Your nights out with friends are about to get more exciting with our updated list of the best bars and lounges in the country.

20:20

Food: Bar chow | Music: Disco, soul, funk, world, jazz

20:20 welcomes guests with a happy hour as early as five in the afternoon—perfect for groups of friends who are up for a long night. Living up to its Old Americana concept and Steampunk, its walls echo the vibe of Dia de los Muertos as flickering lights play tricks on the eyes, mimicking the effect of bars during the prohibition era. In addition to the creatively exciting ambience is the bar's choice of quality music that strictly veers away from anything mainstream, trap, or hip-hop. One of the highlights of this hip spot is the exposed balcony with a stockroom shelf that exhibits an impressive selection of prized liquors. On special days, lucky guests are surprised with a showcase of burlesque dancers.

1824 Whisky Bar

Food: Premium bar fare | Music: Modern classic

Named after the year that single malt distilleries were granted their first license, this cosy escape pays homage to this classic drink. There is a vast selection of Scotch, along with European, Japanese, and Chinese whiskies and a plethora of cigars to match over 100 single malts. This is a haven for cigar aficionados with an international array—the best there is to offer. While coming down from the rush of the city in this calm, dimly lit perch on the 2nd floor of Discovery Primea, make sure to sample the menu as well. Enjoy the oyster Fricassée, a pasta with Fine de Claire oysters and caviar to complete your evening.

ABV

Food: French and American | Music: Gypsy jazz

Make your way to Lazy Bastard and look for the large wooden door. A hidden passageway will lead you to this gem of a speakeasy/restaurant, Alcohol by Volume (ABV). Known for exquisite drinks, designed by top-notch, award-winning bartenders, you can look forward to the classics, innovative new finds and bespoke creations made just for you. Just over a year old, ABV has already garnered international attention for their quality cocktails. Aside from being a speakeasy bar, ABV also prides itself on being a restaurant. Chow down on American-French fare with friends while chatting the night away.

Bank Bar

Food: Bar chow | Music: House

Who would have thought that you could have so much fun inside a 7-11? Push your way through the exit sign and suddenly you’re in a stock room that is drenched in red light. Make your way past the curtain on the other side of the stock room and find yourself inside the high-ceilinged, trendy treasure of a speakeasy that is Bank Bar. Artfully chosen images are beamed onto the large white walls, across the mirror backed bar. The intimate space is decorated with plush seating, making guests feel very relaxed. Bank Bar offers unique drinks and all the classics you desire which you can drink while moving to their delightfully infectious music choices. As the night goes on, don’t miss out on The Moment Group’s food, as every bite is worth taking.

The Bar

Food: Bar and lounge menu | Music: Jazz

Wind down in opulence at The Peninsula Manila's The Bar with an ice-cold beer or a tipple of your choice after a busy day. Leather chairs and checkered floors exude a cosy ambience reminiscent of the dimly lit bars of La Antigua Habana in Cuba. Savour a malt whisky or a glass of wine and enjoy the conviviality of the bar or sink into a sofa for a quiet conversation or a business meeting. The Bar is also the hotel's designated smoking area.

Bar Rouge

Food: Bar chow | Music: Jazz

Unwind to soulful and sexy jazz, while sipping on single malts and enjoying quality cigars. Perfect for the businessman or woman who needs a night off from the hectic. Take time for yourself and relax in this space designed to take your mind off from work. However, if a relaxing night off is not what you need, book their private room and live it up with friends. New World Makati Hotel promises unforgettable drinks designed by its brilliant bartenders. Try some fun craft cocktails infused with coffee, egg yolk, or one that is even reminiscent of a breakfast meal!

Chotto Matte

Food: Japanese | Music: An eclectic mix of deep jazzy house beats, nu disco, funk, and the classics

Inspired by the Golden Gai district in Tokyo, Chotto Matte proudly showcases Japanese whiskies, artisan sake selections and incredible Kakubin Highballs. Try their highballs for refreshing whiskey-based drinks, like the classic Suntory Kakubin. The authentic version uses a good ratio of Suntory special blended whisky, soda water, and fresh lemon. This is perfect to commence your evening and goes well with fresh seafood or fried items. The Sakura Smile, on the other hand, is another Chotto Matte signature cocktail that features lychee-Infused sake, cherry-infused vodka, lychee purée, and cherry bitters.

