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The Industry 3 Philippine Bars Make It To Asia's 50 Best First 51-100 List: Back Room, OTO, Bucaneers

3 Philippine Bars Make It To Asia's 50 Best First 51-100 List: Back Room, OTO, Bucaneers

3 Philippine Bars Make It To Asia's 50 Best First 51-100 List: Back Room, OTO, Bucaneers
By Isabel Martel Francisco
By Isabel Martel Francisco
April 30, 2021
Asia’s 50 Best Bars just released their first-ever listing of the top bars which have ranked 51-100 in the region. Of these, three are from the Philippines!

Asia’s 50 Best Bars' inaugural list of bars ranked 51-100 includes hotspots from 22 cities in 12 countries around Asia. Find out which of your go-to bars and favourite cities have claimed spots and made their mark in the region. This year, Japan takes the lead with 14 bars from five cities on the list. Next up, you will notice Singapore and Thailand making their presence felt with six bars each. China and Korea are tied with five entries each while new trending locations like Sri Lanka and Vietnam have two and three bars on the list, respectively.

The ranking of 51-100 is created from the same overall Asia’s 50 Best Bars voting process and is an initiative from the brand to celebrate a greater number of hospitality establishments trying their best to cope with the effects of the ongoing pandemic.  

Mark Sansom, content editor for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says: “The last year has been devastating for hospitality and it is vital that we support as many businesses as possible at part of their recovery. In a historic first for Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards programme, the extended ranking is designed to shine the spotlight on more bars than ever before. As guests begin planning their next bar experiences, this extended list will provide double the choice of exceptional, expert-approved drinking destinations for the months and years ahead.”

No. 51 – The Back Room

A speakeasy hidden within the walls of premier hotel Shangri-La At The Fort, Manila, Back Room has impressed Filipinos and travellers from around the globe with its posh interiors and impeccable service. Relive the decadent days of the 1920s via The Back Room, which brings back a Prohibition vibe and where innovative tipples steal the spotlight.

Upon entering you will notice dark wood, black marble interiors, forest green leather panels, plush seating, and a beautifully lit bar. Not only do they serve a wide variety of cocktails made by their expert bartenders, but The Back Room also whips up incredible bar chow! On top of that, they even have their own gin lab where the hotel makes their Bees Knees brand.

Read more: Amanpulo Farm Gin Is A New Must-Try Tropical Philippine Spirit


The talented team behind Oto, one of the Metro’s most frequented nightlife spots, originally wanted to create a simple, laid-back listening room. It wasn't meant to be an in-demand bar or a nightlife hotspot where people could dance; instead, it was envisioned as a hang-out for cocktail lovers to enjoy top-notch libations and comfort food.

However—since the partners were so keen on having a stellar sound system—naturally, Manila’s DJs and music lovers flocked to the spot. Now, Oto is not only a go-to for cocktails but for specialty coffee too.

Co-Founder David Ong says: “This year has been so tough for everyone, no doubt... But I feel like nightlife and the food & beverage industry has been hit with an extra set of challenges. Knowing that our peers still deem us relevant in Asia’s 50 Best’s first ever 51-100 list is truly an honour, and we’re so grateful for the privilege. We feel blessed, but importantly inspired and motivated to keep the ball rolling for as long as we can! Hopefully, our nation heals sooner than later and we can serve people again. After all, our best days have yet to come.”

Read more: How Did Vito's BBQ Open Their First Restaurant During The Pandemic?

Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails

Poblacion’s rum bar seals their spot at 100! Be transported into an old Caribbean ship with aged wooden interiors at Buccaneers. At the helm is Captain Buccaneer, Ulysse Jouanneaud, resident mixology expert. Part of the team is Dr Wine’s Vincent Landais and Apotheke Craft Spirits Co’s Simon Côté. With a focus on rum, you are in for quite the experience but fret not for you can find cocktails with other spirits too, of course.

"It’s such an honour to be part of the Asia 100 best bars, the team and I are proud and fulfilled for this great achievement. We would like to thank all our guests and partners who supported us and believed in us since the beginning, we would never be here without them," shares Ulysee. 

Read more: 7 Summer Cocktail Recipes From Top Bars In The Philippines


51. The Back Room, Manila, Philippines

52. Asia Today, Bangkok, Thailand

53. Thaipioka, Bangkok, Thailand

54. The Old Man, Hong Kong, China

55. Draft Land, Taipei, Taiwan

56. Ishinohana, Tokyo, Japan

57.Bar Landscape, Tokyo, Japan

58. Coley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

59. Hoots’, New Delhi, India

60. Mixology Heritage, Tokyo, Japan

61. Oto, Manila, Philippines

62. Lamp, Nara, Japan

63. Pussyfoot Saloon, Seoul, South Korea

64. Epic, Shanghai, China

65. 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China

66. Gibson, Singapore

67. Rabbit Hole, Bangkok, Thailand

68. Shady Acres, Hong Kong, China

69. The Bellwood, Tokyo, Japan

70. Employees Only, Singapore

71. Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, Singapore

72. Bar Orchard Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

73. BotanikRooftop Bistro & Bar, Colombo, Sri Lanka

74. Wishbone, Semarang, Indonesia

75. Live Twice, Singapore

76. Ne Cocktail Bar, Hanoi, Vietnam

77. Summer Experiment, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

78. Pahit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

79. The Other Room, Singapore

80. Bar Rocking Chair, Kyoto, Japan

81. 008 Bar, Bangkok, Thailand

82. Junior The Pocket Bar, Singapore

83. A/A Bar, Jakarta, Indonesia,

84. Liquid Factory, Tokyo, Japan

85. Sugar Ray You’ve Just Been Poisoned, Bangkok, Thailand

86. Mixology Bar, Seoul, South Korea

87. Mixology Salon, Tokyo Japan

88. Tender, Tokyo, Japan

89. Soko, Seoul, South Korea

90. Mu:, Taipei, Taiwan

91. Smoke & Bitters, Hiriketiya, Sri Lannka

92. Southside Parlor, Seoul, South Korea

93. Smalls, Bangkok, Thailand

94. Ark Lounge (Aomori, Japan) & Bar D (Kanagawa, Japan)

96. Hybrid, Nha Trang, Vietnam

97. Pine & Co, Seoul South Korea

98. Memento Mori, Tokyo, Japan

99. Gen Yamamoto, Tokyo, Japan

100. Goa Nights (Macau, China) & Buccaneers Rum & Cocktail (Manila Philippines) 

Read more: Entrepreneur Mons Romulo Shares Her Top Takeout Picks


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