Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (2023)

Nightlife in Manila is certainly exciting — new clubs and bars always seem to be opening left and right. But still, there’s nothing quite like discovering a new speakeasy. It always feels like being in on a really good secret, don’t you think? And while there’s no longer any real reason for these bars to be hiding (the Prohibition has long been over, after all) — we can’t help but enjoy playing a little hide and seek with them.

Also read: Asian Cities with the Most Fabulous Nightlife

Many of us have spent weekend after weekend checking out Manila’s not-so-secret bars in Makati and Bonifacio Global City. ABV, The Blind Pig, Bank Bar, and Ocean’s Telephone Co. are just few of them. But just when we thought we’d seen them all, we discovered that there are still a number of Manila speakeasies we’ve yet to explore. In short, these spots have done an excellent job at lying under the radar!

So, if you’ve been hoping to experience a different side of nightlife in Manila, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we list some of the metro’s underrated and must-visit speakeasies. Take notes, because you’ll definitely want to hit them up after work and over the weekend!

Experience nightlife in Manila at these underrated speakeasies

1. Int.Bar

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (1)

Come here for: Vintage photos, quiz nights, and cocktails named for classic works

Cubao Expo is one of Quezon City’s underrated gems —but its niche market is more than enough to keep it alive and kicking. A vintage-inspired speakeasy, Int.Bar fits perfectly with the overall vibe at Cubao Expo —a go-to for cool and quirky finds, live music, and fun food trips. Find this secret bar hiding behind a fully-functioning photo booth (they even post the photos on their Facebook page!), and treat yourself to their signature cocktails, aptly named for classic films, literature, and music.

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While this quiet speakeasy is perfect for intimate get-togethers, Int. also hosts mixology classes and fun quiz nights you’ll want to join with your barkada. They’ve been known to quiz guests on Harry Potter, Marvel, and Lord of the Rings trivia — sounds like the perfect picture of nightlife in Manila to us!

Address: Cubao Expo, 3 General Romulo Ave, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila

Hours:Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm to 1am

Contract: Facebook page

2. Prima Facie

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Come here for: A wide selection of drinks, delicious bar chow, and Instagrammable interiors

Whoever said Quezon City doesn’t have enough cool bars just wasn’t looking hard enough! On the contrary, it’s actually home to some of the best places to experience nightlife in Manila. Prima Facie is a bar hidden inside a bar — Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant, to be exact. Just push past the wall mural at Vitto’s (yes, like those trap doors in mystery films!) to get to this charming speakeasy that exudes old-world charm.

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With its laid-back ambience, Prima Facie is one of those places where you’ll want to unwind after a day’s work or enjoy drinks over candlelight with your significant other.

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Its extensive menu boasts classic and signature cocktails, whiskies, beers, and even more liqueur options. And as if that wasn’t enough, they have a generous selection of bar chow, from cheese sticks and parmesan truffle fries to sisig and calamares!

Address: 114 Scout Lozano St., Quezon City, Metro Manila

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 6pm to 1am; Friday to Sunday, 6pm to 2am

Contact: Facebook page

3. Run Rabbit Run

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Come here for: Cool art, good music, and even better cocktails

Just when we thought we’d been to (or at least heard of) every bar in Poblacion, we discovered that Run Rabbit Run has been hiding behind the red doors of this residential home all along. Run by a group of passionate individuals, this speakeasy serves amazingly crafted cocktails that look every bit as good as they taste. And if you love a good G&T, they also have a wide selection of gin and tonics to choose from!

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Run Rabbit Run’s exotic take on cocktails, however, is not the only thing that keeps their customers coming back for more. They’re also known for their excellent music selection, curated by their very own team. Plus, the art they have on display, created by both established and up-and-coming artists!

Address: 4991 P. Guanzon Street, Makati, 1012 Metro Manila

Hours: Tuesday to Wednesday, 6pm to 1am; Thursday to Saturday, 6pm to 3am

Contact: Website

4. Elbert’s Upstairs Bar

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (8)

Come here for: Cocktails, charcuterie, and cheese

Who knew that so many restaurants were hiding some of Manila’s best-kept secrets? While enjoying your go-to bowl of ramen at Mendokoro, you probably wouldn’t suspect that a speakeasy bar was sitting just a few feet above you.

