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Discover Ermita and Malate nightlife - Manila


Overview

The City of Manila is the capital of the Philippines—and the capital of its nightlife scene are the adjacent districts of Ermita and Malate. Granted, these two districts may not have the upscale clubs of Makati or BGC, and both have a reputation for being red light districts. But dig deeper and you’ll discover their distinct bohemian character that’s hard to find in other parts of the metro.

First is Malate, which has numerous options for a great evening, whether you’re looking for a relaxed, sit-down dinner or a rip-roaring night out. Top restaurants in the area include Casa Armas, Korean Village, Café Adriatico, the reservations-only Purple Yam, and Tanabe—the Japanese restaurant where Anthony Bourdain ate on his last visit to Manila. Then there are the area’s popular bars: The Library, which hosts comedy performances regularly; right beside it is FAB, a KTV joint popular among the gay community. If you’re looking to just knock down a few beers, go to Silya Restobar. And for good ramen on a budget (think: USD2 for a bowl), head on to Erra’s—which began as a humble roadside stall. Meanwhile, Ermita may not have the same amount of options as Malate, but it does have its own interesting spots. These include Hobbit House, which is staffed by an all-midget crew (hence the name); and G-Point Smorgasbord and Bar, which has a buffet for only PHP 299 (roughly USD 6 to 7). In between these two districts is the 24-hour Shawarma Snack Center, serving up an authentic Middle Eastern fare.

Admittedly, both Ermita and Malate are not the cleanest nor the neatest sides of the city; the specter of gentrification has not touched these areas yet. And in some areas, both Ermita and Malate look like red light districts from other parts of Southeast Asia—full of flashing neon lights, a number of seedy bars, and the occasional massage parlor. But don’t let that intimidate you. Many of the establishments listed above have withstood the test of time and are patronized by all kinds of people.

If you’re not staying around Ermita or Malate, there are still many ways to reach the area. Of course, the fastest way is by taking a taxi. However, you can also take a jeepney that passes through Mabini Street or ride the LRT-1 train and alights at United Nations or Pedro Gil stations. Then just walk—the area is best experienced on foot. And while the best time to hit the area is on weekends, many establishments are also open on weekday nights.


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Reviews

What our experts tell about this experience.
  • Eva

    06. 09. 2016

    As I love to party with my sisters this wasn't the place for us. I think it's more for a guys night out not a girls night out. This is the district of red lights and there's quite a few massage parlors here. But my sisters and I still enjoyed it. That was in Ermita. The next evening we went to hang around in Malate and found that there's various places to choose to have a a good supper! So we really enjoyed that! I guess it's a mix so overall it was great.

  • Louis

    06. 09. 2016

    I was at a place called The Library. Was a great place. The shows they held there couldn't keep my eyes to cry out with laughter. You really have to check out the comedy shows that they host here.. Afterwards I met up with my brothers for a few beers a Silya Restobar. Was another great night.


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