If you're looking for something a little more local than the expat-dominated bars of Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai, then you need to venture off Hong Kong Island to Knutsford Terrace in Tsim Sha Tsui. This strip of bars and restaurants offers a more diverse mix of locals, expats and tourists, while still delivering plenty of choice. There are around thirty places to eat and drink crowded along the street and on the nearby Observatory Court.
You'll find it crowded for lunch and dinner, with diners snapping up the chance to sit out on the balconies and street front seating. Things don't heat up until later on and you'll happily find food until at least 10 pm and drinks running until after midnight.
The restaurants are a mix of international offerings. The pick of the bunch is Munch. It reflects almost every aspect of Hong Kong's confusing cross cultural identity; with crisp white linen napkins joining faux leather wipe down tablecloths and Hong Kong twists on European classics, like scallops with a water chesnut jelly. But the food is a hit and the prices are fair. For somewhere that marries drinking and eating slightly better, look up Apgujeong Korean Bar. You'll find beef BBQ and broiled every which way and a crowd washing down the decent food with ice cold bottles of HITE.
Undoubtedly, the most famous stop on the Knutsford Terrace trail is Bahama Mamas, where the beach-themed bar seems to keep the crowd firmly in party mode.
The food is mostly a disaster but for rocket fuelled cocktails and a carnival atmosphere that runs late into the night it can't be beaten. Also worth a look, just round the corner is the Observatory Court area, which hosts an ever-increasing number of bars. Keep an eye out for 8 Fine Irishmen.
- Bahama Mama's: The original Knutsford Terrace legend has bad service, long waiting times but a party atmosphere that is hard to resist. Address: 4-5 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui
- 8 Fine Irishman: Whether you want to tuck into their very good Sheperd's Pie or just get a taste for a Murphy's or three, there is a warm welcome and friendly crowd. Address: 8 Observatory Court, Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui
- Birdcage Shanghai Lounge: We're not sure 1930's Shanghai drinking saloons had sponsored by Heineken signs hanging on the walls, but decorative quibbles aside you'll find a young crowd lapping up cocktails on the terrace until the early hours. Address; 15 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui
- All Night Long: Does exactly as the name suggests and runs until 6 am. Live music, an al fresco terrace and b, er. If you end up here the clincher is the probably the last part of the list. Address: 9 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui.