In Angeles City in the Philippines, you tend to run into two different groups of foreigners. There are the tourists that flock to the Philippine’s “Sin City” to enjoy the wild side of the hundreds of girlie bars there, and then the significant population of American and international expats who call Angeles and Pampanga (the province) their home. While the expats are certainly not innocent, there’s a big difference between the two.
One of which is where the expats who live there stay as well as where they eat. They avoid the scandalous, unsafe, and just plain annoying Walking Street on a daily basis! So if you can find out where the local expats go to eat and hang out, then you know you’ve found a diamond in the rough, and that’s why I was thrilled to stumble upon the Orange Café.
The Orange Cafe
Before I tell you about the café, let me tell you about the living complex it’s in – Kandi Towers. I call it “a living complex” and not just a condominium building because it’s truly its own micro neighborhood. Kandi Towers has stores, a couple of bars including an awesome rooftop bar, swimming pools, restaurants, plenty of trikes, taxis, laundry, tourist services, etc. at your convenience, and also my favorite gym in AC – also on the roof.
But sitting on the ground floor right off the lobby is the Orange Café. It’s not big but designed with a lot of thought because there are plenty of sofas, easy chairs, small cocktail tables conducive for eating or working on your laptop, and also counter tops with high stools.
There are a few televisions around so people can catch a big game or sporting event, and also board games for the folks that want to hang out and just chill with friends. Of course, there is good wi-fi, with browsing online (or working) a lot more popular than board games these days. If memory serves, the Orange Café is open 24 hours a day, which makes sense since Angeles is sort of like the Philippine’s Las Vegas, so people coming home from the bars at 5 or 6 am is not uncommon at all.
The funny thing is that I haven’t mentioned the two biggest draws to Orange Café for me: the food, and the staff. The gals working there as waitresses and behind the counter are plenty attractive, trust me! That’s no accident (just like in Las Vegas), but they are also super sweet, genuinely friendly, and do a hell of a job. They trained them extremely well because these girls work to a standard of help in U.S. restaurants, which is hard to find in the Philippines. They’re joyful, smiling, but also hustling and attentive.
But it’s not just the women working there that are great – the male cooks in the small kitchen do a wonderful job with the menu. They have everything from curry rice, Filipino dishes, great homemade pizzas, huge English and Australian breakfasts, European favorites, and staple comfort foods. Of course, there is also good strong coffee brewing at all times, and their lattes are some of the best you’ll find there. The best part is that the Orange Café isn’t expensive at all – which makes it my favorite place to eat and hangout not just in Angeles City, but all of the Philippines!