They eat, they choose, they booze. Apparently, young urbanites follow that dictum, more or less. With spending money from their allowances (think students) and their paychecks (think yuppies), these youngsters practically have the world at their dining table.
Nowadays, despite having wads of bills and a high credit-card approval rating, the youngsters still think about getting their money’s worth. They would much prefer to dine and dance in the same venue. That way, they do not have to put up with traffic or parking problems. There are other factors they consider, too: great cocktails, music, and crowd. We asked around, sought their approval, and then came up with this list of their top 10 favorite hangouts in the Metro.
1. The Blind Pig - The Blind Pig is Manila's best bet for a drink. It is also a needle in the haystack. The Blind Pig is located in a nondescript building along Salcedo Street in Legazpi Village, Makati without a name or a sign. There is, however, a simple Braille lettering. Just ring the doorbell to gain access to the dark bar, an ode to the 1920s U.S. Prohibition era. The crowd is mostly regulars, who heard of the bar by word of mouth. And speaking of mouth, urbanites love their Rosemary Popcorn and Shepherd’s Pie. An added attraction: the bartenders hand-cutting ice themselves.
2. Museum Café – It is also known as M Café, and has become a go-to bar of the after-office crowd. Just recently, M took over the Museum Shop and opened Kabila, a restaurant with an all-Filipino menu that had the young city-dwellers talking and eating. Thursday and Friday nights are most popular with expats and visitors. The plaza and the garden turn into an outdoor party with local and international DJs spinning house, funk and Afro beats.
3. Skye W - Skye W is the first real rooftop bar in Manila. Sitting atop the W Building in Fort Bonifacio, it provides an expansive view of the Fort Bonifacio skyline. The bar attracts a young and laid-back crowd that prefers spaces and smoke-free environments. The crowds loves the lounge’s Tapas Dechado, consisting of salpicao, gambas con aligue, and gambas al ajillo.
4. Draft Gastropub – Found at the BGC and Rockwell, Draft has been a top draw for its imported and local brews at a competitive price. Packed nightly with young executives, expats and celebs, it is a haven for European comfort food, like Angry Drunk Mussels and Pappardelle, and the what is considered best sticky date and toffee pudding in the world.
5. Aracama – Masterminded by Chef Fernando Aracama, the restaurant serves Filipino cuisine and his very own signature drinks. The atmosphere is warm and cheerful, the kind that invites spirited conversations and healthy appetites.
6. The Tipsy Pig – Located at Capitol Commons, The Tipsy Pig is a favorite of the young set. It offers an extensive drink selection and impressive menu. The latter boasts of favorites from its Big Plates & Mains, pizzas, pastas, and bar chow. The Beer Can Chicken is very popular. And, oh, servings are good for sharing.
7. 71 Gramercy – It is the newest “It” place in the metro, found along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati. It is also the tallest building in the Philippines, which makes it the most ideal place for viewing the city. If only for this, the young crowd gives its approval (hello, selfies and groufies). However, 71 Gramercy is also a dining space, with a menu boasting of unique offerings such as the 62 Degree Egg, the Duck Sisig, and the Chicken Ballottine.
8. HyvE – Yes, that’s how it’s really spelled. Many people know this as a club, but few probably realize that this also operates as a late-night restaurant. With the latter function, HyvE offers its After Hours Late-Night Breakfast featuring a variety of rice bowls. As a club, well, practically every young ‘un worth his expensive wheels would know that this is a club to be seen in.
9. The Black Pig – It seems the metro is littered with Pigs. This is the third Pig to make it to this list, and it is found down south in Alabang. The Black Pig is a bar and restaurant that serves signature draft beers and everything from meats to desserts. It can be a bit pricey, but for those who think they deserve a treat in a classy, laidback setting, then this is the place.
10. The Girl + The Bull – Now this deserves more recognition among the young set. The space may be art-y, what with the framed paintings and photographs splashed across the walls. The place, a smallish spot in BF Homes Paranaque, houses a menu that will have the yuppies and the studentries gagging for more, from the restaurant’s Blackened Snapper to its crazy-delicious Buttermilk Fried Chicken which is served with brioche French toast and balsamic maple syrup. It is a discovery for young foodies and veterans alike.
(Photo from Gordon Flood/Flickr Creative Commons)