Hooch

Food: Pub grub | Music: British rock and indie, top of the charts, and underground

If you like to lounge around with friends while enjoying a great drink, Hooch is the place to go. Designed as a friendly and cosy neighbourhood watering hole, Hooch is a proud Philippine-grown bar with international standards that serves quality drinks—from handcrafted cocktails, to craft beer, to single malts. On top of its distinction as the only bar in the country that crafts 104 signature cocktails and 52 classic cocktails, it is also known to throw great parties with bespoke events that focus on the craft of creating and enjoying great drinks. If it's your first visit, be sure to get a dose of Half Dead, an exhilarating mix of house rum blend, passion fruit, calamansi, grape fruit, and coconut sugar—a strong concoction that you won't soon forget (or not).

M Dining

Food: Bites and bar chow | Music: Various types

Last February 2016, M Dining, a Makati classic restaurant, officially announced that they would be closing its doors, leaving patrons with the words, "It doesn't mean you'll be seeing the last of us." Staying true to its promise, the reincarnated and chic-looking M Dining has finally found its doors in its new home in Pasong Tamo. Catch what's new in this favourite dining destination and relive its beautifully-plated treats under the watchful eye of Tippi Tambunting, and do not forget to check and have a taste of its carefully-curated extensive wine selections and over 50 gin offerings. M Dining, after all, has been known to have one of the best wine lists there is.

Mandalay

Food: Asian / European | Music: Jazz

A secret world awaits you inside the wooden armoire of Belle & Dragon. Much like a Narnia fairy-tale, stepping through the wardrobe transports you to an oriental-inspired opium den. This high-end smoking lounge is decorated ornately and is covered in lush brown, gold and red hues. The motif of 19th-century travels and East Asian adventure is felt throughout Mandalay. While luxuriating in this one-of-a-kind setting, sit back and enjoy an expansive whisky and cigar menu. If whisky is not your drink of choice, try one of their many original cocktails. With your glass in hand, sneak off to the tucked away pockets of Mandalay and settle down with friends.

Mathilde

Food: Pizza and bar chow | Music: Northern soul

Treat yourself to a few drinks with a side of sumptuous tasty bar chow at Mathilde, a cosy watering hole in the midst of hip Poblacion, Makati. This neighbourhood bar's ground floor welcomes guests with dim mood lighting and homey furniture. For those who want to take the night to the next level, check out the bar's sophisticated second floor that houses a DJ booth and a full bar that holds hard-to-find bottles, craft beers, and top-of-the-line mixers. Catch up with your friends over classic cocktails—done right, minus the fuss—like the whisky sour, sangria, sweet tea bourbon, and mojito while indulging in their house speciality—the delectable home-made thin crust brick oven pizza.

Mirèio

Food: Provençal cuisine | Music: French-inspired music

Raffles Makati stays true to its tradition of honouring great writers with its refreshingly new dining and sky bar destination, Mirèio. Named after the Nobel Prize-winning poem by Frederic Mistral, this upscale brasserie-style restaurant and sky bar gives diners a taste of Provence's rich culture and culinary traditions. Indulge in a great drink crafted by the hotel's expert mixologists while savouring Provençal-inspired cuisine with Mediterranean influences created through traditional French-cooking techniques by the chef Nicolas Cegretin. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and cosy rooftop terrace, Mirèio offers not only a delectable array of drinks and treats but also a breathtaking panoramic view of the Makati skyline.

Raffles Long Bar

Food: Traditional pub favourites and snacks | Music: Jazz and blues

Modelled after the Long Bar in Raffles Singapore, you will find the same distinct peanut shells on the floor here as well! Yes, that’s right, sit at the bar or out in the garden and crack open monkey peanuts, then simply chuck the shells onto the floor! This casual, laid-back lounge is very welcoming and is decorated to evoke a tropical atmosphere. Try their signature Makati Luxury Sling, their take on the Singapore Sling, which was created at the original Raffles Long Bar.

Straight Up

Food: International | Music: Lounge

End the day with refreshing drinks while enjoying the cool breeze and an mpressive view of Bonifacio Global City. Located at the roof deck of Seda BGC hotel, Straight Up is popular among those who work in the bustling CBD. It exudes a modern vibe and gives patrons two choices—lounge in its cosy interiors or chill out under the stars outside on the terrace. Unwind after a long day with signature cocktails paired with scrumptious tapas, and good music to boot.

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