There’s certainly something to be said for having a “spot,” or a place where you’re a regular—in fact, every man would do well for himself to pledge a degree of loyalty to a sincerely good watering hole. But it’s also important to go out and drink somewhere new every once in awhile, just to see what else the city has to offer. Nightlife thrives on variety, after all, and some of best nights of your life can come from unexpected places. So keep an open mind, and an eye out for cool new bars to pour one over in. Here are a few good places to start.
11th Ave. cor 38th St. Uptown Bonifacio, BGC
Yes Please is an excellent study in contradiction, in that it’s simultaneously of-the-moment and nostalgic. Erwan Heussaff’s latest concept bar is a throwback-dive, so to speak, wrought with neon lights and cheeky references to the '90s and early 2000s, and patterned after bars in East New York. But because it’s located in the Fort, near all the upscale clubs—and because it’s Erwan Heussaff’s—Yes Please is emerging as a current cool people place, with a solid crowd and an excellent bar selection. It’s also thoroughly Instagrammable, with cool graphics on the walls and novelties scattered about. On Thursday nights, expect a lot of Nirvana and Coldplay, which vibe well with an ice cold bottle of beer.
Hotel Rembrandt, 26 Tomas Morato Extension, South Triangle, Quezon City
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a smooth evening, head to the Malt Room at Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City. The vibe here is fairly upscale, but without too much fuss: recline in the nice leather seats, have a sip of their wide selection of drinks, and vibe out to the music, which they change up quite a bit. The Malt Room plays everything from house to classic rock, so there’s something for everyone if you’re there on the right day. They also serve a mean sizzling bulalo, which goes down excellently with a good brew.
3F 31 Aguirre Ave, Manila
Southerners take heed: Tas Roofdeck is a great place to take all your northside friends who never plan anything outside of QC. The chill rooftop ambience here is bested only by its menu: a mix-and-match symphony of wraps, skewers, and pizzas that are thrown together with comfort food. The adobo flakes shawarma makes a great case for them; and so do the liempo bacon skewers—indulgent, but irresistible, and best with a cold one. The music is also consistently on point, so it’s great for a nice, relaxing evening.
5 Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City
If you’re tired of all the trendy, snooty, concept-heavy bars that your friends and your friends’ friends keep insisting upon, try hitting up a nice, old-school dive like Historia, which is just off Tomas Morato. Just good drinks, a big space, and some solid live music, mostly from the '90s—no fuss, no frills. The food, likewise, is simple pulutan, which doesn’t really go out of style. In all its aspects, Historia is for the troopers without two cares to give about gimmicks and trends.
2F Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari, Las Pinas City
Another Story is more restaurant than bar, but in its eccentricities and its excellent food, it’s nevertheless a great place to chill out and have a drink. Guests will immediately notice the interiors, which are thoughtfully-designed and heavily-adorned—almost maximalist in their appeal. It’s its own colorful, unique type of place, which is great if you’d like to get out of the kinds of bars that you’re used to. It also has a great menu (despite the puns that were deployed in writing it), full of classic dishes done right. The baby back ribs and roast pork belly are the ones you’ll be back for.
Setting new standard for Manila nightlife, these bars are progressively reinventing themselves to provide unique experience to customers. With a bottle of Heineken in hand, there are no dull nights at these bars. Truth be told, there are world-class bars throughout Metro Manila, and it's up to you to discover them.
If you happen to visit any of these bars, don't miss joining Heineken's Open Manila Challenge. You can get a chance to win trips to Amsterdam, London, or other cities in the world by taking photo of you with the Open Manila sign found in bars and restaurants across Metro Manila, share it on Instagram with #OpenManila and #HeinekenPH in the caption, and tag and follow @heineken_ph. To know more about Open Manila Challenge, visit this website and go to Heineken's Facebook page and website today.