Enjoy Boracay’s (reinvented) restaurants and massage hotspots.
Real Coffee & Tea Cafe. One of the few shops to have remained open through the island’s closure, the legendary café and its calamansi muffins are above a dive shop called Sea World in Station 2 of Boracay‘s White Beach.
Coco Mama. Serving up coconut milk ice cream (ICYMI: it’s lactose-free and vegan, not to mention delicious), Coco Mama‘s small kiosk next to D’Mall is always swamped with jostling tourists. Pro tip: Skip the lines and head over to their second location at Hue Hotel in Station X, which is just as good and never as busy.
Spicebird. There’s a line waiting to get into the crab restaurants next door at D’Mall, but here’s our insider’s tip: go to Spicebird instead (they’re the ones with testimonials on their walls), and order the piri-piri crab. You’re welcome.
Streetmarket. The island’s first food hall next to Hue Hotel is made up of stalls of standout dining options. There is Fat Rice, whose name alone should win it accolades, but whose chili crab will have you licking your plate. Winner Winner gives an incredible buttermilk fried chicken dinner. And it’s a sin to leave Boracay without sampling some fresh seafood, so there’s Percy Seafood for some fresh oysters, poke or, if raw isn’t appealing, excellent fish and chips.
Sunny Side Cafe. Its location on the beachfront at Boracay Sands Hotel, Station 3, gives diners an envious perch. Watch bustling beach life over a cup of specialty coffee in the morning, an excellent tropical cocktail at dusk or pancakes the size of your face any time of the day.
Surfside. Deep into Station 3 is where one would go for the “real” Boracay experience — this is where the locals go. At the Surfside bar, the international clientele who are having beers just after a lazy lunch are just as likely to be long-time Boracay residents as guests at the small resort at the back.
Yasuragi. Beachfront massages are now discouraged, so your best bet is to go for spa treatments with a view of the beach. Yasuragi has a second-floor lounge in Station 3 where one can get a mani-pedi, wait for their sauna or massage and doze off.
Footzee’z. Right at D’Mall, it’s a great place to get a foot massage and drift off in utter bliss. They also offer full body massages and they accept hotel services made through reservations.
This article first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Smile magazine.
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