Manila bars and pubs guide

Encore Superclub is the hottest ticket in town

Encore Superclub is the hottest ticket in town

Manila is largely a Catholic city, but don’t be mislead – the nights here are hardly pious. Manila nightlife is modern and its population open-minded. There are plenty of things to try as the sun starts to set. The Manila sky becomes an elegant backdrop of bars and pubs, ranging from cheap joints to high-end, members-only clubs.

Bars and pubs in Manila offer different things – some are discos, some are karaoke joints, some are go-go bars, some are comedy clubs, and others are wholesome, family-style restaurants that stay open late at night to serve alcohol and “pulutan” (finger foods best with beer). Popular local bands and singers perform in some of the bars, and they draw huge crowds. Most of them sing English songs, so you’ll have no problems relating.

Most bars and pubs do not charge an entrance fee, but do impose a 'consumable' amount – usually about US$12-$20 – which is the minimum you can spend on food and drinks. So make sure you plan to spend enough time in a place before going inside.

Search hotels in Ermita, Manila

The Ermita area is the center of nightlife in the capital; however, Makati and Quezon City also offer options, and they’re both just short cab rides away. Here we have compiled the best bars and pubs in Manila to suit whatever it is you are looking for, and judging by the variety of Manila pubs and bars on offer that could be just about anything.

Recommended Manila bars and pubs

Encore Superclub:  This hip, high-end club in the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig is the place to spot local celebrities, socialites, expats, and rich Manila kids enjoying the night. Music is mostly hip hop and techno. Open: 22:00-03:00 (Wednesdays-Saturdays); The Fort Entertainment Center, Bonifacio  Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, tel: +63 2 816 4195, +63 2 819 5481.

HandleBar and Grill: Drinks are at Php300 (or about US$7) at this obscure 'biker' lounge that is home to the Mad Dog Motorcycle Club. Open: 11:00-02:00 (Sunday-Wednesday), 11:00-03:00 (Thursday-Sunday); 31 Polaris Street, Bel-Air village, Makati City, tel: +63 2 898 2189, +63 2 898 1976, fax: +63 2 898 2806, email: promotions.handlebarmanila@gmail.com, website: www.handlebar.com.ph.

Penguin Cafe: This relatively quiet watering hole is an institution in the Malate area. It does not only offers drinks and music but also visual and performance arts from local artists, writers, actors, poets, and filmmakers. Refreshments are priced at about Php300 and up. Open: 20:00-02:00 (Tuesday-Saturday); Remedios Circle cor. Bacobo St. Malate Manila, Metro Manila; tel: +63 2 710 8056, mobile: +63 917 858 3009.

Hobbit House's diminutive yet super-friendly staff

Hobbit House's diminutive yet super-friendly staff

Hobbit House: Staffed by little people in an homage to Lord of the Rings, this famous bar offers live music and a good menu that includes Filipino as well as international grilled dishes for as low as Php200. Open: 17:00-02:00 (daily); 1801 A. Mabini Street, Manila, tel: +63 2 521 7604, fax: +63 2 525 3415, email: hobbit_house_1973@yahoo.com, website: www.hobbithousemanila.com.

Gpoint Smorgasbord and Bar: This Swedish-Filipino bar is part of a nationwide chain. Specialties of the house include European a la carte cuisine plus imported drinks. The Manila branch is especially popular. Open: 11:00-21:00 or 21-03:00; 510 Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila, tel: +63 2 302 2174, +63 708 0170, email: myles@gpointbar.com, website: www.gpointbar.com

Bedrock Bar and Grill Restaurant: Live bands and Filipino as well as international cuisines are offered here. Food and refreshments start at Php200. Open: 18:00-04:00 (weekdays), 18:00-05:00 (weekends); 1782 Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila, tel: +63 2 522 7279, +63 2 522 7278, mobile: +63 917 902 6299, email: bedrockinternational@yahoo.com, website: www.bedrockmalate.moonfruit.com.

