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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tropical Vibes at Coffee Island Cafe - Cagayan de Oro

Okay, I know it's the "ber-months" and I should be listening to Mariah Carey's best holiday hits, but I'm jumping back a few months and returning to summer with this tropical little cafe that I found in Cagayan de Oro City.

Previously named Double Bubble, Coffee Island Cafe is a loft-style cafe that does not shackle itself to the concept of typical coffee shops. They've replaced the usual warm, brown and cozy interiors with surfboards, vibrant rattan rugs, and lots and lots of foliage.

The cafe is divided into three sections: the "outdoor" island-y space, the main cafe, and the loft. The moment you step inside, you're greeted by a beautifully-decorated space filled with so many colors. Surfboards hang from the ceiling, and a huge wall made of plants acts as the focal point of the space. This outdoor space is warmer than average (which is only ideal, because duh, it's supposed to be an island) and you'll really feel like you're having brunch in Bali.

The main space of the cafe is where you order your food and drinks. It hasn't been touched or redesigned much, and still feels like the old Double Bubble Cafe, yet the cute, island-living decorations randomly placed inside the area flawlessly tie together the whole tropical atmosphere.

Walk up a few steps and you'll find yourself at a loft-like space filled with long tables and posh chairs that remind me of Parisian cafes. This third area is best for large gatherings or meetings, as it provides the best privacy in the entire cafe.

At Coffee Island Cafe, you aren't limited to cakes and coffee. They have rice meals, pasta, smoothies -- basically everything you could get at a restaurant. Though their coffee tastes great, I wish the coffee would be presented in a more attractive, theme-consistent and eco-friendly way. Their pasta is my go-to order (love their creamy pesto) but I do think there's room for improvement when it comes to food presentation and plating. I tried their pancakes once, and although they were fluffy and delicious, I feel like the appearance of their food kind of drags down the overall experience. It's like... the place is already so cool, but having food that looks and tastes great would make it even cooler.

Prices are comparable to cafes in Divisoria. Coffee costs around 100 pesos, but there are meals that cost around 80 pesos.

I wish this cafe had existed back when I was still studying at the university nearby. I would have spent all of my time here, studying and working on projects. There really isn't any other decent place around the Limketkai area that's perfect for students who just want a comfortable place to work. Sure there's Starbucks and Krispy Kreme, but those don't have meals that students would actually enjoy. Luckily, students can now turn Coffee Island Cafe into their preferred study spot.

(But please students, order something! Please don't do that thing where only one classmate orders and the rest just tag along!)

Overall, I'm more than pleased with Coffee Island Cafe's new look and rebranding. There isn't any cafe in CDO that's quite like it.

Limketkai Drive, beside Wine Up and The Hive

Update: As of June 2021, Coffee Island Cafe seems to have closed. 

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