When in Manila and looking for an interesting spot for a drink or a bite, Poblacion in Makati is the place you definitely won't want to miss. A favorite of foreign travelers due to its many bars and it's red light district, Poblacion has recently reinvented itself into a hip area full of cafes, boutique hotels, bars and restaurants, most with an intimate and artsy vibe. With all the establishments within walking distance, travelers can book their stay in one of the many affordable hotels and hostels in the area and explore the place or generally a pub crawl is the another way to best experience the area. Although not in a high-end part of Makati, Poblacion is relatively safe, and the humble surroundings also adds to the experience of exploring this vibrant part of Makati.
There are many places to choose from when exploring Poblacion, from hole in the wall joints, rooftop bars, and outdoor grill restaurants among others that suits every taste. You'll also be seeing what the Philippines' busiest area looks like after the sun sets, with workers, vendors, sightseers, and travelers all keeping the place busy even to the late hours of the night. A must if you're out with friends or looking to make new ones and want to experience something fun and different in Metro Manila's central business district.
A clean, simple and conveniently-located budget hotel in the heart of Poblacion. You can choose from a private room, dorm-type or a barkada room. Very ideal for backpackers or for people who want to experience the Poblacion night life across multiple days. They have a spacious lounge where you can play some games, socialize with other guests, have some coffee and eat some free popcorn from 4-6pm.
I’M Hotel’s rooftop bar features an aquarium full of jelly fish and in my opinion has the best roof deck view in Poblacion. Since it’s located in a hotel expect the food and drinks to be a bit pricey.
A multi-level bar and restaurant with each of the three floors featuring a different vibe and façade. Featured DJs play chill house and hiphop music all through the night. Be sure to try their own craft beer, Joe’s brew.
Century City Mall
Don't expect it to be huge like some other malls, but this compact mall has a lot of shopping, and dining options to offer while staying in Poblacion.
Don Pedro Street
Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli
They have a wide selection of premium local craft beers, IPAs, stouts, lagers -most of which are on tap, and they also offer a varied menu of local dishes with a twist.
Their roof deck bar is a great place to dance and drink with a great view of the Makati skyline. You pay for an RFID bracelet, which is consumable – a very easy way to order drinks and food. This place gets really crowded so better to go a bit early and save a spot that maximizes the view.
Puro Vida Manila
A reggae lounge with a tropical design as the setting. Fun atmosphere with a laid back crowd and easygoing vibe.
Popular in Poblacion, Polilya is known for good music, ambiance and a fun crowd. Located in a busy area close to other bars, the action often spills over into the street.
P. Guanzon Street
Crying Tiger Street Kitchen
A must visit hole in a wall restaurant that serves tasty Asian dishes. Expect street style food, fun street-side ambiance and affordable prices. I must say everything we tried didn’t disappoint. Make sure to get a table early because it gets packed around dinner time.
An almost unmarked entrance will almost make you miss Dulo MNL but don’t skip it because it’s a great place to check out and try some of their signature cocktails. The interiors often feature works by different local artists which is exhibited for patrons to see.
Run Rabbit Run
A simple unremarkable entrance leads to an interesting cocktail bar. The place looks small from outside but the cozy interiors and al fresco area are great places to drink and socialize.
Tambai Alley is a roadside resto serving a menu of many grilled favorites. In the back is a small space that is packed with customers but does offer a simple and enjoyable atmosphere in-line with the whole Poblacion experience.
Tucked away down a dark alley, Wantusawa offers oysters for Php 50 each whether you like it baked, fried or served fresh. They also offer other great seafood like baked scallops and pulpo.
A popular Mexican place with tasty tacos, burritos and beers served at a good price. A nice place to hang out whether you’re inside the bar or out on the street.
Dr. Wine Manila
If seafood, good wine and a more upscale but relaxed environment is your thing, check out Dr. Wine. Besides their good selection of alcohol, their Sunday brunch is also something to try. Their servers were very attentive to all the guests and provided excellent service.
Kartel Rooftop Bar
Located in the roof deck of the same building as Dr. Wine, Kartel offers an intimate setting for drinks with friends while having a gorgeous Makati cityscape as its’ backdrop.
Photos property of Livph