Want to see the Makati nightlife and a Poblacion pubcrawl? Here’s a list of our favorite Poblacion bars and our Bacardi House Party experience!
A month back, I went barhopping around Poblacion, Makati. The pub scene got me smitten immediately — it felt like the millennialism, hipster culture, and laid-back vibe of Quezon City. I used to think Makati bars are pricey with an all-dressed-up crowd. But Poblacion is the place where the younger and more playful workforce of Makati go to unwind and party.
It only made sense that since we had canceled plans for Halloween long weekend, we do a pubcrawl around Poblacion bars. Lighting is usually dim and professional cameras or usually forbidden, so you might actually want to get in to see for yourself!
Can you guess who we went as? Our last minute nightlife preparations led us to become Sebastian and Mia of La La Land for one night. A perfect movie (and playlist!) to represent the city:
Bacardi House Party presents “Pobrasyon”
This year’s Bacardi Halloween theme is Filipino folklore, summed up in “Pobrasyon“, a name-play for Poblacion and “orasyon”. Imagine a portion of Poblacion being protected by powerful orations where all kinds of creatures go to prowl and party.
Now, I’m usually very reserved and introverted in a public setting but I truly loved the vibe of Poblacion! Here are the participating Poblacion bars around Z-Street that are worth visiting:
Polilya. One of the most well-lit of the Poblacion bars is Polilya, recognizable by its blue neon lights by the bar, saying “Have You Figured Out What You Want Yet?” It’s truly one of those polished, Instagrammable bars serving great cocktails. Best to kick-off your “Pob-crawl”.
Z-Hostel Roofdeck. Since there is an entrance fee here, I didn’t get to go inside. I have heard mixed reviews about this — one that it’s overrated and the other is it’s a must-try. One thing’s for sure, Z-Hostel is the most recognized establishment around Poblacion. But if you’re looking for rooftop bars, I probably have listed better places below. Decide and pay the price!
The Apartment. If you’re up for some staircase hike and wanted a speakeasy bar feel, The Apartment is your best bet. It’s located literally at the 5th floor of a small apartment and usually features jazz hits (my favorite). No signages outside on a normal day and it may look like the hip attic of secret college parties, but that makes it all the more fun, right?
The Ruins. Aside from booze, Poblacion bars can also be a center for art galleries and exhibits. The Ruins is named so because it looks like an artfully rundown house that morphs into an events place. Compared to the Z-street neighborhood, there’s more space here to roam.
Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen. Probably the most mystically thematic for the Bacardi House Party is Agimat. You can enjoy Filipino folklore-ish potions and elixirs (oh, I mean brews and cocktails) within an all-black Filipino heritage house facade. It’s prettier within, where the bar is right under a Balete tree.
Pura Vida. If you’re looking to dance in the rawest way possible, Pura Vida is the place to go. The Costa Rican bar’s dancefloor is usually filled with crowds gyrating to the live reggae music and enjoying beers and shots on the side. The dim lights, wooden floors, and blue Christmas lights make it seem like a college upstairs party at your home. Make this your last stop, so you can sweat it out!
Other Poblacion hang-outs nearby. Just within the Z-street neighborhood is Alamat, Wild Poppy, and Smokeyard, which looks a lot like a line of food parks.
Other Poblacion Bars and Pubs
If you’re looking at other Makati nightlife within Poblacion, you can take short walks into these note-worthy pubs and bars.
I’M Hotel Roofdeck. This is easily one of my favorite spots in Makati City — the ultimate rooftop bar is at I’M Hotel Roofdeck. It features a jellyfish aquarium at the bar, with ghostly lights suggesting, “Pick Your Poison”. Even better is the overlooking view of the Makati skyline and the “loo with a view” — the toilet with one glass wall! Honestly, just hanging out here and having drinks is the ultimate date for me. If I was a guy, I’d propose here!
Kartel Rooftop Bar. My second most favorite spot is located at the Dr. Wine‘s rooftop. Dr. Wine looks like the typical pricey Makati wine bar, but upstairs where Kartel Rooftop Bar is at is a more eye-level view of the Makati skyline. The place is well-lit and date-worthy, and they serve cocktails and shots. Great bar for conversations.
Run Rabbit Run. On the outside, Run Rabbit Run appears to be a sinister Filipino white house illuminated by candle lights by the window. Its darkness and mystery draw me in and, once inside, I wasn’t disappointed! The dark, cool bar has friendly baristas, a young crowd, and flavorful cocktails. It’s a place I can go in alone and still have a great time.
The Pallet. If you’re looking for dinner before Poblacion barhopping, better drop by at The Pallet. It looks like a multi-level food park with a variety of restaurants and good music if there’s an event.
Obviously, this is far from being an exhaustive list of Poblacion bars. The Philippines nightlife has a reputation for morphing very quickly and adapting to new tastes, which is why no doubt a year from now, there will be more Poblacion bars and pubs in Makati City. Stay tuned!
More nightlife in the Philippines
More tours to take from Manila
- Manila City Tour
- Binondo Food Trip
- Manila Food Tour
- Manila Museums
- Tagaytay Attractions
- Roadtrip near Manila
If you have any questions, send me a message on Facebook. I answer everything!