Make a lasting impression!
So we’re approaching pre-pandemic levels of normalcy, and you’ve decided to get out there again. Picking a venue for a first date is a delicate matter. You don’t want a place that’s too quiet because any awkwardness is likely to increase tenfold, nor do you want a place so loud you’d have to shout at each other.
A bar for numerous reasons (mainly, alcohol) is understandably ideal first date territory for many. Yet picking a bar still requires effort. Let’s face it, lighting, music, volume of music, crowd, prices, vibe, are the little things that could ultimately decide how well your date could go. Here, we run down our list of ideal bars to convince a stranger you’re a catch worthy of romance (just don’t get too trashed).
This creative and ambitious spot in Poblacion has Filipino-inspired food, drinks and interiors. The ambiance is top notch, thanks to the great lighting and indigenous Pinoy yet chic interiors.
Maybe you met a foreigner on Bumble and you want to show them “your culture.” This is a good place to start.
Little Tokyo Courtyard
This may not be–strictly speaking–a bar, but Little Tokyo is a gem in the city and a stellar idea for a first date. Firstly, the Japanese courtyard setting (with steady Japanese clientele) makes you feel like you’re not in Manila, which is reason enough to visit. But the main appeal of the place is definitely the availability of Japanese food and drink. Chase your cold sake with Sapporo on draft, in between bites of teppanyaki, yakitori, and mild flirtation.
The Bar @ the Peninsula
Voted one of the best hotel bars in the world, Makati Peninsula’s The Bar is an intimate yet lively setting for a first date. It has an old world vibe, like somewhere Hemingway would’ve patronized, and a steady flow of foreign businessmen and tourists. Have a few negronis and charm your date and, if it goes really well, then…congratulations, you’re at The Peninsula.
This Poblacion-located Thai fried chicken spot may be low key, but it does feel like a hole-in-the -wall in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Along with the fried chicken, Khao Khai has an array of different bar snacks and iced cold Thai beers. If you’re looking for a casual first date, Khao Khai is worth looking into.
We appreciate a bar that is actually for sitting, and herein lies the main appeal of Spirits Library–it’s a proper bar. It has solid cocktails, good music and a diverse crowd of locals and expats. The date not going so well? Maybe chat up the people in the next table to join the conversation and shake off the nerves.
Maybe you and your date bonded online over being tired of BGC and Makati in which case Cubao X in Quezon City is definitely the move. Cubao X is an enclave of cool in the metro. Real thrift stores, barbershops, vinyl record stores and hip bars like Fred’s Revolucion line the U-shaped Road. Here you might rub elbows with real creatives and musicians over Cuba libres and impress your date for being so ‘cultured.’
Las Flores BGC
Understandably, you may not want to commit to a full dinner for a first, having to obsess over your table manners is pressure you could do without. Las Flores not only has an extensive wine and cocktail list, they have plenty of tasty, inventive and authentic tapas for you to nibble on as you and your date talk about your favorite movies.
First dates may not always go as well as you hoped or planned, but at least when you pick a killer spot to meet up someone, you at least guarantee a good meal and a drink (or two).
Words Art Vandelay
Art Macky Arquilla