Come dusk, Haeundae transforms from a daytime beach haven to a serious party place. Haeundae’s famous nightlife is a magnet for locals and foreigners from all over the world — and some fabulous bartenders. Here’s a guide to the area’s very best cocktail bars.
Perhaps the best quality cocktails in Haeundae (at least in its party strip), Papa’s Bar is manned by excellent bartenders who really know their drinks. Although the menu is extensive, if you don’t see something you like just ask — the friendly staff are often happy to whip you up your own concoction. It has a good gin list and an excellent whisky selection; for those who like their drop of the good stuff mixed, you can’t go wrong with one of their great whisky cocktails.
This stylish bar is inspired by Prohibition-era speakeasies. To reach the bar, you have to go through a hidden passage (behind a bookcase in Tap and Tapas; look out for the telephone). Once inside, it’s old-world glamour with a modern twist — much like its excellent cocktail menu. The house cocktail is a Moscow Mule (their version is dubbed a TBR Mule), which uses house-made ginger syrup and lemon club soda and Finlandia vodka for a drink which even the Kremlin would be jealous of. The Back Room also does an excellent line in sparkling cocktails — try the gold rimmed classic Champagne cocktail.
This pub is best-known for its unpretentious cocktails, many devised by the owner himself. The atmosphere is relaxed, and it’s a good place to go when you want great drinks in a laid-back setting. It’s popular with a young crowd, and its location a short walk from Haeundae’s main drag means that it’s often a little quieter than other bars. Prices are competitive, and the bar also serves giant hamburgers.
Fuzzy Navel is located less than a minute’s walk from Haeundae Beach. It has views out onto the ocean, and has a lively atmosphere; its cocktail inspiration is bombastic, and you can expect to see regular fire shows behind the bar. Sit on the second floor for a birds-eye view. To keep your energy levels up, the bar also offers a variety of Mexican food such as nachos and tacos.
You might not expect it from the sports-bar-esque atmosphere, but Sharkys manages to do a number of cocktails very well; the hardworking bar staff clearly take pride in their work. As well as long cocktails, there’s also an extensive menu of cocktail shooters, which fit well with the bar’s party vibe. In the daytime, Sharkys is also known for its hearty food menu, which includes North American and Mexican favourites such as steaks, burritos and burgers. All the staff speak excellent English, and there are a number of good beers on draft.