Everybody’s drinking experience is different in Taipei. For some it’s sinking Taiwan Beer with friends while tucking into a kuaichao dinner, for others it’s knocking back sake at your favorite Japanese spot in Zhongshan, and for a few it’s as simple as grabbing a can and hanging outside your nearest 7-Eleven. However, there is also a classier side to Taipei’s bar scene, a side that has recently earned international recognition. Four of Taipei’s best cocktail bars have made it onto the list for Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021. (Read more: Bars in Taipei: Secret Promise Land of the City)
The Taipei bars in question are Indulge Experimental Bistro, Bar Mood, Room by Le Kief, and Aha Saloon, ranking fourth, seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-fourth respectively, with Indulge Experimental Bistro retaining its fourth-place ranking from the previous year and having made the top 50 list every year since 2017.
Indulge Experimental Bistro
Crowned The Best Bar in Taiwan, Indulge, on Fuxing South Road in Da’an district, is described in 50 Best’s press release as having “an international feel but the details are an ode to Taiwan’s produce and heritage, only viewed through the lens of modern mixology. The cocktails at Indulge are theatrical and focus on Taiwan’s tea-growing heritage, brimming with imagination yet never out of step with its location. Its consistency, allied to sharp-edged creativity, keeps the crowds coming back to this modernist bar that never forgets its roots, or leaves.” Sounds pretty good if you ask us.
Bar Mood, also in Da’an, won 50 Best’s Highest Climber Award in 2020 and this year was commended for being a place “where the art of ingredient-focused Japanese bartending meets the speed and efficiency of American drink-making.”
Room by Le Kief
Also in Da’an (it seems like the district is your go-to for cocktails), is Room by Le Kief, with its entrance found behind a bespoke tailor shop. A visit here is slated as a truly unique experience for every patron with its menu being “highly seasonal and thematic and when it changes, so does the décor and music.”
Finally, Aha Saloon, in Songshan District, is a music-themed establishment where “old-world feel meets a retro aesthetic, honing in on Taiwanese and core Asian flavors.” Honestly, you won’t go wrong with a visit to any of these bars.
The number one bar, and officially Asia’s Best, is Coa, found in Hong Kong’s Central. The top 10 list being as follows:
Coa, Hong Kong
Jigger & Pony, Singapore
The SG Club, Tokyo
Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
Sober Company, Shanghai
No Sleep Club, Singapore
Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
Caprice Bar, Hong Kong
Bar Surfing in Taipei
- The Best Sports Bars in Taipei
- Things Every Drinker Should Know about Taipei’s Bar and Nightlife Scene
- A Tale of Cocktails: Five of Taipei’s Freshest Bars
- Bar Surfing Taipei Cocktail Festival Unveils the Uniqueness of Taiwan’s Cocktail Scene
(cover photo: Johann Trasch)