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Carbon Brews Central
Photograph: Courtesy Carbon Brews Central

New bars to try in Hong Kong now

The city’s new drinking spots that should be on your radar

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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Most of the city's strict social distancing rules have been relaxed, and starting May 19, we'll finally see the reopening of bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Plus, with the return of dinner service,  bars with catering permits have also reopened, so we can finally head out afterwork for a toast to celebrate. If you're looking for new drinking joints, we've got you covered. Whether you’re after a hip new hangout spot, a restaurant bar, or a wine bar, read below for a list of new drinking dens to add to your bar-hopping itinerary. 

We will continue to update this list so you can keep tabs on new openings throughout the year, so bookmark this page! 

RECOMMENDED: But first, eat before you drink! If you're looking for new bites in the city, here's a list of new restaurants to try. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Central

Carbon Brews, one of the largest breweries in Hong Kong, has opened its second taproom in the heart of Central – the first one opened in Tokyo in 2021 – taking over the former space of Solas in 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. They're serving delicious gastropub fare to elevate your beer drinking experience. Behind the kitchen is chef Sean Yuen (formerly of Four Seasons Hotel's Caprice), who has prepared signature dishes with Mediterranean twists that pair well with Carbon Brews' unconventional beers. Starters include white bait frites served with homemade fermented hot sauce mayo that pairs perfectly with Carbon Brews IPA's Crazy Rich Lupulins and Staying Alive; and a Crazy Rich Beer Cheese with cheddar and taleggio that goes well with the brewery's sour or fruity beers. Mains include dishes like the hanger steak frites California prime hanger steak served with fries and smoked bone marrow sauce, as well as the pan-seared lamb belly marinated in anchovy-based smoked paprika with chipotle purée.

The bar is currently in its soft opening and will have its grand launch on May 25. The bar will reveal another set of drink menus featuring signature cocktails crafted by mixologist Tom Egerton when they fully open. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

Inspired by the tiki culture but with a modern approach, The Social Den is the latest bar to open on Wellington Street in Central. Behind the bar are industry veterans, Filipino mixologists Joe Villanueva (formerly of Lobster Bar and The Wise King) and Bryson Rivera (formerly of JW Marriott's Bar Q88), joined by co-founder and Dio owner Billy Ha. With two seasoned mixologists shaking up cocktails behind the stick, expect a menu of well-made signature drinks. Featuring Asian exotic fruits, our favourites on the menu include Coco Piña ($150), their version of piña colada with a kaffir twist served in frozen piña fruit; the rich but refreshing gin-based mangosteen ($120) with mangosteen chutney, Thai basil cordial, and curry powder blend; and their Margarita twist called Papaya ($100), made with tequila, papaya molasses, citrus, and fumed habanero sea salt. For bar bites, dig into pan-Asian dishes, including char siu pork neck ($75) with mangosteen chutney vinaigrette, king prawns with honey calamansi garlic sauce ($75), deep-fried chicken thigh served with spiced yuzu mayo ($75), and crispy zucchini chips with salted egg aioli ($55).

 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

Hollywood Road has just welcomed a new watering hole, and its spacious terraces overlooking different parts of Central make it a stand out among other bars in the area. Behind the bar are The Wise King's Sandeep Hathiramani (formerly of Tell Camellia) and Himson Lam (former bar supervisor of The Wise King). Perfect for gatherings and celebrations, guests can enjoy shisha, party punch cocktails served in bowls, and single servings of drinks that some of us used to drink in the 90s, which include reinterpreted versions of lychee martini, tequila sunrise, Blue Hawaii, and Amaretto Sour using premium spirits and fresh ingredients. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Wan Chai

Simon Rogan's latest venue at Lee Tung Avenue, The Baker and The Bottleman has just opened its second-floor wine bar – and it's where you'll see us winding down after work with a glass (or a bottle) of natural wine, while chomping on charcuterie and cheese and the moreish Irish Soda Bread Loaf ($85). The wine bar menu is curated by Roganic and master sommelier Pierre Brunelli (one of only over 200 master sommeliers in the world), featuring organic and biodynamic wines from sustainable and ethical winegrowers around the world. 

