It’s during the nighttime where we come to appreciate the symphony of lights. In the hidden corners of the city, sometimes it’s the fluorescent fever that magnetically draws us into finding comfort in rad restaurants and community watering holes. The ambience of an establishment can immediately add to the experience of downing a subzero bottle of beer. Neon lights are now all over the metro’s culinary landscape, giving us that modern noir vibe.
Here are some of the best spots that not only light up our somtimes dark city, but provide a great avenue for our liquor drinking needs:
1) Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli
Let’s start by making your mouths water: The best juicy grilled skewers are found in Poblacion. Yes, we mean Alamat’s Wagyu Bistek and Inihaw na Pusit. The folks here are gastronomic connoisseurs, and you can readily ask them for the perfect food and booze pairings. And hello, they have all kinds of local craft beers on tap to suit every kind of palate!
2) Lan Kwai Speakeasy
Neon light culture was undoubtedly popularized in Hong Kong, but you don’t need to get on a plane to experience the city’s nightlife. All you have to do is head to Quezon City. Make sure your Lan Kwai Speakeasy pre-game meal includes the Braised Beef Brisket Noodles and don’t leave without taking on a challenge, also known as the Designated Survivor Fishbowl.
3) Lazy Bastard
Everybody takes a photo with Lazy Bastard’s brightly lit “Long live bacon” sign because it simply speaks of the truth. No one will stop you from enjoying your burgers and hot dog sandwiches with beer at this Jupiter joint, but you can always sneak into its adjacent speakeasy—ABV (which stands for Alcohol By Volume, something you see on your liquor labels, too). If you’re in the mood for a great time and even greater cocktail concoctions, then this is the place to be.
4) Filling Station Bar Cafe
Also known as Burgos’ equivalent of Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe. It’s one of the oldest diners in the city, but its vintage charm still does wonders. From the floors to the ceiling, it has no dull spot—and you’d want to take a picture with the Cadillac (or Spider-Man practicing his Spidey senses) and play a song from the jukebox. Go for The Filling Station Pizza and some milkshakes. Throw in orders of spare ribs and nachos, too! Or maybe you’re in the mood for some all-day breakfast choices partnered with beer on tap?
5) Yes Please!
If you wanna get a vibe of a New York night out, we suggest you head to this funky bar, where the word “no” is absolutely not allowed. Even if you’re on a diet, you can’t say no to their Garlic Steak Rice and cocktails with '90s pop culture references. And if you’re not buzzed enough, don’t forget to read their dating advice on the bathroom walls!
38th St. Uptown, 11th Ave, Taguig
6) Early Night?
We know what you’re thinking—this place is more apt for a ladies’ night out. But don’t scratch it off your list just yet, especially when you’re dying to take out the bae for some drinks. This Bali-inspired nook is the best place to hang after work hours, while you dig in to their Sisig Fries and some Sangria for that all-night happy hour.
2nd Floor Fort Strip, 5th Ave., Taguig
This is a beer lover’s haven. Polilya is home to Engkanto Brewery. Their B-B-B-Bolognese pasta, as the name suggests, is so good it will make you stutter. And for the nugz fans out there (we know there are a lot), give their Zen Chicken Nuggets a try.
5658 Jacobo Street, Corner Don Pedro, Makati
8) Hamaru Yakitori & Sushi
This Japanese fusion restaurant has superb food choices and a vibe straight out of Shinjuku. Munch on their affordable and thickly sliced Salmon Sashimi and order loads of their perfectly crisp Ebi Tempura. And, like their neon lights suggest, how about some Sake?
80 Visayas Ave, Quezon City, 1128 Metro Manila