Covid-19 has changed a lot over the last few years and Palawan and El Nido are no different. But, with things getting a bit more back to normal, just how are things and how is the El Nido nightlife in 2023? Overall pretty good…
What the El Nido?
El Nido was the unknown gem of island hopping in the Philippines, taking over from Coron in the south of the island. Palawan itself is also regularly voted the “best island in the world”.
Things though have changed a lot over the last ten years though and El Nido more resembles Boracay than Bougainville.
That does not though mean it is no good and it is still well worth the 5 hour drive from Puerto Princessa.
The El Nido Nightlife
So, technical ly El Nido is huge and there are hotels and resorts everywhere, but in reality everything you need, or is worth doing is on the main street of El Nido, which is pedestrianized. If you cannot find here you really have bigger issues, but it is basically where all the island hopping goes from.
This street is also key to the main bars, clubs and of course restaurants that make up the nightlife of El Nido.
We will cover the best food of El Nido, including El Nido street food in other articles, but for now we will concentrate on getting your drink on.
5 Best bars in El Nido
This is obviously a bit subjective, but I have also done my research here too! Many bars have gone since before the pandemic, while others have jumped up, but overall the scene is still pretty good for El Nido nightlife.
A frieze favorite and one that has weathered the storm is Template, which is over 8 years old. More a restaurant than a bar, but they know how to make a drink and it is worth a pre-gamer before you hit El Nido town.
Another key survivor is Odessa Kitchen, which you guessed it is Ukrainian. They not only make their own beers here, but also offer the key snacks that are needed to know back shots of vodka.
Amigos Bar I did not actually venture into as the crowd looked far too young and cool, but in fairness it has not only been busy every night, but also pumping until the wee small hours.
Bundatan Restaurant probably should not be on here for drinks as I honestly had the worst Bloody Mary of my life here – although they do have great food. What gets them onto this list is that they are cheap, on the beach and the cocktails are strong as living hell.
And the best bar in El Nido?
For us at least the epicenter of El Nido nightlife is the newly opened Calamari Bar, which apparently also serves food, although we never saw anyone eating. It does though have great staff, string rum and cokes, a great open faced bar to watch the world go by and karaoke.
Said karaoke is on the second floor and is very much open to the masses, but this only adds to the charm.
Is the El Nido nightlife still worth punt?
Again whilst the prices have one up, there’s more liter and annoying hawkers, this does not change the fact that Palawan is paradise. And the El Nido nightlife provides what you’d except from an island locale.
Do though keep in mind that it will probably not be all that long until McDonalds make it to the main street and everything is dominated by resorts.
Now is the time to look for the next unknown gem in Palawan.