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Toast to excellence: Asia’s Best Bars in Hong Kong

TimeOut HK
  • Written by TimeOut HK
Cocktail by Quinary, one of the winners of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars

The annual Asia’s 50 Best Bars celebrates the best and most innovative bars in the region. For its eighth edition in 2023, the ceremony was held in Hong Kong for the first time, in partnership with the Hong Kong Tourism Board. This event marked the first full-scale gathering of the bar community in Asia since 2019.

Taking the top spot for three consecutive years is COA, an Oaxacan-inspired bar located in Central. Seven other local bars have also made it on the prestigious list. The ranking is compiled from the votes of over 260 drinks experts from across Asia, and it includes bars from 17 cities throughout the region. Keep reading to find out all about the eight honoured Hong Kong bars.

COA

No.1 — COA

COA continues to hold the top position of the list for the third consecutive year. Founded by agave spirits expert Jay Khan, the Oaxacan-inspired bar in Central takes its name from the agave harvesting tool. It boasts a vast collection of over 200 bottles of agave spirits including tequila, mezcal, raicilla and sotol. Immerse yourself in the world of Mexican spirits, sip on creative cocktails, and find out for yourself what makes this local bar the best in the region. 

Argo

No.8 — Argo

Taking the eighth place is Argo, a modern cocktail bar located inside the Four Seasons Hotel.  Named after a ship in Greek mythology, the bar showcases innovative spirits and a conceptual cocktail programme featuring traditional Hong Kong ingredients, including soybean, XO sauce, vegan char siu (Cantonese-style barbecued pork) and black vinegar. Be sure to check the bottom of your glass for a cute gummy bear when you enjoy the welcome champagne. 

DarkSide

No.9 — DarkSide

Rosewood Hong Kong’s flagship bar is the only Kowloon venue that made it on the Asia’s 50 Best Bar 2023 list. Helmed by Director of Bars Simone Rossi, DarkSide’s cocktails focus on time-honoured traditions integrated with innovative techniques. Their conceptual menu, ‘The Art of Mahjong’, spotlights the Chinese tile-based game mahjong and translates the game’s elements into a new cocktail experience, complemented by sultry live jazz music. 

The Aubrey

No.17 — The Aubrey 

Rising from number 38 in 2022 is The Aubrey at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Led by award-winning mixologist Devender Sehgal, the bar not only offers mesmerising views of Victoria Harbour, but also an eccentric Japanese izakaya experience, complete with vintage furniture and quirky decorations. Expect a creative cocktail menu that provides an exciting exploration of the world of shochu. 

Penicillin

No.26 — Penicillin

Penicillin on Hollywood Road is Hong Kong’s first sustainable bar with a closed-loop production process. ​​Founded by tandems Agung and Laura Prabowo and Roman and Katy Ghale, the bar is dedicated to utilising locally sourced and upcycled ingredients while striving to minimise its carbon footprint. In addition to its eco-friendly practices, the bar offers the ‘One Penicillin, One Tree’ cocktail, where a portion of the proceeds goes to reforestation of the endangered Kalimantan rainforest in Indonesia.

Quinary

No.31 — Quinary

Helmed by renowned local mixologist Antonio Lai, Quinary in Central is decked out like an immaculate factory with concrete floors and retro-bulb lighting. Prepare yourself for a multisensory experience that usually involves a rotating glass, smoke-filled edible bubbles or popping candy. Among their iconic cocktails is the Earl Grey Caviar Martini, their best-selling drink for more than a decade. It is made with Cointreau, vodka mandarin, elderflower syrup and Earl Grey caviar before it’s topped with foam.

Mostly Harmless

No.33 — ​​Mostly Harmless

Mostly Harmless is a new omakase cocktail bar in Sai Ying Pun, and makes its way to the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list on its first year of opening. Headed by Ezra Star, the bar is decked out in white tiles, where the guest’s names and the ever-rotating menus are scribbled in magic markers. Supporting Hong Kong local farms and featuring seasonal ingredients in their cocktail offerings, Mostly Harmless is unlike other omakase-style cocktail bars with a ceremonial presentation; it’s a relaxed bar with a fun atmosphere that serves well-crafted cocktails. 

The Old Man Hong Kong

No.47 — ​​The Old Man Hong Kong

Jumping back to the prestigious list is The Old Man Hong Kong, the top bar in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2019 which has been an iconic fixture in the city’s drink industry. Located down an alley off Aberdeen Street, the Ernest Hemingway-themed bar pays tribute to the sophisticated writer’s favourite spirits and cocktails. It beckons Hemingway fans and cocktail aficionados to gather and indulge in imaginative drinks crafted by its celebrated bar team, honouring the literary genius and his passion for cocktails.  

Five Hong Kong bars were also honoured in the Number 51-100 list, including The Pontiac (number 53), Mizunara: The Library (number 86), The Wise King (number 89), ​​Tell Camellia (number 97), and Honky Tonks Tavern (number 98).

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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