What are you in the mood for? Jaw-dropping views and high-end surroundings? Craft brews, comfort food and live music? A laid-back spot where you can enjoy a solo glass of wine? Kowloon has it all. These are the best bars in this Hong Kong neighbourhood.
The height of Aussie-grunge chic, Ned Kelly’s Last Stand is one of the oldest bars in Hong Kong, and the first place to head to find some of the best live music in the city. The house band changes the set every night and add fun little skits to their performances – you could come here every night for a week and never hear the same song twice. The communal seating also makes this a great place to spark up a conversation with a stranger. The bar serves up a wide range of beers and an intriguing mix of house cocktails.
The Lobby Lounge at the InterContinental Hotel offers panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and a giddying range of drinks, with beers, whiskeys and wines imported from all over the world. But where this sleek bar truly shines is in its cocktail menu. Try the Asia’s World City, a blend of Beefeater Gin, maraschino liqueur, absinthe, lemon sherbet and prosecco. Come from 9pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays for smooth jazz, and on Thursdays through to Saturdays for contemporary jazz and Motown.
Biergarten is the most popular German bar in Kowloon and stocks an enormous range of brews. The selection spans the length and breadth of Germany’s most popular draught offerings, from Bavarian white beers to Köstritzer darks. The menu is meat heavy, revolving around sausage, cold cuts and cheese. European artwork and advertising memorabilia on the walls all add to the beer-garden ambience.
With over 20 draught taps and an impressive bottle selection, the Madhouse Taproom will satisfy your every beer whim. The decor is industrial and minimal with plenty of seating. Beer connoisseurs will love chatting to the bar staff, who are passionate and knowledgeable about the brews on offer. For a quintessentially Hong Kong bar snack, pair your beer with some positively addictive spam fries, a house speciality.
With its floor-to-ceiling windows, Aqua Spirit affords showstopping views across twinkling Victoria Harbour. The cocktail-rich menu at this stylish Tsim Sha Tsui bar is constantly being refreshed with new innovative creations, and the crowd is generally a fun mixture of visitors and members of the Hong Kong finance crowd. Arrive early evening to catch the legendary light show – among the best things to do in Hong Kong, in anyone’s book. If you get peckish, stay for dinner at Aqua’s restaurant, which offers a fusion menu of Asian- and Italian-inspired small plates.
Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Tapas, $$$
Set within the Cordis Hotel in the heart of Mong Kok, Alibi brings together good wine, mixology and a relaxed yet sophisticated ambience. The bar menu comprises a carefully selected wine and champagne list alongside creative cocktails and delectable bar snacks, inspired by European and Asian cuisines. Keep an eye out for exclusive wine tasting sessions, and head to the restaurant after drinks for an innovative menu of modern tapas.
As the city’s highest bar, Ozone is a must-visit for anyone seeking jaw-dropping views over Hong Kong’s skyline. The futuristic interior – illuminated in a deep blue, evoking the night sky – has you feeling as if you’re floating in space. Grab a seat on the outdoor terrace to enjoy the vistas and decadent food and drink menu. If you’re looking for a luxurious weekend treat, check out the Dom Pérignon Sunday brunch.
Tap is where you head for a good dose of comfort food and some of the best craft beer in Hong Kong. The menu incorporates a great mix of local and international brews, and the taps shift to new brews every few months, so there’s always something different to try. It’s not quite Cheers theme-tune territory (“Where everybody knows your name…”) but TAP’s owners and staff certainly work hard to make you feel at home.
The rooftop bar at Wooloomooloo Prime is the perfect spot for an al-fresco drink. Come in the early evening and take a seat on the terrace for a happy-hour glass of prosecco against the backdrop of a stunning Hong Kong sunset. The vibe here is casual and relaxed, meaning you’ll feel comfortable arriving after a packed day of sightseeing. Head downstairs to the Wooloomooloo Prime steakhouse when happy hour is over and your stomach starts to rumble.
Looking to escape the bustling streets of Tsim Sha Tsui? Head to Vibes, a green oasis at the heart of the action. Occupying a courtyard within the Mira Hong Kong design hotel, the spacious terrace here has a serene atmosphere, with lotus-shaped open fires, comfy sofas and enchanting water features; carefully planted frangipani trees lend a sense of privacy. Exclusive cabanas can be reserved if you want to guarantee seats for your group, and live DJs will keep you dancing all night under the stars.
Located at The Peninsula above top Hong Kong restaurant Felix, the American Bar is an elegant space, perfect for a glass of champagne or cocktails. The luxurious design and sophisticated ambience draw a quieter, more refined crowd, so you won’t feel out of place enjoying your drink solo or in the company of a good book. Seek out a seat by the window to enjoy Hong Kong’s skyline before heading downstairs for a meal of contemporary takes on classic French cuisine.