Sometimes, a place with great drinks and positive vibes is more than enough for those looking for a good time. The most adventurous, however, might find themselves on the lookout for bars that are a lot more fun and well, unusual. Here are eight of those bars around the world that offer that unique twist.
From eclectically themed walls with interesting paintings to bespoke cocktails, today’s unique bars are elevating the drinking experience like never before. Gone are the days when people would simply visit a bar for a pint of beer or a glass of Old Fashioned. Instead, these most usual bars go the extra mile to get their guests immersed in an alternate dimension.
From a chilly igloo to an underwater experience amidst sharks and fish, be ready to get bowled over by these unique experiences. If you’re ready to step out of your boozy comfort zone, here’s where you’ll find the world’s most unusual bars.
8 of the most unusual bars around the world that promise an otherworldly experience
Rock Bar, Indonesia
Elevate your evenings at the Rock Bar in Bali, located within the Ayana Resort and Spa at Jimbaran Bay. Built almost 14m above the Indian Ocean and atop rocky formations along the pristine coast of Jimbaran, Rock Bar Bali is widely touted as one of the most stunning bars in the world, especially come dusk. An open cable car ride takes you to this stunning cliff top bar.
Spend quality time with friends and family while enjoying live music from the DJ booth and jaw-dropping sights of the limitless ocean as waves come crashing by. Sip on a cold beer while gazing at the horizon or – if you fancy an exotic cocktail – one of the many delectable drinks inspired by the ocean, such as Wakatobi or When I Sea U. A delectable food menu and wine menu are also there to accentuate the experience.
Icebar Stockholm, Sweden
Icebar is quite literally the coolest bar on the list. The icy bar, located in Sweden’s capital city Stockholm, takes its subzero theme quite seriously here, because everything is made of ice.
It is the world’s first permanent ice bar, and only exists thanks to its perennial temperature of -5°C. The locale can accommodate up to 60 people, an impressive feat owing to the 40 tonnes of ice – sourced from the Tone River – that’s used to rebuild the bar every year. Expect everything from the tables, sculptures, and the neon decor to the glasses which hold your drink to be carved of solid ice. Guests are given ice capes and gloves to survive this tundra-like experience comfortably
Icebar has a range of cocktails and a delicious food menu. Sip on drinks like the Starry Sky, Hot Spot and Bright Ice, or sample their dinner menu with family and friends. Children are also allowed and can try colourful non-alcoholic drinks.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
Imagine sipping wine or champagne amidst the most exquisite marine life. That is exactly what happens in the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island.
Situated at the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, the restaurant sits 5m below the sea and is one of the finest of its kind in the world. Besides an exquisite fine dining and wine menu, the underwater establishment also offers its guests the opportunity to experience Maldive’s underwater world – without getting wet.
Alux Restaurant and Lounge, Mexico
Taking guests inside a natural cave network in the Yucatan peninsula is Alux Restaurant and Lounge. Situated in Mexico’s Playa Del Carmen, the untouched walls, natural plants, and rugged bar counter within this locale brings you right back to the Flinstone era.
Besides bar seats and regular tables, this lounge bar also has private VIP vaults for you to enjoy some personal quality time with loved ones. The wine bar has some great bottlings while the cocktail menu offers pretty interesting drinks that are inspired by its location and the country’s heritage.
The Bellwood, Japan
Stepping into The Bellwood in Japan’s capital Tokyo is like stepping inside a 20th-century vintage Japanese coffee shop, also known as kissaten. The swanky watering hole is the perfect blend of retro and modern, with features like stained glass and wooden chairs and tables.
The drinks menu, crafted by cocktail wizard and Chivas Masters World Champion (2017), Atsushi Suzuki, includes some well-known recipes with a heavy kissaten coffee and tea influence. For instance, instead of a typical espresso martini, you’ll find a drink called Udabra here, a frozen coffee-based drink that’s made with Bacardi Ocho, café con leche, barrel-aged rum, and sesame. Another great option is the Genmai Truffle Sazerac which is prepared with shochu, truffle and raw honey. No wonder this unusual bar in Tokyo ranked 76 in the 2021 extended list of World’s 50 Best Bars.
The place is also known for Thai-inspired ramen and other delicious nibbles and munchies. It conducts blind cocktail pairing sessions, – which helps guests pick the right drink with a specific food – as well as experimental pop-ups like modern sushi in its backroom known as The Bellwood Lab, to help guests learn more about modern Japanese cuisine and pairings. It is known to serve some of the best varieties of sushi in Japan.
Milky Way, Canada
This bar in Montreal promises an ethereal experience. A black spiral staircase leads to its entrance, which opens doors to a dimly yet elegantly lit quirky bar with plant-themed skylights.
The sizeable wine bar boasts an interesting cocktail menu and a comfortable lounge, but you’ll want to get there early for a spot; the establishment doesn’t take prior reservations nor maintains a guest list. To be fair to all, once there is a lineup, Milky Way only allows groups of six or less.
Milky Way whips up some delectable drinks and cocktails; guests can enjoy pours like Fake It Till You Make It, Marcus Hibiscus, or Ballin in Paris. Besides these out-of-the-world cocktails, guests also have access to an array of wines, tequilas, mezcals, and whiskies. The bar food, too, is just as heavenly, and includes scrumptious pizzas and pastas.
Ranked 95 in the World’s Best 50 Bars and 26 in Asia’s Best Bars of 2021, Hoots is a cosy, intimate and dimly lit plush bar in the Indian capital New Delhi’s Vasant Vihar neighbourhood.
The establishment is gaining momentum amongst cocktail fans and is the first to introduce a world-class cocktail programme in the area. Such is the strategic lighting and dark interiors that its guests’ gaze are automatically directed to the bartenders’ moves and cocktail making skills.
From an Old Fashion topped with miso and a Whisky Sour that’s finished with a chamomile foam, to No. 5, an interesting play on a gimlet with gin and Palo Santo Cordial — every drink at this bar is creative, innovative, and most unusual. Besides these, a wide range of cigars and cheese platters make Hoots one of the coolest bars in town.
The House of Machines, South Africa
Amidst the amazing quirky bars that litter Cape Town is The House of Machines.
Built to foster a tight knit community of bikers, the bar brings people and machines together. Besides cocktails, craft beer, and live music at the DJ booth, The House of Machines is also popular for its coffees and biking gear and apparel.
Besides Cape Town, The House of Machines has locations in the US, Japan, and China where anyone who shares a love for riding is welcomed.
(Hero and featured image credit: The Bellwood/Facebook)