Starbuck’s is coming to Davao, like it or not. So the rumors say. They are planning four locations there, the first being in the new Alaya operated Abreeza Mall, which is due to open early this year. Depending upon your perspective, this could be a good or bad thing.

The are many local Davao coffee shops currently. A surprising amount really. I’ve been to at least four different companies, and to various locations for those companies. They all did an adequate job, and I can’t even tell you what my favorite would be. These are are few that I’ve visited and been happy with:

  1. Basti’s Brew
  2. Bo’s Coffee Club
  3. BluGre Café
  4. Chicco de Caffe

One thing that Starbucks offers that I’ve not found at the shops in Davao is soy milk. I’m not saying none of the shops in Davao offer soy milk as an alternative, but none of the ones I’ve gone to do, nor has anyone I asked been able to tell of a shop that did. Not very popular there, I suppose. There is also the matter of the extra cost, and as espresso drinks are very expensive to the average filipino anyway (to me too, for that matter), that might be another factor.

I think part of the appeal of Starbucks is the known entity that one will encounter. If I’m new to a place, it is a pretty safe bet to stop at a Starbucks and find basically the same items, and receive the level of service. That includes Wi-Fi, which is free at all Starbucks, at least it is in the US now.

Starbucks isn’t the cheapest, but I’ve noticed, when in Manila, that their prices are a little bit better than over here in the US. I don’t recall any of the local Davao establishments being particularly inexpensive either, so I doubt that will be a real factor in ones choice of where to go.

It will be interesting to see how many Starbucks are open, and how they have been received by the time I make my next visit to the area. I suspect that they will be doing very well, and so will all or most of the local companies. Coffee shops seem to be unexpectedly popular in Davao, with no sign of that trend diminishing soon. At least that’s the impression I get when in town.

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