Header image courtesy of @bluesupremehk (via Instagram)
Bars are finally open again, and we’re shaking with anticipation at the prospect of no longer having to be a kerbside patron of Club 7-11 any more. If however, you’re still not quite keen to dive headlong back into the night-crawling crowds of Soho, our city has plenty of neighbourhood bars dotted around that are lesser-known, unless to those who live in or frequent certain areas. Here are seven of our favourite neighbourhood bars—buy us a cheeky drink if you bump into us!
Tucked in amongst the knick-knacky stalls along Cat Street, Blue Supreme is one of our favourite understated craft beer bars. With dark interiors and a long wooden table along a huge window that opens out onto the street, this is a small but classy joint that has a huge range of excellent craft beers on tap. Many of their beers are very interesting flavours found nowhere else, such as kiwi, mala numbing spice, and rhubarb pie. They have also got a surprisingly good food menu to line your stomach with, and the staff are more than willing to chat and find you something to suit your tastes.
Blue Supreme, G/F, 21 Tung Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 5998 3088
Inspired by a love of the ski slopes in Nagano, Japan, Lounge Hakuba is designed to resemble a modernised rendition of a mountain ski lodge. With light wood structures, comfy couches, and thoughtful touches such as small end tables with embedded wireless phone chargers, this is the perfect place to unwind after work, especially if you’re based in Causeway Bay. Apart from the excellent cocktails created by co-founder and head bartender Wing—along with some truly stand-out selections made in collaboration with other top mixologists in Hong Kong—Lounge Hakuba also has the added perk of having an outdoor terrace where guests can enjoy a wide range of shisha.
Lounge Hakuba, Unit 302, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2111 1707
One of Hong Kong’s very few true dive bars, The Pontiac has a rough and tumble, grunge-y vibe that is vastly different to all the other posh and polished drinking holes in the city. Blasting its rock and metal-biased playlist and decked out in feather boas and bras—a collection which customers can add to in exchange for a shot—a night out at The Pontiac is always a good time. Co-owner Beckaly Franks is a legendary spitfire, and the staff are always fun to chat to as they mix up a storm—don’t forget to order their signature Hobnail ($88) and one of their mouthwatering Sly Dogs ($50).
The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey Street, Soho | (+852) 2521 3855
A friendly space popular with the Tai Hang community, Second Draft is the joint brainchild of TAP: The Ale Project, Young Masters Brewery, and Hong Kong’s award-winning chef May Chow. They offer a great selection of local craft beers on tap, beer-inspired cocktails, and a fantastic gastropub menu heavily inspired by local Hong Kong flavours such as Inked Croquettes ($32) filled with dried oysters and Pastrami Slices ($78) flavoured with minced garlic and Chin Kiang vinegar.
Second Draft, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang | (+852) 2656 0232
Housed within the revamped and hip Eaton Hotel, Terrible Baby is the watering hole of choice for hipsters and the artsy crowd all over the city. As with the rest of the hotel, the interior design is done up in a mid-century style, and they’ve also got a spacious outdoor patio to lounge around in. Our hard-picked favourites from their fantastic cocktail menu are #Busy ($95) made with Aperol, Fords Gin, Cocchi Rosa, Fernet Hunter, and yuzu juice, and the Negroni ($85)—need we remind you that it’s still Negroni Week, by the way? Keep an eye out for Terrible Baby’s programme of underground music acts!
Terrible Baby, 4/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Kowloon | (+852) 2710 1866
Step away from the seedy sports bars frequented by drunk middle-aged white men and the ratchet Wan Chai Wednesday joints, and hit up Tai Lung Fung instead. Named after a famous Cantonese opera troupe from the 1960s, this bar has its name ostentatiously lit up in pink neon. The interiors are a throwback to Hong Kong in the 1960s, featuring vintage knick-knacks such as old movie posters, clocks, and other such kitsch memorabilia. Their menu has also deliberately been made to resemble an old broadsheet newspaper. If you’re a nostalgic person who enjoys things that pay tribute to the past, then Tai Lung Fung will be right up your alley.
Tai Lung Fung, 5 Hing Wan Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2572 0055
Even if you like trawling the boutique-filled streets of Poho, you may not know that the French concept store Château Zoobeetle houses a bar tucked towards the back of its retail space. A classy space in which to enjoy a glass or five of wine, there’s also an in-house sommelier to make recommendations should you prefer some guidance. There’s little we like better than to be able to sip a good red, nibble on French cheeses, and shop through a well-curated selection of clothes, homeware, and art all in one go.
Château Zoobeetle, 38 Sai Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2559 8555