Cafe Publico: Gelato, Snacks and People

Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Summer this year has been unforgiving. With the scorching heat of the sun majestically shining upon the Metro, I often find myself dehydrated and craving for cold and refreshing icy snacks. Good thing there are a number of gelaterias around to give us our needed cooling session, one of which is Cafe Publico in Greenhills.

Cafe Publico Counter Cafe Publico Greenhills

Located at the 2nd level of Greenhills Promenade, this quaint snack bar and gelato destination is perfect not only for hungry foodies, but also for the barkada and even for the whole family. Cafe Publico may not be a full service restaurant, but they carry a good selection of chips, sandwiches, pasta dishes and refreshments, along with their extensive line of home-made creamy summer coolers -- gelatos.

Cafe Publico Chess Cafe Publico Garden Interior

Before our group got to sample what they can offer for our taste buds, our eyes first feasted on the cozy European street cafe-inspired interiors of Cafe Publico. There was a big wooden door, as well as faux windows lined with potted plants and antique street lamps. Children, as well as kids at heart, can also enjoy the cafe's chess table or play some board games.

Creamed Corn and Nachos P225

After appreciating the quaint ambiance of Cafe Publico, it was time to try their gustatory delights. For a light start, we had the Creamed Corn and Nachos (P225). Although it's quite unconventional to have a cream-based corn mixture paired with nachos, I really liked the combination. Of course, it lacked the zing and the tang of tomatoes, but being a corn lover, it was a perfect corny appetizer.

Moroccan Beef Chili P245

We also got to sample the Moroccan Beef Chili (P245), a meaty and savory tomato-based dip topped with creamy cheese. Unlike the previous corny dip, this one had more kick and flair. Most of my companions preferred this over the creamed corn, but both dips were equally good for me. Honestly, I'd say top your nachos with both the creamed corn and beef chili!

Although I'm not big on dips, I really enjoyed Cafe Publico's line of savory dips and chips served with crostini and breadsticks.

Spinach and Cheese Dip P280
Spinach and Cheese Dip (P280)

Ham and Mushroom Dip P280
Ham and Mushroom Dip (P280)

Crab Artichoke P280
Crab Artichoke (P280)

Chicken Liver Pistachio Pate P280
Chicken Liver Pistachio Pate (P280)

Among these savory dips, the Spinach and Cheese and Ham and Mushroom dips were the safest and most preferred by my companions. Both tasted strongly of cheese, with accents of their respective flavors. The Crab Artichoke on the other hand, was rich and tasted strongly of crab. It was good, but none of us raved too much about it.

However, although the Chicken Liver Pistachio Pate didn't garner praises on our table, it was the one I liked the most. I don't typically like liver, but the distinctive liver flavor infused with pistachios was light, savory and far from being too powdery.

3-Cheese Beef Lasagna P295

We also got to sample a serving of the 3-Cheese Beef Lasagna (P295) which was rich, savory, creamy and oh-so-meaty. I'm not a big fan of lasagnas, but this is one pasta dish I'd order when I revisit Cafe Publico.

Pesto and Cream Spaghetti P280

Although pesto dishes are more likely to be tiring for the taste buds, our table can't get enough of the Pesto and Cream Spaghetti (P280). Unlike most pesto sauces I've tried, this plate was not overpowering. There were just hints of the basil pesto here and there, and that subtleness made this dish delectable and really enjoyable.

Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Arrabiata P290 Spicy Tuna Spaghetti in Olive Oil P280

We also got to sample the Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Arrabiata (P290) -- a sweet yet slightly spicy tomato-based pasta dish which oozes with real meaty goodness, and the Spicy Tuna Spaghetti in Olive Oil (P280) -- a simple tuna in oil pasta dish with a real spicy kick.

Mushroom and Truffle Cream Spaghetti P310

We already had quite a carb-loaded meal, but our trip won't be complete without a serving of the Mushroom and Truffle Cream Spaghetti (P310) which was a rich and creamy pasta dish loaded with the beautiful aroma and flavor of truffle oil.

