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Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards 2022
Time Out Hong Kong

Winners of the fifth annual Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards announced

Check out the winners for this year’s Bar Awards!

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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Time Out Bar Awards represent the best of our city’s great drink scene, and for our fifth edition, we recognised awardees in 14 categories that include Bar of the Year, Bartender of the Year, the coveted Readers’ Choice award, as well as three new award categories – Best Sustainable Cocktail, Best Wine Bar, and the Trailblazer Award. 

To crown the winners, we invited a panel of experts from the bar and lifestyle industry who sipped various drinks and stumbled their way to the city's best bars to judge and score the nominees. The Bar Awards culminated on January 16, 2023, with an award ceremony held at our official venue partner, Popinjays. 

Keep reading to see the champions of this year's Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards. 

RECOMMENDED: See this link for a complete list of Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards nominees

And the winners are...

  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

After nabbing the Best New Bar as well as the Readers’ Choice award in 2021, Four Seasons Hong Kong’s popular innovative drinking den Argo has earned this year’s Bar of the Year recognition. Helmed by beverage manager Lorenzo Antinori, Argo continues to provide customers with one of the best drinking experiences in the city with its well-thought-out drinks, atmosphere, and excellent service. Drop by and sip your way through their creative drink offerings, including cocktails from their new Cook Book menu inspired by Hong Kong’s culinary traditions. 

Runner-up - Coa

Multi-awarded Mexican-inspired bar Coa was the winner of the Time Out Bar Awards Best Bar in 2019 and the Best Bar in Asia at Asia's 50 Best for two consecutive years. Since opening in 2018, Coa can genuinely lay claim to making numerous Hongkongers a mezcal and tequila convert. Last year, Coa finally opened another outpost in Jing'an, Shanghai, to continue to spread agave love to the world.

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  • Bars and pubs

Bar industry veteran Gagan Gurung, who co-founded the tea-inspired cocktail bar Tell Camellia and the newly opened cafe-bar concept Barcode, nabbed the award for Bartender of the Year. Gagan has been influential in launching several bars in the city as the group bar beverage director of the Bianco & Rosso, The Daily Tot, Entourage, Barkada, and Yurakucho. A passionate Hong Kong bar industry advocate, Gagan has been busy going around the city and the region to educate the public about the art of mixology, as seen in his various guest shifts, masterclasses, and industry collaborations. In 2022, he launched a podcast called This is Life! Unfiltered, a talk show that spotlights interesting conversations with the city's bar industry personalities, including professionals from various fields.   

Runner-up - Simone Rossi

Last year, Simone was promoted to Rosewood Hong Kong's director of bars and now leads the overall bar programme of the hotel, including its flagship bar, DarkSide. His efforts are seen in the hotel's bar programmes – including its newly launched sustainable cocktail menu, as well as its conceptual cocktail programme inspired by mahjong – guest bartender shifts (local and abroad), and educational platforms that they've championed throughout the year. This year, catch him in all the fun activations of Rosewood Hong Kong as they celebrate the hotel’s fourth year anniversary.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Sheung Wan

Mostly Harmless, the omakase cocktail bar headed by mixologist Ezra Star was heralded as this year's Best New Bar. The two-storey bar offers a fun atmosphere and serves well-crafted cocktails. Unlike other omakase-style cocktail bars that serve over-the-top or intricate concoctions with a ceremonial presentation, Mostly Harmless is informal, not intimidating, and spotlights the best of Hong Kong's seasonal produce. The menu is constantly changing depending on seasonal produce and Ezra's latest market haul, but an off the menu order, based on your preference, will certainly not disappoint. 

Runner-up - The Mixing Room by Iron Fairies

The Mixing Room, helmed by bar industry veteran Tom Egerton, is the new addition to The Iron Fairies’ family. Designed by Ashley Sutton, the cocktail bar features a striking decoration of thousands of vintage bottles dangling from its ceiling. Like its sister bar, Iron Fairies, it transports you into a fairytale world with delicious libations to match its out-of-this-world ambience. On the menu, you’ll find cocktails inspired by characters from the Iron Fairies fairytale books.  

