Pub Crawl: Poblacion, Makati
It's always 5 o'clock somewhere!
(SPOT.ph) We already know that Poblacion is an amazing place for drinking. Despite being notorious for its horrific parking scheme and narrow streets that can make any Grab driver cancel without guilt, it’s still a neighborhood you’d visit again and again for its easygoing vibe and cool bars. So whether you’re just going for a chill night out with your friends over wine and cocktails, or are planning to get sloshed with pints and pints of craft beer (we won’t judge), Poblacion will be your savior for those rare Friday nights you’re actually in the mood to go out. We’ve rounded up a couple of great drinking places to get you started.
This bar-slash-events space doesn’t really stand out from the colorfully painted walls of its next-door neighbors, Crying Tiger and Taqueria Seta. For one, Dulo MNL has a no-frills, unadorned gray façade that's easy to miss. From the outside, you might think it’s just an old abandoned building. But look through their foggy windows and you’ll see that it’s far from that—to your left is the bar with Dulo’s neon-lit signage; across it is a long, communal table and a couple of comfy leather couches that add to the bar’s minimalist and grungy vibe. The atmosphere here is pretty laid-back unless you come on a Friday or Saturday night, when the place usually gets packed. Their two-page menu has a limited selection of bar chow that includes baos and spicy fried chicken, but people also come here for Dulo’s handcrafted cocktails. Try the Sake Sour (P220) for something zesty and refreshing, or have a glass of their caffeine-laced pick-me-up, the Espresso Martini (P220).
Dulo MNL is at 4992 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
If you miss Siargao’s beach-chill vibe, then Kermit Manila is your best bet. This pizzeria from the country’s surfing capital has finally found its home in Poblacion, with a location that’s somewhat off the beaten track—but that just adds to its charm. The two-storey loft-style eatery is spacious, with an air-conditioned dining area on the second floor and an al-fresco bar area below. And although Kermit Manila’s pizza menu has plenty of flavor combinations thanks to their DIY setup, their beer and cocktails selection is short but sweet. They’ve got a few local craft beers on tap, like a Bulul Pilsner from Bulul Brewery (P230) and General Luna Ale from Monkey Eagle Brewery (P205), as well as cool signature drinks like the herby Kermit Mojito (P225) and tangy Grifoni’s Sour (P300).
Kermit Manila is at 4636 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Run Rabbit Run
Probably the best advice we can give you if you’re lost is to look for two red doors. These brightly colored passageways will lead you to one of the newest bars in the neighborhood—a rabbit hole of excellent cocktails. Inside Run Rabbit Run, big vintage couches steal the show…until you reach the lush roof deck, which is perfect for cozy gatherings. On the other hand, the bar’s menu has Southeast Asian influences written all over it. Take, for example, their Kaya Toast (P400), a sweet rum-based drink with kaya jam, featuring the popular breakfast sandwich plopped on top. The Halo Halo (P400) pays homage to everyone’s favorite Filipino icy snack with bourbon, rum, coconut nectar, tapioca, sweet beans, and gula melaka.
Run Rabbit Run is at 4991 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
For some excellent local craft beer, head over to Polilya. The bar’s tropical-themed interior gives the space a refreshing look that says it’s not your typical dark and gritty pub. Meanwhile, filling up the place are pink- and purple-hued neon lights, eclectic décor (like a wall full of moth photos), and a grand chandelier made up of old, glass bottles. Add Engkanto Brewery beers on tap and amazing bar chow curated by Chef Luis de Terry, and you’ve got everything you need for a fun and boozy night out. Pair Engkanto Brewery’s bold, signature Double IPA (P190/12 oz) with something light, like the Fish & Chips (P325), which are crisp and fluffy. Pro tip: Farther down the street (if you’re heading towards Kalayaan Avenue) is Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli, another spot for good local craft beer and Filipino food with a twist, while Joe’s Brew is another strong contender for Poblacion bars with the best brews.
