208 Duecento Otto
G/F, 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. Tel: 2549 0208. This former meat storage warehouse was transformed into a slice of New York cool by a team who were named the best young designers of 2004 by Wallpaper. Recommended: the extensive wine and cocktail list.
Alfie's by Kee
M18-19, M/F Prince's Building, 10 Chater Road, Central. Tel: 2530 4422. With its dark wood, dimmed lights and leather lounges to sink into, Alfie's more than matches the Dunhill boys' club aesthetic. Recommended: Pimm's by Kee and the lemon grass martini.
4/F Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Central. Tel: 2804 6611. Worth a repeat visit for a vibe that invites lingering, but stick to the classic cocktails rather than the signature drinks or limited wine and beer selection. Recommended: the mojitos (HK$80) were a treat.
G6-UG16 Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. Tel: 2316 2666. This modern German bar and restaurant specialises in beer and beer mixes, such as Affensoft, with mango or banana juice (HK$45 for 330ml), and the Schwarzer, with cola (HK$45 for 330ml). Recommended: the Salvator is full of chocolate and malt flavours (HK$50/bottle).
77 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2525 0808. This Wyndham Street wine bar has partnered with more than 20 Californian wineries, offering more than 80 tipples from around the Golden State. Each vintage is available by half glass, full glass and bottle. Recommended: the pinot noir 2007 Fritz Reserve from Russian River (HK$140).
1/F, 16 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2957 8041. Don't dress up to visit this cigar-smoke-filled Latin-vibe bar. Generous pours of powerful margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos, and one of the best pina coladas in town are the real draw. There's little point in drinking beer and wine when the cocktails are this good. Recommended: the ginger mojito, packed with freshly crushed mint and ice (HK$65).
30/F iSquare, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2487 3988. This impressively expansive space so rare with Kowloon bars takes advantage of the 30th-floor locale, turning the stunning harbour view into the bar's backdrop. The East-meets-West theme look stylish instead of cheesy. Recommended: the more than 100 international wines or Chinese spirits such as Wuliangye.
Hard Rock Cafe
LG/F LKF Tower, 55 D'Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong. Tel: 2111 3777. The joint is lined with star-studded memorabilia, including a Gibson Les Paul guitar used by Slash of Guns N' Roses. Recommended: the Hurricane, with Bacardi Superior rum, Captain Morgan dark rum and Disaronno Amaretto plus grenadine, orange, mango and pineapple juice.
Inn Side Out
Sunning Plaza, 10 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2895 2900. The peanut husk-strewn floor and throngs of regulars make for a relaxed atmosphere in a crowded beer hall with an extensive outdoor seating area. Come for the wide range of great, relatively cheap beer and great drinking food to match. Recommended: Trappist Westmalle Tripel Belgian beer (HK$42).
G/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Tel: 2851 2281. This Italian restaurant and bar brings the taste of the Piedmont region to Lyndhurst Terrace. There's an extensive wine list (mostly by the bottle, with select varietals by the glass starting at HK$65). The cocktail list features an eclectic range of spirits and flavours. Recommended: the Mint Breath (HK$82) is a refreshing mixture of kiwi, green apple schnapps, vodka, pineapple juice and apple juice topped off with a mint garnish.
B/F, 65 Wyndham St, Central Tel: 2530 3870. This atmospheric basement bar modelled on 19th-century Parisian salons is dark and lovely, with one of the best cocktail menus in town. Recommended: the Unconventional martini (HK$95), blending gin, lemon juice, mint and kaffir lime syrup.
G/F The L Place, 139 Queen's Road Central. Tel: 2857 1333. This dark bar with booths that act like time machines is sure to be the cause of many an entertainingly lost night. The cocktails are all HK$58 and while there were some experiments that didn't work for us, others were more successful. Recommended: the bourbon, lemon and mint combo Whiskey Smash.
27-28/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Rd, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2890 3182. Occupying roughly 5,000 sq ft in Cubus, Mamoz offers a panoramic view of the area, as well as glimpses of Victoria Harbour. Forget the crowds milling about on street level while you sit in a comfy leather armchair. Recommended: the Southside Fizz (HK$88), a combination of Tanqueray No Ten, fresh lime, mint and soda.
68-70 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2866 6200. A welcoming oasis in a hectic neighbourhood that offers straightforward drinks and good company. Recommended: a Singapore Sling made from fresh juices (HK$78).
Basement, 49 Staunton Street, Central. Tel: 2858 3129. Bring your own party to possibly Hong Kong's smallest bar with its decor theme of severed heads. Standard and signature cocktails are all well made. Recommended: The soup bowl-sized lemon daiquiri (HK$78).
118/F Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon. Tel: 2263 2263. The highest bar in the world doesn't disappoint with its bird's-eye view of the city. Prices here are as steep as the venue, but then you're paying for that view. Recommended: wines are the main attraction, with a choice of several by the glass (HK$90-HK$170) and scores of reds and whites by the bottle.
G/F, 65 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2537 5702. Bars don't get much Frencher than this temple to anis-based drinks. As well as pastis, there is an interesting selection of French spirits. Recommended: the Pastis Henri Bardouin (HK$70).
Basement, Imperial Hotel, 32 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2782 3383. A friendly crowd and helpful, pleasant staff create a calm atmosphere in hectic Tsim Sha Tsui. The bar offers excellent spirits, limited but good wines and an interesting list of beers, perhaps a better choice than the cocktails. A good choice for a laid-back evening. Recommended: the Casa La Joya Merlot 2009 (HK$81).
Ra Restaurant and Lounge
Shop 1, G/F Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. Tel: 2721 3600. The Egyptian theme includes the smell of shisha as much as the mock ancient relics used for decor. The drinks may be underwhelming, bar some minty cocktails, but the place is unpretentious and friendly. Recommended: the pint-sized lychee mojito (HK$95).
Salon de Ning
B/F The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2315 3355. Hidden away in the basement of The Peninsula is this glamorous slice of 1930s Shanghai, inspiring a feeling of intrigue and mystery. Recommended: the Manhattan (HK$115), using Jim Beam rather than rye whiskey.
The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 3162 3710. This upbeat bar is packed at the weekends, when people come for dancing, cocktails and shooters. The bar handles the classics well and that makes for a full-on night out. Recommended: the Mud Slide, a HK$80 mix of vodka, Kahlua, Baileys and vanilla ice cream.
G/F, 16 Arbuthnot Road, Central; tel: 9643 6571. A two-level bar for hip night owls that specialises in molecular cocktails. Try the tart, refreshing Kiwi Caviar, mixing champagne, lemon juice, gin and elderflower. Recommended: the marshmallowy Smoked Cigar Old Fashioned (HK$130).
Tai Lung Fung
G/F, 5 Hing Wan Street, Wan Chai. Tel: 2572 0055. A small bar offering a dose of nostalgia and a great happy hour. Cocktails try hard but can be hit and miss. Recommended: whisky sours (HK$45 happy hour/HK$60 regular).