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Raise a glass to Asia’s Best Bars in Hong Kong

TimeOut HK
  • Written by TimeOut HK
The vibrant and diverse bar scene in Hong Kong sees the city on top of Asia’s 50 Best Bars list

The annual list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars showcases the best and most innovative cocktail bars in the region, and in 2022, Hong Kong once again nabbed the top spot. Popular bar COA in Central came first on the list two years in a row while several others were also included, marking the city’s bar scene as one of the best in Asia. Compiled from the votes of more than 200 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and consultants, writers and cocktail specialists from across the region, the list honours eight local bars. Here they are, and here’s what you need to know. 

COA in Central came first on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for the second time in 2022

No.1 — COA

COA in Central is the second bar to win the first spot on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list two years in a row. Founded by agave spirits expert Jay Khan, the Oaxaca-inspired bar offers refreshing and thoughtfully-created cocktails that highlight COA’s extensive agave spirits collection, including raicilla, sotol, mezcal, and tequila. Mixologists at COA are known for making creative drinks from their collection of more than 200 different tequilas. Guests who want to deep dive into the world of Mexican spirits can consider this as the best place to visit in the city.

Argo is situated inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Central

No.3 — Argo

The Argo bar located inside the Four Seasons Hotel took third place on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. Named after the Argo, a ship in Greek mythology, the bar promises its guests a taste of the future with an AI-produced gin and molecular-aged whisky. One interesting cocktail is the Skynet Old Fashioned, a molecular whisky cocktail made from miso caramel, coconut shells, and olive oil. Another fun drink is the welcome champagne — be sure to check the bottom of your glass for a cute gummy bear! 

Cocktails from DarkSide exhibit a mysterious yet elegant charm

No.13 — DarkSide 

DarkSide is the only bar in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Asia’s Best Bar list. Rising to number 13 in 2022, the flagship bar in Rosewood Hong Kong is one of the best in Kowloon. Helmed by talented mixologist Arkadiusz Rybak and Director of Bars Simone Rossi, DarkSide serves classic cocktails with self-sourced cognac and port wine, bringing guests the most original notes and fragrances from the barrel. 

Quinary’s signature cocktail, Earl Grey Caviar Martini, looks fantastic with an airy foam

No. 16 — Quinary

Quinary has been on top of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list since it first appeared in 2017. Owned by renowned local mixologist Antonio Lai, the Central bar leaped to number 16 in 2022. Lai is known for creating multisensory experiences with molecular mixology — expect a lot of exciting tipples that usually involve a rotating glass, smoke-filled edible bubbles or popping candy. Earl Grey Caviar Martini, their signature cocktail made from Cointreau, vodka mandarin and elderflower syrup, is a must-try. 

Penicillin is Hong Kong’s first zero-waste bar

No. 22 — Penicillin

Hong Kong’s first zero-waste bar, Penicillin, is the brainchild of Agung Prabowo, his wife Laura and partners Roman and Katy Ghale. The accolade-heavy bar team has been making noise in the region and ranked 22 on the 2022 Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. The bar prides itself on pushing toward a sustainable and closed-loop model of production, aiming at alleviating waste by recycling and upcycling. They’ve also launched the ‘One Penicillin One Tree’ project, where they make donations to plant a tree in the endangered Kalimantan rainforest in Borneo, Indonesia, for every purchase of a particular cocktail. That means guests too can contribute to the environment simply by having a relaxing time. 

Handcraft cocktails and a carefully selected song list are how The Pontiac attracts loyal patrons

No. 33 — The Pontiac

Since opening in 2015, American-style dive bar The Pontiac has attracted a legion of loyal patrons and has also appeared on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for consecutive years. The grunge aesthetic and lively atmosphere make this spot on Old Bailey Street one of the best venues to go to for a night of rock ‘n’ roll revelry. The all-female crew at the bar handcraft perfect cocktails and show you a different side of the bar scene. 

The Wise King is a cosy hangout hidden in Central

No. 34 — The Wise King

Hidden in an alleyway on Staunton Street, The Wise King is inspired by the Spanish ruler Alfonso X of Castile, who is famous for being a scholar, a patron of the arts and the king who ‘invented’ tapas. The intimate lounge offers refreshing and spirit-forward drinks designed by head mixologist and co-founder Sandeep Kumar. It’s also a great hangout place for people who wish to blow off steam after work. 

There’s nothing like The Aubrey for those who need a bar with views and a good décor

No. 38 — The Aubrey

A new addition to the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2022 was The Aubrey at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The rooftop bar not only offers mesmerising views of Victoria Harbour, but also a sense of nostalgia completed by the vintage furniture, quirky decorations and beautiful lamps. Apart from a wide selection of Japanese wine, it is also famous for cocktails created from Japanese whiskies, awamori and shochu. Some recommendations include the Queen’s Gimlet, made from Roku Gin, chamomile, cardamom and citrus; and Banana & Champagne, made from sweet potato shochu, rice shochu, bananas and champagne. 

Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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