A Guide to Manila’s Trendiest New District

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Bottoms Up in Makati’s Old Downtown: Where to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Poblacion

“It’s More Fun In The Philippines”, has been the official tourism slogan since 2015 in the tropical Pacific archipelago. While this easily applies to canyoneering in waterfalls or swimming with whale sharks, the catchy phrase suddenly gets a twist of humour and sarcasm when faced with the frequently chaotic everyday life in the mega-city of Metro Manila.

So how does one navigate the city madness and get to the truly fantastic corners of Metro Manila? Traditionally, not many inhabitants of Metro Manila would agree on a consensus for the hottest place in town for a night out with friends or drinking buddies.

But just recently, a district in the financial hub of Makati has established itself as the latest scene for the hottest food, drink, and music in Metro Manila. Poblacion, the original downtown of Makati City, has undergone a rejuvenation after it has been overshadowed by newer districts Salcedo and Legaspi Villages over the years.

Spurred by an influx of educated young adults, the character of Poblacion has transformed seemingly overnight. Previously a sleepy residential neighbourhood, the recent mushrooming of hip and affordable restaurants has elevated Poblacion to its current status as a gastronomic and nightlife hub. What were once bleak alleys are now narrow roads dotted with chic restaurants and craft beer halls, and the exterior of buildings decorated with spray-painted murals.

Amidst the two-storey bungalows and low-rise apartment buildings, a gleaming new vertical community has risen at the heart of Poblacion. With thousands of square feet of premium living space, Century City is the main residential area in Poblacion, and also serves as the main shopping centre with the chic and convenient Century City Mall. Built by Century Properties, Century City’s luxurious residential towers were designed by a who’s who of international brands and design firms, attracting a steady stream of locals, tourists and expats with an eye for luxury and design. With Century City’s international flavour, it’s no surprise that tourists from Europe, the US, and other parts of the world feel right at home in Poblacion. If you like to have a healthy balance of a high-end home life and a Bohemian social scene, Century City is undoubtedly the place to plant your stakes.

Below, we have selected a list of top restaurants, bars, and cafes that we believe can lead to a great night of fun, whether you want a sumptuous dinner with your special someone, or to go bar-hopping with the fellas. Determine which spots you think would lead to the perfect night in Poblacion, and click to map (map at bottom) out your night on the town.

El Chupacabra © investvine 2017

El Chupacabra, 5782 Felipe
Arguably the best Mexican food in Metro Manila, El Chupacabra brings the feel of a street side Mexico City taco stand to the heart of Makati. Make sure to take advantage of happy hour, where you can get a local beer for less than $1!
Menu: zomato.com/El-Chupacabra

The Hole in the Wall Cafe, Level 4 Century City Mall
Perhaps named ironically, The Hole in the Wall is anything but that. Located on the top floor of the Century City Mall, the 500-seat food hall offers everything from shawarma to sisig. After choosing from one of the 11 food stalls, you can roam the hall to find the perfect seat amongst quirky furniture and urban art.
Menu: zomato.com/Hole-in-the-Wall

Senor Pollo © investvine 2017

Señor Pollo, Ebro
This Colombian inspired restaurant keeps it simple, and we wouldn’t change a thing. Visitors can select from a personal-sized portion of chicken, or a whole hen to share with friends or family. From there, they can add sides, which include fried plantains and other South American styled add-ons.
Menu: zomato.com/Senor-Pollo

Boteco do Brasil, 8491 Kalayaan Ave
Owned and operated by members of the Brazilian expat community, this tastefully designed restobar’s interior is lined with murals hand-painted by Brazilian artists. And the murals aren’t the only thing that may catch your eye. While you’re enjoying the only authentic Brazilian cuisine in Manila, enjoy the company of Brazilian models who frequent their own little slice of home.
Menu: zomato.com/Boteco-do-Brasil

Pura Vida, Don Pedro St
Are you noticing a trend here? It’s not a coincidence that Latin restaurants are some of the best and most popular restobars in the Philippines, given the country’s own history with the Spanish. Pura Vida is the epitome of cool, with a combo of live reggae music, Costa Rican cuisine, and spicy cocktails, you’ll be leaving saying ‘Ya Man!”
Menu: zomato.com/Pura-Vida

Paper Moon, Roof Deck Knightsbridge Residences
Perhaps the classiest place on our list, you better call ahead for a reservation at the authentic Italian restaurant. Spanning the entire roof deck of the Knightsbridge Residences, Paper Moon boasts a VIP room, a cigar room, and a brick pizza oven shipped all the way from Milan. The unparalleled experience is a must for a special occasion, or for impressing a date.
Menu: zomato.com/Paper-Moon

Alamat, 5666 Don Pedro St
Meaning ‘Legend’ in Tagalog, Alamat is a favorite amongst locals. Serving purely Filipino cuisine, foreigners might hesitate to try the “grilled chicken blood” or the “innards stew”, but no need to fret! You can choose from a selection of over 12 locally brewed craft beers and a list of cocktails splashed with local fruit juices like calamansi.
Menu: zomato.com/Alamat

Filling Station © investvine 2017

Filling Station, Burgos St
Peel off the always lively Burgos, climb the stairs to the second floor and your world will transform. Take a leap back in time and into the 1950s. With hundreds, if not thousands, of antique items, collectables, and photos, Filling Station immerses you in a simpler era. If you stick around long enough, it’s likely you’ll see a choreographed dance to Elvis’ ‘Jail House Rock’ from the entire staff.
Menu: zomato.com/Filling-Station

Handlebar © investvine 2017

Handlebar, 31 Polaris
Thinking of getting a bit gritty? Try out Handlebar. Despite being a biker hangout, all are welcome to come and shoot some pool. Fans of football, rugby, American football, basketball and many other sports flock to Handlebar to watch and support their favourite clubs.
Handlebar Menu

Z Hostel, Don Pedro
The Z Hostel rooftop bar is a great place to end the night. The Hostel itself is rife with backpackers, so grab a local beer on tap and broaden your horizons. The rooftop also provides great views of Makati and nearby Fort Bonifacio, while utilizing a cashless payment system to pay for drinks.
Menu: zomato.com/Z-Hostel

 

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      Reading Time: 4 minutes

      Bottoms Up in Makati’s Old Downtown: Where to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Poblacion

      Reading Time: 4 minutes

      Bottoms Up in Makati’s Old Downtown: Where to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Poblacion

      “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”, has been the official tourism slogan since 2015 in the tropical Pacific archipelago. While this easily applies to canyoneering in waterfalls or swimming with whale sharks, the catchy phrase suddenly gets a twist of humour and sarcasm when faced with the frequently chaotic everyday life in the mega-city of Metro Manila.

      So how does one navigate the city madness and get to the truly fantastic corners of Metro Manila? Traditionally, not many inhabitants of Metro Manila would agree on a consensus for the hottest place in town for a night out with friends or drinking buddies.

      But just recently, a district in the financial hub of Makati has established itself as the latest scene for the hottest food, drink, and music in Metro Manila. Poblacion, the original downtown of Makati City, has undergone a rejuvenation after it has been overshadowed by newer districts Salcedo and Legaspi Villages over the years.

      Spurred by an influx of educated young adults, the character of Poblacion has transformed seemingly overnight. Previously a sleepy residential neighbourhood, the recent mushrooming of hip and affordable restaurants has elevated Poblacion to its current status as a gastronomic and nightlife hub. What were once bleak alleys are now narrow roads dotted with chic restaurants and craft beer halls, and the exterior of buildings decorated with spray-painted murals.

      Amidst the two-storey bungalows and low-rise apartment buildings, a gleaming new vertical community has risen at the heart of Poblacion. With thousands of square feet of premium living space, Century City is the main residential area in Poblacion, and also serves as the main shopping centre with the chic and convenient Century City Mall. Built by Century Properties, Century City’s luxurious residential towers were designed by a who’s who of international brands and design firms, attracting a steady stream of locals, tourists and expats with an eye for luxury and design. With Century City’s international flavour, it’s no surprise that tourists from Europe, the US, and other parts of the world feel right at home in Poblacion. If you like to have a healthy balance of a high-end home life and a Bohemian social scene, Century City is undoubtedly the place to plant your stakes.

