For those of you who live down south, you might be looking for places where you and your friends can hang out, or new places to take the family. You no longer have to brave the traffic to head up to Makati or BGC, or God forbid, QC. Molito, a sprawling commercial complex, is filled with exciting new places and old reliables where you can eat and drink. It’s very relaxing here, there’s a nice breeze, soft music playing from speakers on the lawn, a nice view of the sunset (which you definitely don’t get in the skyscraper-congested parts of the Metro). Molito Alabang has something for everyone. And maybe after reading this list, those of us who live up north might be compelled to make a trip to Alabang. Think of it as destination drinking and dining.

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1. Mr. Park’s
  • Operating hours: 24 hours
  • Cuisine: Baked goods, Desserts
  • Other Branches: Aguirre BF, Ortigas, soon to open in Gilmore and Greenhills
  • Tip: Pastries are 30% off from 10 p.m. – midnight

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Mr. Park’s Bread and Cake, named after the head baker of this 24-hour café, is great for groups who want to have some dessert and coffee after a meal or just to catch up. The amply lit surroundings and available outlets are also conducive to all-night study sessions or meetings; you can get your Korean coffee fix, or sample their fruit teas (hot or cold), Dilmah and Traditional Medicine Tea. Apart from breads and pastries, they also have sandwiches, pasta, and soup in bread bowls.

DrinkManila recommendations: Try Mr. Park’s Sweet Potato Latte. This comforting drink that you can have either hot or cold is kind of like almond milk but creamier. It tastes like something familiar that you can’t quite put your finger on, like something from your childhood you can no longer remember. Since the weather is finally getting cooler, this will warm you up during those cool nights. Get it while you can, because this drink is only available for a limited time only. For those who can’t get enough of sweet potatoes, try their sweet potato cake.

Sweet Potato Latte and sweet potato cake
Hot Sweet Potato Latte and sweet potato cake
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Sweet potato cake and Iced Sweet Potato Latte
Sweet Potato cake
Sweet Potato cake

For the health-conscious, try out their natural juices. Fresh fruit and vegetables are juiced on site and you can mix and match which ones you want.

Carrot Juice
Carrot Juice

2. The Perfect Pint
  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily
  • Cuisine: Filipino, Spanish, Italian, bar chow
  • Other Branches: BGC
  • Tip: They have a portable bar that you can rent for parties. You can choose which of their brews you’d like to have on tap for those events.

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This is the place to get some craft beer education. They recently added two new brews to their arsenal: Evolve Haze Craze (released on Oct. 21) and Halloween Pumpkin Porter (released on Oct. 28). They brew (using grains imported from Germany and Australia) their 10 craft beers here and deliver to their BGC branch. Owner and Master Brewer Mr. Alec Tempongko makes sure that there is a wide variety of beers to expand the knowledge and palate of Filipinos. It’s beer overload here; apart from their own brews on tap, they have guest brews on tap and bottled craft beers as well. It might seem intimidating, but they make the experience as fun as possible. It starts with finding out what you’re feeling. The placemats have a cool flowchart to help point you in the right direction of what type of beer you’d like and the menu not only gives you a description of their brews, but also provides some food pairing suggestions. The mouthwatering food was created by Chef Gene Gonzales. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and more than willing to help you out. It’s great for groups who want a long drinking session over pints (instead of buckets) and good grub. It’s one of those places where you can lose track of time. The beers will make you feel peckish and the food complements the beer—it’s a never-ending cycle of eating and drinking, and before you know it, it’s closing time.

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Brews on tap
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They brew the beers on the second floor
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Local craft beers available in the bar
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The second floor

DrinkManila recommendations: Go for their beer flights—P350 for four kinds of beer, at 100 ml each. Pick and choose or have the staff make suggestions. Just remember to start with the lightest beer first and work your way to the darkest. Once you’ve decided which one you’d like to continue to drink, you can get a pint (or three).

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Beer flights paired with Stinky Pizza (5 kinds of cheeses)
  • first batch – (left) Black Mamba (stout), Irish Red Ale (easy to drink), 8 Hops, and Dunkel
  • second batch – (right) Holy Grail, Street Smart, Hard Knocks, and Weizen

For those who don’t feel like drinking beer, they have a selection of cocktails crafted by Chef Gene Gonzales as well.

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Love in the Vineyard (grapes, brandy, lemon liqueur, peach syrup, dash of lemon juice, grenadine, dash of simple syrup) – This pretty drink is refreshing, sweet, and delicious.

