Take a peek: First book café near Taft serves Fil-Mex dishes

There is a growing Fil-Mex restaurant in town - and it is also a book cafe!

Cuaderno Fil-Mex Book Cafe

Cuaderno Fil-Mex Book Cafe is the first book café near Taft Avenue, Manila. It offers dishes with modern take on Filipino and Mexican fusion cuisine, and opened September 2016.

This is the second time we visited this cafe and we must say we are very proud of how far they've come. Imagine, from 300 books and a simple menu, they now have over 500 on display and additional dishes to offer.

It is owned by Chef Anthony Marvin Espino, who is also working in Hotel Jen’s (former Trader’s Hotel) kitchen. His girlfriend, Alexa May Losaria, is in charge of Marketing Management. We are huge fans of the two!

Marvin graduated at the De La Salle – College of St. Benilde. Incidentally, Cuaderno, his brainchild, is located near Hotel Benilde.

Being the first book café in the area, the cafe also partners with a non-profit organization, Books for A Cause. The organization helps less fortunate kids, schools, and communities. You can donate books to them through Cuaderno.

Donations are accepted.

Additionally, the books you can read while dining are part of Alexa’s personal book collection.

Sorry you cannot take them home.

All the artsy stuff, including calligraphy, paintings, and other decorations in the café may appeal to millennials.

This is an artwork of Architecture student John Michael Santos

Food, Price and Recommendation

Now, let’s talk about what they offer.

Fil-Mex errthang

The price range of their food is between P99 and P180, while the drinks cost around P30 to P140.

We tried their following specialties:
Mexican Braised Ribs (P180), Mexican Buffalo Wings (P140), Sisig Burritos (P130), Nacho Grande (P145), Beef and Cheese Tostadillas (P129), a Darth Vader Waffle (P139) for dessert, and their Hazelnut Frappucino (P140).

The flavor of their ribs was consistent from our previous try: sweet with a hint of orange.

Well-plated Mexican Braised Ribs

Their Mexican Braised Ribs is one of their best-sellers. However, The Eatventurers recommend their sisig. You can try the Sisig Burritos, Sisig Nachos, or their Sisig Nachosilog.

It might be a little spicy for some but we find it delicious.
Sisig nacho silog we tried on our previous visit

Sisig Burritos also comes with free nachos

Nachos alert! We know that some of you are nacho-lovers. When we visited, Cuaderno had a promo for March, the Women’s month. They offered free nachos for a group of four girls. The nachos are great for sharing. If you missed this, you can still watch out for their next promos.
Nacho Grande

They also offer Tostadillas, pin-rolled bread filled with your choice of: cheese, ham and cheese, or beef and cheese, breaded with nachos.

Crispy tostadillas

We also tried their Mexican Buffalo Wings and we loved the flavor on the skin. Who doesn't love chicken skin, right? They have a new offering: Honey BBQ Chicken Wings.
Mexican Buffalo Wings

The rice meals come with free a free glass of iced tea making it budget friendly for students. Their Hazelnut Frappe, on the other hand, is quite expensive at P140 but it is a must try.

We recommend this Hazelnut

Welcome to the dark side! Say hello to this Instagram-worthy waffle.
I am your father, Darth Vader waffles

The taste did not disappoint! It comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, wafer sandwiches, chocolate sprinkles, and wafer stick - his light saber!

Cuaderno is also open for workshops and events, you may contact them for bookings at +639355236438. They also deliver around DLS-CSB and St. Scholastica’s College area with a minimum of 200 per order.

With the free wifi, the air-conditioning, the books, and the art, Cuaderno is definitely worth the visit.

Overall Eatventurers' rating: 3/5

Cuaderno Fil-Mex Book Café

1013 Estrada Street, Singalong, Malate, Manila, Philippines
Contact No.: +639355236438
Operating hours: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday
Facebook: Cuaderno
Instagram: @cuadernomanila

***Disclosure: Meals were complimentary unless stated


  1. I'm not sure I can ever go back to any other place, after an experience like this. This place is appropriate in a space that lends so much gravitas to events. The design of San Francisco venues is sharp and environment is unbelievably good.

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