If you're looking for something a little more local than the expat-dominated bars of Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai, then you might want to venture off the beaten path to Kowloon, which lies north of Hong Kong Island on the other side of Victoria Harbor. Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood is home to Knutsford Terrace, a strip of bars and restaurants offering a more diverse mix of locals, expats, and tourists, while still delivering plenty of choices.
Stroll up and down this bustling street and you'll be eagerly ushered into one of the many establishments along the strip. While the outdoor terrace seating is a major draw to this area, don't just look at street level. Head upstairs to grab a drink or a bite with a rooftop view.
Knutsford Terrace truly exemplifies the melting pot culture of Hong Kong with its eclectic and international mix of bars and restaurants.
The number of options for places to eat or drink on Knutsford Terrace can be overwhelming, especially with the waitstaff outside competing for your business. Thankfully, the street is full of hip bars with themed cocktails and delicious food, so if you do get pulled into a place, chances are good that you'll be happy you did. There are some standout bars, depending on the vibe that you're looking for.
- Assembly: This gastro-bar serves many tapas-style dishes to share in a group along with a full dinner menu. As an accompaniment, order one of their signature cocktails, the most potent one being the Kowloon Punch—vodka, gin, rum, and tequila all dangerously mixed together with citrus fruits, berries, herbs, and spices.
- Butler: Travel from Hong Kong to Japan when you enter this izakaya-style cocktail bar. One floor prepares craft cocktails where a mixologist will customize your drink based on what you like, while the other floor is purely dedicated to whiskey. Reservations may be required for this exclusive bar located in the southern part of Tsim Sha Tsui.
- Merhaba: Continue the international journey through Tsim Sha Tsui with a stop in Merhaba, a Turkish restaurant with unforgettable cocktails, shisha water pipes, and belly dancing performances. It's located directly on Knutsford Terrace.
- Gulu Gulu: This kitschy bar is decorated with lots of neon lights and suggestive adornments, which only add to the fun and youthful vibe. Drinking games are a key component of Gulu Gulu, with beer pong, billiards, and the Cantonese game chai-mui typically on the nightly line-up. When you get hungry, try the yakitori skewers as a light and tasty bar snack.
- Dada Bar + Lounge: This very cool bar is located just one block over from Knutsford on Kimberley Road. The decoration alone is enough reason to visit, as the entire interior pays tribute to the Dadaism art movement of the early 20th century. However, the delicious cocktails and live music are what will keep you coming again and again.
There's only one nightclub open late for dancing on Knutsford Terrace, but it's also one of the biggest ones in Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood. Appropriately named All Night Long, this club is run by the same owners as Insomnia, one of the most popular clubs in Hong Kong and located across the harbor in the Central District.
Being one of the most popular clubs in the area, it's common for there to be a queue to get in, especially on weekend nights. Once you're in, however, there are usually live bands performing to keep you energized and dancing—as the name suggests—all night long.
Tips for Going Out on Knutsford Terrace
- While Knutsford Terrace has the densest concentration of bars and restaurants in the area, there are many other locales worth visiting across Tsim Sha Tsui. Explore around to get a feel for the neighborhood.
- The Hong Kong metro stops running around 1 a.m. and doesn't open again until 6 a.m. Night buses are available if you need to get to another part of the city late at night.
- Taxis are available 24/7 and are very affordable, but be aware that many taxis will not cross the harbor if you need to get back to Hong Kong Island.
- Consider staying in Kowloon instead of Hong Kong Island. It's more affordable and offers a more genuine experience.