Where to go for the best underground drinks and how to find them.
The Speakeasy— originally from the prohibition era and seemingly popular all over the world. A concept which consists of intimate drinking and diverse conversation with an in-the-know crowd. It comes as no surprise that the Speakeasy has gathered a cult following in Hong Kong. Check out Hong’s best speakeasies with an exclusive and quirky demeanour.
Cosy yet cultured by design, Back Bar is a secluded hangout spot admired by expats and locals alike. Tucked away on an unassuming alley on Ship Street, it would be easy to miss if it wasn’t for the hanging neon sign up above. After locating the sign and looking for an unmarked door, you’ll be steps away from an extensive cocktail list and all the ambience you could need.
Address: Back Bar, 7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Fitting in with the speakeasy-style theme, The Diplomat will have you believing you’re part of a secret government institution. The Diplomat (the newest speakeasy in town), pays homage to some of London’s best bars. It was designed to have a bar within a bar alluding to the feeling of exclusivity—and it does just that. Inside you’ll find brown leather and brass tones and an intriguing atmosphere created with low level lighting.
Address: The Diplomat, LG/F, Shop 1, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong
Dr.Fern’s Gin Parlour
Based on the fictional character Dr Robben Ferns, this speakeasy is hidden in plain sight. The door is disguised as a ‘doctors office’, forcing you to lose your inhibitions and trust that there is a secret bar inside. Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour is home to over 250 gins with a wide array of premium bottles. This bar is the perfect escape from busy crowds, offering cocktails and cheeseboards for an intimate experience.
Address: Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, B1/F, Flat B31A, Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Foxglove boasts an aire of sophistication and charms you into returning again and again. Disguised as an umbrella storefront—in true speakeasy-style—Foxglove masters the prohibition theme. Pull the duck head in the umbrella bin next to the concierge stall, and the wall slides open to invite you back in time. Foxglove brags a carefully curated drinks menu featuring rare Cognac from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, as well as classic cocktails with a twist.
Address: Foxglove, 2/F, Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
If you look a little harder, you’ll find Frank’s Library shrouded inside Foxglove. A covert library lingers, hidden away from prying eyes quietly behind closed curtains. Frank’s Library boasts premium spirits and barrel-aged cocktails served up by Derek Tsui (Drinks World Asia’s Top 25 Bartender’s in Hong Kong). You will definitely keep on coming back here for exquisite presentation and exceptional service. Be sure to make a reservation here before you go, it can get pretty busy!
Address: Frank’s Library, 18 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong
Le Boudoir may be situated at the top of Hong Kong’s infamous LKF, but it juxtaposes the nightlife that surrounds it. Concealed at basement level down four flights of giddying stairs, Le Boudoir’s drinking parlour awaits with offerings of iconic cocktails and fine liquors. French bedchamber inspired décor showers this bar from top to bottom, so prepare to be astounded!
Address: Le Boudoir, Basement, 65 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
An intricate wine and whiskey bar in an intimate attic in Soho. Home to 250 wines and 150, Japanese, Scotch, Taiwanese and Bourbon whiskeys, Nocturne is all about the drinks. Visit here if you’re looking for a secluded and cosmopolitan experience.
Address: Nocturne, 35 Peel street, Central, Hong Kong
PDT (Please Don’t Tell)
An especial collaboration with iconic PDT, New York’s worst kept secret bar concept. Please Don’t Tell has ticked every box of the speakeasy theme. PDT is hidden inside MO bar, and can be entered through a secret phone booth. A quaint compact bar housing just 25 seats with an impressive cocktail menu— featuring Benton’s Old Fashioned and Big Fan— served by renowned mixologists Jim Meehan and Jeff Bell.
Address, PDT, G/F, Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
If you’re looking for Hong Kong’s finest mixologist, look no further than Room 309. After opening Quinary, award winning bartender Antonio Lai brought us Room 309, an alluringly endearing cryptic bar. To access Room 309 you would need to acquire a key card, and fill out a check-in form (at the Envoy—the bar adjacent ) to be granted entry. Once inside, expect all the bells and whistles—from invisible drinks—to re-distilled yoghurt gin.
Address: Room 309, 3/F, The Pottinger, 74 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
The Wise King
Tucked away quietly from the crowds of Staunton Street down a back alley (where all the best bars are). You’ll find an intimate drinking experience through a meek door. The service here is second to none and you will be looked after very well, so it comes as no surprise that owners Joe Villanueva (Senior bar manager and concepts at Shrangri-La Hotel) and Sandeep Kumar (a two-time Bacardi Grand Prix National Champion) are industry veterans. Offering classic cocktails (EDW recommends the Negroni) and sumptuous tapas dishes.
Address: The Wise King, Basement, 25 Staunton Street (Tsung Wing Lane), Soho, Hong Kong
Born and raised in the UK, Rachel moved to Hong Kong unbeknownst to the bustling metropolis. Now well-acquainted with her Eastern lifestyle, she savours off-the-beaten-path eateries and Hong Kong’s quirky night scene. When she’s tired of city life she loves island hoping and losing hours at one of HK’s picture-perfect beaches. Her favourite Hong Kong feat is the yin and yang of urban life and rural living.