Right in the middle of the bustling Katipunan Avenue, with cars zooming past the towering buildings housing multiple establishments of all sorts, a quaint little cafe sits, simple and proud. Tyler’s Cafe sits next to Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza, both coming from the same family that brought us Cello’s Doughnuts, which sits just a few blocks away. Gino’s was already a beloved restaurant in Katipunan, where it used to be found at the K2 Building (the one with the Mercury Drug).
While Tyler’s is a newcomer to the Katipunan scene, the same thought and love that went into opening Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza and Cello’s Doughnuts was put into Tyler’s Cafe as well.
From the family to the neighborhood
Owner Jutes Templo opened Tyler’s Cafe as the third addition to his line of restaurants, the first being Cello’s Doughnuts in 2004 and Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza in 2011. All of his restaurants use the first names within Templo’s family: Cello is his wife, while Gino and Tyler are his sons.
Both Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza and Tyler’s Cafe sit adjacent each other, though Templo had originally acquired the space for Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza alone. He thought the space was too big and since he values waste-management and sustainability, he decided to use the space to his advantage and crafted the Tyler’s Cafe concept. At the same time, his second son, Tyler, clamored for a restaurant to be named after him too.
While most other coffee shops in Katipunan approach the typical dimly-lit and cozy coffee shop vibe, Tyler’s aims to be a bright and vibrant neighborhood joint where people can hang out and enjoy good meals. Templo tells us more about his inspiration for the cafe’s aesthetic. “From a looks-perspective, we wanted it to be lighter to move away from the look of dark cafés, similar to a Scandinavian-style place,” he says. True to its inspiration, Tyler’s boasts a homey ambiance with clean white walls, bright blue accents, and soothing wooden pieces.
Further enhancing the homey vibe is the food that they serve. “We only serve the food that we, as a family, like to eat,” Templo explains. The food is presented in brightly colored plates to keep up with the theme of his restaurants.
From the bright red strawberries on the Ricotta Pancakes to the luscious sheen on the hollandaise topping the Salmon Benedict, the food looks like it came straight from a food blogger’s dream. Templo feels like a lot of restaurants these days either focus on Instagram-able food or tasty food. “Why not do both?” he jokes, explaining that good food is already beautiful in its own right.
Smart and sustainable
Tyler’s Cafe can’t be called a café without coffee. Their selection includes macchiatos, piccolo lattes, Americanos, and espressos, like most cafes, but they also serve specialty blends that they change weekly to keep customers coming back for something new.
In constructing the food menu for Tyler’s Cafe, Templo says, “I don’t want people going out the door feeling bad. Food is there to give energy, so good food shouldn’t weigh you down.” The Salmon Benedict and the multiple fruit and vegetable juices on the menu show just what Templo means, being substantial but light and healthy, filling you up without weighing you down.
The menu is actually quite short, consisting only of six items for their all-day breakfast, as well as three sandwiches, a dessert, two snacks, and drinks, all fitting in a simple one-page layout. The Tyler’s Breakfast leads their menu, highlighting homemade bread, jam and sausages, a hearty breakfast in their brunch-centric menu. The Ricotta Pancakes and the French Toast Brulee, on the other hand, are there to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
They also curated the menu in a way that would guarantee the freshness of their food and maximize the reduction of their food waste. Multiple ingredients like their farm-fresh eggs and their house-cured bacon show up in various ways all over the menu to maximize the use of these products and, in fact, they use leftover whey, a byproduct of the mozzarella they make for Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza, to make the ricotta for their Ricotta Pancakes.
Tyler’s is only on its first year of operations but its future already looks as bright as its walls. Templo aims to take his ventures one branch at a time, not thinking about the future of the three restaurants too far ahead, saying he just wants to have fun running his three restaurants.
Tyler’s Cafe is located at 317 Katipunan Avenue and is open from 9 AM-9 PM from Mondays to Fridays, and 8 AM-9 PM from Saturdays to Sundays.