Polilya is at 5658 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
OTO is your best bet if you’d rather just lounge in your seat while listening to chill music until you call it a night. The bar, founded by David Ong of speakeasy The Curator and coffee shop EDSA BDG, boasts an inviting and cool space for audiophiles with discerning palates for craft cocktails and bites. You won’t know what to expect—well, music-wise—when you’re here because their playlists focus on a different genre every night so it might be Ariana Grande-pop on Tuesdays and '90s alternative rock on Fridays. They have some of the best bar chow in Poblacion and you shouldn’t leave without trying the Char Siu Pasta (P300), made rich and creamy with bits of savory pork on top. On the other hand, don’t be shy to ask their resident bartender about the bar’s wide alcohol and cocktails selection—heck, you can even ask them to customize a drink for you depending on your mood! We're big fans of OTO's Breakfast Martini (P350) that's made with gin, triple sec, lemon, and a homemade orange marmalade.
OTO is at 5880 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
There are nights when you just want to sit back, chill, and snub that pitcher of weng-weng, which can give you the worst hangover of your life. This is where wine comes into the picture—and Dr. Wine is one of the best places for a bottle of vino in Poblacion. With cool IG-worthy interiors, a laid-back ambience, and a fantastic view of the Makati skyline from Kartel Rooftop Bar, you could stay here until the wee hours of the morning. Another reason to visit: Affordable wine at less than P1,000! If you’re feeling a bit hungry, Dr. Wine also has cheese and sausage platters that’ll get you a lot of bang for your buck. The Cold Cuts Platter (P680) is served with an assortment of cured meat, like chorizo and salchichon, as well as pickles, salad, and homemade bread.
Dr. Wine is at 5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
It seems that rooftop bars are getting better and better at their game. Case in point: Antidote, I’M Hotel’s rooftop bar, which features neon-lighted jellyfish aquariums—as if the breathtaking skyline view wasn't enough. The bar’s upbeat vibe will make you want to dance the night away, but you can also go the more relaxed route by grabbing a table and sampling their tasty food and fun cocktails, handcrafted by their expert mixologists. In the mood for sushi? The Dragon Nigiri Brulée (P320) is a beautiful platter of torched shrimp nigiri with wasabi and tangy mango slices. It’s best paired with a sweet drink like the Ananas in Pandanus (P390), which has pineapple-infused rum, lemongrass, and a squeeze of lime.
Antidote is at I’M Hotel Roof Deck, 7862 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City.
First timers have to look twice as hard if they’re headed to The Workshop. Devoid of big, glittery signs, even tables and chairs, The Workshop isn’t your typical bar. Think of it as that underground party you snuck out of the house for as a teenager—no fancy dishes nor handcrafted cocktails by award-winning mixologists, just a classic fiesta favorite, which practically anyone can make: Gin Buko (P150). Despite its cramped space, The Workshop is a great pre-game place where you can also meet new friends. They’re only open on Friday nights, though, so plan ahead! Another drinking go-to with great cocktails is Ñ, a hidden bar inside café-restaurant ABKD, also located on the same street.
The Workshop is at 5856 Alfonso Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
YOI is the best place in Poblacion for people who think that stepping out of their comfort zone is exhilarating. This Japanese-Scandinavian restaurant by Noma-trained Chef Mikko Quimora and Chef Cris Villasor also houses a sake bar where you can drink some of the finest sakes in the country and learn about this curious beverage, too. Start off with their Sake Tasting Menu (P995), which features six types of the Japanese rice wine. If drinking isn’t your thing, YOI also offers a slew of delicious and out-of-the-box dishes like the Kropkakka (P220), a unique take on the traditional Swedish croquette.
YOI is at 5972 Alfonso Street corner Fermina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Frequent visitors of Tortuga in Quezon City were heartbroken when the bar closed down for good. The good news is this Katipunan-born bar has relocated to—where else?—Poblacion! It’s also safe to say that the new Tortuga is a more refined and mature version of its predecessor, although it still flaunts a funky, island vibe. Fried-food fans will love the Chicken Cutlet (P180), or fried chicken-thigh chunks cooked with gooey cheese, fresh cilantro, and pickled vegetables. Partner this with the Espaniola (P220), a sweet concoction of aloe-vera jelly and tequila that will strangely remind you of Mogu Mogu.
Tortuga is at 5767 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.