Book a table and get ₱500 off!
Coffee culture is a large part of our food scene for several reasons: the first of which is that we’re always on the lookout for a place to stay at, to read a book, to work, or to meet with loved ones. Preferably with good coffee, good food, and good ambiance.
But rarely do we find an assuming resto-cafe pulsing with so much passion; whether for food, for coffee, or for the arts. Buku-Buku Kafe is all of the above – a creative haven for families, barkadas, dates, bookworms, and artists eager to collaborate + create, with exceptional comfort food to boot.
Fresh from the beginning, it was always a family affair. Inspired by the travels and experiences of the whole Santiago family, siblings Jessica and Nico and their mom Lyn wanted to create a space close to home that would encourage artists in their community to collaborate over good food. Their first branch was in SM Dasmariñas, Cavite in 2015, before expanding and sharing the love SM Southmall, Las Piñas.
One look at the many book shelves and even a book chandelier featured in their SM Southmall branch, and it comes to no surprise that it was originally a book cafe. Their father came up with the name – working in Malaysia for five years, they were talking about the cafe via FaceTime, and he suggested Buku-buku kafe, literally meaning “books cafe” in Bahasa.
Fun fact: Some of the books scattered around are their actual childhood books! You can see some title pages scribbled with their names.
The concept of a book cafe quickly evolved on its own into an arts resto-cafe. They left most of the books in the shelves and started offering arts and crafts materials for sale. The walls are also decorated with photos and artwork by artists they’ve met along their way.
Building a safe space for expression, music, poetry, and crafts, they make it a point to interact and collaborate with the various people they meet. They also host music nights, open mic events, and workshops.
While other cafes might have their brews and blends at the forefront of the menu with food available for the sake of having food, Buku-Buku Kafe puts the spotlight on theirs. Serving Filipino comfort food, they put a Southeast Asian twist that opens the doors to other cuisines and cultures but are still made approachable to our palate.
With a lot of Malaysian-inspired dishes due to their father’s background, they also offer many vegan, vegatarian, and pescatarian options as well including their must-tries like Vegan Quesadillas, Tuna Benedict, and Black Ear Mushroom Noodles. But whatever you end up ordering, unbuckle your belts because the servings are large – perfect for a big barkada or a really hungry date.
Insider tip: Show this article to any Buku-Buku Kafe staff in any branch get a free cup of coffee!
Pork, fish, and tuna all in one sizzling plate. Comes with rice!
Sizzling Chicken Alfredo
Chicken Melt Linguine
Coffee Pana Cotta Affogato
Book a table, get a discount, and free dessert if you answer a survey right after your meal!
Search for ‘LAS PINAS‘ or ‘CAVITE‘ on the Booky app to see the complete list of restaurants with their corresponding menu and details of location. Share with us your experiences by tagging us on Instagram @bookyapp so we can share your food trip!
We’re more than just food at Booky and we’re here to give you the lo-down on the best things to do and discover all over Metro Manila—food, fitness, beauty, and more. Download the Booky app for FREE to discover today’s best idea.