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Ten Best Bars in Manila

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Eastern Shore of...
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Ten Best Bars in Manila

This isn't my list, but a writer (Igan D'Bayan) from the Philippine Star newspaper from his article on July 17th. I just thought I would throw this out there for view and discussion.

1.) Penguin Cafe (Remedio Circle, Malate). Described as the very best bar in the whole Philippines. I have yet to partake, but will soon.

2.) Fiamma (32 Jupiter St, Belair Village, Makati).

3.) Mayric's (1320 Macareag Bldg, Espana, Manila) Apparently, just across from the University of Santa Tomas.

4.) 70s Bistro (46 Anonas St, Project 2, Quezon City)

5.) My Bro's Mustache (68 Sct. Tuazon, corner Sct Manrinan, Quezon City)

6.) Conspiracy Garden Cafe (59 Visayas Ave, QC)

7.) RJ Bar (28 Jupiter Street, Belair Village, Makati)

8.) Hobbit House (1801 Mabini Street, Malate) This IS a must see bar in Manila for the reason that will be apparent as soon as you enter!

9.) The Embassy (The Fort, Taguig) Is this really what constitutes a "bar?" Makes me wonder about the author.

10.) Nuvo: (Greenbelt, Makati) Another curious pick and one that really puzzles me about the autheor's choices. Oh, well, to each his own.

Pawtucket, RI
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1. Re: Ten Best Bars in Manila

I kind of like the G Point bar on Padre Faura, Ermita area. Daily food and drink specials, band at nighttime. Free wifi too!

http://www.gpointmanila.com/

Eastern Shore of...
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2. Re: Ten Best Bars in Manila

In my attempt to broaden my haunts in Manila, I tried RJ Bar listed above this past weekend. Surprisingly, it was pretty good. It is in a nice little development just down from Rockwell in Makati and the place was packed when we arrived at 10pm. The crowd was decidedly older (40+) and the live bands played music to match it.

Think of just about any wedding you have ever been to and this is the atmosphere. The bands played 60s and 70s standards with authority and energy. The crowd was definitely into it. The beer was ice cold and the plate of munchies we got were fresh and affordable.

This is a perfect place to go to hear some Top 40's Oldies and dance like you were at a VFW Hall wedding in Iowa with a crowd of nearly all older filipinos. If the mood was right and the company was ideal, you can have fun at this place.

Eastern Shore of...
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3. Re: Ten Best Bars in Manila

Finally hit the Penguin Cafe and it did not disappoint. You could feel the potential as soon as you walked in andheard Paul Lamb and the King Snakes rocking the establishment on the stereo system. Any place dispensing quality blues like that in the heart of manila has to be on the mark.

The staff was really friendly in a good way. The crowd was mixed between locals and foreigners. It was definitely a bar more than a pick up place.

We had arrived very late after pub crawling and the beer was icy cold. They had San Miguel Negras and they never disappoint.

Although it was a week night, you could tell it was a confident place to have a few drinks and hear real music. Apparently, the next night, the live band was a blues/rockabilly mix. Sounded interesting.

Another highlight was the photo expose on the walls. It was a series of large black and white pictures centered on a gang from one of the barrios. Compelling to review. Showed class and introspection into Manila.

The author of the original piece may have something here. I will be back!

Eastern Shore of...
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4. Re: Ten Best Bars in Manila

In my attempt to hit all these places, I finally made it to Conspiracy Garden Cafe. It was a Wednesday night and the place was pretty full. It is a house located off the street on Visayas Ave in the heart of Quezon City. It was a mixed crowd of artist types, business folks and college students. The atmosphere was decidedly low-key cool. Beers were cheap and cold (a prerequisite for any bar I would guess).

There is a patio where you can just have drinks and chat as well as two inner rooms (one a semi-bar and the other larger room for live music). There is a cover charge for the music room of a 100 pesos.

On the night our party landed there, the musicians were pretty much acoustic types playing decent quality covers and their own stuff. One of the performers was only 16 years old, but he held his own.

Also, they had a small art exhibit which was fairly neutral with the exception of a large scanning black and white photo of some prisoners at a Philippine prison lining up for food. Really striking piece. Wish I had the room in my suitcase to truck it home, but it had to be five feet long.

Overall, not a bad place to check out for some mellow live music and atmosphere.

Eastern Shore of...
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5. Re: Ten Best Bars in Manila

The Hobbit House is a Manila institution since 1973 and for first time visitors, it is a pretty cool way to start a Philippine vacation. It is one of those places that you just have to see to believe. The staff is all "small people."

It is no longer on Mabini (since 2007) and has moved to 1212 del Pilar Street near Ermita Church. It is not far from the original place, but with one way streets in that part of Ermita, it can get confusing. They do have a website (www.hobbithousemanila.com).

The reason you go is to see the wait staff, but you won't be disappointed by the beer selection and the live music (nightly).

On the Sunday night we went, the place was fairly crowded. The new venue is more spacious than the old one and a tiny bit cleaner. They have bottled beer from all over the world, but the best choices for beer lovers would be the Czech-style microbrews that are slowly taking hold in Manila. I believe the company is Pizo (?) and their location is in Makati City. Overall, it has one of the best selections of brews in Manila, but the prices are strictly for tourists.

The live music is always a very high quality. We were treated to a pair of acoustic players who did covers that were excellent and varied.

Hey, any bar that can last over 35 years can't be all that bad, can it? For the curious and the bizarre, check it out if you need something to fill a night in Manila.

6. Re: Ten Best Bars in Manila

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