There’s something so alluring about seeking out a hidden bar away from prying eyes, and Hong Kong is no stranger to the speakeasy concept. Some of the best cocktail bars in Hong Kong are disguised as retail shops, concealed away in dead-end alleyways, tucked behind a faux phone booth or even hidden within another speakeasy.
Whether you call this vibrant city home or are a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, you absolutely can not miss out on the burgeoning bar and cocktail scene – we are home to some of the top bars and bartenders in the world after all! Here are the best Hong Kong hidden bars that you’ll want to check out – discreetly, of course!
One of the original speakeasies in Hong Kong, 001 is tucked away along a bustling side street in Soho. Chances are, you wouldn’t even notice it if you were walking past, but isn’t that the whole point? We were warmly greeted and loved the dark, sleek space and the knowledgeable servers and bartenders – make sure you gorge yourself on their truffle fries as well!
Just be on the lookout for a dim spotlight and an inconspicuously-placed doorbell. The expert mixologists are familiar with all of the classic cocktails, or go with one of their own creations if you’re feeling adventurous.
2. Little Su
Little Su is a chic speakeasy bar in Hong Kong hidden in an unlikely location…within one of the city’s most hip and happening nightclubs. Paying homage to Su Xiao Xiao, a famous Chinese courtesan also known as “Little Su”, the space showcases sophisticated Chinese decor with a modern twist.
The menu features new spins on classics with cocktails like the “Yuzu Whisky Sour”, or my personal favourite: the Xue Tao, a fusion margarita featuring Umeshu plum wine and honey. Little Su is only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays so be sure to e-mail or call ahead to reserve a table. You might walk straight past the entrance to this hidden bar in Hong Kong if you don’t know what to look out for. When you’ve arrived, look for the single red light and you’ll know where to go…
Foxglove is an upscale bespoke umbrella boutique…or is it? Find the right umbrella and the door slides open to reveal a classy speakeasy. Foxglove has quickly become a firm favourite in Hong Kong and serves up some seriously tasty cocktails and hosts an extremely happy hour session from 5-8 PM from Monday through to Saturday.
The bartenders here are some of the best in Hong Kong, which means that the place is often packed in the evenings – make sure you call ahead for a table!
4. Frank’s Library
When it comes to unique speakeasies in Hong Kong, Frank’s Library wins the “Inception” award – it’s a speakeasy within a speakeasy! Hidden away in Foxglove is this secret library den dedicated to none other than Frank Minza, a fictional British character dreamt up by the restaurant group behind these two swanky joints.
The cocktail menu often changes, and when we visited the drinks were inspired by Frank’s latest getaway to Japan. Find Frank’s Library behind velvet curtains, where you must then press the right elevator button to open the secret doorway to the quiet alcove.
5. Please Don’t Tell
Please Don’t Tell is a hidden bar within the Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel that seats up to 25 lucky guests. Though it’s quite possibly one of the worst-kept secrets in Hong Kong, the exclusive space features a whimsical entrance: it is concealed away from the crowds behind a faux phone booth!
Perfect for a romantic rendezvous or quiet date night, Please Don’t Tell serves up sumptuous cocktails as well as an unexpected array of treats that include gourmet hot dogs, tater tots and waffle fries. Don’t skip the “Big Fan” or “Benton’s Old Fashioned” with bacon-infused bourbon.
This one is exclusively for the ladies: XX is a secret bar in Hong Kong dedicated to serving and creating a sophisticated haven for women. The bar features a spacious indoor area as well as a small outdoor terrace, and a massive cocktail menu that will satisfy even the most discerning patron.
As you walk into XX you are invited to change out of your stilettos into plush slippers, so you can truly let your hair down and slink into one of the massive lounge chairs. Reservations are required, and you’ll need to find the hidden entrance on the 5th floor of the sophisticated Rosewood Hotel.
Update: XX has been rebranded into a private members’ lounge and is not currently open as a speakeasy for the public.
7. Room 309
Cocktail aficionados simply cannot skip Room 309, a speakeasy disguised as a hotel room within The Pottinger boutique hotel in Soho. This Hong Kong speakeasy has remained relatively under-the-radar, even among locals who are in the know about new, up-and-coming cocktail bars in the city. This secret speakeasy in Hong Kong serves up creative, imaginative and beyond-the-ordinary cocktails that will blow your mind.
Patrons will need to embrace the philosophy of the expert mixologists at Room 309 and try out one (or ten) of their “Invisible Cocktails”, libations that are completely colorless yet deliver strong, familiar flavours. The idea behind these creations are that they allow you to taste the tipple without any preconceived notions of taste.
Don’t miss their Crystal Old Fashioned or Deep Sea Martini. If you’re lucky, you might even get to try some of their own house-distilled Vegemite flavored vodka! To get in, “check in” to Room 309 at The Envoy and wait to be handed your room key.
8. Dr. Fern’s
Gin lovers rejoice! Dr. Fern’s parlour is your go-to spot to fill your prescription of gin-based cocktails. This speakeasy in Hong Kong is creatively disguised as a doctor’s office, and will have you feeling like you’ve gone down the rabbit hole – à la Alice In Wonderland.
The space, though compact, is a secret hideaway for those looking to taste an array of craft gins from around the world. When you’re here, don’t forget to indulge in some of Hong Kong’s very own boutique gin brands: Two Moons is one of my favourites!
9. Ping Pong 129 Gintoneria
It’s true, Hong Kongers have a slight obsession with gin, because this speakeasy is yet another altar to the botanical spirit. Ping Pong 129 is one of the hippest casual cocktail joints in the city, and like many other speakeasies in Hong Kong it is cleverly disguised as something else entirely…in this case, a ping pong equipment shop!
If you didn’t know any better, you’d walk right past this speakeasy as it is hidden in plain sight. But those in the know will take the narrow staircase down and be wow-ed by the massive, welcoming space within. The pours, though pricey, are extremely generous and you’ll definitely want to hold on to the handrail for stability as you make your way back up the stairs at the end of the night.
10. The Old Man
To round out this list of the best speakeasies in Hong Kong is none other than the multi-award winning The Old Man. This stylish cocktail bar has been named one of Asia’s best bars (even topping the rankings in 2019), and was inspired by the timeless Ernest Hemingway novel.
The expert cocktail chefs – and I do say chefs – create peculiarly inventive libations that will sometimes have you wondering whether you’re actually ordering a molecular gastronomy dish. Put your preconceived notions of what a cocktail is to the test with their concoctions, and get here early so that you can grab a seat at their long bar. A word of warning: The Old Man is not for the faint of heart looking for the untainted classics.
Which of these hidden speakeasies in Hong Kong will you be visiting? Whatever you do, don’t forget to pace yourself, drink responsibly and enjoy these delightful secret speakeasies.
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