restaurants in Metro Manila

Manila’s The Back Room, Oto among Asia’s 100 top bars

Manila’s The Back Room, Oto among Asia’s 100 top bars

Photos from Instagram pages

Buccaneer's Rum and Cocktails also makes it to the prestigious list for 2021

Three Metro Manila bars – The Back Room, Oto, and Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails – are are among Asia’s 100 best bars of 2021, according to the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy.

The Back Room, Oto, and Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails ranked at 51, 61, and 100, respectively.

The academy will release the top 50 bars list on May 6, 2021.

The Back Room, which ranked 45th last year, offers 20 types of curated cocktails from spirits that are made in-house at a hidden laboratory.

Oto, a bar that serves coffee concoctions and cocktails, is owned by David Ong. He wanted the concept to focus on music, creating a modern space designed for an optimum listening experience. The bar also takes its name from the Japanese word for sound.

Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails follows a sailor theme and resembles a docked ship. It features a 120-seater space that is peppered with wood, rope ladders, barrels, and a heavy anchor. The bar also has a unique cocktail program.

The top 51-100 list, which was released on Thursday, April 29, was led by Manila’s The Back Room along with Asia Today and Thaipioka from Bangkok, Thailand; The Old Man from Hong Kong; and Draft Land from Taipei, Taiwan.

Bars from Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Nara, Seoul, Shanghai, and Singapore were also part of the list.

Japan has dominated the list so far, with 14 bars featured, while Singapore and Thailand both bagged 6 spots. 

Sri Lanka made its first appearance on the list this year, with Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar in Colombo at the 73rd spot and Smoke & Bitters in Hiriketiya at number 91. Vietnam also made it to the list for the first time, bagging 3 entries: Ne Cocktail Bar, Summer Experiment, and Hybrid placed  at 76, 77, and 96th, respectively.

Mancino Bartenders’ Bartender Awardee Bannie Kang also received an accolade for her bar, Mu, which placed at 90. 

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy decided to release the latter half of the list for the first time because “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,” Mark Sansom, Content Editor for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, said in a statement.

“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,” he added. 

Three Filipino restaurants made it to Asia’s Best Restaurants list this year – Antonio’s Tagaytay, Gallery by Chele, and Toyo Eatery, which ranked at 84, 90, and 49, respectively. – with reports from Aloe Ynion/

Aloe Ynion is a Rappler intern.