Manila’s ever-growing bar scene landed another win on May 06, as four Philippine bets have made their way into Asia’s Best Bars list for 2021.
Typically titled Asia’s 50 Best Bars, the list’s sixth edition was extended to include the 100 best juice joints across the continent. The rankings are determined by votes from the Asia’s Best Bars Academy, a diverse group of 220 bar industry experts from the region.
In a tough year, this comes as a welcome and much-needed nod to the local industry’s world-class ingenuity and talent.
#38 | Makati
Originally a small café-slash-cocktail-bar tucked inside a deli in Legazpi Village, The Curator has grown into a third-wave specialty coffee shop by day, with a back room for craft cocktails at night. Helmed by mixologist David Ong, the bar also prides itself in excellent customer service, building a loyal community of patrons over coffee and cocktails.
THE BACK ROOM
#51 | Taguig
Found behind a black door somewhere within Shangri-la at the Fort, The Back Room provides its patrons with the ultimate speakeasy experience: leather interiors, jazz beats, and a wide array of classic craft cocktails with a modern, innovative twist. It’s also one of the few local bars with an in-house distillery, offering a botanical gin that’s—literally and figuratively—The Bees Knees.
True to form, the exact location is a secret. They aren’t on Shangri-la at the Fort’s website, either—but they do have an Instagram.
#61 | Makati
The draw of Oto is in its ambiance—it’s a place were you can enjoy good drinks, good food, and most of all, good music. Borrowing its name from the Japanese word for sound, this concept bar boasts of an outstanding sound system and a wide collection of vinyl records to keep patrons in the perfect mood. They also offer specialty coffee by day.
BUCCANEERS RUM & KITCHEN
#100 | Makati
The newest bar of the bunch, this year marks Buccaneers Rum & Kitchen’s first time on the Asia’s Best Bars list. Specializing in rum and rum-based drinks, the bar boasts a menu of both classic and out-of-the-box cocktails created by famed bartender Ulysse Jouanneaud. Its charm is also in its aesthetics, designed to look like an abandoned ship that’s been transformed into a tavern.