Our top 5 cocktail bars in Manila
In the course of the last decade, Manila’s cocktail bar scene has truly come into its own. So much so that we had a hard time narrowing this list down to five.
From glitzy rooftops to elegant speakeasies to cool craft cocktail joints, the vibrant capital is now home to a top notch nightlife offer and has earned its spot as one of our favorite going out capitals in the world.
Here are our 5 picks to help you start discovering this city’s incredible energy.
OTO entered Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2019 at number 47, and we can see why. This intimate neighborhood den in the trendy Poblacion area has built a loyal crowd of regulars around a unique concept and killer atmosphere. Graphic lines, sleek, pared-back design and a keen focus on music (OTO means “sound” in Japanese), this hip and sharply equipped venue is an audiophile’s dream. The drinks menu is short, to the point, and changes regularly, with premium concoctions crafted by an expert team of mixologists. Sounds right up your alley, doesn’t it?
Run Rabbit Run
Also located in Poblacion, this friendly venue housed in a greenery-filled historic building is a whole experience. Based on the premise that eating and drinking should be as relaxing and fun as the Filipino way of life, Run Rabbit Run is, in their words, “all about stimulating a sensory overload that guests just can’t help but come back for”. Explore the different rooms and spot the awesome art on the walls, made by both established and emerging artists. Grab a table al fresco and enjoy the tropical breeze while listening to top notch curated playlists. Finally, take a sip from a refreshing cocktail that’s a perfectly balanced blend of freshness, spice, heat and exotic herbs – the Run Rabbit Run style signature.
The Curator Coffee and Cocktails
This coffee shop by day and cocktail bar by night is the second Filipino venue to earn a spot on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list – and for the 5th year in a row no less, along with the title of Best Bar in the Philippines 2020. All polished concrete and salvaged wood, this intimate venue serves coffee up front and cocktails in the back, and let us tell you they’re very serious about both. With a focus on excellent, carefully-sourced ingredients and an utmost attention to service, you’re always in for a real treat, be that hot or cold.
The Penthouse 8747
All black and gold with Art Deco accents, this sophisticated lounge with Great Gatsby vibes is one of the best rooftops in the capital. The large windows overlook the Ayala Triangle gardens below, and an alfresco area will allow you to make the most of Manila’s warm tropical evenings. On the menu, delicious handcrafted cocktails and decadent, dangerously addictive food (the stuffed wings are a must). Jam to the retro playlist as you take in the bustling city life scenery from up high, you’ll be glad you made your way up.
The Back Room
This chic, speakeasy-style hidden gem tucked inside the Shangri-La boasts an intimate ambience, gorgeous decor, delicious drinks and a stellar music selection. Open since 2018, when it immediately made its debut on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list at number 50 (it has since worked its way up to number 45 in 2020, a testament to the team’s consistency), The Back Room focuses on carefully curated Prohibition-style drinks prepared with homemade infusions and local ingredients. The bar also has its own hidden laboratory, where its homemade craft gin and other distillates are created. We can only recommend you come find them, but remember to speak easy…