Sip on aromatic and herbal style Johannes Zillinger Revolution White Solera ($458/bottle) and pair it with flatbread, roasted cashew and chickpea cream sorrel emulsion ($68); butter lettuce, whipped ricotta, and toasted bread crumbs ($58); or try the Dufaitre Beaujolais Villages Premices Le Millesime Rouge 2020 ($460/bottle), which goes well with the buttery Sainte-Maure de Touraine (French goat cheese) from the mixed cured meat and artisan cheese platter ($208). Cocktail lovers can also order three classic cocktails from the menu, G&T, Dark and Stormy, and their signature coffee Negroni ($100 per glass). If you want to bring the experience back home, take away anything from the menu and grab a bottle from The Bottleman's hand-picked wine selection (starts at $200 per bottle) available on the first floor shop. 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Wan Chai

Newly opened Western-Japanese restaurant, Maison Meiji, has joined forces with Wan Chai's Japanese whisky bar Mizunara: The Library to bring vinyl and cosy shochu cocktail lounge called Kuromaru. Kuromaru's cocktail menu shines a spotlight on shochu and awamori. You'll find shochu brands like Daiyame 40 (shochu made from sweet potato) and cask-matured The Hachi Shochu, as well as bottles from other craft distilleries in Japan. Expect refreshing highballs and signature cocktails like Awamori based Nostalgia ($120), Espresso Orange Martini ($120) made with barrel aged Shochu, and the earthy Mont Blanc Alexander ($120) made with Yaki Imo Shochu.  

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Sheung Wan

Taking over the second floor of the former SYP izakaya Okra (now a Korean-inspired noodle bar Dam:a from the same team behind Korean restaurant OBP), is a new bar called Mostly Harmless, headed by The Pontiac's Ezra Star. The bar takes up the old white tiled walls of Okra, where the guest's names are scribbled in Magic Markers, serving as the backdrop and stage for Ezra mixing behind the bar. Cocktails on the menu are constantly changing depending on seasonal produce and Ezra's latest market haul. The bar is open from 4pm to 10pm on Thursdays to Sundays. They accept walk-ins but due to limited seats, it’s best to reserve before dropping by. Reservations are available on this link.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Tai Hang

Tiki-inspired bars are making their comeback in the city, and if you're looking for good sipping rums and tropical cocktails served in ceramic tiki mugs, head to Tai Hang's new watering hole, Maka Hiki Tropical Bar & Grill. This bar and restaurant is headed by restaurateur Maxence Traverse, the French mixologist who opened the city's first tiki cocktail lounge, Honi Honi. Maka Hiki is the contemporary cousin of Honi Honi, showcasing subdued Polynesian-themed decor and Max's 'tiki chic' concept inspired by his island experiences. The place is perfect for casual meetups with friends where you can enjoy thoughtful drinks (and some new renditions of Honi Honi's well-loved signature tipples) and delicious food crafted by chef Russell Doctrove inspired by flavours from the Caribbean, Polynesia, Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. For starters, sink your teeth into the moreish salmon crudo ($230) with yoghurt and a yuzu chilli dressing that easily melts in your mouth, before moving on to the mains with grilled mahi mahi curry ($265) and the Seychelles King Prawns ($320). Our favourite cocktails include the punchy Maka Hiki Punch ($180) made with a blend of overproof rum and Clément Première Canne, with Maraschino Liqueur, falernum, grapefruit and lemon juice, and The Dead Shaman ($160), a refreshing but strong drink made with Baijiu and a mix of falernum, exoctic fruit juices, and Sichuan pepper syrup. Make sure to book a seat at one of the two lush outdoor terraces, a hidden oasis that will transport you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Soho

Peel Street's ever-changing landscape is adding a new fun, casual, and colourful bar to its fold. Furutu is a new concept bar that will be focused on ume liqueur-based cocktails and highballs. The bar will offer four variations of highballs and cocktails that can be served on the rocks, straight, or with soda (+$10) or 'go hard' (+$20) in brightly coloured paper cups showcasing the brand's fruity characters. Drinks include the Kitajima Salted Yuzu Liqueur ($68), Nakata Peach Umeshu ($78),Tsukushi Green Tea Umeshu ($68), and concoctions like The Yuzu Collins ($98) and the Pear Sour ($98). Founded by a group of friends passionate about Japanese culture, the bar not only serves drinks but also offers cute merchandise featuring its fruity characters, which will be available in-store or on its newly launched website that includes the handy Wine Chiller ($98), customised playing cards ($98), tees, and tote bags (starts at $188). Those looking for small bites can also order from the bar's selection of skewers. 

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