If You’re a Loner, Don’t Worry: Drink Here By Yourself

May 30, 2020

Drinking culture in Manila often means a night out or at home with a group of friends, a get-together whether small or big, and maybe an eventual gathering over pulutan. But aren’t there days when you’ve had enough of crowds, and want to nurse a beverage all by your lonesome? If you fancy being alone and want a drink, here are our recommendations.

1. ABV: If You’re Lonely But Want to Chat Up The Bartender


Photo by Jerome Jocson

ABV is one of Manila’s best new bars, hands down. Speakeasies may be trendy these days, but ABV takes it one step further, hidden behind fake elevator doors in the side of an already hard-to-find burger joint. Inside, the place is a different world entirely, all moody lighting and opulent fixtures, which may seem intimidating for a lone wolf. But plant yourself at the bar, and chat up any of the guys behind it, who are all extremely wonderful people, and somehow instantaneously knowledgeable with what drink suits you. Their service here is almost exactly what you’d get at any small bar abroad–and you might not end up so lonely after all.


Address: Basement, 22 Jupiter Corner Galaxy St., Bel-Air, Makati

2. 12/10: If You’re Lonely, And a Millenial


Photo by Pam Santos

If you are a true millenial, knowing all about the hotspots in town is a must, and the ability to Instagram a photo in said hotspot is even more of a must. Enter 12/10, the uber-trendy izakaya joint run by young upstarts Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera. Nurse a drink here alone, if you’re feeling a little fancy but your other millenial friends are on their night off from schmoozing. Their cocktails are pretty as a picture, and so are their interiors.


Address: Guijo St., Makati

3. The Curator: If You’re Lonely, But Want a Damn Good Cocktail


Photo courtesy of David Ong and The Curator

True connoisseurs of the libation are unafraid to be alone; this is that one time they can actually appreciate their drink without having to bend to anyone else’s rules. Don’t want to split a bottle? Would you rather have a serious, delicious, and smart cocktail? The Curator is here for that sole purpose. The guys behind this joint are also responsible for the EDSA Beverage Design Group, and take what they do incredibly seriously, from their impeccable coffees in the morning, to their drinks at night. Whatever you order, you’re bound to be impressed.

The Curator

Address: 134 Legaspi cor. Don Carlos Palanca St., Legaspi Village, Makati

4. Mandalay: If You’re Lonely and Have Money to Burn


Photo by Pam Santos

Manila’s latest speakeasy is an ambitious project–the decor alone makes it feel as if you are in a luxurious, 5-star hotel bar. But if you’ve got the cash to burn, this is the place to spend it all in. Their extensive list of whiskey is undoubtedly the most expansive and most impressive in the country, and there’s even a place at the end of the bar that’s perfect for one man only, shaded from view. Who cares if you know zilch about this in-demand liquor? Close your eyes and point, if you ain’t worrying about price tonight.

Mandalay Whiskey Bar

Address: Carlos Palanca St., Legaspi Village, Makati

5. Pacific Lounge: If You’re Lonely, and Want to People Watch


Photo by Jerome Jocson

Malate will always have its colorful characters, and if you want to be left alone but still entertained, the lounge at Pan Pacific is where you should go. Recommended to us by a mama-san who said this was the place to be, it may be known more for clandestine gatherings, but is a brilliantly cozy nook for grabbing a glass of wine or two. It’s still retained a bit of its glamor, and the people-watching is superb. Heck, if you’re a budding writer, stay for a day and inspiration might unfold.

Pacific Lounge at the Pan Pacific Manila

Address: 21st Floor, Pan Pacific Manila, M. Adriatico corner Gen. Malvar Sts., Malate, Manila

6. Oarhouse: If You’re Lonely, and Want a Casual Drink


Photo by Pam Santos

There are days when you just need a stiff one. Manila is now scattered with bars that require a bit of dressing up, but Oarhouse is a true local spot where you can drop by absolutely any time you want. Wear your flip-flops, bring your book, drop by alone–no one will care what you’re up to here if you’re just sipping your amaretto sour.


