5 of Asia’s ‘Best Bars’ are in Bangkok: annual ranking

Photo: The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok / Facebook
Photo: The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok / Facebook

Bangkok’s oldest jazz institution held onto its place as one of Asia’s top watering holes as well as a Silom cocktail lounge, rum tiki bar and two Thonglor speakeasies.

While there may currently be no bars, this year’s prestigious list ranking of the region’s best bars was announced virtually last night after plans to do so at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The best bar in Asia went to Jigger & Pony, a craft cocktail stalwart sitting in the lobby of the Amara Hotel in Singapore. It’s Hong Kong that seized second and third places for Hemmingway-themed bar The Old Man and Mexican-inspired cocktail bar Coa. The latter climbed from 12th place last year.

In Bangkok, five bars made the list. Coming in at No. 7 was well-known jazz establishment The Bamboo Bar, which has long dominated industry awards. It was followed by Silom cocktail bar Vesper (No. 11) and the rum-focused Tropic City (No. 24). 

Two bars in the bustling Thonglor area – Rabbit Hole and Backstage Bar – came in at 31 and 33, respectively.

Across our Coconuts cities, Singapore had 10 ranking bars in total. Hong Kong had eight, Kuala Lumpur three, Manila two and Jakarta one.

In Kuala Lumpur, it was Bar Trigona (No. 14), best known for crafting cocktails from sustainable ingredients, tropical bar Junglebird (No. 37) and speakeasy Coley (No. 48). A celebrated restaurant-slash-bar was Jakarta’s sole winner – Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar (No. 43).

Part cafe, part bar, The Curator in Manila placed No. 42. Another bar in the same city is The Back Room (No. 45), a speakeasy inside Shangri-La at the Fort.

It’s worth to note that this year, one bar from India’s New Delhi – Sidecar – made the list. 

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars list has been announced annually since 2016. It’s owned and organized by U.K.-based William Reed Business Media, which is also behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. 

The list is based on the votes of more than 200 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from across Asia. The voting system is explained here.

Here’s the full of the awardees:

  1. Jigger & Pony (Singapore) 
  2. The Old Man (Hong Kong) 
  3. Coa (Hong Kong)
  4. Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei) 
  5. Atlas (Singapore)
  6. Native (Singapore)
  7. The Bamboo Bar (Bangkok) 
  8. Manhattan (Singapore) 
  9. The SG Club (Tokyo) 
  10. Aha Saloon (Taipei)
  11. Vesper (Bangkok)
  12. Sober Company (Shanghai)
  13. Bar Mood (Taipei) 
  14. Bar Trigona (Kuala Lumpur) 
  15. Bar Benfiddich (Tokyo) 
  16. Quinary (Hong Kong)
  17. Tippling Club (Singapore)
  18. The Wise King (Hong Kong)
  19. Speak Low (Shanghai)
  20. High Five (Tokyo)
  21. Bee’s Knees (Kyoto)  
  22. The Old Man (Singapore) 
  23. D.Bespoke (Singapore)
  24. Tropic City (Bangkok)
  25. Gibson (Singapore)
  26. Draft Land (Taipei)
  27. Room by Le Kief (Taipei) 
  28. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong)
  29. Charles H (Seoul) 
  30. 28 HongKong Street (Singapore)
  31. Rabbit Hole (Bangkok)
  32. Nutmeg & Clove (Singapore) 
  33. Backstage Cocktail Bar (Bangkok)
  34. Caprice Bar (Hong Kong) 
  35. The Pontiac (Hong Kong)
  36. Hope & Sesame (Guangzhou)
  37. Junglebird (Kuala Lumpur)
  38. The Odd Couple (Shanghai) 
  39. Bar Trench (Tokyo)
  40. Sidecar (New Delhi) 
  41. Bar Orchard Ginza (Tokyo) 
  42. The Curator (Manila) 
  43. Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar (Jakarta) 
  44. Lobster Bar & Grill (Hong Kong)
  45. The Back Room (Manila)
  46. MO Bar (Singapore) 
  47. Alice (Seoul)
  48. Coley (Kuala Lumpur)
  49. Le Chamber (Seoul)
  50. Bar Cham (Seoul) 

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