7 Secret Bars In Kuala Lumpur And How To Find Them

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SPEAKEASIES AND SECRET BARS IN KUALA LUMPUR

Going to secret bars and speakeasies is a popular trend in Kuala Lumpur.

While the term “speakeasy” originates from the American prohibition, Malaysia’s capital has put a modern twist on the concept of a hidden bar. Speakeasies have long since become a tourist attraction and expats are always on the hunt for the newest secret bar to be found in Kuala Lumpur.

“Secret” means you will not find any advertisements or signs for these bars. You have to know where they are in order to find them. With plenty of information being available online it’s certainly not as hard as it used to be to scope out a hidden cocktail bar. Although, if you don’t know what you’re looking for you’ll never guess where these secret bars in Kuala Lumpur are hidden.

Almost all of the seven bars on this list are quite upscale and definitely not budget-friendly. Don’t miss out on the experience of visiting a speakeasy though, just in order to save money. The drinks are very high quality and you should visit at least one on your trip to Kuala Lumpur.

If you have a bit of money to spend why not have a little “hidden-bar-pub crawl”? Look at the map in this article to see where all the bars are. If you visit them in the order listed below you can go to all seven in one night.

Not sure how to build your itinerary for KL? Check out these 19 things to do in Kuala Lumpur and 6 you should skip or the 11 best shopping malls in KL.

1. PS150 – THE MOST FAMOUS SECRET BAR IN KUALA LUMPUR

We’re starting the night in China Town at Kuala Lumpur’s most famous secret bar.

PS150 is located behind the facade of Cheng And Huang Toys and Co’s toy shop. While it is far from a secret amongst locals in Kuala Lumpur today, as a tourist you would never give it a second look.

Just 180m away from the popular Petaling Street this secret bar serves unusual cocktails and has a cozy and intimate atmosphere. It is not very large so make sure to book a table if you’re visiting on the weekends. Otherwise, you can stand at the bar if you find space.

The interior is decorated beautifully giving you the feeling of stepping into an opium den in the late 19th century.

While PS150 may not be the most hidden bar on this list, it is definitely not to be missed. With its dim lighting, hushed conversations and high-quality cocktails, this is the classic speakeasy you are looking for.

There is a dress code on the weekends; no flip-flops or sandals.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: In the heart of Chinatown where a lot of speakeasies are located
  • Price Range: RM40-55 (≈ 8,50 – 11,70€) for a cocktail
  • How to find it: Look for the old toyshop which is located below Merchant’s Lane restaurant
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Sundays & Mondays: 18:00 pm – 1:00 am
    Tuesdays – Saturdays: 18:00 pm – 2:00 am
The entrance to PS150 (left)

2. BOTAKLIQUOR – GREEN AND UNUSUAL

You don’t have to walk far to reach the next location on our list of secret bars in Kuala Lumpur. Botakliquor is right next door to PS150 and a bit harder to find.

To reach the bar you have to walk into Chocha Foodstore, a usually quiet restaurant. At the back, you will find a spiral staircase that leads you up to Botakliquor.

The bar has a botanical theme with plants hanging from the semi-open ceiling. Their cocktails follow a “farm-to-glass” concept and all ingredients are either organic or sourced from the bar’s own farm.

You’ll find unusual cocktail combinations such as Sweet Peas and Elderflower or Chocolate and Chili. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!

The bar is not very large but rarely very crowded. It’s more relaxed than PS150 and there is no dress code.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: In the heart of Chinatown where a lot of speakeasies are located
  • Price Range: RM35-48 (≈ 7,40 – 10,20€) for a cocktail
  • How to find it: Go inside Chocha Foodstore and go up the spiral staircase
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Tuesdays – Thursdays: 17:30 pm – 1:00 am
    Friday & Saturdays: 17:30 pm – 2:00 am
    Sundays: 17:30 – 23:00 pm
    Mondays: Closed
The locations of all seven hidden bars

3. THE DECEASED – HORROR-THEMED WITH A GREAT TERRACE

Only a short walk from PS150 and Botakliquor is The Deceased, a secret bar like no other.

