must-try cafés in Manila. They are perfect stopovers for refueling either after a long day at work/school, or a tiring tourist-trek around the city.

1. Refinery 

cheddar, cheese, tomato
Marie Chantal Marauta

Refinery, situated in Rockwell Makati, is an adorable eatery with an American feel. This restaurant serves foodgasm-inducing plates. The menu includes a melty tomato-pesto grilled cheese (pictured above), a salmon benedict on a crunchy croissant, and a soft-shell crab po' boy. Refinery is the ultimate destination for food-lovers who want to indulge in gourmet-level comfort food. 

2. Freezer Burn

Marie Chantal Marauta

Freezer Burn, one of Manila's dessert hotspots, serves innovative and intricate dessert combinations. Pictured above is their "Junkie": chocolate and junk food ice cream served with Nutella donuts and caramel sauce (extra sauce comes in a syringe!). 

Each treat is organized neatly into a white and Tiffany-green pentagon box. This is a great spot for those who saved up for dessert. It does not disappoint.

3. Scout's Honor

pancake, banana, chocolate
Marie Chantal Marauta

One of the many delicious stands that Hole in the Wall food court has to offer, Scout's Honor is a craft cookie shop that serves jumbo cookies in extravagant flavors.

They have a long list of cookies in their staple collection, such as a thick s'mores cookie or their cinnamon spiced cereal cookie bar. They also offer the option of making your own cookie out of a selection of ingredients behind the counter. And if a cookie isn't enough to suit you, you can order a giant cookie flavored milkshake topped with a large cookie, of course.

4. Green Pastures

Marie Chantal Marauta

A healthy restaurant that only creates their dishes with organic, locally-grown products, Green Pastures is great for those on a health kick. From their substantial avocado toast (above left) to their hearty cauliflower "faux-rice" bowl (above right), this place is good for those who would like to try something both new and healthy. 

5. Churreria La Lola 

Marie Chantal Marauta

La Lola's sells the "rock-star" of all churros. This churro stand sells a range of the famous desserts fried only in olive oil. The selection ranges from a classic mammoth bouquet with your choice of dip (pictured above is warm, melted dark chocolate), to Nutella-filled xuxos, to a churro ice cream sandwich. La Lola's churros are perfect for a mid-afternoon snack, and well worth the calories. 

6. Jeepney 

Marie Chantal Marauta

A fun, warm place to meet with friends and family, Jeepney serves mouthwatering Filipino food that is 100% authentic and made with only local ingredients. Tables are hollowed-out jeepneys, and all meals are eaten using your hands off of banana leaves (there is cutlery available for those who "just can't"). Jeepney is an ideal place for those who want to taste true Filipino cuisine and culture. 

7. Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

rice, egg
Marie Chantal Marauta

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery is known for its brioche French toast, fried chicken and waffles, and delicious cronuts. Savory favorites include their Brussels sprouts salad (pictured above), the California burger, and Filipino-inspired crispy pork belly. With four branches in Bonifacio Global City, central Makati, and Mandaluyong, Wildflour is highly accessible to locals and tourists alike. 

8. Sunnies Cafe

salad, avocado
Marie Chantal Marauta

One of Manila's brunch hotspots created by the celebrity "!T Girls," Sunnies Cafe serves all-day gourmet brunch at an affordable price. Favorites include their truffled scramble, their crispy tacos (pictured above), and their salmon poke quinoa salad (also pictured above).

Sunnies is also known for its exquisite milkshakes, notably their "Kimye" shake: cookies and cream ice cream, Nutella, crushed Oreos, whipped cream, and malted milk. This is a great place for Instagram-worthy pics. 

9. The Wholesome Table

Marie Chantal Marauta

The Wholesome Table is an organic restaurant that serves traditional comfort foods made with healthier ingredients. Their menu includes items such as gluten-free lemon ricotta waffles, corned beef omelet, lamb adobo (a Filipino favorite), and whole-grain meals-in-a-bowl. This is a go-to spot for organic food lovers and people who are craving something healthy.

10. Early Bird Breakfast Club

peanut butter, peanut, butter, syrup, cream, banana
Marie Chantal Marauta

One of the Fort's prime brunch locations, Early Bird Breakfast Club is an adorable café. The menu includes French toast fondue, poached egg Caesar, and a sausage skillet served with hashed potatoes and caramelized onions. This quaint eatery is open 24 hours a day, making it ideal for a girly morning of gossip, a quiet evening out, or a midnight snack. 

11. Locavore Kitchen & Drinks

Marie Chantal Marauta

A hidden gem with branches in Kapitolyo and Bonifacio Global City, Locavore serves Filipino street food with a gourmet twist. Known for their Kare Kare Wings, Oyster Sisig and Sizzling Sinigang, Locavore has re-created traditional dishes with healthier high-quality ingredients, all the while trying to maintain the same, authentic flavor.