Bars in Macau that are actually worth visiting can probably be counted on the fingers of your hands – we’ve been selective and just used one hand. Our best bars in Macau selection features everything from wine lounges under the feet of UNESCO world heritage sights, bars where you can meet the locals and the obligatory casino hot spot. If you're looking to get straight into the best nightlife area, read our Macau nightlife guide and head for the Moonwalker Bar below.
On the question of what to drink, it very much depends what you feel like. Beer is popular, and Carlsberg, San Miguel and Tsing Tao all widely available. Spirits are expensive, especially imported whiskeys and vodkas, while local knock offs and those imported from India will have you running for the bathroom and then AA in the morning. The city’s Portuguese heritage means there is often a very decent – sometimes excellent – selection of fine wines available at very good prices.
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Set in Taipa Village, the Old Taipa Tavern is the sort of sleepy local pub you’d find on the back roads of Cork. The out of the way location is certainly part of the charm, and means most of the customers are regulars – mostly local expats. It has a everyone-knows-your-name community club friendliness that’s missing from most Macau pubs. Go here to sip a few pints, dive into a newspaper and get into an argument about Venezuelan oil nationalization. Other attractions include occasional live music and comedy and Irish style pub grub – including a breakfast.
- Address: No 21, Rua de Negociantes, Taipa
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Something uniqe for a city used to dive bars or lifeless casino lounges, Macau Soul is an upmarket wine bar with a passion for jazz. Set in the heart of Macau, under the shadow of St Paul’s – an area that was once bereft of a decent place to have a drink – Macau Soul is fitted with fine art, stained glass windows and a wine collection that is nothing short of stellar. Yet it doesn’t feel snobby. The owners are welcoming, the crowd friendly and the setting cozy - while the live jazz and other music usually excellent. There is also a very decent menu, although prices can be prohibitive.
- Address: No 31, Rua de Sao Paulo, Macau
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If you can go to the original McSorley’s in New York, do. If you can go to the other McSorely’s in Hong Kong, do. If you can’t, come to Macau's McSorley's. Sitting inside a casino is a hard way for any pub to strike up an atmosphere – the crowd are just taking a break between gambling – but there’s still plenty of reasons to recommend McSorleys inside the Venetian Macao. Pitched as a no-nonsense backstreet boozer, its deep woods and wrought iron don’t fit well inside the shiny Venetian, but it remains atmospheric. The own brand McSorely (real) Ale is an excellent reason to pull up a stool – as is live sporting events on the big screen and a fantastic selection of pub grub.
- Address: Venetian Macau Hotel, Cotai Strip
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Right in the heart of what is Macau’s nightlife hub, Moonwalker is one of the strips more famous and more permanent residents. If you’re looking for a crowd and a chance to swap phone numbers, Moonwalker is the place to bring your little black book. The backlit spirit shelves and exposed pipes look like 1980’s Miami, but that’s excused by the sheer enthusiasm of the patrons and regular cover bands from the Philippines who belt out rock and pop classics. The action tends to start late and end early – in the morning.
Continue to 5 of 5 below.
- Address: Avendia Marginal de Baia,Vista Magnifica Court
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There are probably better Portuguese restaurants in Macau than Fernando’s – Miramar springs to mind – but the al fresco bar here with its lazy fans, bamboo seats and expat transplants is an absolute gem. Popular with the local Portuguese community, locals and tourists alike, there’s sangria, Portuguese beer and an excellent selection of Iberian wines to choose from. While the laidback, lazy ambience is straight out of the Algarve. Read our full review of Fernando's
- Address: 9 Praia de Hac Sa, Coloane Island