Best Bars in Manila #1: The Bar @ 1951
The Bar@1951 is a quiet watering hole in Malate. It’s always crowded with the bohemian, hippie crowd: local visual artists, poets, filmmakers, writers, and actors. It was once known famously as The Penguin Cafe, and regulars that have been around since before the re-branding will still refer to it as such. The Bar@1951 is known for its cheap beers, live performances, and bohemian atmosphere. It’s easy to see why it won Lonely Planet’s “Editor’s Choice Award” back in 2010. The space doubles as an art gallery, so you can enjoy artwork by local and international artists while you sip your drink and soak up some hip, laid-back Manila nightlife.
Location: Address: 1951 Adriatico St, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Contacts: bar1951.weebly.com | Facebook
Best Bars in Manila #2: Encore Superclub
Encore Superclub (formerly known as the Embassy Club) is one of the most popular bars in Taguig City, Metro Manila. This is the go-to bar for the rich and famous of Manila – expect to party alongside a mix of socialites, local celebrities, and expats. The high-end, futuristic club plays mostly techno and hip hop, and boasts state-of-the-art facilities. The intereior has a sophisticated feel. It’s divided into two rooms: one for hardcore party-goers to dance the night away, and one for those who want to relax with a glass of champagne with friends while enjoying the party atmosphere.
Location: Unit D, The Fort Entertainment Center, Bonifacio Global City, Katipunan Circle, Taguig, 1632
Best Bars in Manila #3: Handlebar Manila
Handlebar Manila is one of the more cool, “dude-oriented” sports bars in Manila. It’s right in the heart of Makati. It caters to bikers but it’s worth a visit for everyone! Enjoy a cool drink while watching sports on TV (channels include Russian Grand Prix, Super Rugby, Golf, AFC Cup, and more). You can also play billiards, or show off your dance moves to a live set of rock ‘n roll.
If you’re hungry, Handlebar Manila has great steak dishes and other Western offerings. With a cool crowd, free wifi, and with all-night Happy Hour Sundays through Tuesdays, you can’t go wrong with this slice of Manila nightlife.
Best Bars in Manila #4: Hobbit House
Hobbit House is a “Lord of the Rings” themed bar that proudly employs “the smallest waiters in the world.” Visitors can immerse themselves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world for the evening while enjoying an impressive collection of imported and craft beer. Hobbit House was founded by Jim Turner of Iowa, and the menu offers both Filipino and international grilled dishes. The bar offers live music and entertainment, including the world’s smallest Elvis impersonator, hobbit flame-eaters, stand-up comics, dancers, jugglers, and more. It’s never a dull moment at this unique bar!
Location: 1801 A. Mabini Street, Manila
Best Bars in Manila #5: Bunk
Bunk Bar is an artsy, bohemian rooftop bar with cheap beer and great food. It’s located on top of the Jovan Building. The space also serves as an art gallery, so it’s no wonder many artists, musicians, and art enthusiasts frequent the bar. Bunk is owned by France Delos Reyes. His inspiration for the concept and design was the streets of Berlin – think cool street art that’s always evolving, along with a phenomenal view.
The Bunk is truly a “hidden gem.” There’s no sign for it—just find the Jovan Building (a condominium and office building) and tell the security guard that you’re going up to the bar.
Location: Rooftop, Jovan Bldg., Shaw Boulevard cor. Samat St., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong (look for Jovan Building, across from PCSO office)
Best Bars in Manila #6: Z Hostel Roofdeck
Z Hostel, located in Makati, was the first ever luxury hostel in the Philippines. It’s also the biggest. The hostel has a popular roofdeck bar, called the Z Roofdeck, which offers a wide collection of drinks and Filipino and international food. Z Roofdeck also features live performances from local bands, plus the country’s hottest DJs. You can’t say that about all the bars in Manila.
Z Hostel Roofdeck is popular among tourists, backpackers, and locals alike. It’s no wonder, with such great food, an awesome venue, fun music, and the perfect party atmosphere. The bar opens at 5pm and the party lasts all night, every night. If you go, know that Z Hostel uses RFID bracelets for cashless transactions. One less thing to worry about so you can focus on living up the Manila nightlife!
Best Bars in Manila #7: Conspiracy Garden Café
Conspiracy Garden is another one of the café/bars in Manila that attracts the bohemian crowd. The space is dimly lit, cool, and artsy. There are many live performances, usually acoustic sets, and the café is sometimes used as a venue for exhibits and film festival screenings.
