Iloilo City: Breakfast at Madge Café

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo - We always wanted to try Magde Café during our past visits to Iloilo City but never had the chance due to time constraints. Finally this time, we were able to drop by in this coffee shop inside the La Paz Public Market. Yes, you heard it right, is it inside a public market. Here, they don't sell ambiance, there's no aircon, no fancy furniture, no cozy lighting, no classy music. They sell coffee.

In a modern world dominated by coffee machines, espresso machines and instant coffee, it will be a feast in your eyes how they prepare their coffee, the traditional way. When ordering coffee, you will be asked how you want your coffee. This is because they have three coffee intensities: mild, regular and strong (may be served black or with milk).

We ordered the strong blend with milk (Php25.00) and suman for breakfast. The first sip of this Ilonggo coffee was pure heaven. It is definitely arabica, with earthy tones, but the overall flavor is very unique which I couldn't compare with the other coffee variants I tasted before. According to the owner, Mr. Peter de la Cruz, they source their Arabica coffee beans from the highlands of Iloilo as well as from Guimaras Island.

As you drink your coffee, you will notice a constant stream of customers coming in. Some even bring their own cups, probably owners or workers from the nearby market stalls. The patrons would simply seat on their favorite spot, reading the newspaper while waiting for their "usual" coffee served in a cup personalized with the patron's name.

Madge Cafe is located inside the La Paz Public Market. The entrance to the market is right in front of the Grand Dame Hotel. From the entrance, turn right on the second alley. Madge Cafe has been here for decades and is here to stay, says the owner. So if you have the chance to visit Iloilo City, do drop by Madge Cafe for a truly Ilonggo coffee experience.

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