Where to drink when you can travel again.
Pandemic or not, the folks behind the World’s 50 Best Bars dropped their annual global rankings yesterday, with many familiar names from Asia making the cut—a handy list to save for when we can travel again. Whenever that may be.
Among local names, Bangkok’s Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental climbed to no. 35 this year, up from no. 54 last year. Bamboo Bar ranked no. 7 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list this year, alongside local favorites Vesper (no. 11), Tropic City (no. 24), Rabbit Hole (no. 31), and Backstage Bar (no. 33). It was, however, the only bar from Thailand to crack the top 50 globally.
The best showing from our neck of the woods went to Atlas in Singapore, which came in at no. 4—up from no. 8 last year. Best known for their martini menu and iconic, gothic-looking gin tower, the bar was ranked no. 5 on the Asia list earlier in 2020. Meanwhile, Asia’s top-ranked bar in 2020, Jigger & Pony, came in at no. 9 on the global list.
The Old Man, the Hemingway-inspired hideaway in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan district, ranked no. 15 this year after nabbing second-best on the Asia’s Best list. You may remember them from their three-month pop-up at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok in 2019.
Other names to know from Asia include Native, the Singaporean bar known for using preserved ingredients found during foraging treks across the continent, which came in at no.18. Former bartender Leon Tan recently left the team to open a new place, Laut, which many will have their eyes on in 2021. Tokyo’s High Five, meanwhile, landed at no. 48. Bummed you can’t travel to Tokyo to try the drinks? One of their masterminds, Hidetsugo Ueno, is a partner at Bangkok’s Find the Locker Room and Find the Photo Booth, which just launched a tasty new menu, and you can expect the same high standards at both venues.
First published in 2009, the World’s 50 Best Bars is an annual ranking voted on by 540 experts from across the world. Other Asian bars that made it to the list were located in South Korea, China, and Taiwan.