China

yuán (元; ¥)

Mandarin, Cantonese

Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoiceCraft Beer in Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

Second Draft

Tall windows wrap around a magisterial sweep of wooden bar at this Tai Hang neighbourhood gastropub, the sort of civilised joint where everybody knows everybody. A curated line-up of local beers favours the...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in Central District

Quinary

Consistently voted one of the world's top 50 bars, Quinary is a sleek, moodily lit cocktail bar that attracts a well-dressed crowd. Its gifted mixologists create homemade infusions of spirits and the...

Top ChoiceWine Bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Nuoyan Wine Bar

Move aside, Merlot, it's mǐjiǔ time! Try something new at this rustic tavern specialising in Chinese wine made from glutinous rice (米酒; mǐjiǔ), a delicately sweet tipple that's the same potency as sherry. There's...

Top ChoiceBrewery in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Great Leap Brewing #6

Lost in a maze of alleys east of Houhai, this tumbledown courtyard is where Beijing's craft-beer scene first burped into life back in the heady, pre-Xi days of 2010. The bar, with its lovely walled yard, remains...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

Speak Low

Speak Low is a speakeasy within a speakeasy within a speakeasy. Once you find your way in through the Ocho bar equipment shop, start with a drink on the 2nd floor; outstanding cocktails run ¥75 to ¥85. Then head...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

Ars & Delecto

Parisian-style cafe, with round wooden tables, a long marble bar and simple art deco images on white walls, Ars & Delecto is, without a doubt, one of the best cocktail bars in town. The small but punchy...

Top ChoiceBar in Suzhou

Birdland

Friendly staff speak excellent English and there is an ever-changing selection of 15 well-kept, local brews on tap. There are also tasty burgers, pizza and potato wedges on the menu. On the ground floor of...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

The Odd Couple

Enter this Xintiandi speakeasy via a wall of rainbow LED lights and an enormous Pac-Man screen at the top of the stairs. Inside it's an intimate, thin rectangular space with red lighting, small tables, standing...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in The Peak & Northwest Hong Kong Island

Old Man

Old Man

If Ernest Hemingway was still alive today, the chances are he’d love this tiny no-sign speakeasy named after his novel The Old Man and the Sea with a neo-cubist portrait of Papa himself looking down approvingly...

Top ChoiceClub in Shenzhen

Oil

Quite possibly the best underground club in China, Oil is a compact, sweaty chapel to electronic beats, the darker and more esoteric the better. An adjoining cocktail bar (open nightly) provides the perfect...

Top ChoiceCafe in Dashilar & Xicheng South

Soloist Coffee Co

Partway down a gentrifying hutong is this exquisite coffee roaster and cafe, born here as a pop-up during Beijing's annual Design Week, and now a small chain. Supposedly once a public bathhouse (the building is...

Top ChoiceClub in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Dada

Ever since this Shanghai export touched down in 2012, Dada has become Beijing's premier venue for esoteric, bass-heavy beats, while remaining unpretentious and divey enough for the casual party-goer. By combining...

Top ChoiceBar in The Bund & People's Square

Long Bar

For a taste of colonial-era Shanghai’s elitist trappings, you’ll do no better than the Long Bar. This was once the members-only Shanghai Club, whose most spectacular accoutrement was a 34m-long wooden bar....

Top ChoiceBar in French Concession

Café des Stagiaires

This popular oasis of Francophilia is decked out in hip 'olde worlde' charm with a bar made from stacked suitcases and bistro-like decor, plus windows that fully open out creating a lovely patio atmosphere into...

Top ChoicePub in Suzhou

Locke Pub

Locke Pub is a key part of Suzhou's social and cultural scene, as much a community social space as a pub. As well as serving imported bottled beers, wine and cocktails, Locke hosts regular events and is a great...

Top ChoiceBar in French Concession

Cotton’s

This excellent bar is one of the most pleasant spots in the concession to raise a glass. Ensconced in a converted 1930s villa, the bar's interior has cosy sofas and fireplaces to snuggle around in the winter, and...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Arch Bar

First-rate cocktails come with a first-class price tag at this exquisite cocktail bar hidden inside the Duan Qirui Former Government Building compound. Arch plays on its historical location with exposed beams, a...

Top ChoiceCafe in French Concession

1984 Bookstore & Cafe

Big Brother might be watching, but he'd be hard-pressed to find you in this hidden nook of a bookshop-cafe off Hunan Rd. There's no sign, just a metal gate, and you'll need to buzz to get in. Once inside, there's...

Top ChoiceBar in Harbin

Carl Damo Bar

Look for the neon-lit guitar at the entrance, leave your itinerary on Zhongyang Dajie and enter the world of Carl Damo, Harbin's hippest conceptual artist and photographer. His basement bar, packed with dimly lit...

Top ChoiceCraft Beer in Kunming

Uncle John's Craft Beer

The new second branch of a long-standing Kunming favourite is far more accessible, and the long wooden bar is fairly inviting as well. You'd have to try quite hard to sample the whole range of Uncle John's brews...