To find it look for the Mingle Hostel. There’s a blue door to the left of the cafe on the ground floor that will lead you up to the bar.

The Deceased is a horror-themed bar. You’ll be guided up the stairs by eerie music and sinister wall decorations. The bar is located on a rooftop with decent views of Chinatown and Kuala Lumpur. The seating is open-air for the most part and there’s plenty of space.

If you’re not part of a larger group there’s no need to make a reservation.

The cocktails at this bar are unusual and unique. You’re not simply ordering a drink but taking part in a story. The drinks have names such as “Petty Person Beating” and “Tea of Oblivion”. They’re all decorated elaborately and some even come with a little show conducted by the waiter.

Come to The Deceased for an unusual experience. The open-air terrace makes it one of my favourite secret bars to sit and enjoy the night in Kuala Lumpur.

As far as I could tell there is no dress code being enforced at The Deceased.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: In the heart of Chinatown where a lot of speakeasies are located
  • Price Range: RM40-50 (≈ 8,50 – 10,60€) for a cocktail
  • How to find it: Look for the blue door left of the Mingle Hostel
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Wednesdays – Sundays: 18:30 pm – 2:00 am
    Mondays: 18:30 pm – 12:00 am
    Tuesdays: Closed

4. THE ATTIC – COZY AND IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND

To conclude my list of secret bars in Kuala Lumpur’s China Town we are heading to The Attic. This may or may not be my favourite speakeasy because of its chill vibes and fantastic cocktails. It’s also one of the cheaper options on this list.

The Attic is probably the hardest bar to find on this list. You have to first ring the bell to the Travel Hub Guesthouse then go up the stairs to the reception. Immediately turn right and walk down the corridor to a narrow spiral staircase. After you go up to the top floor you will find a door leading you to The Attic.

It’s worth the trek up the staircases I promise.

The Attic is fairly small but due to its inconspicuous location, you won’t have trouble getting a seat. If the weather permits you should sit outside on the little terrace and enjoy views of Chinatown.

The Attic’s current menu focuses on Game of Thrones themed cocktails such as “The Dragon Lady” and “Jon Snow”. The Dragon Lady is their signature cocktail made with vodka and fresh dragon fruit. I can only recommend it.

The Attic has a cosy and intimate atmosphere. There is no dress code.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: In the heart of Chinatown where a lot of speakeasies are located
  • Price Range: RM28-40 (≈ 6 – 8,50€) for a cocktail
  • How to find it: Enter Travel Hub Guesthouse and go up the spiral staircase
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Sundays to Thursdays: 18:00 pm to 2:00 am
    Fridays and Saturdays: 18:00 pm to 3:00 am
The “Dragon Lady” (right)

5. SUZIE WONG – UPSCALE AND EXCLUSIVE

After exploring four bars in China Town we are moving on to the popular nightlife area Bukit Bintang.

Suzie Wong can barely be considered a secret bar anymore. Technically it is located behind a traditional noodle hawker stall but the loud music and security guards kind of give it away.

Suzie Wong is more a club than it is a bar. It’s exclusive and expensive and its clientele is very different from the other bars on this list. You’ll find a strict dress code of no shorts, ripped jeans, sandals or flip-flops being enforced.

Be prepared to pay an entry fee on some weekends and reserve a table in advance if you don’t want to stand at the bar.

There is usually live music on the weekends and cabaret shows during the week. Definitely have a look at their website to see what’s on.

The bar is quite large and usually very crowded. There are two main rooms and two bars where you can buy elaborate and unusual cocktails. Some are served in soup bowls with beans and noodles inside and some come in a birdcage complete with its own lighting.

If you get hungry during the night you can order food from the noodle cart outside to eat in the bar.

