Tired of the same old Lan Kwai Fong bars? Can’t face another round in a dingy Wan Chai sports bar? We feel the same—that’s why we’ve compiled our 14 favourite cocktail and speakeasy bars in Hong Kong, located in and around busy Central and trendy Soho.
These venues are a fantastic way to spice up date night, after-work cocktails, or enjoy a much classier version of Saturday night on the town. Experience the thrill of Prohibition-era drinking with these hidden-away venues serving crafted cocktails dreamt up by master mixologists, and get ready to sip in style in a speakeasy. Cheers!
Please Don’t Tell
Sip a glass full of New York chic at the Mandarin Oriental’s newest, coziest speakeasy. There’s a fabulous late-night cocktail menu alongside plenty of wine and nibbles, with an added air of luxury as you dine in style at the Landmark’s most renowned hotel. We’d recommend PDT for a classy date night or special celebration, with a food menu curated by the Mandarin’s head chef. To find the entrance, you may want to look for a quiet place on the mezzanine level of the hotel to make a phone call.
Tel: +852 2131 0110
Branded as Hong Kong’s first-ever speakeasy, 001 offers Prohibition-era classics for every occasion, open well into the early hours of the morning to finish off your night in style. Set behind the Graham Street market stalls, ring the antique doorbell of a door in the side of Welley Building. The décor is classy yet remains easy-going and unintimidating. If you’re lucky, there’ll be live music during your stay to take you back to the 20s and 30s—every detail is done right at 001.
Tel: +852 2810 6969
Not only is J. Boroski an Instagram hotspot, there’s always something new to try at the bar. Missed World Whiskey Day? Not to worry—you’ll find a host of delicious artisan cocktails from the mind of the bar’s namesake mixologist, Joseph Boroski. Sit up at the long bar or tuck yourself away at a quiet table and drink in the experience both figuratively and literally. You can have a custom cocktail created by informing the bartender of your tastes. To find the entrance, wander down Ezra Lane off Central’s Hollywood Road – more details would ruin the mystery!
Tel: +852 3912 3800
Ping Pong 123 Gintonería
Sai Ying Pun’s trendiest spot for a cool belowground gin & tonic is definitely one to add to the happy-hour list… speciality gins and exciting flavours await you at Ping Pong, and you’re a stone’s throw from other Hong Kong watering holes and local foodie haunts nearby. We’d recommend getting there early as tables fill up quickly—visit and you’ll know why! If you’d like to find the gintonería the organic way, look for a bright red door on Second Street that may seem ‘off limits’.
Tel: +852 9835 5061
Know a whisky lover? Treat them well with a trip to Stockton, where each drink is crafted to perfection each night. Aside from fine whisky, Stockton’s cocktails take us back to the Neolithic era with everything from Avocado Liqueur to Ghee-infused Tanquerey (we’ve never heard of that, either). But don’t be mistaken, there’s nothing primitive about the time and craftsmanship behind each drink at Stockton, so make sure to visit for an unforgettable speakeasy experience. On the corner of Wyndham Street and Glenealy, go into the dark hallway by the barber shop that’s least likely to lead to something interesting – you’ll be rewarded for your curiosity.
Tel: +852 2565 5268
Just what the doctor ordered: everything at Penicillin is zero-waste, so you can sit back and sip responsibly at a new concept bar in the heart of Central. The sustainable menu is a twist on classic French and Italian cuisine with fusion elements to boot, stop by for lunch, dinner, or drinks and take a peek at the in-house fermentation lab where food waste is given new life again and turned into exquisite cocktails and treats. To find Penicillin, look under Paisano’s Central for the plain sign and tiled entranceway.
Tel: +852 9880 7995
Combine dinner and drinks at Hugger Mugger, the speakeasy which sits in front of Pirata Group’s renowned Indian-style Chaiwala restaurant in Central. You’d definitely walk past the entrance on Wyndham Street if you weren’t looking for it – the colourblock entrance bears little evidence of the bar behind it except for a subtle sign and the numbers 43-55. The bar transports you back in time to British India, with the salon creating cocktails with eclectic drinks inspired by Pink Floyd, Shakespeare, and other British cultural greats.
