La Union

Elyu brews: Where to get coffee in La Union’s surftown

Amanda T. Lago
Elyu brews: Where to get coffee in La Union’s surftown

NEIGHBORHOOD COFFEE SHOP. Irugi Coffee in homey Ili Norte is just one of the coffee shops you can visit in surftown.

Amanda Lago/Rappler

The tourist hotspot is filled with small cafes and specialty coffee shops

MANILA, Philippines – If you find yourself craving a caffeine fix, maybe the best place you can wind up in is La Union’s surftown, with its thriving coffee culture.

La Union’s surf strip is dotted with small cafes and specialty coffee shops – all run by people who will fix you a cup of joe with love, care, and a little extra something that you just can’t get from a huge coffee chain.

In between sightseeing, surfing, and sunbathing in La Union, check out these spots, where you can relax and enjoy a warm (or iced) cup of coffee:

El Union
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At this point, it feels almost redundant to include El Union in this list. One of the first establishments to set up shop in surftown, this coffee shop is now a mainstay on people’s La Union to-do lists and serves as the backdrop of many an Elyu travelgram. Located at the Great Northwest Travel Stop in Urbiztondo, it serves coffee drinks made from freshly roasted beans sourced from farmers all over the Philippines. This writer recommends trying the Dirty Horchata – creamy rice milk zhuzhed up with a shot of espresso.

Little Cat Coffee
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Serving coffee from 9 am to 3 pm, Little Cat is the best place to get your midday pick-me-up. Sharing a space with Indonesian restaurant Little Canggu, it serves freshly brewed coffee that you can enjoy with a great view of the sea. Try any of the drinks topped with nitro foam, which literally adds another layer of creaminess to your coffee.

Balay Coffee
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Balay Coffee is a home-based online coffee shop that serves delicious – and wallet-friendly – handcrafted coffee drinks. They’re based outside of surftown in San Fernando City, and they don’t have a physical cafe just yet, but you can book a delivery service or pick up your orders from wherever you are. Balay Coffee also sells coffee concentrate in bottled versions for those who want to bring some of its coffee goodness home. Try the Iced Spanish Latte, which has the perfect amount of coffee richness and sweet creaminess.

Irugi Coffee
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Located inside the adorable home store Burt Select Shop in La Union’s homey Ili Norte neighborhood, Irugi Coffee serves comfort in a cup – with a strong caffeine kick courtesy of its roasters, Bodega Coffee. Try its best-selling matcha latte or the mocha, which includes its very own chocolate syrup made from local tablea. It also has a lot of plant-based options as well. Remember to bring your own tumbler for a P5 discount on drinks.

Clean Beach
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People may come to Clean Beach for its coffee, but they stay for the beachfront seating, which gives you a picture-perfect view of the swell. The menu is stay-all-day-friendly – aside from a variety of coffee drinks, Clean Beach also serves pica-pica like nachos and fries, rice meals, and chocolate chip cookies by Kayekeyks. Try the breakfast latte – a creamy latte topped with cereals – or the bottled milk brew.

Curo
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Newly opened Curo is quickly becoming surftown’s go-to brunch spot not only for the food but for the breezy remote-work-friendly interiors. Located inside Insta-famous Curbside Villa, Curo’s coffee is simple and satisfying, best enjoyed with any of the restaurant’s hearty dishes. – Rappler.com

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Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.