Cafe Publico Gelato Cups

You'd think we already had enough for one evening, but being in a gelateria, we just can't miss trying out Cafe Publico's famous gelato flavors.

Cafe Publico Gelato Flavors
Peanut Butter & Jelly, Toothpaste, Banana Nutella, Dirty Mint, Thai Tea, Cream for the Gods
Mocha Brownie Fudge, Sophia Loren, Cafe Crunch, El Pili-Ube-Rismo, Dark & Bumpy

Cafe Publico Gelatos
Thai Tea, Cream for the Gods, Blushing Geisha, Ice Buko, Red Velvet
Vanilla, Choc Oatmeal Fudge, Straciatella, Dulce De Leche

I got to try most of Cafe Publico's gelato flavors, and every single one of them is tasty and oh-so-yummy. Owner Mr. Peter Chua though specially recommended us to try these bestsellers: strawberry and pistachio combo Sophia Loren, strong and rich Cafe Crunch, and sweet and creamy Red Velvet.

Sophia Lauren Cafe Crunch Red Velvet

However, in the end I chose to go with two unconventional flavors, Toothpaste -- a refreshing peppermint-candycane combo, and Blushing Geisha -- a rich green tea with strawberry coulis concoction.

Cafe Publico Toothpaste and Blushing Geisha Gelato Toothpaste Blushing Geisha


Although Cafe Publico is quite a long ride from my place, taking the trip to Greenhills was definitely worth it. The nachos, dips and chips, pasta dishes and gelatos were all wonderful. Service was also prompt and very courteous. However, I personally feel that the main factor separating Cafe Publico from other snack and dessert hubs would be its quaint and relaxing ambiance where you can chill while enjoying good food, and just be yourself. True to its tagline, Cafe Publico proves that it's where gelatos, snacks and people all go well together.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5

Cafe Publico, Greenhills Promenade
2/F Greenhills Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center
San Juan, Metro Manila
(02) 919-0519
Official Website
Facebook Page


  1. Oohh.. Mouthwatering dips! :) i'd love the spinach and cheese :)

    Their gelato flavors looks interesting :) toothpaste? Sounds cool and refreshing haha! :)

  2. I got so envious on yah. eating all those mouth-watering food... gOsh!.. wen will I get a dip on those delicacies?. hahaha..

    I'll surely taste those different types of pasta servings. Im a pasta lover, actually ;-)
    ***the chessboard-designed table is cute. hahah. never seen anything like it before.

    Im just curious, how does TOOTHPASTE tastes like?

  3. oh the beef chili and Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Arrabiata looks so yummy!! :P gelato... i wanna try that resto!!

  4. @~✯*Jela*✯~: The toothpaste was quite an interesting flavor actually. It tasted sweet like cotton candy then had a really refreshing quality from the peppermint.. <3

  5. You go to the best places Sumi! Nerd-gasm on the chess tables!!! hahahahaha I think I would prefer the chili too over the corn dip just because I like meat on my nachos. I would love to try all the crostini dips. The pasta dishes look fine though not as interesting as the dips. The multitude of gelato flavors is fascinating. I would like to get the flavors you had too! Seems to be the most interesting among them all. I like experimenting :D

  6. Now I'm craving for gelatos. Ang init pa rin kasi. I love cheese and dips. =)

  7. omg yummy food and gelato. must visit greenhills soonn. i wanna try that 3 cheese beef lasagna!

  8. Thanks for sharing! Nagulat naman ako sa toothpaste na flavor. Hehehe :) ano kaya magugustuhan ni kenzo dun?ako lahat ng flavors gusto ko i-try XD

  9. wow they all look yummy, yieee ice cream!


  10. Hmmm paano nalng ang diet ko sumi!!!!

  11. aww Sumi! when did you go? i was there yesterday haha first time to try their gelato and it was good! :) love their ambiance most especially!