  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Central

Hong Kong beer brand Carbon Brews' taproom in Central took home this year’s Best Beer Bar. One of the recent openings on Wyndham Street, the bar features a 28 tap system and is set in a contemporary interior design – which feels like you're stepping into a club more than a regular taproom – reflecting the funky and modern look that the brand is known for. Aside from an excellent selection of beers, they also take their food seriously, serving delicious gastropub fare that will elevate your beer-drinking experience. 

Runner-up - Yardleys Taproom
From a small pet project that grew and made a considerable following in Lamma Island – where they started their brew spot, The Beer Shack – Yardley Brothers Craft Beer is now one of the most popular beer breweries in the city, and they've just expanded with a new cafe and taproom on the bustling Peel Street. The bar offers 12 taps focused on signature brews, including their famous sours, ales, stouts, lagers, and limited-release barrel-aged selections. Head there for quality beer and join their fun quiz nights, where you can win a whole keg of beer, bottled beers, shots, and other treats.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

As the city slowly opens for tourism, hotel bars will play an essential role in the traveller's drinking experiences. This year, Bar of the Year, Argo, also took home the Best Hotel Bar award. A local favourite, this drinking den will for sure be on the top of the must-visit list for any traveller coming to Hong Kong. In a short time since it opened its doors, the venue has become a destination bar that people are willing to cross town for. The bar upholds the hotel's storied tradition and offers the same quality service, drinks, and atmosphere as its accommodations. 

Runner-up - DarkSide 
2021 Best Hotel Bar winner, DarkSide, is this year’s runner-up. As one of the best destination bars in the Kowloon district, DarkSide continues to uphold quality service and the one-of-a-kind cocktail experience they are known for locally and internationally. Head there to sip any of the new cocktails from their imaginative Art of Mahjong menu, and enjoy the night with live music from their talented band performers.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Our city is known for its iconic skyline and harbour views, and the winner of the Best Rooftop Bar promises the best of this experience. This year the newly opened Aqua on the 17th floor of H Zentre nabbed the award for Best Rooftop Bar. Aside from a welcoming team, Aqua presents breathtaking views of Hong Kong Island, a creative drink programme, a great ambience, and an extensive food menu. 

Runner-up - Popinjays
The Murray's rooftop bar, Popinjays, winner of Time Out's Best Rooftop Bar in 2019, is the runner-up for this year's Bar Awards. Accessible by a private elevator, the penthouse venue has a bar on one side and a restaurant on the other. It's encased in floor-to-ceiling windows with a wraparound terrace that looks out in all directions to surrounding high-rises. The space is a stunner, a cool blend of class and playfulness, with plenty of Kaws artwork to embellish the walls.  

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Central

We launched this award category in 2020 when the only bars that were open were those that offered food. Over the past years, we've seen more multi-concept dining spaces in the city, including resto-bars where people go for the food but stay for the drinks. For this year, chef Olivier Elzer – St. Regis Hong Kong’s culinary director for Michelin-starred restaurant L'Envol – and his Yaki Frenchy restaurant Clarence took home the Best Restaurant Bar award. The venue offers a great dining experience and a standalone bar that is just as appealing as a seat at the dining table.  

Runner-up - Sake Central
The runner-up for the award is Elliot Faber’s celebrated Japanese sake bar and shop in PMQ. With the best selection of sake in the city, excellent small bites and service, Sake Central is a go-to spot to enjoy Japan’s favourite tipple. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

With the help of the city’s bar experts, we’ve listed some of the most promising bartenders as nominees for this category. This award launches some of the best names in today’s Bar scene as it recognises professionals who made significant progress through the ranks and have gained the attention of the industry. This year, Kenzo Lee, manager and head mixologist of speakeasy-style bar 25:00, took home the accolade. Formerly of W Hong Kong's Woobar and East Hong Kong's Sugar, Kenzo Lee is a talented bartender who showcases culinary techniques and spotlights Hong Kong culture in his creations.  

Runner-up - Kuromaru's Quentin Luk

One of the city’s talented bartenders, Quentin Luk is the guy behind the bar at the shochu and music lounge Kuromaru. His passion and dedication to the art of mixology are seen in the bar's seasonal offerings, where he showcases mastery and technique in his well-crafted cocktails.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Recognising the effort that goes behind a great cocktail experience, this award was given to DarkSide for their Art of Mahjong cocktail menu, which presents creative cocktails made with local ingredients inspired by the traditional Chinese tile-based game. 

