Can't stand bad service or weirdly loud music at a lounge bar? These are the best bars in Hong Kong to be merry at.
Hong Kong is known for its fine dining restaurants and rooftop bars, but above all, we like to drink at bars that make us happy, even when it’s not inside designated happy hours. So if you’re looking for good music, good service, and good pours, we think these are the best bars in Hong Kong (in no particular order). Cheers!
Best bars in Hong Kong that you need to check out
1. The Pontiac
If you are looking for great music, a fun crowd, and occasional dancing on the bar (yep, actually on top of the bar!), The Pontiac is where you need to be. LGBTQ-friendly, it’s a tiny venue with a whole lot of heart. Recognised as one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars for seven years in a row now, this rock ‘n’ roll dive bar is a firm favourite in this city. Having just launched its new “Now That’s Ponty” cocktail menu in November 2022, you’ve got to pay a visit to try the 13 fresh creations, including the 1*3*O*B “It’s Where We Stand” (psst – take a look at the bar’s address and you’ll get a sense of what this cocktail stands for!); the Demolition Derby, our new favourite; and Best Served Bold. Don’t miss out on the classics here either, among which we strongly recommend the iconic Hobnail.
Find out more about the best gay bars in Hong Kong and read our full story on The Pontiac.
The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey Street, SoHo, Hong Kong, p. 2521 3855, 中環蘇豪奧卑利街13號地舖
2. Terrible Baby
Hanging out in Jordan or Yau Ma Tei and want to find a cool bar that serves mean drinks and appreciates good music? Terrible Baby has your name written all over it. Head up to the fourth floor of Eaton HK and immerse yourself in vintage feels, spend some time on the terrace, or catch the live music. Terrible Baby is anything but terrible, if you ask us!
Terrible Baby, 4/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, p. 2710 1866, 佐敦彌敦道380號香港逸東酒店4樓
Perfect for both day-drinking brunch lovers and late-night party-goers, Candour offers an unbeatable combination of hip-hop culture and luxury, which also inspires the cocktail selection of the bar. Green Light sees the herbal notes of tarragon chartreuse complemented by Tanqueray gin, fresh juices from sugar snap pea, honeydew, and lime, making it a sophisticated yet extremely sippable drink. Coast to Coast, on the other hand, is less subtle and unabashedly tropical; the combination of coconut oil-washed ABA Pisco, falernum, pineapple stock, lime, and a dash of nutmeg gives the cocktail a smooth, robust body with a tinge of sweetness to transport you beyond the islands of your mind.
Candour, 65 Peel Street, SoHo, Hong Kong, p. 2362 8100, 中環蘇豪卑利街65號
COA isn’t only the best bar in Hong Kong – it’s the best in Asia! Don’t believe us? Well, Asia’s 50 Best Bars is the one to say so – and we’d say yes to that. Founded by industry veteran Jay Khan, COA is a down-to-earth, Mexican-inspired bar with a focus on small batched agave spirits. Among its artisanal cocktails, our go-to is the vibrant Pepper Smash – a classic made with tequila blanco, yellow bell pepper, jalapeño, shiso liqueur, and other ingredients. Even non-pepper fans would like this, trust us!
COA, Shop A, LG/F, Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2813 5787, 中環善慶街6-10號華善樓地下A舖
5. Tell Camellia
Cosily tucked away in an alley, Tell Camellia offers respite from the buzzing Central. Even better, this bar serves some of Hong Kong’s best tea-based cocktails! The bar’s co-founder, Gagan Gurung, has revamped the bar’s cocktail menu in November 2022 to highlight the “Farm to Glass” concept, using locally grown basil, marigold leaf, and other local produce from Au Lau Farm in Kam Tin, right here in the 852. Try new offerings such as Bitter Tweet – a drink reminiscent of the traditional milk tea, but without any milk at all(!); Darjeeling Sour – a gin-based concoction made with green apple, spice, locally sourced basil, and re-distilled darjeeling; and Matcha Milk Punch, which is crafted with matcha, melon, coconut, oyster, tropical fruits, and rum.
Tell Camellia, LG/F, The Steps ‧ H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 5686 8979, 中環砵甸乍街45號 The Steps ‧ H Code LG樓
6. Ping Pong 129 Gintoneria
Speakeasies are known for their secretive entrances, and Ping Pong 129 is no different. But it isn’t exactly the best kept secret, as it may be one of the coolest bars in Hong Kong with its urban chic interiors and edgy vibes. Strike a pose next to the hip neon lights and contemporary Chinese art – not before ordering a large glass of gin and tonic, of course. While the drinks aren’t the most economical here, the atmosphere itself will be worth a trip here.
