Those familiar with the ins and outs of South-East Asian nightlife regularly cite Manila as a place to see and be seen in – cheap drinks, a lively clubbing scene and friendly locals make this one of the region’s more exciting destinations to explore once the sun goes down.
With numerous districts and nightclubs to explore, there’s rarely an evening in Manila where you can’t experience a bit of after-hours fun. So, whether you’re looking for a classy poolside setting to people-watch or a hip subterranean sweatbox to dance the night away in, check out our list below for a definitive guide to what’s hot.
Operated by the enterprising fellows behind Manila B-Side, Black Market brings a Berlin warehouse experience to Manila’s party scene along with a few unexpected twists along the way.
Alongside a well-programmed list of artists and DJ’s, Black Market also operates one of the worst-kept secrets within the premises: we’re of course talking about the ‘hidden’ speakeasy bar/lounge Finders Keepers also found on the premises. .
When it comes to finding Black Market, aim for the Mazda showroom in Makati City and you’re on the right track – the club is a little hard to locate, but the atmosphere more than makes up for the headache your taxi driver may have finding your drop-off point!
El Chupacabra takes its name from the mythical blood sucking creature that plagues goat herders in Mexico and Puerto Rico, but that’s where the comparisons end.
Located in Makati City, this al fresco hangout offers customers a more upscale take on the Mexican street food experience. Foodies come for the tacos (we recommend sampling the Bakut (duck embryo) shot if you’re feeling adventurous) and stay for the drinks deals, so be sure to consider El Chupacabra when planning a pit stop on your next night out in Manila.
Tunnl continues the theme of Manila’s Mexican influence with a subterranean bar serving up specialty liquors and delicious South American influenced food. Think burgers, steaks and traditional chili con carne with a distinct twist.
Once the kitchen closes, the staff clear the dining room and TUNNL really comes to life, packing almost every weekday evening with an event alongside standard weekend fare. If New York is the city that never sleeps, then TUNNL is its Manila counterpart.
The Palace brings together some of Manila’s most well-known nightspots in an upscale Bonifacio location designed to keep revelers entertained throughout the day (and night).
The Palace Pool Club takes the Vegas/Ibiza day club blueprint and gives things a unique Manila twist, with local DJ’s powering the party throughout the week – with Sunday afternoons proving particularly popular with the local in-crowd. Nightspots like Revel and Valkyrie offer a high-class of service with interiors to match – this is one spot you’ll want to leave the boardshorts and flip flops behind for.
Either way, the Palace promises to deliver whatever your nightlife requirements – provided you’ve got deep enough pockets to fund the festivities.
Sometimes the best drinking spots are found in unassuming locations. Case in point? Bank Bar, which calls the back of a 7/11 convenience store home. Operated by the always-innovative Moment Group, Bank Bar offers a high-end ‘drinking den’ experience that impresses and tantalises in equal measure in spite of its modest surroundings.
That’s mostly thanks to the imagination of the bar staff (and an immensely well-stocked liquor cabinet). We recommend starting off with a refreshing Shochu highball, before capping things off with an Earl Grey Martini.
71 Gramercy takes the best traits of NYC’s bar scene (including a kitchen ran by a superstar chef in the form of Carlo Miguel) whilst keeping the whole thing grounded with affordable prices.
Situated on the 71st floor of the Gramercy Residences, 71 also offers stunning views with a menu to match. An equally high-calibre cocktail menu offers diners the opportunity to wash down Miguel’s creations and burn some calories on the dancefloor after 10pm (when the dining room turns into a bar/lounge).
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