The Covid-19 pandemic has been a rough period for Hong Kong’s best bars. Many establishments had to close for periods due to government restrictions and even those with restaurant licenses that could stay open had to contend with restricted opening hours and numbers of customers. Despite these troubles, the local bar scene is arguably in better shape than it has been in some time. COA became the first Hong Kong bar to be top of Asia’s 50 Best Bars two years in a row, and only the second bar in the region to ever accomplish this feat. Other local bars featured prominently in the annual awards, but beyond these headlines there exists a new generation of younger bartenders learning the trade and featuring in prominent positions. That makes it an exciting time in Hong Kong bar scene, with many excellent options if you’re looking for a good cocktail. To help you find your ideal tipple, here are 10 of the best bars in Hong Kong right now. The rise and fall of Hong Kong tourist icon, Jumbo Floating Restaurant 1. 001 There were fears that standards might drop at 001 when key staff left to pursue other projects, leaving sizeable boots to fill. But fans of Hong Kong’s oldest and most authentic cocktail speakeasy need not have worried: Kinou Chen has done a sterling job since taking over as head mixologist. In March, 001 announced plans to move from its location amid the Graham Street market stalls, which provokes fresh concerns about whether the bar will be able to maintain the attractive atmosphere of the original. But so long as house rules like “no groups over six” remain, we’re confident the intimate feel will be preserved. Assuming the menu doesn’t change during this transition, the bar’s signatures should still be inventive come reopening – try the bewilderingly good Beast Inside, a mix of rye whiskey, mescal/tequila, coffee amaro, Aperol and elderflower liqueur. Meanwhile, classics are elevated through subtle tweaks like the kaffir lime syrup in 001’s version of The Last Word. Temporarily closed. New location to be announced. 2. Argo No opening in 2021 caused as much of a stir as Argo . Blue Bar, the Four Seasons’ former hotel bar, was a cosy favourite, but when hotel management wanted a change, they boldly decided to rip it out and start from scratch. In its place rose a visual triumph whose harbour view and mirrored surfaces are married to imaginative drinks courtesy of Lorenzo Antinori, beverage manager of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, and bar manager Summer Lo. The debut menu, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, celebrated six potentially endangered ingredients to sharpen the focus on the need for more sustainability. It was a winner with both customers, who regularly wait for an hour for a table, and critics who catapulted the bar to third place on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. Lobby, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central The 13 best Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, from Sushi Saito to Zuicho 3. The Aubrey There were tears when Pierre closed after 14 years. The MO’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant was a favourite of many. The Aubrey, which took its place , had much to live up to but has proved its own creature, focusing primarily on drinks (even if the food menu is still top notch). Devender Sehgal, beverage manager at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, is one of the best in the business. His omakase cocktail Bar is a Hong Kong experience like no other and a rare example of a top bartender being up close and personal rather than busy with admin or guest shifts elsewhere. Sehgal may be the star but other staff are excellent apprentices too, and do a fine job of preparing the regularly changing seasonal cocktail menu. The interior design – as expected of the team behind Mott 32 – is beguiling indeed. 25/F, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central 4. Bar De Luxe It took time for Bar De Luxe to find its feet. Even though it was established in partnership with legendary Japanese bartender Hidetsugu Ueno and had excellent drinks from the start, its anonymous location on the 30th floor of the Asia Pacific Centre meant it flew under the radar for some time. Now on Pottinger, in buzzing H Code, Bar De Luxe has been reborn. The space is more intimate and convivial (the old location might have been the only example ever of a business in Hong Kong having too much space), perfect for BDL’s mix of on-point Ginza-style cocktails and Hong Kong boisterousness. 7/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central Are tea cocktails taking over Hong Kong’s bars and restaurants? 5. Caprice It takes something special for the bar of a three-Michelin-starred restaurant to stand out in its own right. But Caprice Bar is simply that good. Although an extensive wine list and imported cheeses are core offerings, it’s cocktails that have earned the establishment a reputation as one of the finest in Asia. The classics are done to perfection and the team creates exquisite seasonal menus too. Last winter’s list used aged and new spirits to evoke “A Journey Through Time” that perfectly complemented the creations by chef Guillaume Galliot in the kitchen. It’s stunning work like that that keeps us coming back. 6/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central 6. COA When COA opened in 2017, it was a quiet affair. The bar took over the unassuming premises formerly occupied by Neo, a casual cocktail bar that lasted barely a year, an establishment most notable for its an old fashioned pinball machine by the door. Some (like yours truly) wondered whether COA would suffer the same fate given its niche focus on agave spirits . Sure, the range on offer was exceptional, the staff incredibly helpful and the other cocktails excellent, but would Hongkongers – not renowned for being be the biggest consumers of spirits – really appreciate a place focused on mescal and tequila? Five years on and all doubts have been blown away. COA is acclaimed as the finest in Asia, having achieved the rare feat of being named Asia’s best bar two years in a row. Co-founder Jay Khan is a charming host and his menu has adapted to match the demands of his ever-expanding clientele, without ever losing sight of the original concept. Khan has also found time to launch Mescal Mission – charity tastings that aim to help vulnerable families in Hong Kong. One more reason to visit, if you needed convincing. G/F, Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central Where to eat in Hong Kong in June, from Agora to Yat Tung Heen 7. DarkSide It takes a special bar to make drinkers, attached to their favourite hang outs on Hong Kong Island, cross the harbour for a cocktail. Evidently self-aware, DarkSide is just that sort of special bar. No one in the city works harder on seasonal menus than beverage manager Simone Rossi and Arkadiusz Rybak, director of bars at Rosewood Hong Kong. Last year’s Moon menu involved not only a bespoke physical menu and new cocktails but new vessels to drink them from, by Australian ceramicist Ryan Foote and Polish abstract resin artist Magdalena Klim. It’s the little things in life, and even the smallest details get huge attention here. 2/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 8. Mizunara Somehow, after almost seven years, Mizunara still feels like a well-kept secret. The bar’s solemn atmosphere – reflected in its Zen-like rock garden terrace – ensures this is a place for quiet appreciation of a masterful concoction or a vintage whisky. The white of bartender-in-chief Masahiko Endo’s immaculate dinner jacket is almost blinding, its pristine dazzle a testament to the man’s precision and poise. Not a drop goes astray. Endo’s award-winning cocktails are perfectly made and the whisky list is one of the longest in the city, featuring some incredibly rare tipples. 4/F, Kiu Yin Commercial Building, 361-363 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai Spirited debate: can biodynamic farming really improve the taste of whisky? 9. Penicillin It takes guts to leave a concept you helped build into the Best Bar in Asia 2019. But that’s exactly what Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale showed when leaving The Old Man in 2020. Just as gutsy was their decision to open a new bar focused on “closed loop” cocktails and sustainability – restricting what could be used behind the counter in their creations. This potential weakness has become a strength though, forcing them to use local and repurposed ingredients to fashion inspiring new cocktails and original takes on the classics. It’s not all about the drinks, though. The food menu is similarly thoughtful, and brunch an especially busy time during weekends. LG/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central 10. Quinary The bar that popularised molecular mixology in the city, Quinary has lasted long enough in Hong Kong’s constantly evolving bar scene to feel like part of the furniture. For that reason, it can be easy to overlook when newer, shinier options are always appearing. But founder Antonio Lai and his staff work hard to maintain the high standards set here since the beginning. The creative menus continue to impress: the latest was inspired by Hong Kong’s eclectic culinary scene, with everything from powdered sweet purple potato crisps to vegetarian crispy “roast goose”. G/F, 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .