Plush outdoor terraces and rooftop bars offer the ultimate oasis high above the frantic pace of the city streets below; perfect while sipping on a cocktail with the breeze blowing in your hair and the sun setting in the background. From sky-high terraces with awe inspiring views, to expansive decks nestled in the middle of the bustling metropolis, there is no shortage of options in Hong Kong. In no particular order, here is our roundup of the city’s best outdoor hangouts:
Epure: Epure is one of our favourite new additions to the Hong Kong fine dining scene. What is supremely fortunate is they also have an outdoor terrace from which one could welcome many a dusk. The French Garden menu comprises the likes of hand cut pommes frites with black truffle butter and comte cheese (yum), beef tartare and toast crisps (yum again) and a hugely impressive selection of mature cheeses by Xavier, from Toulouse, with leavened bread and seasonal preserve (the yumming doesn't stop).
Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3185 8338
Armani / Privé: A dimly lit staircase leads you up to a super stylish, unsuspecting and bigger than average rooftop bar conveniently located in the heart of Central. Lounge in style on their comfy outdoor couches as you look up at the gorgeous models on the Pedder Building’s billboard above (we mean as you admire the city’s impressive skyscrapers). Sit back and savour the scene. If it’s a Sunday, join their “after brunch parties” from 3 – 7pm every Sunday ($250 for free flow Peroni, Prosecco and selected cocktails). A perfect way to wind down the weekend.
2F Landmark Chater (Chater House), 8 Connaught Road Central, Central, 3583 2828
Sugar: If you’re not based near Quarry Bay, this may seem a little far from the city center, but once there, you’ll realise that a few short stops on the MTR is a journey worth taking. Located on the 32nd floor of the EAST Hotel, Sugar has a stunningly spacious outdoor terrace. The view dominates every corner of the bar with breath-taking panoramas of North Point, Quarry Bay and Tai Tam – a slightly different perspective on the boring old Hong Kong skyline. Their drinks menu features a chic selection of pretty martinis, mojitos, bellinis and plenty of rum and bourbon, complete with cigars to match. Finger food is also on-hand for anyone looking for a little nosh with their nightcap or why not try their Bento Surf & Turf ($195)? It comes with an authentic Japanese-style bento box with Potato & Herb Leaf Salad as starters, and Wagyu Hanger Steak, “16/20” Marinated Prawns with Soba Noodles as the main dish. Sugar is also offering a sharing pitcher (for two) and special draft beer to accompany the bento set.
32/F, East Hotel, 29 Tai Koo Shing Rd, Tai Koo, 3968 3738
SEVVA: The go-to rooftop bar when visitors are in town, this wham-bam-glam watering hole with its 360 degree view will have your guests “oohing” and “aahing” over the city’s neon-festooned skyscrapers (and you “oohing” and “eeking” at the price tag of their drinks). Conveniently located atop the Prince’s Building in Central, it's an ideal pre-dinner spot. We suggest you get dressed up (you will feel out of place if you don’t), lean in, strike a pose and then scoot off to one of the city’s many restaurants to avoid a hefty drinks bill. A foodie tip: make sure you take advantage of their complimentary crisps and mixed nuts, which go down a treat.
25/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2537 1388
Ozone: Perched on the 118th floor of the ICC, Ozone is not only the highest bar in Hong Kong, but the highest in Asia, and this superlative alone is enough to attract throngs of thirsty thrillseekers. Corner tables offer a wrap around view, while binoculars located on the terrace are a temptation for everyone’s inner voyeur. Asian tapas with a Japanese influence make up the menu, together with a confident cocktail list. The “Dragontini” (vodka, raspberry liqueur, fresh raspberry, yuzu and basil foam) provides a refreshing start, or take advantage of the impressive wine and champagne selection from the Ritz Carlton cellar. It does have its fair share of tourists, so remember to book a terrace table in advance.
118/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Rd. West, West Kowloon, 2263 2270
270 Degrees Rooftop Bar by Harlan Goldstein: The fifth restaurant of the Harlan hoard, 270 Degrees bar has, uh, 270 degrees views across Hong Kong, and the drinks are not as expensive as you would envision from such a lofty lounge. Food downstairs can be a little pricey, but the ambience and liquor upstairs is what you would be going for in any case.
It is worth noting this is temporarily closed but is due to reopen imminently.
30/F, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Wooloomooloo Wan Chai: This dizzying 31st floor bar offers one of the best vantage points of surrounding Wanchai, Victoria Harbour, and Happy Valley. Despite it being in the busy Wanch, Wooloomooloo has a much more relaxed atmosphere than a lot of other swanky rooftop bars. With its impressive view, comfy lounge seating, reasonably priced drinks (and delicious steak in their restaurant just one floor below), Wooloomooloo is an ideal spot for a refreshing glass of your favourite toot.
