The list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars was announced via a live ceremony on Tuesday night, with Hong Kong’s Coa ranking number one for the third year in a row.
The ceremony was held in Hong Kong in collaboration with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and was the first full-scale gathering of Asia’s bar community since 2019. The list features 13 new entries and includes bars across 17 cities throughout Asia.
Winner of the Best Bar in Asia, Coa made its debut on the list in 2019 at number 12, winning the Highest New Entry Award. The bar was established by bartender-owner Jay Khan in 2017, and Khan was named Bartenders’ Bartender at Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020. Coa takes its name from the agave harvesting tool and showcases a vast collection of over 200 bottles of tequila, mezcal, and other handcrafted Mexican spirits like raicilla, bacanora, sotol, and charanda.
Singapore was the top destination, with 11 bars on the list, including the second ranking Jigger & Pony. Jigger & Pony is also the Best Bar in Singapore for the third year running and has also been crowned the Rémy Martin Legend of the List this year.
Climbing up seven spots to No.3 is BKK Social Club, which is named The Best Bar in Thailand. Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich comes in at No.4, moving up a spot from last year’s No.5 and taking the title of The Best Bar in Japan. A meteoric rise of 43 spots puts Seoul’s Zest at No.5 and with this, it wins both the Nikka Highest Climber Award as well as The Best Bar in Korea.
Other special awards include Analogue Initiative in Singapore taking the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award, Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar in Bangkok being named the London Essence Best New Opening, Virtù, Tokyo winning Disaronno Highest New Entry, Tokyo’s Hiroyasu Kayama, bartender-owner of Bar Benfiddich, being crowned Roku Industry Icon, Night Hawk in Singapore receiving the Campari One To Watch Award, and The Cocktail Club, Jakarta taking the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award.
Mark Sansom, content director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, was impressed by the bars on the list.
“We are overjoyed to be in Hong Kong to celebrate Asia’s vibrant bar community for 50 Best’s first-ever event in this brilliant city for eating and drinking. Asia’s bars continue to push the envelope when it comes to fabulous drinking experiences and that is evident from the talent and creativity on display at the bars on this year’s list from 17 cities across the continent. Congratulations yet again to Jay Khan and the team at Coa for holding onto its top position — the first bar in Asia to take the No.1 spot for three years in a row,” Sansom enthused.