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Crisp Fresh Bacon paired with beer flight
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DrinkManila’s favorite bar chow and The Perfect Pint’s best seller, Oyster Sea-sig

3. Hermanos Taco Shop
  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Other branches: Gilmore, opening in Tomas Morato in November
  • Tip: They have authentic Tapatio hot sauce from Mexico, which is spicier with different layers of flavor than your regular hot sauce.

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For those hankering for some real Mexican food, head over to Hermanos Taco Shop. Their menu, created by Mexican chef Rene Rodriguez, boasts big servings and big flavor, definitely great for sharing. They offer local beers plus Corona to wash the food down. Families and barkadas usually flock over during the dinnertime rush to have a hefty meal of burritos, nachos, quesadillas, or tamales. Members of Gold’s Gym nearby also stop by Hermanos to have their dose of protein.

DrinkManila recommendations: Their Mexican Margarita is popular with groups of girls who want to let loose or relax with their friends. It’s straightforward and refreshing. If you want to try something uncommon, try their House Horchata. Homemade by the owner Rosemary Bautista, it’s made of white cinnamon sugar, rice flour, and condensed and powdered milk. It’s then cooked in the restaurant and served cold. This drink is refreshingly sweet and comforting and tempers the spiciness of the food.

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Mexican Margarita
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Margarita’s and nachos
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House Horchata

4. Un Cuenca
  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Cuisine: Spanish-Filipino
  • Other branches: None, but they are opening a teppanyaki and sushi restaurant, Miyazaki, in Molito at the end of the year.
  • Tip: Happy hour is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday; buy one take one on Sangria, Mangria, and Quemada

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Celebrating its first year anniversary in December, Un Cuenca is a quiet spot where you can enjoy Spanish-Filipino dishes and great drinks. The man behind the kitchen is Chef Ariel Manuel, from the famed Lolo Dad’s restaurant in Malate, so you know the food is definitely top notch. They offer a variety of fresh juices and tea for those who don’t want to imbibe. Their wine collection is growing steadily, so ask the staff if they have any new picks. Apart from the food and drinks, they also offer bottled goodies you can take home or give as a gift—try their Salmon Cream Cheese.

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DrinkManila recommendations: Un Cuenca offers flambéed cocktails. They torch spirits on top of cocktails in carafes and drop them into the drinks, which adds a different dimension to them. Enjoy them with pintxos and tapas, or the signature Pugon Lechon if you want to have something more filling.

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  • Classic Sangria – One of the best-kept secrets of Molito, this is one of the best sangrias DrinkManila has tasted. Made with Tempranilla red wine, orange juice, lemon, and chopped fruit, the torched brandy on top adds a caramel flavor not found in your usual sangria.

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  • Citrico Agua de Valencia – Made with cava and vodka with lemon, lime, and orange juice, this citrusy cocktail uses torched vodka for added flavor.

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  • Pinoy Quemada – Usually served hot, this cool cocktail is made of white rum, red wine, fresh lime, and calamansi juice. Coffee candy and cinnamon is mixed with white rum and torched before mixing it with the cocktail. It’s absolutely delicious, and has that Christmas-y taste to it. Perfect for the holidays.

5. Just Thai
  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 10 p.m.
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Other branches: BGC, BF Parañaque
  • Tip: The restaurant just launched its new cocktail menu, which is available in Molito and BGC branches for now.

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Those who crave authentic Thai food can head over to Just Thai. People have been raving about how good their food is. They recently created several Thai-inspired cocktails to cater to those who want to enjoy a little alcohol with their meal. Nam Ta Krai is a lemongrass cocktail with vodka, lime juice, triple sec, grenadine, simple syrup ,and lemongrass that can be paired with their Poh Piah Tod (pork spring rolls). Makhan is a take on the margarita made with tamarind juice, tequila and lime juice; it goes well with the Yum Pla Dook Foo (catfish salad). These cocktails are unconventionally served in several syringes in a bowl of ice; if you’re coming as a group each person can have their own syringe.

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Nam Ta Krai
Pork Spring Rolls
Pork Spring Rolls
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Makhan
Catfish
Catfish

DrinkManila recommendation – After a great meal, you either want to have a drink or some coffee. Why not have both and get Just Thai’s Volcanic Thai Rum Coffee? Made with Thai coffee, rum, chili, and sugar and served cold, this cocktail is invigorating and will satiate coffee drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Paired with Khao Nigow Ma Muang (mango sticky rice), which tempers the spicy kick of chili, this combo is a great way to end a meal.

