Changkat, a stretch of bars and restaurants in Bukit Bintang, is a haven for locals, tourists and expats on a night out. From Irish bars and nightclubs to Cuban lounges, live music and spots for a quiet drink, here are the best bars in Changkat.
Sutraa Bar along Changkat Road combines a boisterous downstairs hosting regular live music, with an upstairs billiard room and shisha bar. Drinks are towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, but the live gigs tend to make it worthwhile for most customers. This bar in Changkat is suitable for all types of patrons, from those looking for a fun night to a group of friends playing pub games.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub, Asian, American, Italian, $$$
Anyone looking for live music in the Changkat area will enjoy a night at Mango’s Tropical Café. A pleasant ambience and wide selection of drinks and live bands consistently give this a place among the best bars in Changkat. Expect the café to get busy as the band starts to play around 10:00pm and it’s a good idea to turn up earlier to get a seat. Mango’s is a favourite place for an active night out, especially on weekends. A billiards table and darts board are available inside too.
With a bright yellow façade among Changkat’s colonial buildings, Bann 26 isn’t hard to find. The Thai restaurant combines delicious food with a bar and a long list of food and drinks. Yellow and pink interior walls, bead curtains, and antique lacquerware decorations create a homey and warm environment to enjoy a meal or drink. Customers also have the option to drink or dine al fresco on the porch. While Bann 26 might not feature among the best bars in Changkat for a night of partying, it does make a nice spot for couples looking for a romantic Thai-themed evening in an atmospheric location.
Healy Mac’s first opened its doors as a small family-owned business in Ireland 170 years ago. Changkat’s branch established itself in 2009 and quickly rose to fame by providing a taste of Ireland in Malaysia. Expect the décor and atmosphere to almost transport customers half-way across the world to any one of the pubs in Dublin. Live sports on the big screen TVs attract large crowds on Saturday evenings for EPL games too. But (probably) boasting Kuala Lumpur’s most extensive selection of beer and having all day Happy Hour prices make it a favourite bar in Changkat with expats and some locals.
Bar, Nightclub, American, Italian, Malaysian, Asian
Reggae Bar Changkat, not to be confused with Chinatown’s backpacker-friendly Reggae Bar, defines the terms style and class. With red velvet couches inside a spacious lounge, this bar in Changkat attracts a more sophisticated crowd. Live music, an extensive selection of drinks and an exclusive atmosphere are just some reasons contributing to the bar’s popularity. Patrons can dine in the afternoon and dance the night away after dark. Be sure to head down on Sundays for the Sunday Brunch Affair.
Rock Bottom provides an all-round experience. With upstairs and downstairs areas as well as an outdoor seating area, patrons can enjoy a variety of drinks, food and activities. Live bands play gigs on some nights while DJs blast the latest hits until 3am on others. Regular quiz nights attract some of Kuala Lumpur’s expats and long-term residents. Expect excellent service from friendly staff, good Asian and Western food, and regular promotions announced on their active Facebook page.
Movida, a Cuban term for ‘party’, combines a restaurant with a bar and lounge. Serving up a variety of international cuisines, including Latin, Italian, and Mediterranean flavours along with several drinks, Movida tempts a more cultured evening. The background music generates a relaxing ambience while its minimalistic décor gives a classy, but unpretentious, place to hang out. Anyone looking for a quiet night or a romantic evening will appreciate Movida.
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The Latin American Havana Bar rates as one of the best restaurants in Changkat for a number of reasons. Blasting traditional Cuban music and Salsa inside a former colonial mansion, Havana offers a slice of Cuba in Asia. The bar splits into a restaurant, bar and nightclub all donned with traditional decorations. For a night of sophistication with a glass of wine or a cocktail while listening to Latin beats, head down to Havana. The crowd consists mostly of expats and foreign tourists enjoying the ambience, environment, and regular cultural events such as Cuban cigar rolling and comedy nights.
Expats and tourists tend to rate the Rabbit Hole as one of the best bars in Changkat for its diversity, Happy Hour prices, regular promotions, and live music. Drinkers and diners can choose from a variety of cuisines and drinks. Located in a three-storey, pre-colonial building along Changkat Road with six themed rooms, including the Bamboo Forest, Arthur’s Bar and Translate Art Bar, guests are spoiled for choice on where to sit. Patrons can have a different experience each night. Head down in the evening for Happy Hour and dance the night away until the early hours with their regular DJ sets.
Connoisseurs will find a slice of paradise at the Whisky Bar in Changkat. Boasting an impressive list of malts from favourites such as Johnny Walker and Jameson to rarer and old brands aged over decades, customers are sure to have cravings satisfied. Food is available as well as tasting sets served with knowledgeable staff. While the Whisky Bar isn’t for the budget-conscious, it does provide an air of elegance and sophistication in a refined environment unlike no other in Kuala Lumpur.