Hong Kong’s best rooftop bars
Serving Australian and USDA beef, Wooloomooloo cooks up a mean steak. However, let’s be honest, there are better steaks in town at places like Morton’s and Beefbar. What keeps patrons coming back to Wooloomooloo’s Wan Chai branch are the jaw-dropping views from the 31st floor which take in all of the local neighbourhood, the harbour and Happy Valley, including the race course. While you're up there, rifle through the impressive wine list: the choice is vast and worldly.
This new rooftop venue is by the same team behind modern French restaurant Ecriture on the floor below, as well as winning concepts such as Bibo, The Ocean and Tri. One of the coolest alfresco spaces in town, Piqniq is decked out with comfy seats, beanbags and even one of Yayoi Kasuma’s iconic polka-dot pumpkins. In this fun and whimsical space, you can enjoy a variety of 'piqniq' baskets filled with international fare, as well as various wines, champagnes and classic cocktails.
Accessible by a private elevator, Popinjays is a stunning new restaurant and bar that makes it worth trudging up Cotton Tree Drive to reach The Murray. The space is a stunner, encased in floor-to-ceiling windows with a wraparound terrace that looks out in all directions to surrounding high-rises like the HSBC Building and Bank of China Tower. Most standard cocktails are priced at $130, which, while not cheap, is surprisingly reasonable for a five-star hotel.
Perched high above the hustle and bustle of Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Eyebar is a strong contender for ‘bar with the best vantage point in Hong Kong’. Sit back on the relaxing terrace and take in unobstructed views of Victoria Harbour with a cold beer or signature cocktail.
If you think Hong Kong’s best rooftop bars are restricted to locations near the harbour, think again. The Garage Bar in Mong Kok, at the Cordis, boasts an impressive range of local and international craft beer and is also a good bet if you want a bite to eat. There’s an attractive red and black theme that runs throughout the fourth-floor rooftop bar, which extends to two vintage Citroen food trucks supplying a mix of western and Chinese favourites.
The rooftop terrace at Armani/Privé is a great spot to relax whenever the temperature allows. Don’t be surprised if the bar area is sparsely populated when you enter only for the terrace upstairs to be heaving. Although one of the ‘lower’ rooftop bars on this list, the establishment’s position amid the bright lights of Central is still a winner. Sky high views are traded for plush, comfortable seating and a live DJ spinning chilled-out tunes.
A newcomer to Kwun Tong, Nexus is a seriously spacious location. The unpretentious and studenty bar is a whopping 15,000 sq ft and features darts machines, karaoke, beer pong, billiards, VIP party rooms, TV screens showing sport and a massive rooftop area too. It may not have killer views of the harbour but if you’re looking for a rooftop bar where you don’t have to be squashed up to the table next to you, you can’t do better than Nexus.
Proving that the Southside can do great vistas too, Above sits quite literally above Ovolo Southside hotel. From this perch it offers stunning 360-degree views of Wong Chuk Hang. The drinks aren’t half bad either. Our recommendation is the Warehouse to Wanderlust ($108), a mix of Diplomatico rum, yellow chartreuse, starfruit juice, lemon juice, egg white, cream, sugar syrup, prosecco and nutmeg. Light and refreshing, it immediately hits the spot.
A narrow black leathered elevator (which vaguely hints at a padded cell) shoots you up to the 118th floor of the ICC and to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong where you’ll find the highest bar in the world. You’re immediately greeted by low-lit moody green neon, avante-garde seating and walls of refracted swirling glass, but what seals the deal is the completely unobstructed view of western Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. And, with one of the best wine lists in town and a great cocktail programme, the menu is almost as impressive as the view.
One of the most highly anticipated openings in Lan Kwai Fong when it arrived on the scene, this restaurant, lounge and club takes up the top two floors of LKF’s California Tower. The rooftop bar features a pretty impressive view over Central and Mid-Levels that leaves you feeling like you’re still in the city rather than above it. The interiors, meanwhile, are so sleek it seems like dust would spontaneously combust as soon as it touches the walls, with shimmering dark panelling and red lighting matching the pulsating house mix that reverberates throughout the whole establishment.
The biggest project yet by local socialite and patissiere Bonnae Gokson, Sevva is a pretty incredible space. A 360-degree balcony offers stunning views of the skyscrapers of Central and Admiralty, the harbour, and the opposing Kowloon skyline – perfect for sunset drinks and impressing visiting friends or clients. The furnishings, meanwhile, are straight out of Elle Decor and demand appreciation for their style and easy elegance.
Encompassing the entire 32nd floor of the spankingly swanky business hotel EAST in Tai Koo, Sugar is a soaring establishment that sells itself as ‘bar + deck + lounge’. It’s a tag that succinctly sums up the highlights of this ultra-cool space, except that it omits Sugar’s finest feature: the utterly breathtaking views. Enjoying sweeping vistas with a drink in hand is hardly a new thing to our spoilt eyes in Hong Kong but Sugar’s panoramas provide a new, eastern take on our urban jungle. The view dominates from every corner of the bar, such is the openness of the smartly designed interior. Grab a drink and take it all in.
Formerly 27 Restaurant, this underutilised terrace space was given a complete facelift and reopened as Skye, a bar and an eatery that boasts an eye-popping view of Hong Kong. From floor to ceiling, Skye’s reception area is clinically white alongside sleek curvatures that are reminiscent of futuristic sci-fi flicks like Gattaca. That stunning harbour view is unobstructed all the way to North Point, and the bar menu features well-made cocktails that don’t break the bank.
For a different perpsective on Hong Kong different from the usual Central-TST views, head to Causeway Bay’s ToTT’s. Situated by the Causeway Bay harbourfront, take in the westerly view straight down the harbour, all the way to the IFC mall and beyond. A more than handy list of wine and whisky will keep the party going, too.