10 bars in Asia made it to The World’s 50 Best Bars list – and half are right here in Singapore

A number of bars in Asia made it to The World’s 50 Best Bars list.

Asia is home to some of the best nightlife, and a new list of the world’s top bars has given recognition to the region’s best watering holes.

A total of 10 bars in cities across Asia were named in the The World’s 50 Best Bars list – and five of them are located right here in Singapore.

This list, released in London on Wednesday (Oct 3), is based on votes by over 500 industry experts from across the globe, taking into account the most innovative and exciting developments in bars and bartending.

1. Manhattan, Singapore – 3rd place

Manhattan, located in Regent Singapore, is best known for its drinks inspired by the Golden Age of cocktails and fine drinking. The bar prides itself on looking grand and modern yet with some old New York vibes.

The bar landed in third place this year, up from seventh place last year. It has also retained its title of Best Bar in Asia, after clinching the top spot in the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for the second year running in May this year.

Regent Singapore

2. Atlas, Singapore – 8th place

Atlas is located at the ground floor of Parkview Square, one of Singapore’s most iconic buildings. The architecture of the building was inspired by the Art Deco skyscrapers of Europe and New York. The highlight at Atlas is a gin tower which houses a whopping 1,100 bottles of spirit.


3. The Old Man, Hong Kong – 10th place

With the intention of paying tribute to American novelist Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man draws great inspiration from his novels, history and folklore using culinary gear and unique ingredients. The bar is even named after his novel, The Old Man and the Sea. 

The bijou bar is barely over a year old, and is also winner of the Highest New Entry Award.

The Old Man

4. High Five, Tokyo – 12th place

The owner of High Five, Hidetsugu Ueno, is a man without a menu. Tell him what you feel like drinking, and he will concoct a drink that will take you by surprise.

The World’s 50 Best Bars

5. Native, Singapore – 13th place

Why buy gin from England or olives from Italy? Native is focused on using only regional and local produce. Even the wares, scents and music are sourced from local and regional craftsmen.


6. Speak Low, Shanghai – 20th place

Visit Speak Low, and you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale. Visitors need to enter via a barware store on the ground floor. You’ll have to tell a member of staff in the store that you’re here for the drinks, and a bookcase on the back wall will open up to let you into the inner sanctum. Also, the only way to access the bar’s second floor is to push on Shanghai on a secret map.

The World’s 50 Best Bars

7. Operation Dagger, Singapore – 23rd place

If there is one word to describe Operation Dagger, it would be “mysterious”. According to ResDiary, the bar is hidden along a back alley at Ann Siang Hill. It’s so nondescript that even the building it’s in doesn’t have a name. A dingy staircase will bring you further down and before you know it, the smokey smell of burnt herbs will hit you. That’s when you know you’re in the right place.

Operation Dagger

8. 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore – 34th place

Despite all the accolades, 28 Hong Kong Street, a bar located in Singapore, makes sure it steers away from coming across as grandiloquent. The staff understand that perfection lies in a combination of delicious, unpretentious drinks and a generously warm and friendly attitude. It’s honest, humble and comfortable in its own skin.

The World’s 50 Best Bars

9. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei – 38th place

Indulge Experimental Bistro wins its spot for embracing “the best of the global drinks mixology movement” with “its own Taiwanese accent in all elements, from drinks to décor to service”. The food is modern European but the cocktails feature Asian ingredients according to season.

This is its second consecutive year in The World’s 50 Best Bars list, following a second-place finish in this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list.

Phoenix Chang

10. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo – 49th place

Bar Benfiddich only has eight seats and two tables. Known for its “farm-to-bar” menu, owner Hiroyasu Kayama uses ingredients from the farm in his parents’ home, just north of Tokyo. There, he plants anise, fennel, mint, juniper and other flora. He’s also slowly making his own absinthe in a 20-litre still at the bar.

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