There’s no feeling quite like watching a live band or performer late into the evening, drink in hand. Experience the best of Hong Kong’s live music in these underground indie bars and hidden speakeasies.
Hong Kong’s live music scene is fast evolving and attracts a diverse array of local and international talent. New venues are popping up all over town, especially in nightlife hotspots such as Central, Lan Kwai Fong and Tsim Tsa Tsui. With an increasing number of options catering to all tastes, these are the best live music bars in Hong Kong.
Lobby Lounge At InterContinental Hong Kong
There are few better places in town to spend an evening unwinding than at the lobby lounge inside InterContinental Hotel. Firstly, because of the must-see views overlooking the harbour and the city skyline illuminated at night; secondly, this five-star property exudes quality across the board and its live music offerings are no exception. Every night of the week from 9pm onwards, they play host to the finest musicians and singers in town. Jazz tends to dominate, but they often mix it up with easy listening, contemporary, acid-jazz, soul and funk as well. Drinks and food are on the pricier side, but this venue has a touch of class that makes it time and money well spent.
This spacious underground cellar in the heart of Central has become one of the principal homes of live music in Hong Kong. The venue attracts performers from around the world playing big band, swing, jazz, rock and soul, in addition to local regulars like the Victoria Jazz Band. With ample room to get up and dance, the Wednesday evening swing dance night is ever popular with locals. Food here is classic Italian comfort dishes, drinks are reasonably priced and it’s all complemented by a cheerful and friendly atmosphere.
This popular venue has a reputation for being a music bar for musicians. It’s a relaxed, unpretentious place to spend an evening, and you’ll never know quite what to expect due to the wide variety of performances on offer. The Wanch’s schedule ranges from open-mic nights to intimate sets from a selection of seasoned bands, playing everything from rock to acoustic and even jam sessions. Located in the centre of Wan Chai, it’s one of the city’s oldest live music venues having celebrated its 30th birthday in 2017, and remains one of the best if you’re looking for a chilled out spot for music and drinks.
This upscale jazz lounge located in the city’s nightlife capital, Lan Kwai Fong, is an elegant break from the norm. The opulent interior is matched by a selection of fine wines, champagnes and nibbles. However, the main star of the show is the music; BB Jazz Lounge’s ambitious mission is to introduce a new world standard in jazz clubs by offering a line-up of some of the best artists in the business, both local and international. The venue has recently lifted its members-only policy, making it accessible to all.
This elegant live music venue in Central offers an eclectic mix of live jazz, Latin music, singer-songwriters and DJ lounge sets. Wednesday evening entertainment comes courtesy of the Alonso Gonzalez Jazz Latin Quintet, and both local and international guest artists are also regularly booked to perform. Sit back and enjoy the music with one of their superb handcrafted cocktails and a variety of small bar plates, including Norwegian king salmon and chicken karaage. Studio Club is a high-class venue with high-class music.
This Town Needs is Hong Kong’s leading venue for underground music. Previously known as Hidden Agenda, the business reopened in 2018 in a new space and with a new identity. Since then, this spacious venue in Yau Tong has become a prime spot for the best indie bands from both Hong Kong and around the globe to crank it up before a dedicated crowd of loyal supporters. The venue champions indie, metal, rock, folk, reggae and alt-rock.
Lost Stars Livehouse Bar & Eatery is both a great place to dine as well as being an excellent spot to appreciate live music. Start your night out in Hong Kong with their Western-style cuisine and cocktails during happy hour, which runs from 5.30pm until 8pm. The venue has a cozy bar feel with a small live stage and is fast becoming one of the most popular live houses in the city. Only the very best of local singer-songwriters and bands are invited to play, and the venue shows great respect for performers by requesting that the audience refrain from talking during sets.
Named after one of the most popular chord progressions used in local Cantopop music, 1563 is a well-designed, cozy live house and restaurant in the iconic Hopewell Centre in Wan Chai. The venue is known for showcasing local singer-songwriters, but its nightly music line-up also attracts international acts that run the gamut of styles. Their late-night menu features delicacies such as pepper-salt duck tongues alongside American-style baked potato skins, which pair perfectly with their quality cocktails.
Ned Kelly’s Last Stand is one of Hong Kong’s oldest surviving bars at over 50 years old. Decorated with jazz and sports memorabilia, this Hong Kong institution offers nightly live jazz performances. The resident band is the Dixieland jazz band China Coast Jazzmen, who play five nights a week. Grab a beer and enjoy the friendly, lively atmosphere at Hong Kong’s most legendary dive bar.
This non-profit venue, housed in a colonial building dating from around 1892, hosts visual art exhibitions and films as well as live music performances. Although Fringe Club puts an emphasis on promoting high-quality jazz in Hong Kong, a trip to this venue could involve seeing any genre from classical, pop, rock, or even an a cappella performance.
Hidden behind a sliding door inside an umbrella shop on Duddell Street in Central, this speakeasy bar is a unique fixture in Hong Kong’s live music scene. Once you’ve made it inside, you’ll find yourself in an eclectic, vintage-inspired interior space. Sample a cocktail and their late-night dumpling menu, accompanied by live music; expect to hear a mix of jazz, blues, soul and funk from Tuesday through Saturday from 9.30pm onwards.