Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021: Coa, among 8 other Hong Kong bars claim top spots

Following our city’s success in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 awards, Hong Kong’s Coa has knocked Singapore’s Jigger & Pony off of top spot for Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021, while 8 others including Caprice Bar, Hope and Sesame, and The Diplomat have also made the list.

Held virtually again in light of the ongoing pandemic, the annual ceremony was streamed live on Facebook and Youtube to announce the winners. This year, Hong Kong continues its stronghold on the scene, with a total of 9 bar establishments securing a place on the coveted top 50 list, among the highest in any Asian city, with Singapore claiming 12 spots.

Singapore’s Jigger & Pony, which was awarded top spot as Asia’s Best Bar for 2020, dropped one spot down to rank 2nd this year, and it was Hong Kong’s Coa, a mezcal-centric bar that took the coveted spot this year instead. The establishment offers the city’s largest agave collection with a cool 200 bottles, and its candle-lit, industrial-style space has become a Mecca for spirit enthusiasts who enjoy rare-varietal mezcal and other unsung agave-based liquors. 

The Diplomat John Nugent Bar
The Diplomat takes home the London Essence Best New Opening award

Outside of the 50 Best list, Penicillin Bar also bagged the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award for its commitment to sustainability, ethical sourcing and the wider community, while still new on the scene, John Nugent’s The Diplomat took home the London Essence Best New Opening award. Epic in Shanghai won this year’s Campari One To Watch Award — the first time that the accolade has made it to mainland China — for showing massive potential to break into the main list in coming years. The three-storey cocktail lounge located in Shanghai’s old French Concession has been known for its creative and innovative cocktails that are rooted in an authentic Chinese spirit.

Bannie Kang, co-founder of Mu in Taipei, has also been recognised as winner of the Mancino Bartenders’ Bartender Award for not only showing impeccable technique and creativity, but also for her passion for sharing knowledge and educating budding bartenders.

The past year might’ve brought some unprecedented challenges to the drinks industry, but if there’s one thing that we’ve learnt, it’s that the best bars know exactly how to rise above it to emerge even stronger.

Here’s the full list:

1. Coa, Hong Kong

2. Jigger & Pony, Singapore

3. The SG Club, Tokyo

4. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taiwan

5. Sober Company, Shanghai

6. Manhattan, Singapore

7. Atlas Bar, Singapore

8. No Sleep Club, Singapore

9. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo

10. Caprice Bar, Hong Kong

11. Bamboo Bar, Bangkok

12. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur

13. Charles H, Seoul

14. Native, Singapore

15. Hope and Sesame, Guangzhou, China

16. Sidecar, New Delhi

17. Bar Mood, Taiwan

18. Bee’s Knees, Kyoto

19. Room by Le Kief, Taiwan

20. The Diplomat, Hong Kong

21. 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore

22. Tropic City, Bangkok

23. Tell Camellia, Hong Kong

24. Aha Saloon, Taiwan

25. Quinary, Hong Kong

26. The Pontiac, Hong Kong

27. High Five, Tokyo

28. The Wise King, Hong Kong

29. Barbary Coast, Singapore (new entry)

30. Penicillin Bar, Hong Kong

31. Union Trading Company, Shanghai

32. Speak Low, Shanghai

33. Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar, Jakarta

34. Bar Cham, Seoul

35. Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok

36. Tippling Club, Singapore

37. Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur

38. The Curator, The Philippines

39. D.Bespoke, Singapore

40. Darkside, Hong Kong

41. Alice, Seoul

42. The Old Man, Singapore

43. Bar Trench, Tokyo

44. Le Chamber, Seoul

45. MO Bar, Singapore

46. Vesper, Bangkok

47. Three X Co, Kuala Lumpur

48. Teens of Thailand, Bangkok

49. Sago House, Singapore (new entry)

50. Star Bar, Tokyo

Featured and hero images courtesy of Coa 

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