Suzie Wong is an experience not to be missed on your trip to KL. Make sure you dress appropriately and prepare yourself for steep prices.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: In Bukit Bintang behind the HoldayInn
  • Price Range: Cocktails starting at RM58 (≈ 12,30€)
  • How to find it: Go to the back street behind the HolidayInn or go through Wisma Lim Foo Yong building if you’re entering from Jalan Raja Chulan
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Mondays to Fridays: 16:00 pm to 3:00 am
    Saturdays: 18:00 pm to 3:00 am
    Sundays: Closed
Some cocktails are served in soup form (right)
The noodle cart at the entrance to Suzie Wong

6. BEER BANK – THE BEST BEER SELECTION IN KL AT LOW PRICES

Beer Bank does not really belong on this list, seeing it’s not a speakeasy and not as hidden as the others are. But it is nevertheless a secret bar in Kuala Lumpur and doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

Beer Bank is in the same building as Suzie Wong and a great place to visit while you’re in the area.

As the name suggests, Beer Bank focuses on beer and its selection is unlike any other. The bar operates under a self-service system. You can study the hundreds of beer types displayed in the glass-door fridges and choose whatever you like. They provide chilled glasses and are eager to give recommendations if you’re unsure of what beer is for you.

To find Beer Bank you have to go into Selections Groceries and go to the very back where you will find the not-so-subtle entrance to the bar.

Beer Bank is a very casual venue with the atmosphere of an upscale sports-bar. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or not you should come by to enjoy surprisingly cheap drinks. Why not go grocery shopping on your way out while you’re there?

There is no dress code in Beer Bank and it’s usually empty so no need to reserve a table.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: in Bukit Bintang hidden in a grocery store
  • Price Range: Local beers start at just RM10 (≈ 2,10€)
  • How to find it: Go to the back of Selections Groceries
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Mondays to Saturdays: 12:00 pm to 2:00 am
    Sundays: 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
The grocery store that hides the entrance to Beer Bank (left)

7. OMAKASE AND APPRECIATE – A SECRET BAR IN KUALA LUMPUR WITH CUSTOMISABLE COCKTAILS

To complete the hidden-bar-pub-crawl we’re heading north of Chinatown to the smallest hidden bar on this list.

Omakase and Appreciate is hidden in the basement of an office building with a sign on the door warning you that there is “No Admittance”. If you’re brave enough to ignore the sign you’ll step into a room that barely fits 15 people.

Omakase and Appreciate is said to have been one of the first speakeasies in Kuala Lumpur and a kick–starter to the trend.

This bar is unique because it follows the Japanese Omakase concept, which translates to “Leave it to you”. You simply tell the bartender what type of alcohol you enjoy, what flavours you like (sweet, bitter, fruity etc) and how strong you like your drink. What you receive is a unique and personalised cocktail made especially for you.

By stepping away from conventional cocktails Omakase and Appreciate sets itself apart from other secret bars in Kuala Lumpur. So sit back and relax while you enjoy the intimate atmosphere and a cocktail like no other.

If you’re not willing to take the risk of trying the Omakase concept you can also order cocktail classics from the regular menu.

There is no dress code here and no need to book a table. Even though the bar is so small it is quite off the beaten track in terms of nightlife in Kuala Lumpur and few tourists know it exists.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Where is it?: Close to Masjid Jamek LRT stop
  • Price Range: The bartender will price each personalised cocktail individually. Prices tend to range from RM40-55 (≈ 8,50 – 11,70€)
  • How to find it: Go to the basement of the Bangunan Ming Annex Building and look for a door that says “No Admittance”
  • Website: Click here
  • Opening Times:
    Tuesdays to Fridays: 21:00 pm to 1:00 am
    Saturdays: 21:00 pm to 1:00 am
    Sundays and Mondays: Closed

Are expensive cocktail bars not within your budget? Click here to read about 24 cheap or free things you can do in Kuala Lumpur instead. These 12 cheap places to eat in and around KLCC might also help.

Go down these steps (left) to find the door to Omakase and Appreciate (right)
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Hi, I'm Victoria

I’m 24 years old and grew up in Germany. Right now I’m studying at a university in Scotland and am about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Full-time travel is my dream and I’ve spent the last few years slowly building my online business. Guide your Travel is technically a travel blog, but I also write about photography, social media and how you can start blogging. Don’t forget to check out my destination guides and travel tips.

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