Runner-up - Argo’s Cook Book menu 
Inspired by Hong Kong’s culinary traditions, Argo’s Cook Book menu presents delicious culinary cocktails crafted by Argo’s talented team of bartenders led by Lorenzo Antinori. Drop by at the Four Seasons Hong Kong’s flagship bar and taste cocktails with flavours of char siu, XO sauce, aged tea, and soybean, among others.  

Presented by

  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Central

One of our new categories for the fifth annual Bar Awards, the Best Wine Bar recognises the bar that serves some of the best wines in the city in a fun and engaging way and Landmark Mandarin Oriental's restaurant and wine bar Somm took home the honour. Somm offers a huge selection of over 1,600 Champagnes, wines and sakes and completes the experience with their seasonal menus.

Runner-up - James Suckling Wine Central
The runner-up for the category is James Suckling Wine Central, the wine bar by world-famous wine critic James Suckling located on Staunton Street. The bar presents a well-curated wine list covering James' 100-point rated wines during his decades-long career as a wine critic and attracts wine experts as well as novice wine drinkers. Those interested to learn more about wine can take advantage of their regularly scheduled open-tasting sessions. 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Inspired by the Bar World of Tomorrow, a sustainability movement that supports the shift towards greener practices for the bartending community, this award is given to the cocktail that utilises raw ingredients to their full potential, uses local and seasonal produce, and is celebrated for its innovativeness in waste reduction. The award honoured DarkSide for their ecoFFEE cocktail, part of the bar’s sustainable offerings in partnership with ecoSpirits that they launched in October 2022. The cocktail is DarkSide’s version of an espresso martini concocted with a distillation of low-waste Gin and reused coffee grounds, clarified orange stock from whole leftover oranges, and homemade Banana Oleo Saccharum macerated from banana skins that would otherwise be discarded. 

Runner up: Penicillin’s One Penicillin, One Tree cocktail 
Penicillin, the city’s first eco-friendly bar, presents its guests with a sustainable cocktail experience. Their One Penicillin, One Tree cocktail stands out as a native tree is planted in the endangered Kalimantan rainforest area in Borneo, Indonesia for each cocktail sold.  

Presented by

  • Bars and pubs
  • Sheung Wan

Our frenetic city runs on caffeine. Every corner and every district boasts an array of coffee shops where Hongkongers can get their caffeine fix. But there are shops that not only provide excellent brews to keep us going in the morning but also add boozy concoctions to their offerings. This year, the Best Cafe Bar was awarded to the intimate cafe bar at the tip of Aberdeen Street and Gough Street, named after the god of wine in Greek mythology, Dio. Come by for fresh coffee brews in the morning, head there to pregame at night, and sip your way through a list of cocktails inspired by the classics. 

Runner-up - Barcode
Barcode, the hip coffee shop on Glenealy in Central that serves snacks, desserts, and hand-drip coffee in the morning and after-work drinks at night, got the runner-up for the award category. Helmed by tea-cocktail connoisseur and Tell Camellia's co-founder Gagan Gurung, this intimate after-dark spot serves classic cocktails – Old Fashioned, Bees Knees, Negroni, margarita, daiquiri, and martini – and signature mixes crafted to pair well with desserts.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

Four Seasons' innovative bar, Argo, was named Readers’ Choice awardee for the second consecutive year. Since it opened in the city, Argo has been a favourite drinking spot for locals and travellers alike. Along with an extensive selection of novel spirits that you can't find anywhere else in the city, the bar offers a Hong Kong-inspired cocktail menu rooted in Hong Kong's culinary traditions. 

Runner-up - DarkSide
Another local favourite, Rosewood Hong Kong’s DarkSide is the runner-up for the Readers' Choice category. DarkSide’s extensive array of drink options, inspired cocktail menus, and high-class environment make it a great place to pop in for a drink when you’re on this side of the harbour.  

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Sheung Wan

This year, we presented the inaugural Trailblazer Award celebrating the pioneering personality who continues to shape the way we drink in the city. The award was given to talented mixologist and co-founder of multi-awarded bar Coa, Jay Khan, an innovative leader in the city's drink scene who has propelled the industry forward, forging a path for others to follow.  

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