Top choice bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Making full use of its space, bohemian Modernista is a mix of glamorous bar, eatery and live arts venue. Set up by a Barcelona expat, its front area is done up like an old-school Spanish tapas bar with polished wooden decor, bar stools and black-and-white checkered tiles. Its adjoining building is an atmospheric space that hosts cabaret shows, live jazz, and wildly popular swing and salsa dance classes.

Though not always open, its upstairs absinthe bar is another highlight with a collection you'll be hard to pressed to find anywhere in the world. There's also a rooftop terrace when the sun's out. Downstairs has good pinxtos and tapas at the bar (¥68 for two pieces), Estrella beer and IPAs on tap, spritz cocktails and postmidnight ¥10 shots. It's popular with fun-loving European expats here for a boozy night out.