      Below, we have selected a list of top restaurants, bars, and cafes that we believe can lead to a great night of fun, whether you want a sumptuous dinner with your special someone, or to go bar-hopping with the fellas. Determine which spots you think would lead to the perfect night in Poblacion, and click to map (map at bottom) out your night on the town.

      El Chupacabra © investvine 2017

      El Chupacabra, 5782 Felipe
      Arguably the best Mexican food in Metro Manila, El Chupacabra brings the feel of a street side Mexico City taco stand to the heart of Makati. Make sure to take advantage of happy hour, where you can get a local beer for less than $1!
      Menu: zomato.com/El-Chupacabra

      The Hole in the Wall Cafe, Level 4 Century City Mall
      Perhaps named ironically, The Hole in the Wall is anything but that. Located on the top floor of the Century City Mall, the 500-seat food hall offers everything from shawarma to sisig. After choosing from one of the 11 food stalls, you can roam the hall to find the perfect seat amongst quirky furniture and urban art.
      Menu: zomato.com/Hole-in-the-Wall

      Senor Pollo © investvine 2017

      Señor Pollo, Ebro
      This Colombian inspired restaurant keeps it simple, and we wouldn’t change a thing. Visitors can select from a personal-sized portion of chicken, or a whole hen to share with friends or family. From there, they can add sides, which include fried plantains and other South American styled add-ons.
      Menu: zomato.com/Senor-Pollo

      Boteco do Brasil, 8491 Kalayaan Ave
      Owned and operated by members of the Brazilian expat community, this tastefully designed restobar’s interior is lined with murals hand-painted by Brazilian artists. And the murals aren’t the only thing that may catch your eye. While you’re enjoying the only authentic Brazilian cuisine in Manila, enjoy the company of Brazilian models who frequent their own little slice of home.
      Menu: zomato.com/Boteco-do-Brasil

      Pura Vida, Don Pedro St
      Are you noticing a trend here? It’s not a coincidence that Latin restaurants are some of the best and most popular restobars in the Philippines, given the country’s own history with the Spanish. Pura Vida is the epitome of cool, with a combo of live reggae music, Costa Rican cuisine, and spicy cocktails, you’ll be leaving saying ‘Ya Man!”
      Menu: zomato.com/Pura-Vida

      Paper Moon, Roof Deck Knightsbridge Residences
      Perhaps the classiest place on our list, you better call ahead for a reservation at the authentic Italian restaurant. Spanning the entire roof deck of the Knightsbridge Residences, Paper Moon boasts a VIP room, a cigar room, and a brick pizza oven shipped all the way from Milan. The unparalleled experience is a must for a special occasion, or for impressing a date.
      Menu: zomato.com/Paper-Moon

      Alamat, 5666 Don Pedro St
      Meaning ‘Legend’ in Tagalog, Alamat is a favorite amongst locals. Serving purely Filipino cuisine, foreigners might hesitate to try the “grilled chicken blood” or the “innards stew”, but no need to fret! You can choose from a selection of over 12 locally brewed craft beers and a list of cocktails splashed with local fruit juices like calamansi.
      Menu: zomato.com/Alamat

      Filling Station © investvine 2017

      Filling Station, Burgos St
      Peel off the always lively Burgos, climb the stairs to the second floor and your world will transform. Take a leap back in time and into the 1950s. With hundreds, if not thousands, of antique items, collectables, and photos, Filling Station immerses you in a simpler era. If you stick around long enough, it’s likely you’ll see a choreographed dance to Elvis’ ‘Jail House Rock’ from the entire staff.
      Menu: zomato.com/Filling-Station

      Handlebar © investvine 2017

      Handlebar, 31 Polaris
      Thinking of getting a bit gritty? Try out Handlebar. Despite being a biker hangout, all are welcome to come and shoot some pool. Fans of football, rugby, American football, basketball and many other sports flock to Handlebar to watch and support their favourite clubs.
      Handlebar Menu

      Z Hostel, Don Pedro
      The Z Hostel rooftop bar is a great place to end the night. The Hostel itself is rife with backpackers, so grab a local beer on tap and broaden your horizons. The rooftop also provides great views of Makati and nearby Fort Bonifacio, while utilizing a cashless payment system to pay for drinks.
      Menu: zomato.com/Z-Hostel

       

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