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (9)

With its elegant ambience and stylish interiors, Elbert’s Upstairs Bar is the chic living room of our dreams come to life. At this speakeasy, enjoy intimate get-togethers over cocktails, whisky, or gin. Pair your drink of choice with cheese and charcuterie platters, and you’re in for a perfectly quiet night out.

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Address: Icon Plaza 26th Street, cor Federacion Dr, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila

Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 5pm to 1am; Friday to Saturday, 6pm to 2am

Contact: Facebook page

5. Hotel Bar at Pink’s

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Come here for: Hotdogs, cocktails to your liking, and feel-good beats

Hotel Bar has been hidden inside Pink’s Hotdogs for years, but you’ll notice there hasn’t been too much online buzz about it. Without any pressure to aggressively put their name out there, word of mouth has been more than enough to get them a good following — which just goes to show that it’s one of the places to experience the best of nightlife in Manila.

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Our favourite thing about Hotel Bar? It aims to be all-inclusive, and not at all intimidating. Its interiors are utterly stylish, yet very welcoming. They don’t veer away from playing familiar beats, either — as opposed to some places that play tunes you sometimes have to struggle to recognise (or enjoy)!

Plus, we love that they serve classic cocktails, and are more than happy to custom-create a drink that fits your liking. We recommend the calamansi mojito — sweet and with a hint of ice cream, it’ll easily be one of your faves!

Address: Ground Floor, Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Ave., Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 5pm to 2am; Friday to Saturday, 5pm to 3am

Contact: Facebook page

Catch live music at these chill bars

6. 78-45-33

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (12)

Come here for: Conversations, cocktails, and classic jazz music

By now, almost everyone has heard of 78-53-86, White Plains’ low-key jazz and whisky bar with almost 10,000 vinyl records on display. Tucked away in Salcedo Village, you’ll find 78-45-33, its sleek Makati counterpart. Decorated like a bachelor’s pad from the ‘70s, this neighbourhood speakeasy is designed for conversations over classic cocktails and good music.

At 78-45-33, you’ll hardly ever find more than 15 people there at one time — and that’s just how they like it. The goal at this speakeasy is for everyone to hear and appreciate great quality music, after all! (Read: This is where introverts will want to experience nightlife in Manila.)

Address: LPL Mansion, San Agustin St., Salcedo Village, Makati, 1227 Metro Manila

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Hours: Monday to Sunday, 4pm to 1am

Contact: Facebook page

7. Futur:st

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (13)

Come here for: Live DJ sets, cocktails, and Asian fusion bar chows

For your Friday night escapades, step into the vibrant enclave of Futur:st in Poblacion. This resto-bar and art gallery is the second outpost of Cubao’s best-loved Today x Future, where folks can get a taste of the local art scene. Decked out in quirky furniture and knick-knacks, its space serves as a chill spot in the neighbourhood for dining, drinking, and dancing.

Address: 5062 Guerrero, Makati, Metro Manila

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 2pm to 2am

Contact: Facebook and Instagram pages

8. Jess & Pat’s

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (14)

Come here for: Local musical acts, comfort food, and a relaxed atmosphere

Often frequented for its lineup of local bands and artists, Jess & Pat’s makes for the perfect laidback hangout spot in Quezon City. Here, you can indulge in your favourite comfort eats like burgers, chicken wings, and pasta, while vibing to great music. For refreshments, take your pick among coolers, mocktails, and coffee if you’re not feeling too famished.

Address: 2/F 63 Maginhawa Street, UP Village 1101 Quezon City

Hours: Thrusday, 1.30pm to 10pm; Friday to Saturday, 4pm to 10pm; Sunday, 2pm to 10pm

Contact: Facebook and Instagram

9. Single Origin

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Come here for: Jazz nights, handcrafted cocktails, and speciality coffee

With multiple branches spread out across the metro, we don’t doubt you’ve heard of Single Origin. Best-loved for their speciality coffee creations and mouthwatering Italian-inspired fare, this roaster and resto is more than just your go-to spot for brunch. By sundown, its BGC branch transforms into a jazz bar for evening cocktails and conversations. Chance upon their live music events for a sophisticated yet relaxed evening out!