Address: 1688-B Jorge Bocobo St., Malate, Manila

7. Z Hostel: If You’re Lonely, But Want to Meet New People


Photo by Jerome Jocson

Maybe Z Hostel’s rooftop bar is all sorts of hipster, but it’s one of our favorite places to hang out in. There are no fancy cocktails here, just a great view and a surprisingly unpretentious vibe. Sunset’s the best time to start a night here, but when evening hits, you’ll run into a whole cast of interesting people. Finding new friends is inevitable here as the place is a hostel, and no one is afraid to strike up a conversation or meet an awesome new face. You might enter alone, but no doubt about it, you might leave with a whole new barkada.

Z Hostel

Address: Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati

8. Tago Jazz Café: If You’re Lonely, and Need to Discover New Music

AAtago 06

Photo by Andrew Contreras

There may be better or more established bars out there to check out Manila’s music scene, but Tago Jazz Café’s location and intimate atmosphere make it perfect if you want to avoid being found. If you’re not exactly into jazz, then this is exactly the place to discover and rediscover it, and immerse yourself in something you might be unfamiliar with, but is part of our culture. Both burgeoning bands and Manila’s jazz greats have taken the stage–and their music is perfect for an easy, uncomplicated night out alone.

Tago Jazz Café

Address: Main Ave., Cubao, Quezon City

9.  The Bar: If You’re Lonely and Heartbroken

The Bar

Photo courtesy of The Manila Peninsula

It might not be the best remedy, but if you’re down on luck, and desperately need to drown your sorrows, then take a seat at The Bar. The hotel bar may seem pricey, but they have the best happy hour deal in town, which is exactly what you need when you plan on drinking one too many glasses. From 7pm to 12mn on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, it’s free-flowing cocktails, wines, and spirits, and the selection to choose from is actually quite varied. You may however, need to keep your phone on hand and get someone to nurse your broken heart, and drive you back home.

The Bar at The Peninsula Manila

Address: 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila

10. Verona: If You’re Lonely, and Want to be Left Alone


Photo courtesy of Privato Hotel

If there’s no other reason for you to be alone than the fact that you need some space from Manila’s hustle and bustle, Verona in Privato Hotel should be your only destination. The rooftop bar is slightly secluded, and perfect for drinking away from everyone else. It’s a well-kept secret and has maintained its appeal without getting too over-exposed. Come here whatever time of the day, have a serious drink, and look down at the rest of Metro Manila, who are probably not having as stress-free a day as you are.

Privato Hotel

Address: 706 Shaw Boulevard, Pasig

Where do you like to drink when you’re alone? What’s your choice of poison? Tell us your recommendations with a comment below!

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

7 comments in this post SHOW

7 responses to “If You’re a Loner, Don’t Worry: Drink Here By Yourself”

  1. Volts Sanchez says:

    That place in Malate you guys just featured (Tap Station?) seems like it would fit the bill, too. Did I get it right?

    • Michelle Ayuyao says:

      Whoops sorry for just getting around to this. Yeah Tap Station is a pretty cool place to drink alone. It’s in a pretty shady area though, so if you’re in the area and plan to just walk there by yourself late at night, I wouldn’t advise it.

  2. Joseph Anton Gadong says:

    thanks for bringing up this article

  3. tried verano. the photos are too good to be true. the view wasn’t all that great. drinks were expensive and not at all delicious. its a good place to chill though if you have a date that you don’t want to be seen with.

  4. […] 2015, it seemed as if there was only one place to go: Z Hostel. While specialty bars were opening left and right, and speakeasies seemed to still be the watering […]

  5. Doms Molina says:

    Do you have a list of bars that offers draft beer? Also a price range would be nice. Thanks.

  6. Jes says:

    If you can recommend more places in Ortigas/Pasig area, that’d be awesome!

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