31/F & Rooftop, The Hennessey, 256 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, 2893 6960
The Envoy: From the creative team that brought us innovative drinking hole Quinary comes The Envoy, in commemoration of Sir Henry Pottinger's exploration team that claimed the deep-water harbour now known as Hong Kong. Located on bustling Stanley Street, in the boutique hotel aptly named The Pottinger, local mixologist Antonio Lai, has teamed up with Amanda Wan to create awe-inspiring cocktails centred around the essence of tea. Each cocktail concept is infused with Antonio's signature multi-sensory influence to entice thirsty travellers.
Duddell’s: This beautifully designed restaurant-come-art gallery offers exquisite modern Cantonese cuisine in a stylish and creative space. The menu is extensive and includes classic Cantonese dishes with a number of Duddell’s signature dishes, however, it was Duddell’s lush and leafy outdoor terrace with comfortable, chic and cushy seating that got your votes in our recent Foodie Forks Awards for the finest al fresco dining experience in our concrete city.
3–4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, 2525 9191
Hooray Bar & Restaurant: With a sprawling outdoor terrace, relaxed atmosphere and a semi-decent view of the harbour, Hooray is a great post-work option in the heart of Causeway Bay. It offers a comprehensive drinks menu including an array of sake and wines, 13 different choices of single malt whisky, as well as cognac, bourbon and sherry. The long list of sake, frozen and signature cocktails are innovative with adventurous options such as the “So Hot” ($118), made with raspberry liqueur, Thai chilli, mint leaves, rum, honey, vodka, cranberry juice and soda water. Bursting with chillies, each sip leaves an intense sensation. Fancy a bit of grub too? Hooray offers a snack, a la carte and charcoal grill menu.
P502, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 2895 0885
FoFo by el Willy: In the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, but thankfully elevated above the hubbub is FoFo by el Willy. Most of you will know about, or will have tried and tested, their delicious Spanish tapas but you may not have realised that the restaurant has a beautiful rooftop terrace, ideal for pre-dinner drinks (the outdoor terrace closes at 11pm). True, you’ll have to carry the bevs outside yourself, as they don’t actually have bar service upstairs but you’ll be rewarded with plush resort style lounges and a lovely view.
20/F M88, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central , 2900 2009
Vibes: Tucked away on the fifth-floor of The Mira hotel is the mini oasis that is Vibes. An open-air courtyard with sleek comfy lounge furniture, live DJ’s, ponds, canopied cabanas, fragrant frangipani trees and cooling fans, it’s the perfect place to sink into squishy sofas with a bevvy in one hand and a shisha pipe in the other. Tiki Taco Tuesdays, aside from being a great potential band name, is also a promotion they are running until the end of the summer, that will have you eating freshly made tacos and sipping rum based cocktails. It's a Tiki revival!
5/F, The Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Road, TST, 2315 5999
On Lounge: This restaurant, split over two floors of equal awesomeness, climbed to our favourites list as quickly as it takes to catch the lift to the 29th floor. We wasted no time ordering the specialty vermouth and sipping it on the terrace, indulging in Philippe Orrico’s 24 hour cooked veal cheek, and inhaling Jeremy’s choices of artisan cheeses. It’s worth a visit, weekly.
18 On Lan Street, Central, 2174 8100
La Terrazza at Lupa: Encased in both gorgeous greenery and looming office blocks, a huge open bar at its centre and a relaxing atmosphere, La Terrazza at Lupa is a welcome retreat just off Queen’s Road Central. And if you fancy staying on for a bit of nosh, La Terrazza offers a casual menu full of satisfying small bites. The perfect fix to a hard day’s work. And for all those footie fans, La Terrazza will be screening some of the World Cup replays and live finals (on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight) on their big screen and for $458, you can enjoy 6 glasses of Peroni draught beer with a choice of appetizer including a variety of pizzas, mini burgers, calamari and more.
LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2796 6500
Tapagria: Tapagria is where you would go for an extraordinary view with a side of sangria. When we came, we fell in love with sangria all over again. It is not just the manner in which it is served–in pitchers like all sweet alcoholic drinks from Spain–but the variety of manifestations is truly mind-boggling. Also worth a nibble is the handcrafted, 48 months Iberico and the pan con tomate (take crispy bread and smear good quality tomatoes, olive oil and garlic upon them, and velado! Nothing could be more down to earth than this tapa)
18/F, The One, 100 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2147 0111