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Address: C3, Bonifacio Highstreet, 7th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 12am

Contact: Facebook

10. OTO

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (16)

Come here for: Killer music, bespoke cocktails, and mouthwatering Japanese fare

Tucked away in one of the quieter streets of the Makati CBD is listening room and cocktail bar OTO. This evening lounge boasts a floor-to-ceiling vinyl collection, modern furniture, and an incredible sound system which make for the perfect environment for enjoying music.

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (17)

Food-wise, OTO’s menu comprises delectable Japanese bar chows, which pair well with their collection of bespoke cocktails and whiskeys. Behind the bar are skilled mixologists who are ready to serve you signature, classic, and modern mixed drinks handcrafted to perfection. Now, this is truly a hot spot for audiophiles and night owls!

Address: 5880 1210, 5880 Enriquez, Makati, Metro Manila

Hours: Tuesday to Satuday, 11am to 2am

Contact: Facebook and Instagram pages

Also read: 15 Instagram-Worthy Cafes in Metro Manila

Just when you thought you were ready to spend your weekends at home, these speakeasies reminded you of just how exciting nightlife in Manila can truly be!

Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies and Chill Bars with Live Music (18)
Gabriella Salud

With the intention of pursuing a career in medicine, Gaby got her bachelor of science degree in psychology—and proceeded to follow her passion for writing instead. A former editorial assistant at Metro Society magazine, she loves to hear people's stories and tell them through her writing.

FAQs

What was the most famous speakeasy? ›

The most famous of them included former bootlegger Sherman Billingsley's fashionable Stork Club on West 58th Street, the Puncheon Club on West 49th favored by celebrity writers such as Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, the Club Intime next to the famous Polly Adler brothel in Midtown, Chumley's in the West Village ...

Does Manila have good nightlife? ›

If you are looking for the center of the country's nightlife, you will find everything in Manila. Manila has a wide selection of bars that offer great music, good company, cheap drinks, high-end settings, and one of a kind clubs that you will only find in the Philippines.

What are some examples of Speakeasy? ›

Speakeasies did not need to be big to operate. "It didn't take much more than a bottle and two chairs to make a speakeasy." One example for a speakeasy location was the "21" Club in New York.

What Speakeasy means? ›

noun. speak·​easy ˈspēk-ˌē-zē plural speakeasies. : a place where alcoholic beverages are illegally sold. specifically : such a place during the period of prohibition in the U.S.

Why is it called speakeasy? ›

According to some accounts, the word speakeasy came from “speak-softly shops,” illegal drinking establishments in England and Ireland in the 19th century. The name referenced the need for secrecy; customers were asked to speak quietly while inside to avoid detection.

Why is a speakeasy important? ›

The underground nature of the speakeasy also created many changes in society and culture. The speakeasy created an environment where gangsters, the wealthy, and the lower classes could all drink and socialize together. A larger impact could be noticed in the realm of African Americans and women.

Which place is best for nightlife? ›

Barcelona. Barcelona has been revealed as the best city in the world for nightlife. With more than 639 nightlife attractions, the city has 6.92 attractions every square kilometre.

What kind of music is played at a speakeasy? ›

At first some speakeasy owners offered live music by bands linked to vaudeville stage acts. But jazz was a better fit for the era's party mood. Bar owners soon were hiring small jazz bands with local players to furnish background or dance music.

How should you dress for a speakeasy? ›

However, remember that most modern speakeasies don't have a dress code, so dressing up to catch a drink isn't your thing. However, if you still want to have the speakeasy experience and enjoy your cocktail, you can always wear casual clothes.

What is the speakeasy culture? ›

The true hallmarks of speakeasy culture (secret passwords, hidden doors, mystery, craft cocktails, rules of entry, and an unknown atmosphere) are what drives the appeal. How can we apply this toward marketing? By creating experiences that are excruciatingly unique – while still serving a purpose.

How do you use speakeasy in a sentence? ›

Examples of speakeasy
  1. He came along to the speakeasy every day asking for more alcohol.
  2. Illegal "speakeasies" sprang up all over the towns, bootleggers came into existence, gangsters occupied various territories and battles were fought out between rival groups.
16 Nov 2022

How did a speakeasy work? ›

Speakeasies were establishments that secretly and illegally served alcohol during Prohibition. Generally, to conceal a speakeasy, an owner would hide it behind a legal business or it would be operated underground or in a hidden backroom. Organized crime syndicates were often the owners and operators of speakeasies.

