10 Cool Places In Tomas Morato, QC That'll Make You Want To Keep Going Back

You on payday is like the weather in Manila—you make it rain.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/donttellph, (RIGHT) Instagram/primafaciemanila

Let’s be real: When your barkada wants to go balls out on a nightout—especially on payday—heading to Tomas Morato might not even come up as a suggestion. It’s understandable, considering BGC and Makati are the two main business districts, which are a) notoriously responsible for many a wasted evening, b) practically next door neighbors so you know...bar crawl, c) where most of the “cool” spots are located, so you’re familiar with the geography like the back of your hand.

It might seem like Tomas Morato is more remote and in its own bubble, but that’s also what makes its culture different and hence, worth visiting. There’s also something to be said about its collection of houses, heritage or other, converted into bars and restaurants while still keeping or restoring its original bones. Below, where to go to finally pop that Tomas Morato cherry.

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  1. WYLD Kitchen + Bar

    Chef and owner Kenn Gonzales brings the wilderness to the concrete jungle with WYLD Kitchen + Bar. This may seem like any rustic-inspired spot, but what makes it more interesting is that every metal and wood piece in the interiors are recycled and repurposed material. When it comes to their menu, it’s a plethora of comfort food, like the Ale Cheddar Soup and Grilled Herb Marinated Hanger Steak. Regarding their cocktails, the literally bittersweet Pinalaya and cleverly named Flora x Fauna are immediate standouts.

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  2. Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant

    With everyone one else claiming that they’re “baby,” you’re out here being tita, and every tita needs her glass of red once in a while (and, by once in a while, we mean at least three times a week). Vitto’s can help you with your boozy fix, especially when they have wine-all-you-can from Sunday to Tuesday, while any other day has unlimited offered for other drinks and cocktails. UNLIMITED. ALCOHOL. EVERYDAY. #WhatDreamsAreMadeOf

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  3. The Beech

    If you need to be in a sea full of people who are more into inuman sit-downs than club dancing, try The Beech. It almost looks like the modern version of a local beer hall where all the townsfolk come and gather either to celebrate or to start a revolution—whatever the reason, it’s the open floor plan that evokes a sense of community and solidarity as you drink and get #rekt.

  4. HidN Lounge

    Apart from the subtle signage, HidN Lounge is exactly as the name suggests due to it keeping the exteriors of a house while transforming the interiors into an elevated common room. It’s a lot like being invited to a friend’s house, and that friend just so happens to enjoy inviting people over on any given day. Of course, what good is a lounge or bar if they don’t have enticing pulutan to pair with your drinks? Their Buffalo Wings and Garlic Parmesan Wings are bestsellers, while their Lengua Salpicao and Gambas are sure winners.

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  5. Empacho

    For some people, payday equals lamon day. There’s no better way to celebrate your paycheck than finding a damn good meal that feeds your soul. If your goal is to have a full tummy that borderlines indigestion, have your fill at Empacho. Here, you can find Filipino classics reimagined, like the deconstructed Crispy Pork Kare-Kare and Sinigang na Lechon with Strawberry. Cap off your meal with the crowd-favorite Salted Egg Lava Cake, and you’ll finally have reached your food coma (or is it nirvana?).

  6. Historia Boutique Bar

    You’ve probably been to at least one concert in MOA Arena, Kia Theater, or even Araneta Coliseum. It’s an electric feeling being in a crowd of people singing the same song with the artist on stage. Imagine having that experience in an old heritage house in Tomas Morato. Historia Boutique Bar holds live shows of artists ranging from up-and-comers to seasoned pros in an intimate, open air, traditional Filipino-Spanish home right in the heart of Tomas Morato.

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  7. Don’t Tell

    What’s a good sweldo day roundup if we don’t include at least one bar to match your BGC and Pob walwal nights? Swing by Don’t Tell early in the evening so you can still hear your friend’s latest tea from the workplace, but hold off on the kwento as soon as the venue starts to pick up. It gets more crowded later in the evening, around the same time you start to feel the bass pounding in your chest. That’s also your cue to start taking shots and hit the dance floor.

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  8. 5YNCO Bar

    Need that perfect IG post to flex that you just got paid? Choose from one of neon signs you can pose right next to at 5YNCO (pronounced as “singko”) Bar, then use the wad of cash emoji for the caption. That’s all; no gushy text. 5YNCO also holds bar takeovers for rising stars in the bartending industry, so you know just how serious they are with providing the best and unique cocktails they can offer.

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  9. Prima Facie

    If a first date somehow lands on sweldo day, head over to Prima Facie, which literally means “first impressions” in Latin. Don’t expect neon lights guiding you to the entrance along the street. You can find it inside another bar (Vitto’s, aka #2 on the list), through a false wall where the mural In vino veritas, in cervesio felicitas (“In wine there is truth, in beer there is happiness”) is inscribed. While inside, you can’t go wrong with any of the skillfully crafted cocktails made by their mixologists.

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  10. The Gold Room

    Not actually made of gold, The Gold Room pays homage to the times of yore, when traffic didn’t exist and patience to receive love letters was a virtue. The bar offerings are more daring in nature, as they experiment on different herbs and alcohol to create a distinct menu. If you’re the bitter type of lover, try Pure Love, but if you’re a whisky lover at heart, The Best Cocktail in the World is right up your alley.

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