Popular among both tourists and local people, Lan Kwai Fong is arguably Hong Kong’s premier nightlife destination. While there’s no shortage of bars on these well-trodden streets, a few pointers will help you scope out the very best drinks and ambience. Here’s a list of the best bars in Lan Kwai Fong, whether you are looking for tempting cocktails, city views or late nights on the dance floor.
CÉ LA VI
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Asian, $$$
Spanning three floors at the top of California Tower, CÉ LA VI is one of Lan Kwai Fong’s best-loved venues. Enjoy cocktails in the chic lounge bar before heading to the rooftop to dance the night away. The venue features nightly DJs, an unusual jacuzzi centrepiece and HK’s city lights as your backdrop. There’s a dress code, so don’t show up in your shorts and flip-flops.
The tropical vibes at Havana will make you think you are in Cuba. Tucked discreetly on the second floor, this imaginative and tranquil oasis has decor reminiscent of the Caribbean – think palm leaves, tiled floors and woven furniture. Their list of rums is one of the largest in the city, and you’ll find most patrons sipping on the irresistible mojitos and daiquiris. The outdoor terrace is always a favourite and – thanks to Hong Kong’s usually balmy temperatures – you’ll find yourself swaying to the music and feeling like you’re on a tropical holiday.
Fang Fang’s signature cocktail list is inspired by the five elements of the Chinese zodiac and is as creative as it gets. You may be wary of some of the ingredients, like kimchi vodka or Sichuan pepper, but their talented mixologists will ensure each drink is just as delicious as it is unique. The modern and sophisticated space also incorporates one of the best restaurants in Lan Kwai Fong, serving mouth-watering contemporary Chinese cuisine and headed up by executive chef Kent Lee Chin Heng, formerly of Hakkasan Mumbai and Kai Mayfair, so be sure to stay for dinner after happy hour.
As the area is home to a few hidden alleyways, it can be easy to miss out on some of the best Lan Kwai Fong bars. To discover Brickhouse, one of the city’s most beloved Mexican cantinas, take the narrow path that you’ll see upon entering D’Aguilar Street. What intimate Brickhouse lacks in size, it more than makes up for in a lively atmosphere and flowing drinks. Grab a classic margarita, authentic Mexican beer or their famous spicy ‘Diabla’ cocktail. It doesn’t take reservations, so arrive when they open or grab a bar stool in the alley and enjoy the buzz from there.
From the same people behind NYC’s eponymous speakeasy, Employees Only brings a slice of America’s Prohibition era to Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong. Staying true to the EO brand, the venue features retro decor, a well-stocked bar and romantic candlelit tables at the back for dinner. Cocktails are classic and pack a punch in terms of strength and flavour, while the atmosphere really gets buzzing after midnight. The venue is intimate, so get there early and keep your eyes out for the well-hidden, inconspicuous entrance.
Set over two floors in Lan Kwai Fong’s LKF Tower, Lily & Bloom serves up gourmet American cuisine and enticing cocktails in a sleek and sophisticated setting. The upstairs bar, Lily, is inspired by the Prohibition era, complete with classic cocktails, dark leather booths and a long bar perfect for watching the expert bartenders at work. When sitting at the bar, far from the more raucous crowds found at some of Lan Kwai Fong’s other nightlife hotspots, you get a real sense of being out on the town in New York City.
One of the city’s favourite spots for a party, this pool hall, lounge bar and nightclub has it all. Tazmania Ballroom’s space is vast by Hong Kong standards and boasts interactive pool tables, banquettes ready for table service, and a large terrace overlooking Lan Kwai Fong’s busy streets. Doors open at 5pm for great happy hour deals, while live DJs and potent drinks will keep you happy all night long.
Set at the very epicentre of Lan Kwai Fong, this industrial and stylish space is a lively choice for partying the night away. Soak up the positively riotous ambience from the large dance floor, after sampling a few of Rúla Búla’s classic cocktails. Keep a lookout for news of upcoming theme nights, which in the past have included salsa-inspired evenings and the ever-popular ladies night. The amazing daily happy hour deals, however, are reason enough to go.
As its name implies, Insomnia is the bar that never sleeps. This casual but lively venue has been around for as long as most local partygoers can remember, serving strong drinks, live music and a no-fuss ambience. The main draw is that they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – so the party never has to end. Don’t expect trendy interiors or elaborate cocktails, but simply a place to let your hair down.
Sake Bar Ginn brings a slice of Tokyo to the streets of Lan Kwai Fong. Their list of over 100 premium sakes, sourced from all over Japan, features boutique labels you won’t easily find in Hong Kong. If you’re a sake novice, order a tasting flight or take advice from the in-house sommelier, who can guide you through the different varieties available. Make sure to order a few izakaya-style snacks off the menu to complete your experience.
Featured on the list of the world’s 50 best bars, Quinary uses molecular mixology to pour some of the most creative cocktails on the island. For example, bartenders use a series of flasks, pipes and tubes to create their bloody mary, which mixes wasabi-infused vodka with a house-made bloody mary mix. This bar is no doubt one of the more unique experiences in Lan Kwai Fong.