Asia's top 50 bars (2022): Hong Kong's COA retains its top spot, Singapore bars secure 11 spots

A photo of a drink.
PHOTO: COA

There’s no doubt Asia remains an incubator of fresh ideas and inspiration. Swirling, shaking and slurping its way back into action, the seventh edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, was anything but dull.

Held in person for the first time since the pandemic, the event took to the streets of Bangkok for a roaring celebration of the great shoots of recovery the Asian continent has witnessed. If you’re looking for a new drinking den in Asia, here are the top picks this year!

With contenders from 16 cities making it to Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 list, Singapore is Asia’s new cocktail capital with a whopping 11 bars making the cut this year. Whilst Hong Kong comes close behind, with eight bars making it to the list.

PHOTO: COA

COA sweeps first place again, maintaining its number one spot as Hong Kong’s Best and Asia’s top bar in 2021. It is the second bar to achieve this back-to-back feat, after Manhattan, Singapore, in 2017 and 2018.

Following its lead, no surprise here, Singapore’s Jigger & Pony secures its No.2 spot once again, thanks to their stellar commitment to over-the-top service and unique curated cocktails. They’ve retained their title as Best Bar in Singapore as well.

PHOTO: Jigger & Pony

With Singapore reopening travel with Hong Kong, the next stop in your travels need to be Argo (No.3), Darkside (No. 13), Quinary (No.16), Penicillin (No.22), The Pontaik (No.33), The Wise King (No.34) and The Aubrey (No.38), doing Hong Kong proud in this inaugural award.

PHOTO: Tesouro

India is also climbing its way up with Tesouro (No.4) scoring the Best Bar in India as well as the London Essense Best New Opening Award. Other inclusions include returning Sidercar, as well as new entries Hoots’ (No. 14), and Home (No.30).

PHOTO: MO bar

Honourable mentions include the Bar Trigona (No.29) which wins the spot of both Siete Best Cocktail Menu as well as The Best Bar in Malaysia. Whilst Singapore’s Colin Chia snatches away the Roku Industry Icon award, with what seemed like tears of joy. On the other hand, the Nikka Highest Climber Award goes to our little red dot’s MO Bar (No. 8), after rising 37 places up the ranking.

PHOTO: BKK Social Club

Mitcher’s Art of Hospitality Award this year goes to the flagship bar in Bangkok’s Four Seasons Hotel at Chao Phraya River, BKK Social Club (No.10). The bar is recognised for its mesmerising interior, bespoke cocktails, and the team’s unparalleled attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond to cater to its customers.

Asia’s 50 Best Bars aims to celebrate the region’s top bars, through rankings created from the votes of Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy – a group of over 200 industry leaders across Asia. Here’s the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021:

  1. Coa, Hong Kong (Best Bar in Asia & Hong Kong)
  2. Jigger & Pony, Singapore (Best Bar in Singapore)
  3. Argo, Hong Kong (Disaronno Highest New Entry Award)
  4. Tesouro, India (Best Bar in India, London Essense Best New Opening Award)
  5. Bar Benfiddich, Japan (Best Bar in Japan, Rémy Martin Legend of the List Award)
  6. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taiwan (Best Bar in Taiwan)
  7. Charles H, South Korea (The Best Bar In Korea)
  8. Mo Bar, Singapore (Nikka Highest Climber Award)
  9. Manhattan, Singapore
  10. BKK Social Club, Thailand (The Best Bar in Thailand, Mitcher’s Art of Hospitality Award)
  11. Sober Company, China (The Best Bar In Mainland China)
  12. Republic, Singapore
  13. Darkside, Hong Kong
  14. Sidecar, New Delhi
  15. No Sleep Club, Singapore
  16. Quinary, Hong Kong
  17. Tropic City, Thailand
  18. Hope & Sesame, China
  19. Vesper, Thailand
  20. Lamp Bar, Japan
  21. The SG Club, Japan
  22.  Penicillin , Hong Kong
  23. Atlas, Singapore
  24. AHA Saloon, Taipei
  25. Bar Trench, Japan
  26. Hoots’, India
  27. Tippling Club, Singapore
  28. Bar Cham, South Korea
  29. Bar Trigona, Malaysia (The Best Bar in Malaysia, Siete Best Cocktail Menu)
  30. Home, India
  31. Sago House, Singapore
  32. The Cocktail Club, Indonesia (The Best Bar in Indonesia)
  33. The Pontiac, Hong Kong
  34. The Wise King, Hong Kong
  35. Junglebird, Malaysia
  36. Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore
  37. Analogue, Singapore
  38. The Aubrey, Hong Kong
  39. Le Chamber, South Korea
  40. Alice, South Korea
  41. Memento Mori, Japan
  42. Smoke & Bitters, Sri Lanka (The Best Bar in Sri Lanka)
  43. Asia Today, Thailand
  44. Copitas, Bengaluru
  45. Union Trading Company, China
  46. The Bamboo Bar, Thailand
  47. Bee’s Knees, Japan
  48. Zest, South Korea
  49. 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
  50. Speak Low, China
PHOTO: Live Twice

As countries open up and the region’s bar industry emerges with extraordinary resilience from the pandemic, Asia’s 50 Best Bars has also released a 51-100 list, not forgetting some of the region’s brightest gems that visitors should seek out and experience.

A diverse list spanning 24 different cities across Asia, saw the lead of Japan and Singapore with nine bars each on the list. Though, Taipei’s Room by Le Kief secured the top spot coming in at No.51.

While Singapore’s bar scene is enlightened by Ginza-style speakeasy lounge, D.Bespoke (No.58), destination rooftop cocktail bar Smoke & Mirrors (No.60), Papa Doble Bar (No.61) and fellow Jigger & Pony concept Live Twice (No. 65) jumping ten spots up from last year’s ranking at No. 75.

Other inclusions from Singapore include Origin Grill & Bar (No.66), Shin Gi Tai (No. 75), Employees Only (No. 77), Barbary Coast (No. 95) and Junior The Pocket Bar (No. 98). The list also saw Nepal’s debut with Blackbird (No. 96) in Kathmandu.

ALSO READ: 8 chic destination bars to check out for a night on the town with the girls

This article was first published in City Nomads.