Café Adriatico: If you want a quiet night out in a chic-casual atmosphere, visit this historic café in the middle of the Malate area. Enjoy local desserts or order from the international sweets menu. Refreshments start at Php200. Open: 07:00–06:00 (Monday–Saturday), 07:00–04:00 (Sunday); M. Adriatico Street, Remedios Circle, Malate , Manila, tel: +63 2 738 8220, website: www.ljcrestaurants.com.ph.

Fiamma: If you’re longing for Italian cuisine, this is the place to go. Meals start at Php600. 32 Jupiter Street, Bel-air Village, Makati City, tel: +63 2 897 1352.

Conspiracy Garden Café: If you’re in a mood for lively, loud music, this is your bar. Snacks are about US$5. Open: 17:00-02:00 (daily); 59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, tel: +63 2 920 6517, email: info@conspi.net

70’s Bistro: This casual bar offers live bands singing familiar tunes. Refreshments are priced affordably at Php200 or US$5. Open: 17:00-02:00 (Monday-Saturday); 46 Anonas Street, Project 2, Quezon City, tel: +63 2 434 3597, mobile: +63 917 825 6078.

Mayric’s: This joint – often regarded as the launch pad for local bands – offers hardcore independent rock music. They have affordable refreshments for as low as Php200 or less (about US$5). Open: 18:00-03:00 (daily); 1320 Macaraeg Building, Espana, Manila, tel: +63 2 740 2960.

My Bro’s Mustache: Go here if you want to Hungarian foods and listen to folk music. Refreshments at this unpretentious joint are sold for as low as Php100 or less. Open: 18:00–03:00 (daily); 68 Scout Tuazon corner Scout Maarinan, Quezon City, tel: +63 2 991 2899.

Cafe Havana is filled with expats and locals

Cafe Havana is filled with expats and locals

Café Havana: This expat favorite has several locations around Metro Manila, but the first ever outlet in the heart of old Manila is still the best. Enjoy Samba music and international cuisine. Open: 12:00–03:00 (daily); 1903 M Adriatico, Malate, Manila, tel: +63 2 521 8097.

RJ TV Bar: Reminisce at the novelty music of the 60s here. Live bands sing the favorites of the past. Open: 10:00-20:00 (daily); 28 Jupiter Street, Bel-air Village, Makati City, tel: +63 2 899 1658.

Blue Onion Bar: Catch up with your friends here for a night of talk, beer, and music. There’s an international menu, and drinks start at about Php350. Open: 10:00-20:00 (daily); 28 Jupiter Street, Bel-air Village, Makati City, tel: +63 2 899 1658.

Nuvo Restaurant and Wine Bar: This is a great bar for exquisite Mediterranean food and great music. Meals start at Php900Open: 17:00-02:00 (daily); Ground floor, Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City, tel: +63 2 757 3698-99, email: nuvomakati@yahoo.com.

Hard Rock Café Makati: Every night, there are fantastic live bands performing.  Refreshments are at Php500. Open: 11:30-01:00 (Sunday-Thursday), 11:30-02:00 (Friday, Saturday, Eve of Public Holidays); Level 3 and 4, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati City, tel: +63 2 893 4661-4, email: inquiries@hardrockcafe-makati.com, website: www.hardrock.com.

Giraffe: This popular Makati hangout is popular among the younger, hip crowds. Beers are affordable at about Php120. Enjoy the Happy Hour promo. Open: 17:00-21:00 (Monday-Friday), 20:00-23:00 (Saturday); 6750 Ayala Avenue, Makati – right along the entrance to Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Kipling’s Cigar Bar: Enjoy international malt beers, champagnes and cigars right in a classy five-star hotel. Open: 17:00–01:00 (Monday-Saturday); Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Makati Avenue, Makati City, tel: +63 2 750 8888 ext. 2333, email: momnl-reservations@mohg.com, website: www.mandarinoriental.com.

blog comments powered by Disqus

TRAVEL GUIDES