The thing about your friendly neighborhood bar is that sometimes the vibe can evolve into something too monotonous. Same old drinks. Same old bartender. Same old barflies. Same old, same old. That's why once in a while, it's best to free yourself from the shackles of your comfort zone and find a new venue to drink your miseries away. Hence, this list. You're welcome.
1) Dulo MNL
4992 P. Guanzon St., Poblacion, Makati
The unkempt industrial vibe of Dulo, nuzzled in one of the side streets of the newly gentrified Poblacion, is promising. A cocktail list of around 200 pesos each and a bar chow menu of baos is a great place to hang with friends who are looking for a new place to chill that isn’t brimming with influencers.
41A Esteban Abada St., Quezon City
Here’s something we never even knew still existed: cocktails for 95 pesos. Plus in inventive flavors too: they mix ginger ale with moscato white wine and vodka—and you’ve got a winner. This little watering hole in Katipunan mostly attracts the college crowd. But the chill reggae vibe of the place will easily make it a favorite—even if you’re the oldest tool in the room.
3) Wild Poppy
2/F 5666 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati
Don’t be fooled by its foliage and cutesy interiors—on some nights, this place gets packed with the working type who’s looking to have one drink too many after a hard day. With an original cocktail list inspired by Asian flavors, Wild Poppy is a great place to get sloshed. They serve awesome eats, too.
4) Fred’s Revolucion Escolta
First United Building, 413 Escolta St., Manila
Maybe you’re already familiar with the Fred’s in Cubao X. But now they’ve opened in the too-cool-for-school scene in Escolta. Once in a while, they’ll hold an epic block party, and Fred’s will be the center of it all. On a quiet afternoon, it’s a nice place to grab a beer. Try the craft Pinatubo beer if you're feeling experimental.
5) Kapitolyo Beerhouse
7 Brixton St., Pasig
If you want to immerse yourself with the craft beer movement but don’t know where to begin, start here. A neighborhood beerhouse-slash-brewing place, Kapitolyo Beerhouse actually has the most extensive craft beer collection in Manila. They also have their own beer on tap that you can sample before buying. Now sit your ass down and start chugging!
Main image from Tortuga