Admit it, even the best of us sometimes crave for a mid-week drink. Maybe it’s the stress at work or the call for something a little bit more fun to break your mundane routine – whatever your reason is, we all need to have a good go-to place to relax and unwind without necessarily getting wrecked for the next day. As everyone who has a job and regular functioning life might say, “Sometimes, you must walwal. But walwal responsibly.”
And walwal responsibly, you must. Here, we list the top ten bars to chill out with a glass of drink (or two).
1. Early Night?
Address: The Fort Strip, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Early Night may come off intimidating at first with its neon lights and ultraviolet lighting, but it is actually a safe haven for those who are looking for a great place to enjoy a bottle of beer without being assaulted by wild dancing bodies. Sure the crowd can get hyped by the sick beats, but they’re a lot tamer during the weekdays, making this spot the perfect escape to clink glasses in the middle of the week. In fact, a lot of people consider it as a great spot where millennials and Gen-Xers can mingle, the former drawn by its feed-worthy interiors and the latter by its relaxed vibe. For a bar that’s located in Bonifacio Global City’s High Street, Early Night also offers some of the most affordable bar chows in the area. Knockback a few glasses of blue Kamikazee and pair it with comfort grubs like Tokwa't Baboy and Sizzling Sisig.
Address: 5658 Jacobo Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Another neon gem hidden in Poblacion’s streets is Polilya, a night-out escape offering local craft beers c/o the famous Engkanto Brewery and a selection of bar chows inspired by Asian, European, and Western flavors. For all its dim-lighting and bright lights, Polilya sets a perfect vibe for those who want to party – but not too hard. Inside, there are low tables that are too comfy for traditional bar-seating and it’s also not uncommon to find a crowd chilling there just enjoying the food and a bottle of beer. Their craft beers are stellar, as expected from Engkanto Brewery, but they also serve some pretty mean mixes like their Don Pedro Punch (gin, rum, vodka, tequila, stout, and triple sec) and Sandrapolitan (citrus vodka, fresh lime, cranberry pomegranate cordial, and triple sec). Pair them with their Bangla Mussels and you’re pretty much set for the night.
3. Alegria Cozinha Moderna
Address: Fourth Floor, UNIQLO Building, C3 Annex, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Alegria Cozinha Moderna has everything an ambivert wishes for. It’s hidden – so many people are surprised that there is actually a bar at the upper floors of the Uniqlo building in BGC – so the crowd isn’t wild, and it offers a good range of main dishes, perfect for when you’re too lazy to move to a new place for your drinks. This Latin bar spells comfort from its menu to its interiors. It's the first-ever exclusive Sangria bar in the country and all its dishes, whether it’s a main one or a bar chow, are injected with that comfortable vibe signature to the cuisine. Their tacos are as heavenly as their more sophisticated Filet Mignon Asada, especially when they are paired with their glasses of sangrias and mimosas.
Address: Ground Floor, One West Campus, Mc West Boulevard, Mc Kinley West, Taguig City
If Perry’s is a woman, it would be the perfect example of a femme fatale. It may look sweet and homey on the outside with its offerings of cheeseburgers and pancakes, but come night time it turns moodier and sexier with its free-flowing sangria, rosé, and wine. Perry’s is even better though, because its drink promos are available any time of the day, seven days of the week! It’s every brunch lover’s dream come true (comfort food and alcohol? Um, yes please!) and every struggling adult’s haven for mid-week relief. We recommend you to try their Dark Cherry Fluffy Pancakes if you feel like having breakfast fare after work or their Braised Pork Hash if you want something more savory.
5. Rue Bourbon
Address: Forbeswood Heights, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (and other branches)
A favorite stop of college students and young working professionals, Rue Bourbon has the complete set you’re looking for in a chill place to hang out. It has barbecues, ribs, overloaded nachos, and their very famous Caramel Beer which, if you’re a big fan of Harry Potter, is one of the closest things you can get for Butterbeer here. The place is the perfect mix of edgy and homey – its lighting is dim but not ‘party-hard’ dark and its menu is so extensive (and good!) that it isn’t uncommon to see groups of friends stopping by just to get dinner there. Their Caramel Beer is their big star, but the place also offers cocktails and shooters as well.
6. Filling Station Bar and Restaurant
Address: 5012 P Burgos, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila
Hotdogs? Beer Towers? Cheeseburger Pizza? If there’s one place you should definitely visit at least once for a mid-week drink, it would be Filling Station Bar Café. This neon beauty in Makati’s colorful district is well-known for its retro pop designs, but it also offers good grub you can feast on if you want to keep it casual and laidback. It’s not a ‘dance-and-party’ type of place, so it's really ideal if you’re just craving to sit down and gossip with a friend while stuffing your face with food. As much as we love pairing their bar chow with their beers, we’ll be lying if we don’t go there for their desserts as well. Their Banana Split is humongous and their milkshakes are stellar, too! We mean, if you’re looking to de-stress for the mid-week, why not go get drinks AND dessert, right
7. Tap Station
Address: 7C G/F Forbeswood Parklane, Forbes Town Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
If you’re serious about your beers, then Tap Station is a place that should be on top of your list. From its name alone, you know that this hangout spot serves some pretty quality brews – in fact, you can find beers imported from Prague, Germany, Belgium, and England here. You won’t find headache-inducing music or bopping crowds at this place, only groups chatting over beer glasses and some good finger foods. We love pairing their Sausage Deluxe platter with our drinks – an overwhelmingly big plate of various kinds of sausages, fries, vegetables, and fruit.
8. Planet Grapes
Address: Level 1, North Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (and other branches)
Have you always wanted to be a wine person but feel intimidated getting into it? Then go and drop by at Planet Grapes, the place where you can get “wine without the drama”, as their tagline says. The winery, which has various branches all around the metro, has flipped the script when it comes to wine tasting – it’s still sophisticated, but with a friendly feel that even the uninitiated can get into! The place offers vino from different places (on wine taps, even!) and – surprisingly – light plates of Filipino cuisine. Our favorite is their Planet Grapes Sisig which goes well with any of their reds.
9. En Tirage
Address: Mandala Park, 312 Shaw Boulevard, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City
Unlimited wine, all day, every day, with no time limit? Um, yes, please! En Tirage is the place to be for those who prefer swirling wine glasses over tipping beer bottles – without breaking the bank. The place doesn’t look stuffy and intimidating (something a lot of wine places are guilty of) and offers a wide menu of food and drinks. Order a Sizzling Bone Marrow Sisig Platter if you want local flavors or go for Paellas if you prefer a more international twist. Besides its wines, the place has beers (which are also cheap, BTW!) and sangrias as well.
10. Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli
Address: 2/F 5666 Don Pedro St. Barangay Población, Makati
Expect your senses to be overwhelmed when you dropped by Alamat, a Filipino pub that celebrates all things native from their drinks, food, even interiors. Stepping into the dimly-lit pub will immediately awaken that country pride within you thanks to its traditional wooden designs, banners, and capiz lamps. For all its aesthetic though, it’s a whole new experience altogether once you actually sit down and drink. Alamat offers elevated types of pulutan – local cuisines with a twist and even native charcuterie – which you can pair with their mixes, also with local flavors. Sangria lovers should try the Aswangria, a mix of local bugnay wine and citrus flavors. For bar chow, we recommend the Dinardaraan, a combo of Ilokano favorites like pakbet, pork bagnet, and Dinardaraan sauce. Don’t miss their craft beers as well!