  12. Wow I didn't know there was such a place in Greenhills! I want to try the Mushroom and Truffle Cream Spaghetti and those yummy dips! :D

  13. @Mich of Mich Eats and Shops: Apir to that! Toothpaste and Blushing Geisha were the most unconventional flavors, and that's why I picked them..haha.. Love their combo though! :)

    @Hazel: Wow, another coincidence! Too bad we went here last week.. >.< But yes, I super love their ambiance as well :D

  14. That 3 cheese beef lasagna looks so delicious. I want lots and lots of cheese with my lasagna kasi eh. Skip muna ang gelato. Hihi.

  15. Awesome photos! :) Too bad I'm a little sick during that time. I'm going back. :)

  16. wwheee... i like the ambiance so much italian,,, then the food.. yummy.... i like pasta pa naman din...

  17. I totally love the ambiance. And their menu is quite unique. :) mouth watering!!!

  18. Great review! All my comfort food are there especially the pasta dishes.

    Will put this among my must visit establishments :)

  19. My little sister is a fan of their green tea geisha. I hope to try this in the future too!

  20. Wow! 4/5 ang ratings! Then Cafe Publico must really be good. Ganda rin ng interiors and fixtures! =)

  21. Oh my! Very nice interiors, I bet it is really good there, with its overall rating 4/5! Fantastic..:)

  22. Nice blog sumi! I want to taste that Beef Lasagna! I'm soooo craving for it! yummeeeeeeey! <3

  23. Ooo! I've read about this place! It really so nice. I've been wanting to visit just to see the decor. Heheh! =D

  24. yum yum, I so love gelato and all the mexican,moroccan, italian food they have .pesto pasta is a must to try.

  25. Wow!! This is a one stop shop resto. That creamed cord looks yummy. And the pasta!! Hmm.. makes me think of convincing my hubby to go there this weekends. And the old-spanish-like settings/ambiance, I love this.

  26. Ang tagal ko ng gustong pumunta dito. This is so envious to be honest, but I'm happy for you, that you were able to review on this. Thanks for sharing! Now I know what to buy!

  27. Oh you and michy are making me want to visit Cafe Publico soon! I just live nearby so I definitely will :) I almost fainted when I saw the Crab Artichoke and the 3-Cheese Beef Lasagna!

  28. i love gelatos, but what caught my attention is the chess board, very nice :)

  29. looking at your pictures makes me crave for ice cream and makes me feel envy too. How i wish i am not on a diet and eat all of that and second, i wish i have a beautiful camera like you so next time i go to a resto,i get a chance to capture things as beautiful as this.

  30. wow that's a lot of yummy goodness and I envy you for having to try all of them.. :D

  31. aww. love the lasagna with garlic bread. craving here ;))

  32. There is no doubt that you take awesome pictures! :) it makes this post truly drool worthy! :D

    I want to try out the liver pate, I love liver and if a person who doesn't particularly love liver liked this one, I'm sure I will love it too! :D

    Everything looks absolutely delish! :P

  33. wonderful gelato flavors! I think I read them all back in Italy except for the red velvet. any gelato they have there with redb is called Fragola (or strawberries)

    looks like a really nice place to hang out.

  34. gelatos perfect for summer!
    buti hindi ka tumataba Sumi sa mga kinakain mo no..
    as always mouthwatering the foods and galing mong mag story telling about the food..nakakasarap kumain.

  35. I've been there last month and I love the place. It's cozy and very relaxing as for the venue. Nice you've got it covered here.

  36. wow! I love the details of the interior (Exterior din?) and the food looks yummy plus the gelato flavors are unique...hihi, hope I get to see and taste such flavors around here.

  37. Raaa! Mouthwatering foods! And the ambiance so classic. :)

  38. One of my goals this year is to discover and eat at different restos. So I will definitely check this out. Plus the prices are reasonable. :)

  39. this is not just all about the foods , but the ambiance too, how nice :)

  40. I want to try their Gelato especially this flavor:Red Velvet
    Vanilla, Choc Oatmeal Fudge & Dulce De Leche..and it's good they have also Buko flavor very Pilipino... :)

  41. I wanted to try gelato, I love ice cream, just curious what's the difference between the two? Flavors of gelato looks so refreshing.

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