Oftentimes, life can be draining. The academic requirements take their toll, the org projects become a constant source of fatigue, and the never ending wheel of university life finally hits the bottom. Eventually, you just need a place to unwind: a spot where you can enjoy a nice cold beverage in peace, or where you can have a latte and fall asleep without worry. You needn’t search too far though, because these spots do exist right here in Taft. All you have to do is sit back, unwind, and enjoy the moment in these awesome places.
Café Travel/Café Noriter
Unlike many other cafés, which follow trends in the dark brown furnishings, posh and sophisticated aura, and the bittersweet and scintillating aroma of roasted coffee, Café Travel and Café Noriter offer a more perky atmosphere, with their light and simple decor, loft-type cubicles, and floor-seating, adding to the already dreamy facade. Found in Archer’s Nook (Café Travel) and along Estrada St., above Tapa King (Café Noriter), both cafes offer a select style of comfort that redefines the Taft chill life. With table areas strewn with throw pillows, one can find others simply dreaming away in these small lairs. The level of comfort here is not often found elsewhere, but often attempted.
The food and beverages served in both cafes cater more to the sweet tooth than to caffeine fixes. Their more popular smoothie drinks compliment the light and bubbly aura, although you should look at their delectable assortment of cakes, as well.
The Barn (The 2nd Floor)
Ever been to Barn on a non-Thursday lunch break? No, we are not condoning drinking on a fine weekday afternoon, but we are saying that the place has more than what it seems.
Most patrons of Barn may have already taken notice of its less party-esque 2nd floor establishment. The colonial style window panes and glass door stand too much out of place from the usual metallic and corrugated steel sheet interior that resemble the Barn that we know and love.
Inside this other establishment, a more rustic feel greets you: a café meets cabin look, with varying dark and light wooden panels making up the walls and flooring, warm white lighting, and coffee and vintage portraits hanging on the walls. It’s a typical cafe, but not so typical in every way. Imagine a homelier version of your regular Starbucks, and you get this place.
Their food is among the best around Taft. They serve the most savory steaks and meat dishes around from their lovely T-Bone Steak to their delectable Roast Beef Sandwich. Be warned, though—the menu can be a bit pricey, ranging from P100 to P180 for starters and entrees.
For Lasallians who like to both work and chill in cafes, Bing’s Fong, the café in front of One Archers Place, which older folks might remember as Holly’s Coffee, is a must-try.
It has all the typical features you’d find in a café, but Bing’s simply has more of everything. There’s no standing around from the lack of space because Bing’s has two floors. Forget the competition for wall sockets; almost every table has some. No need to rely on your phone or pocket wifi to connect to the Internet, because the place has its own wifi as well. Bing’s Fong is the complete package that doesn’t miss out on anything, unlike other cafes around Taft that always seem to have trade-offs.
Music fans can also enjoy the first floor, which has a TV playing all sorts of music videos, ranging from hit 2000s songs to K-Pop chart toppers. You can easily find yourself singing along to some of your favorite bands, or maybe even discovering ones you might not have even heard of before. Fortunately, the available wifi connection means you can immediately look up a song or artist before you forget about it later.
Exile on Main St.
Great food, cold beer, and some interesting art to look at—Exile lets you get away from all your worries. Their Rolling Stones-inspired menu has food for any occasion. Looking for a big meal? Try their best-seller, Frequent Flyer Chicks. You can even order a plate of up to twelve chicken wings coated in a sauce of your choosing.
How about a drink? They have the usual Pale Pilsen or Red Horse, but you might also want to try their Cerbeza Negra. But a drinking session wouldn’t be complete without the staple pulutan. Fortunately, all those beers go well with nachos, and Exile’s version comes with their own special salsa that the establishment has become known for. For a few extra bucks, you can upgrade your Nachos to add a pulled pork dish to the side and some Parmesan cheese.
To get the full experience, don’t just appreciate the place with your taste buds. Take a good look at the surroundings. The restaurant’s full of some interesting quirks for artsy patrons, if you’re paying attention. The walls are decorated with paintings from different artists, many of which are also students. The bookshelves are filled with university art and literary folios, with poems, more paintings, and the like. And if you look up, you’ll see a table set glued upside down to the ceiling. Exile’s a perfect chill spot for those with a creative side.
Henry Sy (5th Floor)
Maybe you just want a place to sleep, or where you can read a book with a good view. Why not try a spot within our very own De La Salle University? The bean bag area in Henry Sy is the place to go after a long day. The spot is easy to miss since it’s only accessible through a staircase on the 6th floor near the computers. Killing time between classes is cozier once you’ve sunken into one of the soft bags among the other sleeping students.
If you find the other places too noisy, it also serves as a quiet place to read, with the University’s collection of books just a few steps away. There are even board games for you to play with your friends. Best of all, you can lie around without being judged by people who are passing by.
To top it all off, the area has a great view for watching the sunset. So if all you need for relaxation is reading or sleeping, and something nice to rest your eyes on, Henry Sy’s 5th floor is where you want to be. All for free, unless, of course, you count your tuition fee.