Pub Crawl: BGC and Uptown Bonifacio (2018 Edition)

You'll brave the traffic for a drink at these cool clubs. (Burgos Circle included!)

PHOTO BY Ian Santos/Majoy Siason

(SPOT.ph) The weekend traffic jams may be killer, but Bonifacio Global City, Burgos Circle, and Uptown Bonifacio have a vibrant nightlife you’ll want to drive for. The district is home to a varied mix of watering holes, from elegant speakeasies to fun bars, and even a massive food-and-nightlife complex you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the Metro. Whichever is your pick for the night—or you could bar hop, too,—you’re bound to have a great time.

Also read:
Pub Crawl: Poblacion, Makati
Pub Crawl: Fort Bonifacio

The Island

A cross between a nightclub and a food hall, The Island is a massive complex that boasts nine different food and drinks establishments. It’s great if you’re with a big group that can’t seem to agree on what to have or if you’re just really indecisive. Here, you can jump from barbecue (Smoking Hut) to fresh seafood (Catch and Release) to burgers and pizza (Big Kahuna) in one night. The Island also keeps the swimming pools of The Palace Pool Club, adding cabanas and daybeds for a laid-back, beachside vibe. You get a wristband upon entering which serves as your “debit card” for the night so you don’t have to fumble for cash whenever you need to buy more drinks.

The Island is at Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio.

The Coconut Club

This not-so-hidden bar beside its sister restaurant Friends & Family is a chill tropical-themed hangout in the afternoon, but drop by after the sun sets and you might not recognize the dimly lit, awash-in-neon space. Grab a cocktail to get the liquid courage you need to join the dance floor: The G&T Tropicale is a fruity take on the classic gin and tonic, and the blend of pomelo gin, cinnamon bark, pineapple juice, and a splash of passion fruit juice goes down so smoothly, it might take a while before the buzz sets in. Rocket Room’s famous Rocket Fuel is also on the menu, and the mix of chili-infused vodka, mango tequila, homemade triple sec, and lime juice may just get you poledancing (yes, they have one!) before the night is over.

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The Coconut Club is at 7th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City.

PHOTO BY Ian Santos

Yes Please

Yes Please was created for the '80s and '90s babies, and the fun names of the cocktails reflect that. The Devon Sawa is as tall, blond, and dreamy as the '90s heartthrob, but the bright and refreshing guyabano juice hides a sneaky kick of absinthe. The Flying V—a Mighty Ducks reference—is as fun as the parrot vessel it comes in, with cinnamon-y li hing mui (most commonly known as champoy) that’s sure to hit you with nostalgia. The music is kept chill so you can hang out and actually hear each other talk, plus neon lights, velvet couches, and graffiti art on bare concrete walls make this every Instagram addict’s dream bar.

Yes Please is at 11th Avenue corner 38th Street, Uptown Bonifacio.

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

B.A.D. Late Night Breakfast Bar

Everyone knows that the best food to have late at night is breakfast, and B.A.D. has your post-midnight cravings for morning grub covered. While you can simply drop by to have your fill of Chillaxilog (chicharon bulaklak, garlic rice, and relish) or the Bacon & Cheddar Waffle with one of the thickest slabs of bacon around, B.A.D. also throws lively parties set to hip-hop beats and Top 40 pop hits. Be sure to order one of their spiked milkshakes to get the fun started.

B.A.D. Late Night Breakfast Bar is at Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio.

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Hotel Bar

Dimly lit and elegant, Hotel Bar poses a sharp contrast to vibrant, Hollywood-themed Pink’s. But don’t let the vibe fool you; it’s actually pretty laid-back for a speakeasy. Though the interiors are classy and subdued, the music ranges from pop to hip-hop, and you can get a Pink’s hotdog to go with any of their 11 signature cocktails—their bartenders are also quick to whip up any requests for a custom drink. This blend of sophistication and easygoingness makes having a drink at Hotel Bar a pretty unique experience.

Hotel Bar is at Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

Reserve Gastro Tavern

If you love good food and libations equally, a gastropub is right up your alley. Reserve has sous chef Luis Isorena at its helm, with Paris-trained executive chef and partner Rainier Barbers conceptualizing the European- and Asian-inspired menu so you know you’re up for some seriously tasty food. This gastropub is surprisingly popular for their sushi—a bite into their TD Roll or tuna and dulong sushi with Sriracha dressing and you’ll quickly understand why. Equally popular is their NYOG or Not Your Ordinary Gambas, which adds sausages to the lip-smacking mix of shrimp, crispy garlic, and olive oil.

Reserve Gastro Tavern is at Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle, Taguig City.

PHOTO BY Ian Santos

Early Night?

With cocktails and drinks that’ll only set you back by P100, Early Night? is a crowd favorite—which means you might have to drop by, well, early because it can get pretty packed. Aside from the fruity-with-a-kick cocktails and hard liquor priced to be easy on the wallet, Early Night? also cooks up bar chow that goes beyond your usual greasy grub—after all, they’re done by Chef Fernando Aracama of Aracama fame. The Chilly Chippy Pie is a standout, and not only because it’s the most unique item on the menu. The small Chippy bag holds together a mix of chili con carne, chives, spring onion, sour cream, a pinch of togarashi, and the corn chips, creating a flavor profile that’s at turns novel and nostalgic.

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Early Night? is at The Fort Entertainment Center, 5th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

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Versus Barcade

On your next night out, channel your inner kid and hang out at retro bar-slash-arcade Versus Barcade. Challenge your friends all you want because you get unlimited playtime at the arcade with games like Mario Kart, Pac-Man, Street Fighter, and more, as long as you dine in. Aside from the menu of classic cocktails like Old Fashioned, Hemingway, and Whiskey Sour, you can also fill up on bar chow like Chicken Fingers and Kwek Kwek, and even heftier grub like a massive Rib Eye Steak or Crispy Ribs.

Versus Barcade is at Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio.

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Tipsy Pig

The name of this gastropub lets you know that they’re all about porky goodness—and buzzy drinks, too. It’s impossible not to want to have an ice-cold beer with the Belly Good Sisig Tacos, which has generous, almost heart attack-inducing chunks of fatty pork on top of pillow-soft pita, and a tangy cream sauce to balance things out. The Boneless Crispy Pata is just too easy to munch on, especially with the addicting fried garlic chips on top—again, pair it with beer, though you might want to go with the Salted Caramel Beer this time.

Tipsy Pig is at Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle, Taguig City.

Bank Bar

You’d never guess that a chic bar is hidden inside a run-of-the-mill 7-Eleven, but that’s just part of Bank Bar’s allure. The speakeasy is miles away from the bright lights of a convenience store: Dramatically lit and sophisticated, it’s impossible not to feel at least a little bit more refined here. Aside from its mysterious vibe, Bank Bar also boasts excellent drinks: The Mojito is crisp and fresh, while the Earl Grey Martini is a novel twist on a classic that tea lovers will enjoy. Plus, Bank Bar has extremely tasty chow—what else can you expect from The Moment Group? Manam’s House Crispy Sisig-fans will be overjoyed to know that Bank Bar has it on the menu together with a sinful Chicken Skin Chicharon. The Ode to Yakisoba and Leftover Goodness Kung Pao Noodles is also an addicting mixed-bag of flavor you shouldn’t skip.

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Bank Bar is at RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center, 26th and 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

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