CO/OP MANILA: Hip Gift Shop and Comfort Food Café in San Juan :)

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CO/OP MANILA is a house-turned-lifestyle store and café in San Juan selling hip goods and comfort food. The name was inspired by the “cooperation” of the cousins who founded it.

It’s a refreshingly unique homegrown store, something Manila could really use amidst the spreading of international chains.

Here’s what to expect at CO/OP Manila and some improvement suggestions…

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A closer look at the menu: Coffee, Drinks | Salads, Sandwiches | Soups, Bites, Pasta, Desserts  CO/OP MENU Front | Back

They offer the owners’ comfort food favorites. The pricing is a bit on the high side. 

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The ambiance is industrial chic, with a high ceiling to make it conducive for meetings and hanging out with friends.

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I love the Helen Dardik illustrations of kids and animals adorning the brick walls.

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The lifestyle store currently showcases unique products that the owners like and are not available anywhere else in Manila. The focus is mostly on home and gift items. 

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I couldn’t resist buying the “Zombies Hate Stuff” book (P500). Looks like I got cool daddy points for this because the kids want me to read it over and over again. 🙂

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CO/OP is worth checking out if you’re looking for home inspirations and kitschy items.

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Their stuff looks really cool, but you have to ask yourself if you really need them before buying.

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The logo of CO/OP is based on the Jackalope, a mythical creature which is a cross between a jackrabbit and antelope.

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CO/OP Manila was founded by Polly Caragay with cousins Christine Lee (not in photo) and siobe Michelle Chan.

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Most of the products are currently imported but they will have items from local artists soon.

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The wall-mounted head trophies are cute and more animal-friendly.

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✮ SPANAKOPITAS (P235 +10% service charge). Baked Phyllo Dough filled with Caramelized Onions, Shrimp, & Cheese (5 pieces). 

I love the crispy thin phyllo crust with a hint of the filling’s flavor. Something unique to start with.

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✮  ROASTED TOMATO SOUP (Bowl – P190 +10% service charge).

I like this homemade tomato soup. Thick with a strong roasted tomato flavor.

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HARVEST SALAD (P230 +10% service charge). Asian Pears, Grapes, Caramelized Walnuts, Bleu Cheese, and Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.

The salad was good but the lettuce and pear slices were a bit worn out already. 

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STRAWBERRY LEMONADE (P150 +10% service charge).

Strawberry lemonade has a really strong, full-bodied flavor but for P150, it would have been better with chewy or popping sago.

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LUGHANINI (P410 +10% service charge). Penne with Lughanini Sausage and Stewed Tomato Sauce.

This tastes ordinary and does not justify its price tag.

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✮ WHITE FISH (P415 +10% service charge). Dory and Kani Remoulade with Emmental on Ciabatta Bread. 

Love the combination of the fish and shrimp flavors with the emmental cheese. The presentation of the sandwich can still be improved though.

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✮ GOAT CHEESE (P360 +10% service charge). Goat Cheese, Grilled Peaches, Prosciutto, Arugula, and Aioli on Ciabatta bread.

An awesome combination of prosciutto with arugula, balanced with the creaminess of aioli, the flavor of the goat cheese, and the sweetness of the grilled peaches. 🙂

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BREWED COFFEE (P80 +10% service charge)

The coffee was good. I like the café ambiance of the place.

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CHOCOLATE CAKE (P150 +10% service charge)

The cake was also not bad. Just the right moistness and chocolate flavor.  

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COOKIES (P65 +10% service charge).

Homemade chocolate cookie for Rache. 🙂

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CO/OP Manila is very promising. I’m sure the ambiance would be even lovelier at night.

Gift items are unique and well-curated. Hopefully, they’ll have items from local artists and other local handmade products soon.

Food is OK; a bit expensive since you are paying for the ambiance. I recommend the Spanakopitas, Tomato Soup, and Goat Cheese Sandwich. Budget at P500/head.

This is sure to be a successful venture because Manila is craving for unique homegrown lifestyle places like this! 🙂

CO/OP MANILA
189 A. Mabini Street, San Juan, 1500 Manila, Philippines
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/COOPmanila 
Instagram: @CoopManila
Operating Hours: 10.00am until 8.30pm

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our meals. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. Mabini Street is the same street where Suzhou is located. It’s a one way street going to Wilson. You can turn into Mabini Street from Shaw Blvd., right before the Shell Gas Station opposite Puregold. You’ll find CO/OP at the end of Mabini.

7 thoughts on “CO/OP MANILA: Hip Gift Shop and Comfort Food Café in San Juan :)

  1. Oh! So this is what this place was. I’ve passed by this place countless times in the last few days, but had no idea what it was. It’s really eye-catching. Am definitely gonna drop by, soon! 😀

  2. Visited the place today for lunch and they were closed. A guy sitting there informed us that they might open in the afternoon. 🙁

  3. Very cool looking place, hope to visit it soon. The merchandise they offer is, as you point out, unique and well-curated. And so perhaps you misjudged the meaning of the word “kitschy” when you used it to describe the offerings; the fact is, “kitschy” has a derogatory meaning: “something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste; generally includes unsubstantial or gaudy works or decoration; a tacky or lowbrow quality or condition, and often of poor quality.”

  4. Nice concept but the food, which looks ordinary and ho-hum, with no oomph at all, is ridiculously priced. I don’t think the owners have ever been in the public dining business, or have eaten much around Manila. They should, and rethink their menu, and pricing.

  5. Visited the place, prices are not “a bit expensive”, they are very expensive considering these are simply sandwiches and pasta meals. You can easily assemble these meals in your own home for less than 200 pesos.

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