What kind of food was served in speakeasies? ›

Hosts paraded out such popular culinary delights as lobster canapés, caviar rolls, crabmeat cocktails, shrimp patties, oyster toast, jellied anchovy molds, radish roses, devilled eggs and savory cheese balls.

What are speakeasy drinks? ›

What Kind of Drinks Are Served at Speakeasies?
  • Blood & Sand. Johnny Walker Black, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth, Orange.
  • French 75. Hendricks Gin, Lemon, Simple, Prosecco.
  • Aviation. Sipsmith Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Violet, Lemon.
  • Naked & Famous. ...
  • Red Hook. ...
  • The Bees Knees. ...
  • Painkiller. ...
  • Paper Plane.

What do people enjoy about bars? ›

They provide you a place to imbibe in a few drinks, let loose, and socialize with your friends. That face-to-face time where you're having fun with people you enjoy is great for your mental health as well. Do something good for yourself this weekend. Visit your favorite local bar for a little self-help.

Why do people love speakeasies? ›

Young people adore visiting speakeasies because they feel special there. Their people treat you like an old friend rather than as another visitor that will have a drink, pay for it, and leave. Bar owners know that clients value speakeasies bars for creativity and their attitude towards them.

What was the first speakeasy? ›

Tommy's Detroit Bar, Detroit – 1840

Researchers from a local university came in, checked the records, broke the wall, and found out that it was the home to a speakeasy during prohibition.

Which city is known for its nightlife? ›

Mumbai. Mumbai, also known as City of Dreams or Mayanagri, is much more than just Bollywood and glamour. The city is known for its vivacious nightlife and attracts party animals in droves.

Which country is famous for nightlife? ›

Greece, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Spain are the best countries to explore for all kinds of tourist activities including the nightlife. Where is the party capital of the world located? Ibiza in Spain is also called as the party capital of the world and offers an engrossing Spain nightlife experience.

What city has the biggest nightlife? ›

The 10 Best Cities for Nightlife in the U.S.
  • Las Vegas.
  • New York City.
  • New Orleans.
  • Miami.
  • Key West.
  • Los Angeles.
  • San Diego.
  • San Francisco.
15 Aug 2022

What means nightlife? ›

: the activity of or entertainment provided for pleasure-seekers at night (as in nightclubs) also : establishments providing nightlife.

What should one do for a good night out in Manila? ›

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What is nightlife like in the Philippines? ›

Manila and Cebu both have a very vibrant nightlife, and with clubs and bars open around the clock, you'll never be short of a drinking and dancing option. The nightlife on the vacation islands is slightly tamer in comparison, being mostly beach-bar focused.

Why Manila is worth visiting? ›

The Philippines' capital city, Manila, is often the jump-off point to the country's incredible beaches, stunning islands, and unique natural wonders. However, there are many tourist spots to visit in Manila alone! It's a beautiful city full of surprises and amazing things to try!

Why Manila is a tourist attraction? ›

The city of Manila is a place that is both old and modern. With its rich history, almost all areas have become great tourist spots in Manila that everyone wants to visit. From the preserved architecture brought by Spanish colonialism to outstanding Filipino culture, Manila has everything you'd ask for!

How can you describe Manila? ›

A densely populated city melding many different cultures and influences, Manila is unsurprisingly lively all-year-round, with religious processions, live music, theatre, famous drag shows or plenty of speakeasies and videoke/karaoke bars.

What is a speakeasy themed party? ›

When it comes to planning a speakeasy party, you have two choices. You can go with the shady style such as gangsters, bootleggers with lots of whiskey barrels, and gangster memorabilia. The other way to go is sophisticated. This party is elegant, refined, and only available for the members of high society.

What games were played in a speakeasy? ›

Upon entry, participants receive their “purse” for the evening—a pre-determined amount of play money for use in the speakeasy games - blackjack, the big wheel & dice games. Period music fills the air as the gaming lasts about an hour, while guests mingle with dealers, dime dancers and mobsters.

Can you wear jeans to a speakeasy? ›

Just wear whatever is comfortable!

