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Rest Coffee Gin
Photograph: Courtesy Rest Coffee Gin

Hong Kong’s best cafes that turn into bars

Cafe by day and bar by night, all day drinking just got a lot easier

By Time Out Hong Kong
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Be it artsy, minimalist, stylish, or quirky, there seems to be an endless stream of new cafes opening up across the city. But it’s not easy to please all the discerning coffee drinkers here in Hong Kong, and so, shop owners are going all out to maximise the potential of their single storefront – and that’s how cafe-bars were born. Whether you’re in need of a caffeine fix or a tipple after work, here are five cafes that transform into bars that have you covered for all your drinking desires. By Ann Chiu Translated by Elaine Wong

Hong Kong’s best cafes that turn into bars

Analog coffee
Analog coffee
Photograph: Ann Chiu

Coffee Analog

Restaurants Cafés Prince Edward

Tucked in an alley in Prince Edward, Coffee Analog is characterised by walnut-coloured leather couches, vintage chandeliers and valve amplifiers, creating a relaxing atmosphere akin to that of traditional Kyoto tea houses. The house blend is made up of dark-roasted beans from Sumatra, Guatemala, Columbia, and Brazil, and are brewed with double shots of ristretto, instead of espresso, to accentuate the flavour. For something sweet to go with your drink, opt for their homemade chiffon cakes and Uji matcha financiers. In the evening, Coffee Analog becomes Malt Cask, a bar that sells over three hundred rare whiskies from around the world, and regularly hosts whisky-tasting sessions.

Rest Coffee Gin
Rest Coffee Gin
Photograph: Calvin Sit

Rest Coffee Gin

Restaurants Cafés West Kowloon

Located on the promenade of the West Kowloon Cultural District, Rest Coffee Gin offers a personalised experience without the need for specific menus. To select a drink, you must first smell ten different types of grounded beans, and choose between black, white, and hand-poured coffee, espresso tonic, or even mixed combos for the indecisive. As for food, Rest Coffee Gin specialises in wagyu sandwiches, which is made with A3 wagyu from Kumamoto and wasabi mayo containing locally sourced organic lychee honey, together forming an exceptional combination of flavours and textures. As the sun sets, award-winning local bartender Wallace Lau takes charge, providing G&Ts with customised flavours. You can mix and match from the collection of almost a hundred gins and seven types of tonic, or you can go for their series of tea-based cocktails.

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Interval
Interval
Photograph: Courtesy Interval

Interval Coffee

Restaurants Coffeeshops Central

With a name that denotes an intermission, Interval is not only a combo of cafe and bar, but it also acts as a stage for local and international baristas and chefs to shine and display their culinary talents. The interior of the coffee shop is gold-themed, suggesting that the selected beans are equally exquisite; in fact, Interval is the sole agent of beans produced by Coffee Collective, a renowned roaster in Northern Europe that picks and roasts their seasonal beans in Copenhagen before shipping them to Hong Kong. In the evening, Interval becomes a bar and restaurant that presents over 60 different wine varieties that are updated regularly and showcase lesser-known vineyards and wineries. If you are a fan of natural wines, don’t miss out on the dozens of natural wine brands available on the menu, including the coveted Gut Oggau, Radikon, and Gravner.

Doubleshot by Cupping Room
Doubleshot by Cupping Room
Photograph: Calvin Sit

Doubleshot by Cupping Room

Bars and pubs Café bars Central

The Cupping Room might ring a bell for most coffee lovers, but its concept store, Doubleshot by Cupping Room, only opened a few months ago on Hollywood Road. Hoping to be the trailblazer for the hard coffee trend in Hong Kong, restaurant consultant Chanel Adams (former bartender of the world-famous PDT New York) has designed a special series of coffee cocktails for Doubleshot. From espresso to AeroPress, and flash brews, the coffee bases have been chosen to match Cupping Room’s coffee standards. The signature Spent Martini ($118) is a variation of the classic espresso martini, using sustainable bar practice  by utilising  used coffee grounds and sweeteners from unsold almond croissants. The result? A unique martini with a delicate smooth foam which brings the fruitiness of coffee to the fore, before an earthy finish.

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JMT
JMT
Photograph: Ann Chiu

JMT

Restaurants Cafés Sai Ying Pun

JMT, or ‘jon mat taeng’, is an abbreviation and slang term used by young people in Korea to mean ‘very delicious’. The store design is simplistic, with white-washed walls decorated with neon signs. Among their Korean-style coffees, the must-try item is a Dirty Coffee, a drink inspired by the viral trend for ‘dirty buns’ (a chocolate pastry bun or pain au chocolat covered in cocoa powder). This hazelnut-flavoured coffee is topped with a thick layer of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. It’s made to spill slightly over the glass rim to create that sense of guilty pleasure. After 7pm, the cafe transforms into a bar, offering Korean soju-based cocktails. Some of these cocktails tend to be on the sweet side, which is perfect for those looking for something easier on the palate.

Check these out for more coffee or cocktails!

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