LIST: Poblacion bars that serve cocktails for P300 or less

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  • You don’t have to spend a lot to drink and have fun at these bars and restaurants

There’s a certain joy that comes from spending less money than you expected to spend. Especially if you’re sticking to a strict budget. Going out for a night on the town can be expensive, and the maybe worse than pre-pandemic traffic situation isn’t helping either. 

A “fun budget” is something relatively easy to cut away from your total spending versus necessary expenses like groceries and commuting. The thing is, though, you can still go out and have fun without breaking the bank. 

Poblacion is one of the most popular nightlife districts in Manila. It’s an area that contains more than enough variety in terms of concepts and cost. There are upscale bars and restaurants where cocktails and drinks can cost up to the thousands, but more relaxed, hole-in-the wall type places can also coexist. And they’re all within walking distance. 

The following is a list of establishments that serve great drinks and great vibes—all at pretty value for money prices. The median price point for these places all vary, but the one thing they have in common is cocktails under P300. 

And honestly? That’s not a bad bargain. 

Alamat

5666 Don Pedro St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati
Open from Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Instagram.com/alamatfilipinocuisine

Alamat is one of Poblacion’s venerable institutions that survived the pandemic. Though the gastropub-slash-bar has changed hands, it still retains the modern-Filipino style that helped it become one of Pob’s go-to places. One of the best cocktails you can get on the menu is the sampalok sour (P245), which is the restaurant’s version of a whiskey sour with sampalok as the main ingredient. 

A friend once described it as “Sinigang but make it alcoholic,” which initially isn’t the nicest sounding descriptor, but it is a refreshingly sour, cozy, and delicious drink. Be warned, though. These things are so good you’ll blink and finish three of them. 

Almacen

5910 Matilde St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Instagram.com/Almacenph

For the younger (read: below 25 crowd), Almacen is a popular spot for drinks and dancing. Aside from serving good food and even better bops to dance the night away too, they also offer a bunch of cocktails under P300. 

Some of the cocktails you can order for that much (or that little depending on how you look at it) are the classic mojito (P220), frozen beergarita (P220), mai tai (P250), agwa bomb (P275), amaretto sour (P280), cubano libre (P280), and butter beer (P280).

You should also know that due to its popularity, Almacen is one of the most difficult places to get into in Poblacion. It gets full fast. I’ve personally been turned away at least three times (that I can remember). So if you’re planning on visiting Almacen on a weekend though, make sure you call ahead to reserve. 

Annex House

Open from Wednesday to Saturday, 7 p.m. til late
Instagram.com/annexhousemanila

Pre-pandemic, Annex House was one of the most popular (and by extension crowded) hangout spots in Poblacion. Since reopening at a new location and adopting a membership approach to business, the bar has evolved into something new. The place still retains its effortlessly cool and innately charming atmosphere, but you can now comfortably sit at the bar and have your drink in peace. 

Annex House only serves three cocktails: mango rum, calamansi fizz, and gin buko. All three cocktails cost P280, which is decent if you’ve seen the prices at neighboring establishments. If you’re planning on paying a visit (or if you want to sign up for membership), you can reach out via Instagram DMs. Or you can ask me to bring you along. 

Boogie

8483 Kalayaan Ave. corner Matilde St., Brgy Poblacion, Makati
Open Wednesday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Instagram.com/boogiemnl

In my brokest of moments, Boogie was always there to make sure I had a good time. Tetsuo’s upstairs neighbor is popular for a reason, and it’s not just the music they play or the food they serve. All of Boogie’s cocktails are priced at P200 and below, with some room for discounts. Crazy, right? 

Staple cocktails like G&Ts, soda mixes, and tonic mixes only cost P150, while the rest of the drinks cost P200. If you’ve never been (or if you’ve only ordered beers or bottles), one of the bar’s most popular drinks is something called pussy juice (P200). The—ehem—interestingly named cocktail is a concoction of pineapple juice, coconut rum, and other fruit juices. And yes, it tastes absolutely delicious. 

Polilya

5767 Ebro St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati 
Open Monday to Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Instagram.com/Polilya.mnl

Polilya was one of the most famous bars in Poblacion that fell victim to the pandemic—or so we thought. The popular Poblacion watering hole is back at a new address, and we honestly couldn’t be more excited about it. Polilya has a reputation for kind of pricey (but undoubtedly high quality) drinks, the bar still has two cocktails that fall under the P300 range. 

The cool bird spritz (P290) is a version of an aperol spritz with a more tropical twist. Aside from the required aperol and prosecco, the drink also includes some double IPA, pineapple juice, and some dried mango on top. The other cocktail under P300 is the sandrapolitan, which is basically a cosmo. 

For K-pop fans, Polilya also hosts weekly K-pop themed nights on Wednesdays with special theme drinks and dishes—and yes, some of those cocktails cost under P300 as well. 

With that being said, we’ll see you there. 

Tambai

 5779 Felipe St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati
Open Monday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. 
Instagram.com/tambai_snackhouse

For people who frequent Poblacion, Tambai is one of the OG places to hang out. It’s a spot just so uniquely Poblacion. Aside from the delicious food and overall atmosphere, something that makes Tambai extra friendly are the prices on the drinks they serve. 

Most of Tambai’s cocktails cost P250 (or a little bit more depending on the type of drink you order). The bar also frequently has buy one take one deals on drinks that pair very nicely with the grilled skewers available on the menu. 

Just make sure you’re not driving home after a night here. 

Nolisoli.ph © 2020. Hinge Inquirer Publications, Inc.

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