Ping Pong 129 Gintoneria, Nam Cheong House, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, p. 9158 1584, 西環西營盤第二街129號南昌樓
7. The Old Man
Hidden away from the busy streets of the city but still in Central, The Old Man is the place to unwind. Offering a selection of perfectly crafted cocktails, along with impeccable service and great tunes, you’ll be able to relax in an interior that pays homage to Ernest Hemingway, with vintage finishes and colourways.
The Old Man, G/F, 37 Aberdeen Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2703 1899, 中環蘇豪鴨巴甸街37號地舖
8. Tai Lung Fung
Located on a quiet street near the Blue House in Wan Chai, Tai Lung Fung serves a selection of beers and cocktails against a retro Hong Kong background. These guys are decked out in funky Cantonese design, and there’s even occasionally a parrot wandering around. It’s always a good time without the pretence at TLF.
Tai Lung Fung, 5 Hing Wan Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, p. 2572 0055, 灣仔慶雲街5號大龍鳳
One of our favourite live music venues, Foxglove keeps it classy with live jazz, phenomenal cocktails, and interior design that will make you swoon. From casual dim sum dinners, to romantic dates, to loud nights out with friends, this bar just gets better and better as the night progresses.
Foxglove, 2/F, Printing House, 18 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2116 8949, 中環雪廠街18號印刷行2樓
10. Lobster Bar & Grill, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
There’s a reason why the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spent their first night in the big smoke at Lobster Bar & Grill. Actually, there are three: firstly, this gorgeous location is housed inside the five-star Island Shangri-La, and has been consistently named one of the best bars in Asia by numerous publications because of its exceptional cocktails, selection of spirits, and world class service. Secondly, if you’re actually staying at the hotel, it’s an easy commute (or stumble) back to your room. And thirdly, how can we ignore the stunning aquariums in the walls?!
Read our full review of Lobster Bar & Grill.
Lobster Bar & Grill, Island Shangri-La, Level 6, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2820 8560 , 金鐘金鐘道88號太古廣場二座港島香格里拉酒店6樓龍蝦吧餐廳
11. Bobby’s Rabble
When it comes to finding the best bars in Hong Kong, Bobby’s Rabble is the place to be! Casual, chill, cocktails, beers, wines, Motown, hip hop… What more can we ask for? Oh, yes – free shots, stitch and bitch sessions, and cheap drinks for non-drinkers – an evening out can’t get better than this, really.
Bobby’s Rabble, 46 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 9165 6144, 中環雲咸街46號
12. Geronimo Shot Bar
Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots! Everyone has a Geronimo’s story, and that’s why we love this shot bar in the heart of LKF. The Long Island Iced Teas are strong, the music is loud, and you never know what’s going to happen in the wee small hours when they bang the gong. If you don’t agree that this is one of the best bars in Hong Kong, it’s probably just because you haven’t drunk enough yet. 😉
Geronimo Shot Bar, 2/F, Winner Building, 27-39 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2833 9951, 中環蘭桂坊德己立街27-39號榮華大廈2樓
13. Le Boudoir
French owner Benoit and his team deliver some of the best service in Hong Kong at Boudoir. The bar regularly hosts parties and DJ nights, and its relaxed atmosphere is only beaten by its snazzy glow-in-the-dark art installation. Vintage European vibes with a modern cocktail selection – it can’t go wrong here.
Le Boudoir, B/F, 65 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2530 3870, 中環雲咸街65號地庫
14. Red Sugar
If you’re looking for a change of scenery from the Island side, Red Sugar across the harbour will be your new nook. Come for the craft beers, the extensive wine selection, the oak barrel-aged cocktails, and the innovative bar snacks, but stay for the views! The outdoor terrace offers ample seating for you to get the party started (without blaring loud music). The bar is classy, sophisticated, and modern, but the drinks contrast with the setting, paying homage to the old, industrial Hong Kong. You’ll love the nostalgic art featured on the menu and you’ll be sure to find a drink that best suits you.
Red Sugar, 7/F, Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, p. 2252 5281, 紅磡灣紅鸞道38號香港嘉里酒店7樓
Great for private parties and after-work drinks, AKJ is one of the newest speakeasies in Lan Kwai Fong. A, K, and J are all initials of the bar owners and they’ve playfully added suits (Ace, King, Jack) to their name – still looking for their Queen! Expect quality beers, cocktails, and shisha whilst unwinding at this low-key bar.
AKJ, Wai Lan House, 12 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, 中環蘭桂坊12號惠蘭樓拾
208 Duecento Otto (permanently closed)
In the heart of Sheung Wan, the service at 208 Duecento Otto is always on point, and these guys know how to make you feel special. Their happy hour is great, and the selection of booze means you can always try something new. Add in the music and the badass design, and this is one of our favourite places to throw some back in the city.
208 Duecento Otto, 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, p 2549 0208, 上環荷李活道208號地舖