When On Vacation, Say No To Starbucks

Don’t get me wrong. I love my iced caramel macchiato as much as the next guy. In fact, a big chunk of my money goes to branded coffee shops such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean. But when it’s time to go on vacation in distant islands and cities, it’s also time to give McDonald’s and Starbucks a break.

I’m not one of those people who go to Boracay and then order a Yellow Cab pizza or Andok’s chicken. I find it ridiculous to fly all the way to California and then eat a glazed donut in Krispy Kreme. Whenever I travel, I avoid the spots that we already have in Manila. I opt to get a feel of the local life by dining in their local joints and sampling their native dishes.

During my recent Cebu trip, I needed my morning java fix, so I asked the hotel receptionist where the nearest coffee shop is.

“There’s a Starbucks across the street,” she said. I laughed sarcastically in my head. I asked for another option, a café that’s native to Cebu. She told me to check out Café de France in Marina Mall.

Not bad. I spotted a number of American and European tourists enjoying the café’s chill vibe. The menu is a mix of French and Italian pastries, pastas, soups, salads, sandwiches and breakfast food. Most of their coffee and tea concoctions are affordable, and you get to enjoy your selection in a bigger glass. A cup of decaf is only P25, while iced coffee is P85.

I ordered a mocha latte for P120 and a chocolate muffin for P55. All purchases come with free wifi access, so if you’re a Cebu-based geek looking for a place to spend long hours of internet work with a cup of coffee, Café de France is your joint.

Café de France (Boulangerie Patisserie) is located in Mactan Marina Mall, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City, Philippines