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6. Brera
  • Operating hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 9 to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
  • Cuisine: Deli
  • Other branches: Yakal, Taguig, soon to open in Greenbelt in February 2017
  • Tip: Check the board by the cashier where they list their drink specials, as they always have something new.

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There are so many things that catch the attention at Brera, you can easily spend an hour there just looking at and sampling their selection of cheeses, deli meats, wines, condiments—the list goes on. For carnivores, they offer a variety of steaks and burgers that they can grill to your liking. You can enjoy a variety of wines to go with your food, and their recent addition of Turkish wine Öküzgözü Eastern Antiqua 2014 (which will soon be available in the stores by the end of the year) will go great with lamb or steak. It has a unique color, almost purple, and is delicate, but not fragile. You and your friends could easily polish off a bottle. They are also offering cocktails, one of which is the tart Sour Cherry Martini (Bombay Sapphire gin, vermouth, sour cherry, garnished with lemon round).

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Sour Cherry Martini
Turkish wine Öküzgözü Eastern Antiqua 2014
Turkish wine Öküzgözü Eastern Antiqua 2014

DrinkManila recommendation – Another cocktail they’ve created is the Pomegranate Negroni. Made with Campari, dry vermouth, Bombay Sapphire gin, and pomegranate syrup, this is a tad sweeter than your usual negroni. A great take on a classic. For those who’d rather have beer than wine or cocktails, they also have Turkish beer Efes Barrel Beer. It’s a smooth beer that goes down easy, and it contains rice, which adds a sweet, smoky flavor. The homemade Limoncello is something everyone should try. Lemon peel is infused in Bombay Sapphire for around 18 months, producing an intensely citrusy and bright spirit that awakens the palate. Have this drink with ice and garnished with apricot and it will feel like you’re in a café in Italy.

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Homemade Limoncello
Pomegranate Negroni
Pomegranate Negroni
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Turkish beer Efes Barrel Beer

7. SOIL Modern Dining
  • Operating hours: 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, 6 p.m. onwards dinner, closed on Monday (for now)
  • Cuisine: European, Modern Filipino
  • Tip: They don’t charge wine corkage for now.

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SOIL is making the rounds of food blogs far and wide, and for good reason. The industrial feel of the interiors is juxtaposed with the farm to table concept, and they somehow complement each other and offer something new to the farm to table restaurant model. Executive Chef Lorenzo Pimentel is the man behind SOIL. Trained in Nobu New York and with Jason Atherton in Singapore, Chef Lorenzo wanted to open a restaurant that focuses on local ingredients. They source their ingredients from various parts of the country and even grow their own microgreens. This also extends to the drinks that they offer. Their Warm Tarragon Tea with Star Anise syrup, Warm Aratilis Tea and Iced Lime Cucumber are some of the beverages guests who are abstaining can enjoy. They also have some local and imported beers. The Spanish beer Estrella Damm Inedit by Feran Adria (the chef from El Bulli) is a beer that you can’t find easily. It has been called a beer wine, and kind of has the Hoegaarden feel to it: light, crisp and smooth.

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Estrella Damm Inedit

DrinkManila recommendation – Chef Lorenzo’s complex and fine-tuned palate is evident in his food, and it also translates to the cocktails that he created. He wants to treat his cocktails like food, and the result is a line of well-balanced cocktails that engage most of your senses. The Orange Absinthe Punch served in a pitcher is perfect to share with your friends. It’s made of Amaro Montenegro, elderflower, absinthe, apricot bitters, orange juice, cinnamon, and rosemary. This drink packs quite a punch and is great to have with the Spiced Broccoli, and Artichokes with Aioli. The Elderflower, made with fennel-infused St. Germaine liquor, gin, rosemary, clear soda, and vanilla syrup (from Madagascar vanilla beans) is a well-made cocktail. It looks good and smells fantastic. It’s very aromatic, with notes of anise, vanilla, and rosemary. Well-balanced, refreshing, and delicious, The Elderflower goes well with the Poached Oysters with Orange Gel and Tempura foam or any other seafood dish, and is something you need to try.

