The Roaring Twenties. The era that graced us with flappers, jazz, and… no alcohol? Prohibition was meant to make society more “noble.” Instead, crime grew, alcohol wasn’t regulated, and bars moved to secret locations known as speakeasies.
Thank goodness that’s over. But, the idea of having secret bars behind shops, restaurants, and other establishments remained and found itself traveling 8,000 miles across the world to the Philippines.
Speakeasy-style bars have flourished over recent years in Manila, the country’s capital. They are tucked away, remain hidden, and still retain an aura of thrilling mystery. The only difference from the original 1920s speakeasies? These are totally legal.
To help navigate all that Manila’s colorful nightlife has to offer, here’s a list of some of the Philippine’s best speakeasies:
1. Blind Pig
One of the most iconic speakeasies in the country. Come for the original “secret bar” experience, stay for the delicious, quality-crafted drinks.
3. Bank Bar
Bank Bar wins the award for more exciting entrance. It’s concealed behind a 7-Eleven store, making the experience seem more authentically sneaky. Although prices can be a little steep, posting a snap story of you being in a convenience store one second, and a bar the next, is worth it.
This bar’s “secrecy” is intensified by the need for a password to enter. Don’t worry, just give them a call and you’ll get it. And once you’re inside, you’ll be transported to the 1920s – the drinks are classic, old-timey, classy, and worth every buck.
Another secret spot, another cool bar. It’s a little more dressy than your usual speakeasy, so don’t show up in cargo shorts and flip flops. They keep things interesting with themed days, though: Wednesdays are themed “Alliance,” Thursdays are “Untouchable,” every Friday is a “Feel Good Friday,” and keep your calendars clear for “Vibez Saturdays.”
TBH I don’t really know what these themes mean, but hopefully these posters help.
6. Red Rabbit
Red Rabbit has a more chill ambiance compared to the other speakeasies, making it a great place to catch up with friends. Just don’t miss out on their specialty cocktails, like “Little Bit Country.”
A perfect compromise for people who can’t pick between drinking coffee or alcohol. Hidden inside Cyrano Wine Bar, this bar is more casual since it also serves lattes, pastries, and sandwiches. Whoever said you can’t have it all?
8. Exit Bar
This speakeasy located through the second exit door at the back of Plaza Cafe is perfect for after-dinner drinks with friends. The chill and relaxed vibe will help you kick back and relax after a long day.
Clark Kent needed a phone booth to change into Superman; any mundane or bad day just needs this bar’s red telephone booth to make it exciting. Its downstairs neighbor is Frank and Dean, a delicious restaurant with comfort food that matches the drinks of this bar perfectly.