The Time Out KL DRINK List is where we handpick the best places to drink in our city.
These are the bars and joints that serve up some of the most creative cocktails, offer the most rare labels (whether wine or liquor), and have on tap craft beer from some of the world's best craft breweries. Whether you're looking for a quiet night out over wine with friends, or a cocktail party overlooking our city's iconic skyline, we've got just the place for you.
Drank somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDrinkList. You can also find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews bars here.
As one of KL’s most popular bars, Coley has one thing on its mind – good cocktails. It has placed in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2018 and 2019, and serves a carefully curated menu of cocktails that’s updated every so often. There’s a core selection of classics cocktails updated with contemporary Coley twists. The Koktel menu from the bar’s early days is still a favourite, with local-inspired drinks and ingredients.
Another of KL’s entries in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2018 and 2019 is Jungle Bird, the self-proclaimed Rumah Rum that stocks over 100 labels of both light and dark rums from all over the world. The bar exudes a charming tropical resort vibe, and serves on rum flights and rum cocktails, of course. Go for the bar’s namesake, the JungleBird cocktail.
A visit to PS150 in Chinatown is a transportive experience, with settings reminiscent of old fashioned Hong Kong dens alongside open air spaces and an intimate bar area. The cocktail menu is divided into the different eras of the drink’s history, each offering original concoctions and classics with a contemporary twist. The focus is on Southeast Asian flavours and ingredients, so expect familiar flavours.
The cosy Pahit specialises in all things gin – from various versions of classic G&Ts to innovative contemporary gin-based cocktails. We recommend going for one of the fruit-infused G&Ts which are very easy to drink, or if you’re after cocktails the house signature Gin Pahit #2 is the bar’s interpretation of the classic Pink Gin.
One of KL’s first proper speakeasy bars and placing in the Top 10 of the inaugural Asia’s Best Bars list, the discreet Omakase + Appreciate serves complex contemporary cocktails created by award-winning mixologists. The omakase (I’ll leave it to you) concept is practised here, so leave your drink decisions in their talented hands. You won’t be disappointed.
The Rum Bar houses an impressive selection of over 300 labels from all over the world – from the classics to the rare and limited editions – and the bar aims to elevate the spirit’s image by serving them in a classy setting. Go for the rum flights for an introduction, or ask for a recommendation. There are also rum ciders and plenty of rum-based cocktails on the menu.
The views from Marini’s on 57 are spectacular – floor-to-ceiling windows open up to views that extends across the city to the distant mountains, and a glass roof that lets you look straight up to the tallest twin peaks in the world. Drinks come by way of contemporary cocktails made with premium spirits, as well as wine and champagnes.
The gorgeous Bar Trigona in the equally swanky Four Seasons KL is a quietly sophisticated space that placed in the coveted Asia’s Best Bars list in 2019, within a year of its opening in 2018. Talented bartenders craft refined contemporary cocktails that showcase local ingredients and flavours, as well as customise drinks based on guests’ preferences.
Coffee saloon by day and gin parlour by night, MAZE is outfitted with opulent décor reminiscent of a Hollywood set of a mob boss’ mansion. The highlights at MAZE are the extensive collection of imported craft gin on offer and the services of the ‘gin sum’ cart – a cart filled with fresh garnishes to pair your G&T with.
A marriage of fiery charm and the chic ambience of a good bar, Pisco Bar is a cool space that doesn’t seem hard-pressed to compete with its flashier neighbours. Instead, the bar is confident in its offerings of a trim yet inclusive selection of cocktails, wine, beer and liquors alongside a menu of fusion food. Nights are often soundtracked by a rotation of local and international DJs.
61 Monarchy is an unassuming lounge in which you can relax with a dram or two of whisky from all over the world. The focus at this laidback bar is whisky, and there are over 400 bottles displayed on shelves around the bar. Go through the whisky collection, or start with a whisky flight or any of their strong whisky-based cocktails.
This neighbourhood bar is a popular spot for fans of craft beer – the rotation of up to eight options on tap at any one point as well as the fridge which contains even more varieties from craft breweries around the world are huge plus points. Prices are affordable, and the casual atmosphere in this minimalist space is great for an evening with friends.
Staying true to its name, Château DeCanter offers guests plenty of breathing space in its elegant lounge with plush couches and private rooms. There’s no wine list here; you’ll have to peruse the racks or simply get a recommendation from the knowledgeable owner and staff. Wines range from Old to New World, and include rare classic labels as well.
Craft beer specialists Taps Beer Bar offer a range of quality craft brews from all over the world – from popular American and European brands to underrated beers from around the region. IPAs, APAs, pilsners, lagers, stout and more are available both on tap and in bottles, and the bar’s rotating tap concept ensures it’s never short on variety.
Hidden behind a row of lockers above a nondescript shophouse, The Locker + Loft opens up to a laidback space that offers affordable quirky cocktails alongside addictive finger food and spicy bar bites. The cocktails at this neighbourhood bar feature inventive use of local and Asian ingredients and quality spirits.
SkyBar is a classy space to sip cocktails in the sky against great views of the famed Petronas Twin Towers. Here, you can find sunken surrounding the pool that are great spots to enjoy your drink, bar snacks that pair well with any of the drinks on the menu, and a dancefloor that gets packed as the night wears on.
Don’t miss the cocktails at Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar – they’re very easy to drink and showcase a sense of playful creativity in their execution. The bar is housed in a former duplex penthouse that has been transformed into a chic eclectic space made for bold cuisine and equally contemporary cocktails that don’t disappoint.
Co-owned by a group of wine enthusiasts and the bar’s own sommeliers, Private Room is an intimate casual wine bar that carries more than 200 labels from all over the world, with a focus on less common labels. Take your pick from the well-stocked shelves, or ask for a recommendation – the staff are only too happy to help.
The capable bartenders are HYDE are great at tailoring drinks to your preference, and the frequent use of homemade ingredients and blends are what set the cocktails here apart. You can find inventive creations and classic drinks from different eras given a contemporary twist, and the handsome space brings to mind a classy early twenties speakeasy-style bar.
Located in the elegant Banyan Tree KL, Altitude offers a constantly updating selection of fine wines that takes cues from customers’ preferences and is curated by the resident sommelier. The warm palette and plush couches offer a welcome cosiness in the heart of the city, and floor-to-ceiling windows open up to panoramic views of the city skyline – a fantastic backdrop for that glass of wine.
The menu at Coppersmith may not be the most extensive in the city, but the artisanal cocktails on the curated list are inventive and made with craft spirits and house-made syrups and edible garnishes. The classics are playfully reinterpreted with unconventional ingredients, and it’s clearly quality of quantity at this elegant space.