10 Bars in Manila With Really Good Grub
Because booze always tastes better with good food...or is it the other way around?
(SPOT.ph) Not every one goes to a bar to get drunk. Sometimes, it's just a good place to celebrate good company. And you know the centerpiece to a great conversation is food and a little bit of inebriation. We're giving you a list of places that put as much emphasis on their grub as they do on their spirits.
Trust us, even if you're drinking to forget, you won't forget this elevated level of pulutan.
Pork lovers are in for a treat at Tipsy Pig, whether you go for an appetizer like the Belly Good Sisig Tacos (P280) or something to go with rice, such as the 6-Hour Beef Shank (P595). If you are not a fan of pork, however, there are equally good options available. Try the Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich (P420) or the Beer Can Chicken (P750/whole), and we trust that you will be just as satisfied. This gastropub is usually packed even on weeknights, so the best time to go for a meal is around lunch. Another perk of going early: You will probably feel less guilty about indulging in their delectable fare.
Tipsy Pig is at Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. Read more about Tipsy Pig.
12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub
Imagine everything you love about palabok minus the noodles: the shrimp sauce, calamari, boiled egg, and chicharon, served with goat cheese on top of a crispy crust, and you have the Palabok Pizza (P395). Brilliant, we know, but then when you try the Crab Fat Rice (aligue rice served with crispy pork belly, burong mangga, and atsara, P390), you'll just be torn. Add Chori Burger Sliders (P360) to that list, and it will be impossible to order just one thing. The only solution is to get a big group together and head to Century City Mall so you can order everything at 12 Monkeys, and support local musicians while you’re at it.
12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub is at 5/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.
Tipple & Slaw
There are a lot of gastro pubs competing for attention in BGC, and that is why Tipple & Slaw is constantly innovating and working on new dishes to rotate on their menu. We enjoyed the Volcanic Wings (P380), which are boneless hot wings stuffed with blue cheese sauce and the Roast Beef (P550), juicy and thinly sliced, served with lemon-roasted potatoes. Make sure you leave room for dessert, because even if it’s currently the only sweet item on the menu, the S’mores Ice Cream Sandwich (P250) is a must-try. It definitely left us wanting s’more.
Tipple & Slaw is at 2/F Forum South Global, 7th Street corner Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Tipple & Slaw.
Pepeton’s is your classic beer-bucket-and-pulutan kind of place, but their food has gained so much popularity that we see customers order trays for family parties. Here, you can get comfort Filipino fare such as Gising Gising (P159), Sinigang na Bulalo (P429), and their house specialty, Kapalmuks (P599). The best part is that you can dress casually, and choose to dine al fresco on cooler nights.
Pepeton's Grill is at 109 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
Handlebar Bar and Grill
Handlebar has been a fixture in the P. Burgos area in Makati for more than 10 years now, with its laidback vibe attracting a steady stream of expat clients. The menu consists of simple, Australian-inspired dishes, executed well. The Grilled Prawns (P518) are huge and succulent, and comes with your choice of sides from the small salad bar. Make sure to ask about their meat pies (ranging from P198 to P250), generously stuffed in crunchy, flaky crusts, and served with gravy.
Handlebar Bar and Grill is at Polaris Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.
When it’s too early for beer or you’re avoiding alcohol altogether, Draft is still worth a visit for its extensive and satisfying menu. This is one bar that's just as full for lunch as it is during dinner. Chef Carlo Miguel is an expert on comfort food. You can find everything from soups, salads, sandwiches, and pasta. Draft has a list of staple must-tries, which includes the Angry Drunk Mussels (P590) and the Fish and Frites (350), the latter the chef is especially proud of (it's our No. 1 Fish and Chips!). But the rest of the menu is always worth a try. The Draft Onion Soup (P295), oozing with melted cheese, is comforting even in the hot Manila weather. Also worth trying is the Cubano (P480), in case you were wondering where to get this sandwich after watching the movie Chef.
Draft has branches at the Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City; Power Plant Mall, Makati City; Wil Tower Mall, Quezon City; Greenbelt, Makati City; and Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Read more about Draft.
If you are in the mood for Cajun or Creole-style bar chow, Rue Bourbon is the place. Go big and sample their platters: The Seafood Platter (P950) has fried squid, shrimps, mojos, battered fish, and mussels, while the heartier Soulfood Platter (P1,350) has barbecued ribs, Andouille sausages, and Louisiana wings. Also try the Oyster Rockefeller (P385), and see if you can resist the urge to pair it with one of their cocktails or a beer. Either way, the food will be enough to keep you coming back.
Rue Bourbon has branches at Eastwood Citywalk, Quezon City; Aguirre Building, HV Dela Costa Street, Makati City; and Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.
You need to remember one thing if you ever find yourself at Rocket Room: order the Crispy Pork Belly Chips (P250). Think perfectly cooked, crispy strips of pork heaven sprinkled with Himalayan Sea Salt and served with pinakurat vinegar to dip each perfect bite in. Of course, there are other interesting items on the menu such as the Fire Roasted Truffled Mushroom Pizza (P395), and the Spicy Garlic Prawns, Octopus and Calamari Pasta (P395), but don’t forget what we said first. We obviously haven’t. (Psst, try ordering from the Stella menu next door.)
Rocket Room is at Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Rocket Room.
A' Toda Madre Tequila Bar
A popular spot for tequila lovers, A' Toda Madre offers over a hundred varieties of the agave drink. Not to be overlooked though, is the equally good California-Mexican food menu,which even non-drinkers flock to this tiny bar for. Our current faves include the fish tacos (P165), Ellotes Callejeros (grilled and buttered corn with mayo, Feta cheese and spices, P120), and the churros. The churros are usually served for breakfast, but the kitchen is nice enough to accommodate requests for a couple of servings after dinner if they can handle it. Hop on over between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, when you can check out the Happy Hour menu and get two frozen margaritas for the price of one.
A' Toda Madre is at Makati Avenue, Makati City.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings may be known as a sports bar, but the franchise gives wings fans something to cheer about as well. The variety of rubs and dips allow you to customize your order, and even mix and match so you can try several combos. We recommend their bestseller, the dry buffalo rub with blue cheese dip. The wings can also be ordered as part of the Appetizer Sampler (P795) with nachos, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks.
Buffalo Wild Wings is at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City. Read more about Buffalo Wild Wings.
Photos from SPOT.ph archives (Draft, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tipsy Pig, Tipple and Slaw, and Rocket Room); and from the official Facebook accounts of Rue Bourbon, A' Toda Madre, Handlebar, and Pepeton's