Where are the best new places to hang out in Manila? Here are 10 to start with.
1. Toyo Eatery
Recently awarded Miele One to Watch 2018 by Asia’s 50 Best, Jordy Navarra transforms common Filipino food experiences into award-winning fine dining. For brunch, the nearby Panaderya Toyo is the Toyo team’s take on a traditional Filipino bakery.
2. Belles Artes Outpost
The satellite location of the non-profit Belles Artes Projects, Outpost aims to engage urban audiences with art activities in Bataan. American artist Bruce Conner’s first major exhibition in Southeast Asia was recently shown here.
Run by gallerist Tina Fernandez, this boutique functions like a museum shop for the Philippine contemporary art scene, featuring design products by top artists as well as accessories from internationally acclaimed local brands like the Vogue-approved Zacarias 1925.
4. Silverlens Galleries
This local contemporary art gallery has grown in stature thanks to its tight edit, a presence in major art fairs like Art Basel, and a roster of internationally recognised artists, including Maria Taniguchi (Hugo Boss Asia Art 2015) and Martha Atienza (Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel 2017).
5. Tropa Store
A boutique that offers a complete wardrobe for chic tropical living, championing exciting local brands like Carl Jan Cruz, Eairth, and Halo Halo.
6. HUB: Make Lab
Spearheaded by 98B Collaboratory, this artist-run initiative is at the forefront of the revival of Manila’s historic Escolta, once Manila’s financial district. The HUB is a retail playground with unique offerings from independent artists and artisans.
7. First Coworking Community
With ceilings and walls left raw to expose the building’s beautiful Art Deco bones, and massive windows providing just the right amount of sunlight, it’s only fitting that young entrepreneurs now have a home in Escolta.
With products from all over the country – cacao from Davao, sea salt from Pangasinan, desiccated coconut from Maguindanao – you’ll come away from this alternative grocery with a whole archipelago of produce in your bag.
9. The Henry Hotel
A series of 1950s postwar buildings converted into a boutique hotel in the heart of Pasay, the Henry Hotel is just a few blocks away from EDSA, the city’s busiest thoroughfare, but it has a transportive magic.
Dimly lit, impeccably soundtracked, and always buzzing with youthful energy, this hip izakaya sits at the edge of Makati’s central business district and is always great for a low-key dinner date.