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Orange Absinthe Punch
 The Elderflower
The Elderflower paired with Poached Oysters with Orange Gel and Tempura foam
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Spiced Broccoli, and Artichokes with Aioli

8. Chairman Wang’s
  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 12 midnight
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Tip: For those who want to have something alcoholic, try the local beers and Tsing Tao Beer.

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Going to a Chinese restaurant, you might expect to only find the usual green tea or milk tea drinks. But Chairman Wang’s offers a selection of mocktails for you to enjoy. They decided to make mocktails to break away from the usual drink fare found at Chinese restaurants and to offer a different experience to diners. The China Blossom (Cherry Blossom tea, chrysanthemum flower, grapes, pomelo, honey, mint leaves) is like sweet red iced tea and the Fruit Tea Sangria (Strawberry tea, mango juice, orange juice, soda water, oranges, grapes, mint leaves) is fruity and flavorful. Kids will enjoy these two drinks.

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Wang’s Fruit Tea Sangria, China Blossom, and Shanghai Lily

DrinkManila recommendations: The Shanghai Lady (Chrysanthemum tea, mango juice, soda water, lychee, pomelo, honey, mint leaves) is something that adults can really enjoy. The flavors are more complex and layered and it’s delicious. You won’t even mind that there’s no alcohol in it. The Ba Bao Cha or 8 Treasures is quite an interesting drink. Made with Goji berries, longgan, lychee, Chinese red dates, Hawthorne berries, rock sugar, jasmine tea, and green tea, and served hot, this tea has a healthy and creamy taste. It gets sweeter the longer it’s steeped, so ask for the rock sugar on the side if you don’t like your teas sweet.

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8 Treasures

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9. Real Food
  • Operating hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Cuisine: Grocery
  • Tip: They have organic botanicals and spices you can infuse your spirits with.

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There are a lot of great local healthy products out there. If you’re looking for a store that carries a multitude of local wholesome brands, you’re in luck, because you can find what you’re looking for in Real Food. Your neighborhood one-stop healthy food shop has gathered the best that local organic producers have to offer (their stuff is 95% local). They have local organic produce, frozen food, snacks, supplements, dairy products—anything you need to stock your pantry and fridge.

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Wild Honey

DrinkManila recommendations – Kombucha is good for cleansing and for general gut health. This probiotic drink is fermented so there is a tiny amount of alcohol in it, but it’s touted for its health benefits. Real Food has three different kombucha consigners that you can choose from: Booch, Starr’s Brew, and Roy Royce Kombucha. Another beverage that is gaining popularity is Ginger Beer. They have three variants of TBGB Ginger Beer from the EDSA Beverage Design Group: Original, Turon, and Anise. If you can’t stay away from the sauce, Real Food also carries organic local and imported liquor. For local brands, they have the organic coconut vodka VuQo and Federico’s Island Organic Wine from Negros Occidental (Pinapple, Bignay, and Duhat).

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Kombucha
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TBGB Ginger Beer
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Imported Organic Wines
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Imported Organic Wines
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Local Organic Wines
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Loi Alitea
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Basic Juicery juices
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Organic herbs and spices

10. Cravings
  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Sunday
  • Cuisine: Continental, Desserts
  • Other branches: Katipunan, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Salcedo Village
  • Tip: The Coffee drink list isn’t listed on their menu yet, so be sure to ask your server about it.

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Cravings has been around for quite some time now. Having been around for over 25 years, they have consistently delivered good food and great service. Cravings is also known for their frequent unlimited cakes promotion, which people with a sweet tooth are known to watch out for. Their Chocolate Caramel, Dulce de Leche, and Dark Belgian Cheesecake are the sought after cakes you can try among their extensive cake menu. What goes with cakes better than coffee? Cravings partnered with Phillip di Bella of Di Bella Coffee to offer diners a unique coffee experience. Di Bella Coffee from Brisbane can be found exclusively at Cravings. After a day and/or night of feasting, it’s good to have a cup of fine coffee.

DrinkManila Recommendations: To be able to taste the quality of the coffee beans, it’s best to have your coffee black. The Americano is straightforward and lets the coffee bean shine. It’s full-bodied but not bitter or acidic, with hints of hazelnut. For those who like a little something extra in their coffee, the Café Latte and Café Mocha are creamy and delicious. They’ve also started offering Kombucha, which they make in house but theirs is a much sweeter take compared to other brands.

Kombucha
Kombucha
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Americano
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Café Latte
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Café Mocha

Molito Alabang is located at Madrigal Ave Corner Commerce Avenue, Alabang. 

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