A “haven for students” encapsulates everything you need to know about Ikina Café in Cebu.
With its affordable food and relaxing ambiance, there’s no wonder why students in Cebu City’s university belt love this cozy coffee shop on Sanciangko Street—especially when they need to focus and study. Reviews online praise its amenities and services, citing everything from its stable Wi-Fi connection to available charging outlets as proof that it offers a conducive space for learning. The café even has a massage chair and foot massager—both of which are favorites among students and customers who want a taste of relaxation.
Its menu also features a rich variety of refreshing drinks and delectable food. Take your pick from refined coffee, sweet milk tea, frappes, and fruit shakes—then pair it with the café’s scrumptious pastries or nutritious all-day breakfast. The latter is actually very popular among students, as noted by Ikina Café’s owner Mr. Canton. Eggs, fruits, meat, salad, coleslaw, and of course, coffee: you name it, and the all-day breakfast has it. Mr. Canton shares that as far as food is concerned, the café makes it a point to always serve nutritious and budget-friendly meals for students.
“We have been all over the city and looking at how much [other cafés are] selling, and our price is really affordable. Probably 20 percent less than what they offer in the malls,” he says.
Ikina Café also serves delectable cakes and pastries sourced from reputable suppliers which are best paired with their refreshing drinks.
You can also enjoy their lasagna, carbonara, cupcakes, butter loaf and Blueberry Cheesecake from RRC’c Food To Go, located at Palm River Subdivision, Phase 2, Brgy. Biasong, Talisay City.
In terms of accessibility, Ikina Café is also strategically located near Cebu’s major schools, including the University of Visayas, University of Cebu, University of San Jose Recolletos, Cebu Normal University, and the University of San Carlos—whose main campus is just across the café’s location.
Everything about Ikina Café makes it a student’s ideal place for productivity and relaxation. Unfortunately, it had to temporarily close its doors to the public during the pandemic.
Bouncing back from the pandemic
“Since the world had to stop turning, our coffee shop had to close,” Mr. Canton says.
But like most food businesses, they were able to open delivery services several months after the pandemic struck.
“Because of our drive to survive and thrive, we opened to cater to our customers’ needs. We partnered with Grab and other delivery services to deliver our customers’ orders, and we even hired ordinary delivery drivers just so orders could be delivered on time,” he says.
However, this temporary arrangement was also short-lived. Months aftter, one of the café’s staff tested positive for COVID and they had to halt their operations once more.
“We really cannot compromise the health of our staff and the quality of our products,” Canton says.
Ikina Café’s absence was definitely felt by its valued customers. Canton even recalls an instance where law students, who frequented the café before the pandemic hit, asked when they are reopening. “Magdadala daw sila ng colleagues kasi (They will bring their colleagues because) they enjoyed staying with us.”
Thankfully, Ikina Café’s customers won’t have to wait long—because the café is finally reopening this October 3.
All of its previous facilities and services will be available for the public’s use, including the lockers and the designated smoking area outside its air-conditioned space. Customers should also look forward to the café’s renovated second floor which can be used for conferences, group studies, meetings, and other work and school-related activities.
Canton notes that this addition to the café is highly requested by friends—and it’s also a way to maintain the silence for studying quietly while providing space for students who need to talk and discuss among themselves.
Everything about Ikina Café makes it a student’s ideal place for productivity and relaxation.
A cozy café forever loved by students
Ikina Café’s success in becoming a place for students and individuals who need to focus and study can be proven by the customers themselves.
“All law students who availed of the services of Ikina Café, we are proud to say that all of them are now successful lawyers,” Mr. Canton shares.
This leads to even more law students wanting to dine and study at the café.
“Naencourage sila dahil the other law students are now successful lawyers [and have] passed the bar exam,” he says.
One of their loyal law student customers is Deo Burgos, who highly recommends the café to “fellow students and workers who want to just chill and relax while doing their tasks.” His personal favorite on Ikina Café’s menu is their espresso, which he ordered almost every day prior to the café’s temporary closure.
“With quality coffee and cozy area, coupled with jazz and bossa nova background music, it is worthy to emphasize that Ikina Café helped me to focus on my studies. Its awesome and friendly staff also makes my time in Ikina Café worthwhile and productive,” Mr. Burgos says. Whenever he’s taking study breaks, he is among the customers who find relaxation through the cafe’s massage chair.
“Ikina Café sees to it that it serves only the best and quality products to its customers, and truth be told, I am fully satisfied with its service,” he says.
With the positive experiences of Burgos and many other customers, Ikina Café fulfills what Canton wanted it to be when he first transformed its building’s first floor from a PR office to a coffee shop.
“Our vision is to provide a comfortable, affordable, and accessible place for students where it is also a conducive place for learning,” he says.
A cozy space that lets them eat well and fosters a good environment for concentration and doing schoolwork—truly, Ikina Café is the place to be for students in Cebu City.
Enjoy Ikina Café’s budget-friendly food and relaxing services at 64 Sanciangko St., Kalubihan, Cebu City in front of the University of San Carlos Gym. For more information, you can also visit their official Facebook page.