Tel: +852 2362 8998
One of Hong Kong’s classic night-out cocktail bars, Le Boudoir is known for its funky decorations and great music provided by trendy live DJ sets. In Central, look for the small, inconspicuous doorway under a yellow umbrella on Wyndham Street. If you’re past Pastis, you’ve gone too far! Personal favourites at this secretive party spot include the delectably moreish Dirty Martini cocktail as you dance the night away under UV lights with friends.
Tel: +852 2530 3870
You’re in good company at The Diplomat, as the hidden bar ranks 20th on Asia’s 50 Best Bars List and recently won the London Essence Best New Opening Award of 2021. Still not convinced? The chintzy decorations and range of classic and modern cocktails suits all palates, with master mixologist John Nugent providing something for everyone. Go inside and into the depths of the Car Po commercial building, which is across from the red bricked seating area on Pottinger Street.
Tel: +852 3619 0302
The Pottinger’s walk-in speakeasy offers a fun twist on the hotel experience. Simply pick up your keycard from The Reception on the third floor, and tap the card to access Room 309. We’ve enjoyed their ‘invisible menu’, where the bartenders create clear cocktails so that your preconceptions about colour and flavour don’t influence your tasting experience. This is an intimate location and perfect for date nights and catch-ups with friends.
Tel: N/A – walk-ins only!
A delectable wine and whisky bar in the heart of Soho, serving up Japanese classics and tasting sets for the most experienced connoisseurs among us. French wines are in vogue at this speakeasy, with curated bottles old and new. There are cocktails on offer making use of Nocturne’s many malts, but we’d recommend sticking to the classics and sharing a bottle of something special with your loved ones—it’s so worth it. Hidden in plain sight among the bars of Peel Street, look for a grey facade and wood sliding door.
Tel: +852 6464 1598
Not just another speakeasy, The Poet is an innovative hidden bar with everything from classic cocktails to its new CBD mindful menu—delicious! There are often guest mixologists on hand, offering new and innovative drinks for adventurous customers, and free-flow cocktails at their Saturday Brunch at The Langham. To get inside The Poet, look carefully on Staunton Street for the chrome door with a small window in the middle.
Tel: +852 9880 1550 (WhatsApp only!)
A truly harmonious marriage between dim sum and drinks happens at Foxglove, with an ever-changing menu and rare cognac spirits hailing from the 1930s onwards meaning that there’s always something new to try. Look for the Foxglove umbrella store on Ice House Street, Central. Once you enter through the secret door, the décor is equally lush, with antique umbrellas adorning the walls. Make sure to look the part as Foxglove’s dress code means you should look as classy as their interiors!
Tel: +852 2116 8949
Safe Bubbles & Malt
No, Money Heist was not filmed in Sheung Wan, yet, behind that large bank vault on Queen’s Road Central, is hidden an intimate whisky bar, with an impressive collection of liquor that connoisseurs will love. As the name suggests, our thirsty friends will also find wines, champagnes and cocktails, prepared by a bartender who will love to share about the spirits and drinks you can enjoy there. Snacks and cheese platters are available for the hungry ones!
Tel: +852 2505 9988
The Old Man
Taking its inspiration from Ernest Hemingway, author of multiple acclaimed classics and titan of the literary world, The Old Man is inspired in concept and design by the great man himself with an adventurous range of cocktail ingredients which draw on Hemingway’s travels and accumulated culinary expertise. To find the entrance in Soho, look for a warm yellow glow a few steps from a stairway off of Aberdeen Street. Hint: Why can a cat jump from such precarious heights?
Tel: N/A, contact [email protected] for reservations.
There are plenty of underground bars, speakeasies, and hidden watering holes for you to try on Hong Kong island. We’re always on the hunt for new places to try, so drop us a note if we’ve missed your favourite venue off our list!
Header image credits: Punch Drink