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Asia's 50 Best Bars of 2019 Revealed, Shanghai Slips A Couple Spots
By May 10, 2019 Nightlife
Asia's Best Bar Awards! The Oscars of the mustachioed mixology world, with everything that entails, were held last night in Singapore. Shanghai's slipping a little. Slackening their grip on those shaker tins. Overlooking a little sliver of peach mulch stuck in their strainers. Once, they handed out a menu upside down! Deplorable. Speak Low and Sober Company held firm to their top twenty spots, while Union Trading Company narrowly stays in the top thirties, but they're all down a couple spots on last year. But our loss is Greater China's gain! A Hong Kong bar finally knocked Singapore off the top spot, and China has the most bars on the list, even without geopolitical gerrymandering! Full list after the jump.

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For all seven of you that care, Central's The Old Man finally knocked Singapore's Manhattan off the top of the list for the first time in two years. What drama! FYI, The Old Man just opened a new spot in Singapore. So bold! Wouldn't it be funny if they both ended up on the list next year? That'd be super funny.

Shingo Gokan & Co.'s two locations are down four and two spots from last year. Shingo can comfort himself with the Bartender's Bartender award, though. Meanwhile, Yao's Union Trading Company is down two as well. Might have something to do with the nine new entries on the list, most from China's mainland, Hong Kong and Taipei.

Here's the full list.

1. THE OLD MAN, HONG KONG
2. MANHATTAN, SINGAPORE
3. INDULGE EXPERIMENTAL BISTRO, TAIPEI
4. NATIVE, SINGAPORE
5. ATLAS, SINGAPORE
6. BAR HIGH FIVE, TOKYO
7. SPEAK LOW, SHANGHAI (down from No. 3 last year)
8. THE BAMBOO BAR AT THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BANGKOK
9. JIGGER & PONY, SINGAPORE
10. QUINARY, HONG KONG
11. TIPPLING CLUB, SINGAPORE
12. COA, HONG KONG (new entry)
13. THE SG CLUB, TOKYO (Shingo Gokan's new joint in Tokyo)
14. CHARLES H, SEOUL
15. GIBSON, SINGAPORE
16. SOBER COMPANY, SHANGHAI (down from no. 14 last year)
17. BAR BENFIDDICH, TOKYO
18. THE WISE KING, HONG KONG (new entry)
19. LE CHAMBER, SEOUL
20. BACKSTAGE COCKTAIL BAR, BANGKOK
21. 28 HONGKONG STREET, SINGAPORE
22. OPERATION DAGGER, SINGAPORE
23. BAR TRENCH, TOKYO (if you can't make it to Tokyo, try A&D: they're related!)
24. AHA SALOON, TAIPEI (new entry)
25. D.BESPOKE, SINGAPORE
26. VESPER, BANGKOK
27. COLEY, KUALA LUMPUR
28. BAR ORCHARD GINZA, TOKYO
29. ALICE CHEONGDAM, SEOUL
30. UNION TRADING COMPANY, SHANGHAI (down from no. 28 last year)
31. TROPIC CITY, BANGKOK (new entry)
32. THE PONTIAC, HONG KONG
33. LOBSTER BAR & GRILL, HONG KONG
34. RABBIT HOLE, BANGKOK
35. HOPE & SESAME, GUANGZHOU (new entry)
36. STOCKTON, HONG KONG
37. CURATOR, MANILA
38. 8 ½ OTTO E MEZZO BOMBANA, HONG KONG
39. UNION BRASSIERE, BAKERY & BAR, JAKARTA
40. TRIGONA, KUALA LUMPUR (new entry)
41. EMPLOYEES ONLY, SINGAPORE (occasionally catch Steve Schneider of Employees Only at Odd Couple)
42. SMALLS, BANGKOK
43. BAR MOOD, TAIPEI (new entry)
44. JUNGLEBIRD, KUALA LUMPUR
45. DRAFT LAND, TAIPEI
46. THE OTHER ROOM, SINGAPORE
47. OTO, MANILA (new entry)
48. TEENS OF THAILAND, BANGKOK
49. MIXOLOGY SALON, TOKYO
50. THE BACK ROOM, MANILA (new entry)


Biggest take-aways? China (or rather, Hong Kong) is gaining on list-favorite Singapore, where the awards are held. The little city is down one spot from last year (bye, Nutmeg & Clove), meaning China has the most entries! Whooo, China! Twelve whole top-50 bars! Eight of which are in Hong Kong. We'll have to make do with Shanghai's three stalwarts.

As we do every year. Breaking news: Shanghai is still a good place to drink expensive cocktails!

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