I get it. It’s been a tough couple of days and you’re in need of a much-deserved nightout with the bros after this crazy work week. But what’s good on a weekend in Manila, you ask? Ever been to Poblacion?
Poblacion, fondly called “Pobs” by the locals, used to be known as the red-light district of Manila, is nowadays the place to be when you want to go meet people, have fun with friends and do some bar hopping.
This bustling food strip located in Makati is complete with speakeasies, themed bars, restaurants and the like—you will never run out of places to go to whether it’s to grab a bite, a quick bottle of ale or to get drunk on a Friday night. What we love about this neighborhood is all these places are all walking distance, that means you can skip the terrible traffic Manila is known for. So, if you’re planning a night out with the bros anytime soon and can’t decide where to go, Poblacion is the answer! This is a perfect spot for you boys night out where you can have either a chill night hanging out or getting lit with your friends – good place to get out and flirt around too! The crowd is always changing, so you’re sure to see new faces every week.
In this first edition of Boys Night Out, we’ve listed down the modern caveman’s go-to spots in this nightlife haven:
Phase 1: Where to eat?
If you’re a Caveman who wants to go on an exciting food crawl in Poblacion, you HAVE to visit the following places:
A sari-sari store turned Yakitori snack house, Tambai, or tambay in Filipino which means “to hang out” or “to stand by”, offers Japanese-inspired Pinoy dishes that are perfect before a drinking sesh.
Open Sundays to Saturdays, 6PM to 1AM | Instagram: @tambai_snackhouse | Contact: +63917 724 4654
Right beside Tambai is Wantusawa, a restaurant known for their famous and affordable oysters from Aklan. Aside from their delicious oysters, they also offer other small plates inspired by the Indonesian and Singaporean cuisines.
Open Sundays to Saturdays, 6PM to 12 midnight | Instagram: @wantusawaoysters | Contact: +63917 301 7968
A Japanese resto serving authentic tempura and sushi selections.
Open Sundays to Saturdays, 6PM to 1AM | Instagram: @ebi10ph | Contact: (02) 956 7816
This mini alley, located in Jacobo street, has three Asian-fusion restaurants: Tambai, Wantusawa and Ebi 10. Tambai mixes Japanese sauces into Filipino food such as isaw and chicken skin, while Wantusawa is an oyster bar that serves fresh or baked oysters for PHP 50 ($1) a piece. Ebi 10 is your typical Japanese restaurant serving authentic Japanese dishes for your sushi fix before a night of drinking. With all these awesome choices, Tambai alley is definitely a must-visit food spot in Poblacion, and if you haven’t tried it, time to plan a trip with the boys.
For all you comfort-food lovers and sweet-toothed dudes, head over to Bucky’s at Don Pedro (right across the street from Jacobo) or famously known as Z street! You should order their fried chicken, meatloaf and soft serve.
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 3PM to 12 midnight | Instagram: @buckysnotabrownie | Contact: +63916 754 5140
ABKD x Ñ
Photo courtesy of walk and eat
Located in the first floor is the restaurant ABKD. Seen above is the bar and interiors of the restaurant.
This is a new addition to Z street. ABKD is the restaurant on the first floor and Ñ is the bar on the second floor. It serves handcrafted Filipino dishes using locally-sourced ingredients, and drinks with modern twists. Try the Chori Burger for dinner and have the Kalesa (that has infused red-horse syrup) for a cocktail.
Fun fact: ABKD is a shortcut for abakada, which is the Filipino alphabet, while Ñ is the additional letter in the Filipino alphabet.
Open Mondays to Thursdays, 3PM to 1AM and Fridays to Saturdays, 3PM to 4AM | Instagram: @abkd.ph
Phase 2: Drink and chill
If you’re a bunch of cavemen who are looking for a chill place to sit down and have a few drinks and somewhere that’s not too loud to able to have a decent conversation, you will love what you’re about to see next.
Alamat serves all-local liquor, from cocktails to craft beers. It’s a tiny bar on top of Bucky’s, with a small indoor seating and a somewhat spacious balcony. The bartenders are cool and fun to chat with – and you can taste test the local brews, so you can choose your perfect beer. The vibe is outright chill, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this is your place.
Open Sundays to Saturdays, 6PM to 1AM | Instagram: @alamatfilipinopub | Contact: +63917 530 2580
A fancier bar in the area that also serves local craft beer and some great cocktail concoctions. Enjoy lounging in plush couches, listening to some good tunes and just having a blast with your bros.
Open Mondays to Saturdays, 5:30PM to 2AM | Instagram: @polilya.mnl | Contact: +63917 500 1730
Dulo is a rustic creative space/café/bar a few minutes away from Z street. It’s located in P. Guanzon, and you can walk it! They serve some great food (try the baos!) and well-crafted cocktails, but the best part about Dulo is they have a different gimmick every night and every week. As a creative space, they sometimes host open mics, stand-up comedy, live bands and even burlesque shows! So if you’re looking for something eccentric, quirky and fun, check out Dulo for sure.
Open Mondays to Saturdays, 8AM to 2AM | Instagram: @dulomnl | Contact: +63956 504 0739
Run Rabbit Run
Another newcomer in the Poblacion scene and a “hidden” gem right across of Dulo is Run Rabbit Run (RRR). Just look for the red door that will lead you to this speakeasy. You can expect high-end, quality cocktails and good vibes all night long!
Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6PM to 1AM and Thursdays to Saturdays, 6PM to 3AM | Instagram: @runrabbitrun.ph | Contact: +63908 897 0668
Phase 3: DANCE… and drink some more
NoKal is located along Kalayaan, right beside the Mini Stop. You can’t miss it, it’s a three-story building blasting cool tunes! And yes, three-story building means it’s three floors of fun! The top floor is a roof top where you can enjoy your beers with some fresh air. A somewhat new addition to the Poblacion scene that provides a fun spot to dance, drink and socialize. And personally, if you’re looking for an event space or a spot to throw a bash – this is a cool and spacious place to do so!
Open Monday to Sunday, 4pm to 2 am | Instagram: nokal.mnl | Contact: 0917 318 1385
Poblacion veterans would know that Boogie MNL replaced Bar Mathilde. And it’s actually an amazing addition to the Poblacion scene. If you want to just groove to some great sets and meet some people, boogie at boogie!
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 6pm to 2am | Instagram: boogiemnl | Contact: 0917 634 8764
Another hidden gem along Z Street, and is actually an extension of Z hostel – The Apartment. Prepare to climb 5 flights of stairs to reach the red door that will lead you to a living room area set up with a bar and a disco ball. Perfect for that late night dancing and drinking with friends!
We’re sure that once you go out in Poblacion, you will want to do this every week. One of these places will for sure be your new favorite spot and you can keep finding new favorite spots every week. A great area to let loose after a long work week. In our first edition of boys night out, what places have you been to in Poblacion? What are you favorite spots? Share them below!