Victoria Harbour separates Hong Kong from Kowloon Peninsula and leads to the South China Sea.
Hong Kong is a city that’s evolving at quantum speed. In terms of drinking in the former British Dependent Territory, traditions like tea service and medicinal tonics remain, and newer trends like craft beer, specialty coffee and cocktails are taking root with residents. Here are 8 top places to drink in Hong Kong, based on my trip from October 30-November 4.
Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
001 (Welley Building, 97 Wellington Street, Central, 852 2810 6969)
The name doesn’t riff on the “binary solo” in the Flight of the Conchords song, “The Humans are Dead.” Instead, 001 honors the bar’s designation as Hong Kong’s first speakeasy. Enter through an unmarked door off an alley that houses a wet market and order from Masayuki Uchida’s menu devoted to ORIGINAL and CLASSICS. Order the Midnight Manhattan, which Aziz Ansari featured on”The Getaway,” but don’t sleep on The Joker, a wild card cocktail that changes daily. During my visit, a Blood and Sand and Manhattan love child combined Singleton Scotch, Carpano Antica vermouth, dry Curacao, orange juice, frothy egg white, cinnamon flake and a lemon peel garnish. My bartender, Sky, called this drink “Where Sand Meets Sky.”
MUST ORDER: The Joker, Midnight Manhattan
Espresso Alchemy (4-6 Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay)
Melbourne native Peter Law is an accomplished Q Grader and World Barista Championship Sensory Judge who set up shop in residential North Point. Alchemy combines carefully roasted beans with a small, inviting space and a three-group Expobar espresso machine from Spain. The logo represents four primary elements you’ll find in coffee: milk, essence, sugar and water. I like the way Law sets up the menu, with hot coffee either strong, mild (no milk), less milk, more milk or sweet.
MUST ORDER: Piccolo Latte, Espresso, Hot and Thick (chocolate drink)
The Globe (Garley Building, 45-53A Graham Street, Central
Toby Cooper hails from England’s Lake District, leads the The Craft Beer Association of Hong Kong, and runs what is widely considered the city’s top craft beer bar, promising “Real Food. Real Beer. Real People.” The Globe has 12 taps (going on 18) and over 150 bottles, with a program that’s embraced the influx of Italian, Australian, New Zealand and Japanese beers. Cooper also schedules special promotions, including an Evil Twin & Mikkeller tap takeover, a Belgian Beer Festival, and a Winter warmers showcase. Really though, there’s no bad time to drink craft beer at The Globe.
MUST ORDER: Craft Beer
Good Spring Company Limited (8 Cochrane Street, Central)
This open-air shop dates to 1916 and specializes in Chinese herbs, herbal teas, and healthy consultation. If you need bitter 24 Varieties Herbal Tea to reduce body heat or or Sweet Flower Tea for hydration, this is the spot. They’ve also got drawers and jars full of fine herbs and an abacus to calculate costs, though the owners have adopted the calculator, a rare concession to modernity.
MUST ORDER: Sweet Flower Tea
GUIDE CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE