Header image: COA bar manager Lok Cheung with founder Jay Khan
Hong Kong’s bar industry needs more reason than ever to have something to celebrate, with all pubs, bars and clubs in the 852 shuttered since early January of this year owing to ongoing COVID restrictions. This announcement of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 is definitely something to toast to!
At the tippity-top of this esteemed list for the second year in a row is Oaxaca-inspired cocktail bar COA, also crowned The Best Bar in China and The Best Bar in Asia. On The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list, COA sits extremely pretty at number 7, and we’re waiting with bated breath to see what this year’s list has in store for mixologist Jay Khan’s agave-focused watering hole.
Mark Sansom, Director of Content for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says, “Asia’s bars have shown remarkable resilience and growth in spite of the challenges of the past two years, and we continue to be proud to celebrate the talent and creativity on display in bars all across Asia. Congratulations to Jay Khan and the team at COA for holding onto their top position after another tumultuous year for Hong Kong. COA’s winning cocktail of an agave-spirits-forward menu, expertly crafted menu and a complete understanding of the guest experience has again proven to strike a winning chord with our voting academy.”
This year’s top 50 bars in Asia
This year, an additional seven bars in the 852 have also landed in the top 50. Newcomer ARGO at the Four Seasons has made a huge splash on the 2022 list, coming in at an incredible number 3 and claiming the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award. Other HK winners include DarkSide at Rosewood Hong Hong at number 13, eco-conscious Penicillin at number 22, long-time neighbourhood fave The Pontiac at 33, 13th-century-inspired The Wise King at 34 and another newcomer, The Aubrey at the Mandarin Oriental, at 38. We’d like to give a special shout-out to Quinary at number 16, with this year marking the sixth in a row that this pioneering multisensory cocktail bar has made it to the top 50.
Honky Tonks Tavern has nabbed the Campari One to Watch Award
Despite not landing in the top 50 (although it’s oh so close at number 55), Hong Kong’s American-inspired Honky Tonks Tavern is being celebrated with the Campari One to Watch Award, an accolade presented to a bar that the Asia’s 50 Best organisers feel has the potential to break into the 1–50 list in the near future. Fingers crossed for 2023...
Completing the top 5, coming in at number 2 is Singapore’s Jigger & Pony, which also held the runner-up spot last year, following its slip from number 1 in 2020. Tesouro by Firefly in India’s state of Goa is at number 4 (also securing the London Essence Best New Opening Award), while at number 5 is Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich (also being named the Rémy Martin Legend of the List), where the cocktails are infused with herbs and botanicals grown on owner Hiroyasu Kayama’s family farm.
Just as with Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 has also published their rankings for 51–100. On this portion of the list, five HK bars have been recognised: Tell Camellia (53), Honky Tonks Tavern (55), Quality Goods Club (56), Mizunara: The Library (71) and The Old Man (81).
Click here for the complete list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022.