6 Gay Bars in Hong Kong for a Fabulous Night Out
Tired of the same old haunts in LKF and Wan Chai? Whether you’re looking for the best watering holes to meet some like-minded individuals — or, if you’re the token straight friend hoping for something unlike your usual boring nights out in Hong Kong — check out these LGBT-friendly spots in the city.
If you’re looking for a quiet night with, say, two drinks max, T:me Bar is the place to be. Located in an unassuming alleyway in SoHo, the bar’s vibe is low-key and welcoming, and crowds tend to spill out to the street. You’ll be glad to know that wines are $50 per glass and mixed drinks start at around HK$72 — nothing that breaks the bank. Happy hour is until 9.30pm daily, and on Thursdays, there’s free vodka for guys from 8.30pm until it runs out. Get there early!
The crowd: Local and expat guys in their 20s and 30s — mostly worker bees from nearby Central coming down here for happy hour.
Good for: Laid-back weeknights, catching up with friends… and meeting new ones.
Unleash your inner animal at Zoo, a high-energy watering hole tucked into the a corner of Sheung Wan, about 15 minutes’ walk from SoHo. It’s a sexy space decked out in black leather and mood lighting. On Mondays, take advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free deal on martinis; on Tuesdays, you get bottle beers for HK$33 each all night; and on Wednesdays and Thursdays, it’s HK$68 for a champagne mix, or $650 for a bottle of Piper Heidsieck or Moët & Chandon. The space gets busy from around 11pm, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays — but unlike the snooty hipster watering holes in and around Sheung Wan, the dress code here is a decidedly relaxed one (shorts are OK). The bar occasionally puts on theme nights (dress-up time!). Happy hour is from 7-10pm Monday to Saturday, and 7pm-1am on Sundays.
The crowd: A mix of locals and expats, though not exclusively the financier types who tend to congregate around LKF.
Good for: On weekends, the final destination at a bar crawl. On weeknights, a drink or two after dinner nearby.
The team behind now-defunct LGBT watering hole Volume BEAT runs FLM, which sits in the same location in Sheung Wan a stone’s throw away from Zoo. Stepping into the bar you’ll find a pumping dance floor with live DJ beats, while upstairs is a more relaxed space good for people-watching and fine conversation. A standard house drink will set you back HK$75, and you can expect to pay $20 less during happy hour from 7-10pm, Monday through Saturday. Check out the FLM Express promotion, which offers free drinks from 9-10pm from Mondays to Thursdays!
The crowd: An international crowd — a mix of visitors, expats, and locals of all ages.
Good for: Big night out over the weekend.
Perch yourself on the precarious steps of Pottinger Street outside Linq, which sees huge crowds almost every night of the week. Strictly speaking, Linq is not a gay bar — though Guy’s Night on Wednesdays, which offers free vodka from 10pm to midnight, attracts folks of all ages, professions and of sexual orientation. It’s just around the corner from good ol’ Lan Kwai Fong, so it’s not hard to understand its popularity. Wines are HK$68 per glass; beers HK$60 and cocktails HK$90. During happy hour from 5-8pm daily, these drop to HK$48, HK$45, and HK$70 respectively.
The crowd: Young, broke and fabulous guys with their straight, female hangers-on.
Good for: Pre-drinking before heading out, or a nightcap before calling it a day.
Causeway Bay cocktail lounge and dance club Circo is one of the newer additions to the scene, and it stands out with awesome views of the city. While it makes for a good spot to kick back with a few drinks on its inviting couches, the bar also hosts regular special events that really get the crowd going: think a Songkran waterfight special (a splashy affair observing Thailand’s New Year celebrations). Drink prices are a bit on the steep side: cocktails are anything from HK$108 to HK$148. Thankfully there’s a daily happy hour from 6-8.30pm, with 30 percent off drinks.
The crowd: The bar tends to draw in hot Asians, but that doesn’t mean it’s closed-off to others. Everyone’s welcome — it’s by no means an LGBT-only venue.
Good for: Anything from a classy evening of cocktails to to twerk-happy nights out.
For something a little off-grid, try Boo Bar, a karaoke joint in Jordan on Kowloon side. Boo Bar’s clientele consists mostly of bears (hairy, muscular, mature men) as well as chasers (those who are into bears), and is one of the only LGBT-friendly joints in the city that specifically targets the subgroup. Here you can choose from a large catalogue of music — from cheesy classics to top 40 hits. Karaoke not your thing? On the last Saturday of every month there’s a live DJ behind decks spinning dance beats. Drinks are around HK$68-78 — order a drink and you can sing for as long as you want. Before 9pm, there’s a buy-one-get-one-free deal and after that, it’s buy-three-get one free (!).
The crowd: Bears, bears and bears…oh and chasers as well as friends.
Good for: Singing your heart out, meeting bears or their admirers.
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.