Conspiracy Garden Cafe has great eats – lots of delicious finger food to go with your beer. The inside is cozy and intimate, and the decor is artful, laid-back and homey. The cafe is divided into three sections: the bar, the area for live performances, and the garden. Out in the garden you can drink and laugh the night away under the night sky.
Location: 59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Best Bars in Manila #8: The 70s Bistro
The 70s Bistro is all about music. Let the rock tunes of the 1970s carry you back a few decades. These songs might be new to you, though. The 1970s Bistro promotes Filipino rock n’ roll music, which sparked in that decade. They also play some reggae, and contemporary, mainstream artists and local bands perform live. The music is always blasting at The 70s Bistro.
This bar also has great food. The house specialty is “Sisig” – a mix of finely chopped pig’s ears, pork liver, crispy pork rinds, and chopped onions served in a sizzling metal platter. No need to go hungry while you’re exploring the Manila nightlife…!
Best Bars in Manila #9: Nuvo Restaurant and Wine Bar
Nuvo Restaurant and Wine Bar is popular for its terrific Mediterranean food and great music. It’s on the pricier side, but if you’re looking for posh ambiance then this is your bar.
Nuvo Restaurant and Wine Bar is classy and uncrowded, a perfect setting for a night of elegance. There’s an indoor section where the music is more subtle, and an outdoor area where the music is more lively. Performers offer live music, and sometimes they even get the guests singing or dancing with them.
Location: Ground floor, Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Best Bars in Manila #10: Hard Rock Café Makati
Fans of this famous rock ‘n’ roll-themed chain will not be disappointed by the Makati location! The Hard Rock Café Makati restaurant is divided into two sections. The Billiard Room has multiple pool tables, and another area displays an impressive collection of rock memorabilia (like famous rockstars’ outfits and classic guitars).
The restaurant-bar offers handcrafted cocktails and a wide assortment of dishes. The Hard Rock Café Makati was established in 1995, and has become a go-to spot in Makati. It’s located inside Glorietta Mall.
Best Bars in Manila #11: Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Cafe
Experience a piece of New York City in Manila! Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Café is designed to feel like your fantasy New York home. The place has three levels: the first floor is an intimate, cozy and homey restaurant-café; the second floor is a dining area bar-style; and the third level is a full-blown bar: dim lighting, loud, blaring music, party atmosphere.
The interiors are really cool, hip, and very New York. Manila locals love this Big Apple experience.
The Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Cafe menu offers a wide selection of snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals, and dessert. This morning combo is sure to cure any hangover: the Anti-Hangover Bacon and Eggs Rosti, washed down with an Anti-Hangover Shake.
Location: 26th Street Corner Icon Plaza Building, 7th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila
Best Bars in Manila #12: Happy Hour Manila
Happy Hour Manila is a small cocktail bar and lounge that can accommodate up to 30 folks. It’s located in City Golf Plaza. This cozy space serves comfort food, bar chows, and delicious cocktails at promotional prices. Here, every hour is a happy hour!
Some of the bestselling cocktails are Bear Sour Whiskey (bourbon, egg white, and gummy bears), Dirty Pop (gin, apricot brandy, and lemon), Call Me New Fashioned (Snickers-infused bourbon, frangelico, and bitters), and Sayonar (sake, soju, umeshu, and gin).
Location: City Golf Plaza, Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig
Best Bars in Manila #13: Mandalay Whisky & Cigars
Mandalay Whisky & Cigars is a cool hidden bar with an entrance through a wardrobe. Yes, just like the one to Narnia—complete with hanging coats! The wardrobe is found inside a restaurant pub called The Belle & Dragon.
Mandalay Whisky & Cigars is an Indochine-inspired speakeasy. The drinks are pretty expensive, but their fusion of Eastern and Western is delightful. Entering the secret door feels like stepping into a luxurious Jazz Era scene. This is a unique piece of Manila nightlife that can’t fail to make your trip memorable.
Location : 100 Don Palanca St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Best Bars in Manila #14: The Exit
The Exit is another secret bar in Manila (but not secret to you, because you’ve wisely stopped by our blog!). Look for Plaza Café, proceed to the back of the café, enter through the second exit door, and you’ll find yourself inside The Exit.