Can you wear jeans to a pub? ›

Casual. This is the most laid back you can get for a club, pretty much anything goes as long as it's not board shorts and flip flops. Jeans, t-shirt and shoes and you're in. The one problem is on busy nights as bars casual dress code can turn into smart casual dress code.

What can I expect at a speakeasy? ›

Increasingly popular, the modern-day speakeasy is essentially just a bar meant to be shrouded in secrecy. Since alcohol is no longer illegal, these establishments hinge on the feeling of discreetness, often hidden inside other restaurants or other venues, and embodying a prohibition vibe, some with dim lighting.

Did speakeasies have entertainment? ›

Competition between speakeasies also grew for more patrons, which created the demand for live entertainment at these venues. Jazz music was already very popular, and the unique dances that came from it fit perfectly into this party and raucous era.

How do I promote my speakeasy bar? ›

Advertise and message

In many cases, the best advertising for a speakeasy will be word of mouth. Regardless of the setting, patrons that have a great experience always encourage friends to seek out the same experience, so make sure that patrons have a great one each and every time they visit.

How do you use nightlife in a sentence? ›

Examples of 'nightlife' in a sentence
  1. There is lively nightlife during the holiday season. ...
  2. The studios have internet access and are surrounded by shops and nightlife. ...
  3. But we also have a very vibrant nightlife. ...
  4. Krakow also has a lively nightlife centred on its array of gothic cellar bars.

What is bar in a sentence? ›

Verb He barred the door as soon as he got in. All the windows and doors were barred. A herd of goats was barring the road.

What is a good sentence for concert? ›

How to use Concert in a sentence. There's a concert at the arts center. Someday, when there is a concert, I would love to take you to Tanglewood. That work was carried out by Benjamin Constant in concert with the emperor.

How did people get into speakeasy? ›

The phrase, 'Speakeasy' originates from a term that bartenders used where people needed to, “speak easy” (quietly), when ordering at the bar in order to not draw attention to the prohibited act of buying alcohol. In order to gain access to these illicit bars, a password, specific handshake or secret knock was required.

What was the most famous speakeasy in New York? ›

1 Chumley's (86 Bedford St.) This 1922-founded speakeasy catered to the literary crowd. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Willa Cather imbibed here, among others.

What was the name of Al Capone's speakeasy? ›

With his business acumen, Al became Torrio's partner and took over as manager of the Four Deuces — Torrio's headquarters in Chicago's Levee area. The Four Deuces served as a speakeasy, gambling joint and whorehouse under one roof.

What was the name of the famous NY speakeasy? ›

Chumley's was a historic pub and former speakeasy at 86 Bedford Street, between Grove and Barrow Streets, in the West Village neighborhood of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City.

What happens at a speakeasy? ›

These establishments were called speakeasies, a place where, during the Prohibition, alcoholic beverages were illegally sold and consumed in secret. In addition to drinking, patrons would eat, socialize, and dance to jazz music.

What did people do in speakeasies? ›

Speakeasies were establishments that secretly and illegally served alcohol during Prohibition. Generally, to conceal a speakeasy, an owner would hide it behind a legal business or it would be operated underground or in a hidden backroom. Organized crime syndicates were often the owners and operators of speakeasies.

What kind of food is served at a speakeasy? ›

The rise of these intimate events led to the popularization of an increasingly wide array of finger foods. Hosts paraded out such popular culinary delights as lobster canapés, caviar rolls, crabmeat cocktails, shrimp patties, oyster toast, jellied anchovy molds, radish roses, devilled eggs and savory cheese balls.

What drinks were sold in speakeasy? ›

What Kind of Drinks Are Served at Speakeasies?
  • Blood & Sand. Johnny Walker Black, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth, Orange.
  • French 75. Hendricks Gin, Lemon, Simple, Prosecco.
  • Aviation. Sipsmith Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Violet, Lemon.
  • Naked & Famous. ...
  • Red Hook. ...
  • The Bees Knees. ...
  • Painkiller. ...
  • Paper Plane.

Do real speakeasies still exist? ›

Even though alcohol is legal now, the culture and aesthetic of speakeasies live on. There are no true speakeasies anymore, as these were illegal bars, but there are many that will give you a taste of what it was like to walk into an illicit drinking den. Some of them still have discreet entrances.

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