Asia is home to some of the world’s top bars. Concocting unique, signature, and one-of-a-kind drinks and cocktails, paired with unmatched hospitality only found in the region, these 10 top bars in Asia are a must-visit when you find yourself in any of these countries.
Each of the bars featured in this list is the best in their respective countries, as ranked by Asia’s 50 Best Bars, a regional event of the World’s 50 Best Bars, which is an annual list that celebrates the best of the best in the industry.
And so, without further ado, here are Asia’s Top Bars by Country:
1. Thailand: The Bamboo Bar
Located at The Mandarin Hotel in Bangkok, The Bamboo Bar has been around since 1953, where it has become the favorite go-to place for music lovers in the city. With live jazz and an exotic club-like feel, this sanctuary for musicians and music lovers alike gives you a taste of all the regions of Thailand. The bar’s famous Compass menu features drinks, spirits, and cocktails from 5 geographical regions of the country, created by Artesian alumnus, Jamie Rhind.
2. China: Coa
Aside from being named China’s Best Bar in 2021, Coa in Hong Kong also has the honor of being named Asia’s Best Bar in 2021. A testament to their expertise in mixology, Coa owner-bartender Jay Khan was also the recipient of the Bartenders’ Bartender Award in 2020.
This award-winning bar is named after a machete-like tool used for harvesting agave, which is the plant that tequila and mezcal are made from. The bar offers an homage to both spirits, offering Hong Kong’s largest agave collection. With a passion for the craft, as well as impeccable hospitality, a drink at Coa goes way beyond a nightcap. It is a complete and immersive educational experience on agave which is why it’s no wonder that this candle-lit, industrial-style bar has become Asia’s best go-to spot for drinks.
3. Malaysia: Bar Trigona
Trigona is a stingless honeybee native to Southeast Asia and its nectar boasts a delicious sweet and sour honey that has become the focal point of Bar Trigona’s home-based signature drinks. Malaysia Best Bar of 2021, Bar Trigona is located at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, with a menu that focuses on indigenous and sustainable ingredients.
4. Indonesia: Union Brasserie, Bakery, and Bar
The Best Bar of Indonesia in 2021, Union has an all-day dining and bar concept that transitions from a bistro to a watering hole at sundown. From Bourbon pork ribs during the day to award-winning drinks at night, this American-themed bar in the heart of Jakarta wins the hearts of culinary hounds and spirit connoisseurs alike.
5. Philippines: The Curator
Located in Manila, The Curator is similar to Union in the sense that it serves two purposes: while Union is an all-day dining spot, The Curator is a cafe and a bar all at once. A bright cafe is found in the front of the bar, while the back offers an intimate and cozy spot. The only bar in the Philippines included in this year’s 50 Best Bars of Asia, The Curator’s standard of excellence earns it a top spot in the country, and in Asia.
With a staff that exudes confidence and a sense of ownership of the establishment, artisan coffee and refreshing cocktails are but a bonus to the bar’s extreme attention to detail and technical proficiency.
6. India: Sidecar
Co-owned by Indian bartending legend Yangdup Lama, this two-story bar in New Delhi is India’s Best Bar of 2021. The first floor of the building is a restaurant while the second floor is a bar with live music entertainment. India’s Best Bar for 2 years in a row, Sidecar is known and highly regarded for its craft cocktails with a lot of flavor extractions that are made in-house.
7. Singapore: Jigger and Pony
Jigger and Pony is a relaxed and classy bar in Singapore that gives special attention to its atmosphere more than anything else. Attracting a youngish crowd, its head bartender Giovanni Graziadei leads an international and diverse team of staff who are credited for creating the signature party atmosphere of Jigger and Pony which is lively but never rowdy.
8. South Korea: Charles H.
Located on the lower level of Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, Charles H. is a bar that pays tribute to Charles H. Baker, Jr, a 20th-century writer and author of the essential cocktail book, The Gentleman’s Companion. The New York Prohibition-era-themed bar carries a unique menu that draws from Baker, Jr.’s experiences from all over the world, with emphasis on drinks from Miami, London, and Rome.
9. Taiwan: Indulge Experimental Bistro
Modern and traditional, Indulge Experimental Bistro in Taipei has an international feel but the details pay an ode to Taiwan’s heritage and history. With dramatic cocktails that focus on Taiwan’s tea-growing heritage, drinks and beverages are brimming with creativity and imagination.
Creative and conceptual, the menu’s concept revolves around the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. It is a modernist bar that hasn’t forgotten its roots.
10. Japan: The SG Club
Third on the list for Asia’s Best Bars in 2021, and also the Best Bar in Tokyo for two consecutive years, The SG Club is the brainchild of international superstar bartender Shingo Gokan. S and G stand for “Sip” and “Guzzle,” and it also doubles as the owner’s initials.
There are two floors to the bar, with each floor offering a different drinking experience. The unique blend of Japanese and American bartending styles of Gokan incorporates unique flavor combinations using ingredients from all over the world.
With unique flavors only found in the region and local ingredients offering exotic indulgences, paired with Asia’s passionate focus on hospitality, these 10 bars in Asia are a sure experience not to be missed when visiting these cities.
Featured image: Charles H.