March 06, 2022 – Bea Dela Torre
[DISCLAIMER: This article is simply for informational purposes. The company has no intentions of promoting irresponsible behavior of going out knowing that the pandemic is still ongoing. Please observe safe and healthy protocols. Get vaccinated!]
After almost two years of the pandemic, consider me guilty as charged for splurging on food and drinks. Everyone who knows me knows that my choice of luxury is dining out… From hole in the walls to fine dining, I’ve always believed that the best memories are made around the table.
1. Lampara Pob
Two words to describe Lampara: crowd pleaser. This neo-Filipino resto is a great spot for romantic dinners, barkada bondings, and even with the family. Located in Poblacion, their indoor dining is filled with beautiful paintings of local artists. While most customers love to dine out in their al-fresco, my personal favorite is dining near the kitchen and dining near the bartender where I get to watch a sneak peak of their busy kitchen and watch the bartenders curate cocktails. The place is homey, the owners are hospitable, and their food is definitely to-die-for!
For a light meal: order their Dinuckdakan, Tanigue, or Porkchop. My favorite cocktail is definitely the Panakakanakana; a gin cocktail infused in bell pepper.
Location: 5883 Enriquez, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila
2. Oto PH
For the old souls, those craving to unwind after a hectic day at work, for those in the mood for Jazz: Oto PH, located just below Lampara, is the place for you. It’s part of Asia’s Best Bar List 2019 for a reason. From moscow mules, great acoustic jams, to the 70s aesthetically designed walls - you’re in for an experience. PRO TIP: Order their moscow mule or gin tonics.
3. Dr. Wine Manila
PSA: Dr. Wine’s outdoor rooftop bar is finally open! Dr. Wine is one of my go-to’s for nights I want to wine and dine. My advice for those interested in visiting this place: it’s not the place for tequila shots or cocktails. You’d get a bang for a buck with their great bottle of wines for a budget price. Whether you prefer sweet, fruity notes or Riesling sours - Dr. Wine is definitely a great place to go to. The vibe of the place reminds me of a trip to Van Gogh is Alive while the rooftop bar is a great destination to throw a small get together.
Quick service, amazing tapa, great drinks - buy 1 get 1 gin and tonics, yes please! Gambas are fresh and sweet, paella is definitely a must try; cooked just right. During my visit, their staff were just absolutely warm and lovely. I visited during the mid-week hence the place was peaceful and quiet. I prefer going to places that aren’t so crowded so I get to enjoy my meal and chat freely. Nothing makes me happier than gin tonics and great tapas; Tomatito is worth visiting.
5. Café Alegria
Did you know that Alegria in Spanish means happiness?
Unlike Alegria Manila located by Uniqlo, BGC - catered for fun and loud, party hard crowd type of vibe, Café Alegria at Forbestown radiates an ambiance made to chill, unwind, and relax after a hectic day. It’s the perfect place for early dinner dates turned to drinks; or a fun night cap for the bros. For dinner, I’d suggest trying out their truffle pasta, Pao De Quejo, some churros for dessert, and A Day To Remember cocktail!
6. Bar Pintxos Tapas Y Mas
They have branches in Greenbelt 5, Alabang, BGC, and Salcedo Village (Leviste St.)! Whether you prefer dining in the south or somewhere in Makati and BGC, this place offers great quality Tapas and Pintxos perfectly paired with either a bottle of beer or a glass of Sangria. My absolute favorites were their Gambas Al Ajilo tapas and their Salmon Pintxos, both flavorful yet not overpowering.
7. 225 Katipunan
Located in Project 4 (pin Park n Swab!) - 225 Katipunan is a hidden gem. Everyone who is friends with me knows I visit 225 Katipunan frequently (almost every week) for their Tims Table Korean Glazed sandwiches, and their refreshing gin basils (which recipe is inspired by guest bartender Ola Adeogun!). It’s the place for me to forget about work and business for a while; to pause, to unwind, and just let loose. The experience 225 offers is something else and I’ve met great people in this pub. Owners and staff are warm, accommodating, and the music is ALWAYS on point. OPM, old school hits, or rap, name it, they’ll always have something to offer every weekend. Come early for easy going conversations over food and drinks, wait a little til midnight to party hard and dance your night away.
8. 1120 House Mnl
After partying or drinking late nights on Fridays and Saturdays, 1120 House Mnl is the place to be for Sunday brunches. What I love the most about 1120 House Mnl is the aesthetic of the place. According to the manager, “1120” is actually the birthday of its owner, born during the year of the pig, which is why there is a beautiful pig hand-painted on the wall. Every corner of the room is absolutely Instagram worthy. They have a separate room that sells flowers, candles, and other furniture. I love inviting my girl friends here to chill, talk, and catch up.
9. The Penthouse 8747
For a Great Gatsby experience: visit The Penthouse 8747. The rooftop lounge is the best destination to watch Makati’s sunset at 5PM. The skyline in the al fresco reminds me of Hong Kong’s rooftop bars. For a private get together or a birthday celebration, I would recommend this place for a luxurious experience. Just remind your guest to dress accordingly to fit the place’s aesthetic.
10. Run Rabbit Run
Outside Run Rabbit Run, you’d think you’re visiting your friend’s place in Old Manila. Once you step indoors… This place was awarded as the Best Bar in the Philippines last 2020; which is why the price points for cocktails is a little expensive! The Run Rabbit Run experience is something else, just like a trip to wonderland with Alice. Besides their curated cocktails, they also offer virtual masterclasses for cocktail making and cocktails-to-go.
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