Read & Brew Cafe and Library is a one-stop dining place for great eaters, coffee lovers and bookworms

The 7-hour ride from Manila to Baguio produced an aching hips and a growling tummy.  We had ridden a Victory Bus, and after a little-long walk from the bus terminal, we saw our first target: R&B Cafe and Library.

The First in the List on the Things to Do in Baguio

We really planned to eat our lunch here after the long travel.  This was the first on our list on the things to do in Baguio for our weekend vacation.  The last time we were here in this part of Baguio city, this cafeteria not yet existed.  And now, as according to our research, a kind of book-lover-cafe is now in Baguio, easily accessible because it is near the Church.  Actually, it is just beside the church.  R&B Cafe and Library is located in Porta Vega Mall Annex. 

R&B Cafe and Library overlooking Baguio Cathedral

As one enters, an announcement will welcome you, advising you that a book you had loved can cost you a hearty meal.  You can exchange your books.  Books that you had read and travel with, but no extra space to keep in your house.  Then, this is the right spot, for your book will be taken much care.  The books will be added to their library and to be enjoyed by other book lovers just like you.

R&B Library exchange of books to free meal

Book Owner’s Delight, A Library

Imagine the feeling that after some quite time, you decided to visit again R&B Cafe, and you found out, someone is sulking on a chair, reading the book you had donated.  The one who is reading your book is so engrossed reading each page.  You would imagine how much travel he is experiencing right now.  Somewhere in your heart, you will feel what he is feeling right now. You will understand why he chose to be alone and travel with greater friends inside the world that he and the book had created.  On top of your mind, you wished you could come along.  Great, right?  So, it is a great decision.  Donating an enjoyable book to be shared to others who you wanted to feel the enjoyment you felt while reading it.  Very nice.

With just the announcement on their entrance about exchanging or donating your book to be added to their library, my mind had traveled from the books I had on my home 7-hours away on this spot, to the shelves of this cafeteria and to someone reading it.

The next time I will drop here, I will surely carry some books.  Books that I had spent precious time of my day, making friends with the characters, and to set them to their new home.

R&B Cafe and Library

Upon entering, their displayed cakes would catch your attention.  But since we had the situation of a needed urgent solution to our noisy, grumbling tummy, we first asked for their posted rice menu.  We ordered for Kalderetang Kambing and Beef Tapa, then I went to a vacant table. 

A Library

The place was really cool.  Tables and chairs, sofa, single chairs, you can choose one to fit you.  A small round table for two was definitely perfect for us.  And as we waited for our food to be served, I had a luxury to indulge looking at their bookshelves.  The neatly arranged books were grouped according to their themes/type/criteria.  What I felt was that I was in a bookstore, looking for the book I want.  But then, I was in a library.  Oh, how I forgot the feeling being inside a library.  So, that’s it, bookstores were patterned just like the libraries I had visited.

R&B Cafe and Library books organized in bookshelf

There were many interesting books but I did not have a chance to pick one, because our food had been served.  Even after eating, I did not have time to get a book to just scan it or feel its pages. 

Or, maybe, before picking one is you need a library card.  I don’t know for I’m sure that there was no banner saying about a library card.  But it would be cute and sum-up a library if there was a library card. 

But, oops, library card were used to borrow books to be taken home, and that you need to return.  Or this library card is meant to be used if you need to borrow.  So, right, reading on this cafeteria didn’t really need one.  Unless, you wanted to borrow it and bring it home.  But, if they let you bring the book home, you would just stay home.  The books are here to be read here while enjoying their brew.  Though I am not quite sure of my sayings here, I would definitely come back to this place.  But the idea of a library card seems bugging somewhere back in my mind.

The Food

The food we ordered were their all-day breakfast beef tapa with coffee amerikano and kalderetang kambing.  I was so mesmerized with the bookshelves that I forgot my growling tummy.  So I just took my first spoonful.  And from them on, until the last spoonful, I had forgot that I was in a library, that I am with Ed, I just took one, then another spoonful and another until the plate was almost wiped clean.

Small fountain welcoming you at the entrance of R&B Cafe and Library

Oh, what a great lunch.  It was like home.  Just the way I wanted a kaldereta to be my kaldereta.  Though, my tongue looked for a little spicyness from a red pepper, it was still okay.  A clear mind had returned, reminding me that it was great choosing this R&B Cafe place for the start of my very short vacation.  Nice decision, nice choice.

R&B Cafe and Library Food

Their beef tapa lacks the sticky dry sauce clinging on the beef strips, but maybe, this is another version.  The food still brought the feeling that you’re eating a homey food, not a commercial one.  Paired, it with coffee, oh that completes R&B.


As my mind cleared, I noticed their set-up.  The place is decorated with hanging ferns , and drilled set of stones wired and hanged, together with ferns, accentuated with decorated lights,…quite comforting.  The glass walls served as a window, really great view for a sunset.

I would definitely return to this place, and prefer a late afternoon to taste a slice of cake or two, with their brew, and a book from their shelf and a great view of sunset.  I cannot ask for more.


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