Renowned for its crazy Wednesday nights, Hong Kong‘s Wan Chai has cleaned up its act a lot in recent years and gives its more sophisticated sister bar district Lan Kwai Fong a run for its money. Its well worth heading to Wan Chai for a few drinks, whether you’re looking for a casual cocktail bar or a good old sports pub. Stray off the beaten circuit with these nine hidden gems.
Located a little further afield, Ham and Sherry’s cerulean tiled entrance is impossible to miss. Instead of walking into the restaurant however, nip down the painted alley to the side to find the hidden speakeasy. It’s one of Hong Kong’s better kept secrets and the mixologists there are among the city’s best. With cocktails inspired by countries around the world, the quirky world map menu is the perfect cherry on top.
Past the wet markets and Hopewell Centre lies Stone Nullah Tavern, home of the most dangerous happy hour in the city. It all kicks off at 5 p.m. every weekday where all house drinks start at $1 and then double in price every half hour afterward, making it the perfect place to start off Wan Chai Wednesday madness. It’s cozy, down to earth and serves up delicious American food to boot – their mac n cheese is to die for.
This one’s a little tricky to find, but it’s absolutely worth it. Forego the Wan Chai Wednesday bar circuit and trip down an alley off Landale Street, where you’ll find all the cool cats lounging on couches and sipping on cocktails at Djiboutii. Grab their signature Djiboulini, a pear and peppercorn twist on a bellini, bask in the purple lighting and Hermes jungle wallpaper and don’t forget to be sweet to the staff – they might even let you clamp a padlock on a fence of vibrant locks outside.
If you see people wandering around Wan Chai with massive sombreros, you’ll know exactly where they’ve come from. Coyote isn’t as well hidden as some of the other bars on the list, but it’s well worth making a visit to with two floors of boozy Mexican goodness. It’s one of the few places in Wan Chai you can get a fishbowl and if you’re really feeling brave then you can do the worm — a shot of tequila with one of the creepy crawlies at the bottom. Wash it all down with their signature nachos and you’re golden.
A favorite of the most discerning crowds, this newly renovated bar blends the best of Hong Kong heritage with cool modern chic. The Pawn reinvented an old school pawn store and made it one of the hottest spots in Hong Kong, complete with a roof garden and a balcony perfect for people watching below. Aside from serving up some of the best food in Hong Kong (seriously, these guys aren’t kidding around), their drinks menu is nothing to scoff at either.
Hidden away in an office building in the heart of bar district, Trafalgar is one of the most down to earth places to grab a drink and hang out with friends. With a pool table and TVs proudly broadcasting sports games, it’s a great bar for socializing and you can bizarrely even order a shisha pipe if you’re sitting outside. See if you can grab a spot on the terrace as the nighttime chaos down below is always entertaining.
If beer and vodka mixers aren’t your thing, this modest French wine bar and restaurant is a great option. Run by a group who also retail amazing French wines, they definitely know their reds from their whites and as such have a wine list to die for. Le Bistro Winebeast is an unexpected oasis of calm in Wan Chai and while you might have to call ahead to get a seat, their modern French food comes highly recommended. (Tip: try the duck confit and beef tartare.)
Scratch isn’t exactly the classiest joint on the list, but the rows of beer pong tables definitely make it a Wan Chai favorite. You’ll have to walk up a few flights of stairs (no elevator, sorry) before making it to dimly lit Scratch, where you’ll be able to spend the night playing pool on one of their five tables or starting up a beer pong championship.
Follow the staircase lined with stone Buddhas and candles up to Koh Thai, where you’ll be able to take a breather at this cozy bar and restaurant. Expect a whole lot of lime and lemongrass from their Thai-influenced menu. You’ll be able to lounge outdoors under bright red umbrellas and bamboo trees while sipping on their Asian-inspired cocktails and delicious menu. For Wan Chai, it’s also surprisingly quiet and you can easily slip off to the nearby bar strip once you’re ready to party.