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The Best Bar in the World

Updated on March 3, 2012

The Best Bar in the World. Easy enough to say, easy enough to write but at the end of the day it is always going to be a personal opinion. Then again not everybody has been to every bar everywhere so no-one is going to be any more of an authority on the subject than the next person. I have though been in a few, well more than a few actually, and the LA Cafe in Malate, Manila in the Philippines comes out tops for me every time.

I have taken other people to the L.A. Cafe, both male and female and not one of them has not enjoyed themselves. It may take a couple of drinks to overcome shyness, hangups and awe but once the hurdle has been leaped they have a whale of a time. Some European and American women I have taken there have declared that they had the best night of their lives.

One Filipina girlfriend I took there a few times so much enjoyed herself that she took her European fiancé there when he next visited the Philippines.

The L.A. Cafe actually describes itself as 'The Best Bar on the Planet' and not without reason. I was completely unaware of this description before I had made up my own mind that this was the case.

This extremely popular venue is open 24 hours a day which is great because once you pass through the doors you lose all track of time. Food is available at all times and though it is 'American Diner' type fare it is tasty, well cooked and reasonably priced. There is a good range of drinks, excellent waitress service and an atmosphere that could not be equalled anywhere. There are pool tables too.

The L.A. Cafe is well known in Manila and has regular visits by famous personalities. You never know who might see, though some perhaps would prefer not to be seen.

After nine in the evening there is live music and and dancing upstairs at a small charge. The live bands are always worth a look. Some are better than excellent and none are worse than very good. At times there are competitions. These do range from the sublime to the ridiculous but are always enjoyable.

Photo by:
Photo by:

My first visit to the L. A. Cafe was more by accident than design. I had lost a 'friend' and someone told me she was working there. I went along in the early evening. Outside there were a couple of security personnel checking bags.

I passed through the door into the dimly lit bar to be met by around a hundred pairs of eyes. Beautiful eyes in beautiful faces. It was something of a surprise but I walked slowly through the cafe peering as unobviously as possible into each face, sometimes met with a stare, at times a smile or a twitch of the lips and an odd 'hello'. I did not find my friend. I learned later that the LA Cafe is also a 'Pick Up Bar' where girls from all over the huge city of Manila will go in the hope of meeting a 'Mr.Right' or just having a good time. These girls are independent. Some are regular visitors and others not.

From that day on I became a regular customer of this remarkable bar and rarely returned 'home' before four or five in the morning. I cannot recall an evening that I did not have a good time.

Some of the Girls

Being an avid 'People Watcher' this place is a great place of study. It is not somewhere you can be alone so if that is what you are after then forget about a visit. I made a lot of friends there and had a lot of fun. One visit is definitely not enough.

It is extemely popular with visitors to the Philippines and especially with single or straying men but really everyone is catered for. I highly advise the L.A. Cafe as a 'must visit' to anyone on a short or long stopover in Manila. It is not difficult to find. Just get to Malate and ask. Everyone knows where it is.

A New Name

The LA Cafe closed down briefly but reopened once again. It is now:


Still as good as before....perhaps better if that were possible.


Submit a Comment

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks Tony - I keep finding them. They keep me happy.

  • profile image

    tonyduxburyuk 6 years ago from Rotherham, south yorkshire, england

    You should really write a tour guide for south-east asia,you know all the most interesting places! Tony

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

    It has been a year or so since I was last in Manila and am unsure if the place has reopened. I do hope it has. You are right it is very laid back. Great music and a ton of fun.

  • Mentalist acer profile image

    Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

    The L.A. sounds like it has a laid back atmosphere and popular with the locals which makes this place appealing.;)

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

    TheDudest - Thanks for the comment, it is appreciated but I would have had to censor some. Pity if the LA Cafe has beeb permamently closed. It has been closed a number of times but always opens agai, You can't keep a good thing down forever.

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks MartyWare - When you get a chance stumble into this one. You will make friends.

  • MartyWare profile image

    MartyWare 7 years ago from New South Wales Australia

    Hi Peter

    I lived in Asia for 4 years and stumbled into many different bars.

    I would have to say my favorite ones are where I made friends.

    Have a great day!

    Marty Ware

    The SEO DAD & The creator of the Hubpages Tribe

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    Thank you Basim. I love my life too though it is very tough at times.

  • Basim ANSARI profile image

    Basim ANSARI 8 years ago from K.S.A

    peter you travel a lot love your life

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks Russell. The LA Cafe is International though a favourite with visitors. The Gin is likely but sadly, no piano. Give it a go would not regret a visit.

  • Russell-D profile image

    Russell-D 8 years ago from Southern Ca.

    I haven't a favorite bar, Peter, but in my travels, I always go where the locals go. Starting with the lunch crowd. If the bar draws a lunch crowd, that's a good start. If after work it's croweded again, I sit in a far corner watching the interaction of customers to each other, to the bartender and he or she to them. The best ones to me are where people go to be themselves. I can name a few in each country I'd go back to in a minute. My one must is they have Tanqueray Gin. Even better the plus of a two handed piano player. David Russell

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    seemorebangkok - Thanks for visiting. Next time you get to Manila escape from Makati and get across to Ermita and Malate. LA Cafe on del Pilar street has got to be a definite. Gpoint is a short walk away. That's worth a look. There are other good bars in the area but mostly a let down after there. I like sitting along Adriatico Street. KoKo's nest was brilliant but it has now changed names and hands but the venue is still there.

    Amazonia is another worth visiting but there are loads of little places round about. All good fun.

  • seemorebangkok profile image

    seemorebangkok 8 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

    Hey Peter, I've been to the Phils a few times very briefly. Next time around I'll definitely swing by and check out this bar. It sure sounds like a great place to kick back and relax with a nice cold beer. Thanks for sharing, definitely my kind of place!

    Any other recommendations for bars around there? I've only been to JJ's and Street Life in Manila and I've really enjoyed those bars.

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks Lizzy - maybe you will visit one day. Glad you commented. I was getting worried about you not having seen anything new from you in a while. Take Care.

  • LizzyBoo profile image

    LizzyBoo 8 years ago from Czech Republic

    I love your travel hubs. Well done Peter and thank you for talking about places I would never be able to visite. Lizzy