The Exit is a Manila nightlife favorite because of its laid-back, private, and relaxed atmosphere. The space is dimly lit with soft background music. The beer selection is small but impressive. There are some awesome imports available, like Guinness, Hitachino Nest, Stella Artois, and Blue Moon. Each beer is poured Into its own respective glass—it’s all in the details at The Exit. The cocktails also get great reviews. Come see for yourself – if you can find it!
Location: Ground Floor Corinthian Plaza, 121, Paseo De Roxas, Legaspi Village, Makati, 1229 Metro Manila
Best Bars in Manila #15: Café Adriatico
Café Adriatico is a historic café at the heart of Malate. It has been offering up a calm, casual, quiet, chic atmosphere for more than three decades. The menu is a delight: seafood, steaks, pork, tapas, pica-picas, pastas, salads, omelettes, local and international sweets, and other multicultural dishes will all make your mouth water. And then, of course, there are the cocktails.
The vintage vibes at Café Adriatico are popular among public figures. Celebrities and politicians are frequent the scene, so you know you’ll be in good company if you give it a visit.
Location: M. Adriatico Street, Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila
Best Bars in Manila #16: 71 Gramercy
71 Gramercy is one of the hottest clubs in Manila. It’s located on the top level of the country’s tallest skyscraper, the Gramercy Residences. Famous folks love to hit this high-end club—models, actors, and other famous celebs can always be spotted here.
71 Gramercy is inspired by the New York vibe, with touches of art deco and Jazz Era atmosphere. The club is split into various sections: a lounge and bar area; an inside club; a restaurant area; and two rooftop decks with full bars. This is the best place to enjoy a breathtaking view of Manila. You might even catch a sunrise – you can dance the night away until 6 in the morning.
Location: 71st Floor, Century City, Kalayaan Ave, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila
Best Bars in Manila #17: G-Point Smörgåsbord & Bar
G-Point is a bar in Ermita, Manila owned by some Swedes. They brew their own house beers and sell them cheap. This spot is quite popular among tourists and expats alike, especially for the low-cost lunch buffet. G-Point offers other fun promos too, like free honey in your draft beer. The atmosphere is cozy and dim, highlighted with neon lights, which makes this a pretty cool and intimate watering hole.
Best Bars in Manila #18: H & J Sports Restobar
H&J, formerly known by its full name – Heckle and Jeckle – is another sports bar that’s popular among Manila expats. The TVs are always screening popular sporting events, especially English Premier League football. H&J offers Western and Indian cuisine. The most popular dishes are the 12-inch pizza and the Chicken Tikka Masala. The ambiance here is really lovely, and they play great music. The staff have a reputation for being very polite and friendly. All in all it’s a great place to stop by if you’re curious about Manila nightlife and the expat scene.
Location: Felipe, Makati, Metro Manila
Best Bars in Manila #19: Sky Deck View Bar, The Bayleaf Intramuros
The Sky Deck View Bar is a ‘must visit’ al fresco lounge experience! It has a phenomenal, 360-degree, unobstructed view of the Manila skyline. Watching the sunset from here is totally breathtaking. Sky Deck View Bar is located on top of The Bayleaf Intramuros Hotel. Come here to drink under the night sky, feel the cool breeze in your hair, and listen to live bands play great music. Maybe you will even volunteer to get on stage and sing!
Location: Muralla Street,, Victoria St, Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila
Best Bars in Manila #20: Strumms
Strumms’ tagline is “What great music is all about.” This bar is located in Makati City. It’s been a Manila Nightlife staple since 1993. They are popular for their awesome live music. Most performers are well-established and famous Filipino bands, especially jazz bands. Sometimes international artists will make appearances, too.
The Strumms drink menu is renowned for its superior collection of whiskies, cognac, liquor, and cocktails. Two types of cuisine are served here: Filipino and Japanese. Try the Party Platter, it’s a best seller!
Location: 110 Jupiter Street (near Makati Avenue), Makati City
More helpful info on Manila nightlife:
“For more info about Manila Nightlife and the latest news on recommended clubs and events, we recommend Ph2nite – it’s where we go to find the best parties in the Philippines.
And if you’re looking for more insider perspectives, here are some blogs on the topic:
- “71 Gramercy: Rising Above the Rest” – by The Pickiest Eater in the World
- “Z Hostel: Staying at a Luxury Hostel in Makati City” – by The Travelling Feet
- “Skydeck at The Bayleaf Intramuros ♥ ♥” – by Jin Loves to Eat
- “The Hobbit House” – by The Travelling Fool
- “70s Bistro” – by Black Trails
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