2/F Chater House, 8 Connaught Road, Central. Tel: 3583 2828. The 5,000-sq-ft terrace is the star of the show at the sister bar to Armani/Aqua restaurant; take in the views from cosy, candlelit seating. Not so impressed by the signature cocktails, the classy wine and spirits selection more than compensated, especially a pinot grigio and an aged rum. Recommended: Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996 (HK$5,200 a bottle).
Biergarten German Bar and Restaurant
G/F, 5 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2721 2302. This convivial, raucous institution has an inviting if kitschy atmosphere. Stick to the German beers. The sausages are pretty good. Recommended: the Thai sunrise (HK$68), a twist on the tequila sunrise.
5/F Mody House, 30 Mody Road, TST. Tel: 2724 3828. A Tokyo-style drinking den favoured by Japanese customers, the bar is intimate and staffed by bartenders who can make cocktails that match your mood. The focus is on the bar staff and their reverentially served liquors that include a huge whisky list. Recommended: the 10-year original cask-aged Laphroaig (HK$80).
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. 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-laden Latin-vibe bar. Generous pours of powerful margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos, and one of the best pina coladas in town are the real draw. Recommended: the ginger mojito, packed with freshly crushed mint and ice (HK$65).
The China Bar
G/F Ho Lee Commercial Building, 44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. Tel: 2526 5992. The cavernous bar goes heavy on the red and dragons for its decorative motif but is comfortable and has a heaving dance area. From a wide range of drinks, the cocktails are the most eye-catching. Recommended: the Merry Berry cocktail of Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh mint, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry juice and lime (HK$89).
The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2837 6782. This unpretentious English-style sports bar with unobtrusive TVs is a great if noisy place for chatter, drinks and food. Recommended: The Peachy Ice tea is a potent trip round the top shelf of the bar.
G/F, 48 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2522 8318. A breezy, inviting space in neutral and beige tones that feels intimate, the bar has a wine-heavy, girly-cocktail dominated drinks list balanced by a few heavy duty drinks such as the Contemporary Fashioned (a new twist on the Old Fashioned with 23-year-old Ron Zacapa rum). Recommended: Lambloch Estate's South Australian Shiraz (HK$52).
29/F QRE Plaza, 202 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai. Tel: 2907 0888. Habitat Lounge tries (too) hard to please but can be a romantic spot for a date. There are more than 100 cocktails, many of them fresh and fruity. Recommended: Richito (HK$70), made with light rum, lychee liqueur and Yakult.
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 a wide range of great, relatively cheap beer and great drinking food to match. Recommended: Trappist Westmalle Tripel Belgian beer (HK$42).
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.
6/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2810 6166. This slice of old-school cool comes courtesy of the people who brought us Volar and Halo. Recommended: the Elderflower Paloma, combining tequila, lime, grapefruit and soda water infused with elderflower.
The Living Room
6/F W Hotel, Kowloon Station. Tel: 3717 2222. It's easy to kick back and feel right at home in this sprawling, beautifully designed bar complete with board games and bookcases - just help yourself. Recommended: the awesome lychee martinis.
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).
3-4/F L Place, 139 Queen's Road Central. Tel: 2915 1638. Spread over two floors, Shore showcases an interesting dual-concept theme: upstairs is the Onshore fine-dining area, downstairs is the Offshore bar with a 1,800-sq-ft terrace that exudes warmth and originality. Recommended: put your choice in the hands of mixologists with the Surprise Me! (HK$90) cocktail.
18/F Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2369 1111. A welcome relief from the bustle below, the bar has a glamorous 1950s feel and is an elegant eyrie to recharge batteries. Recommended: the kiwi martini (HK$95), a show-stopping blend of vodka, kiwi liqueur and kiwifruit syrup.
G/F, 52 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 6768 5252. Our favourite bar on Wyndham Street is as chic and sophisticated as ever, as long as you stick to spirits and cocktails and don't bother with the wines and beers. Recommended: the W Spice, a buttery concoction of butterscotch schnapps, vanilla vodka, pineapple juice and freshly ground black pepper (HK$98).