9 best places to drink in Macau, before and after gambling

9 best places to drink in Macau, before and after gambling

It's juice but no gin on the gaming floor, so head to these Macau drinking holes

Macau may earn four times as much as Las Vegas, but many would say it's 10 times behind in fun factor.

For one thing, you can't even drink on the gaming floor. There's free tea, free water, free orange juice, but no alcohol allowed at Macau's casino tables. 

When you're about to roll for the big win, you need a cold one to take the edge off. A glass of vitamin C doesn't cut it.

And when your luck doesn't come through, you need something strong enough to blunt the pain of going home and telling the kids they won't be getting new shoes this year.

Also on CNNGo: Insider Guide: Best of Macau

These are the best Macau bars and clubs where a couple of pints always puts Lady Luck back in your corner.

Posh lounge: Macallan Whisky Bar and Lounge 

Macau barsFeel appropriately posh while gambling away the inheritance.This place has more than 400 of the world’s finest scotch, bourbon and Irish whiskies. There's no better place to pat each other on the back and make a toast after a successful run at the Galaxy casino next door. 

With its Chesterfield-esque armchairs and mounted deer heads, Macallan's first branded bar in Asia is the cliched setting for high-rolling types who like to specify the kind of whisky that they want in their old fashioneds.

Of course, here the de rigeur is a Macallan Old Fashioned.

The hushed bar is for tastefully indulging in a premium bottle after a big win, or for sulking in a corner, angrily swirling scotch in a glass after a bout of tough luck.

203, 2/F, Galaxy Hotel, Avenida de Cotai, Cotai City, Macau +853 8883 2221, www.galaxymacau.com

Picturesque colonial joint: Old Taipa Tavern

Macau barsOTT, best photo op in Taipa's old town.Hidden away in Taipa's old town, the Old Taipa Tavern has charm in spades.

More commonly known as "OTT," this gastropub does reasonably priced drinks -- starting at MOP 45 (US$6.80) for well pours -- and English and Portuguese fare.

Choice seats are streetside al fresco tables for people-watching over a slow beer while considering how money won is twice as sweet as money earned.

Also on CNNGo: Searching for Macau's cultural future

21 Rua de Negociantes, Loja A, R/C e 1/F, Lojas B e C, R/C, Taipa, Macau +853 2882 5221

Guinness pub: Irish Bar

Macau barsGood things come to those who make the trek to Irish Bar.When nothing but draft Guinness will do, you'll certainly find it at a place called Irish Bar.

Inside a block of shops, Irish Bar is an honest-to-goodness pretensions-free pub.

It serves a standard selection of spirits and seven beers on tap, including that black drink. 

Irish Bar is a great place for watching the upcoming European Championships and is also home to Macau’s most popular Wednesday quiz night.

116 Ave., Kwong Tung, C-D Edificio Nam San Bloco 6, R/C E-F Taipa, Macau +853 2882 0708, www.irishbarmacau.com

 

Bunny den: Playboy Club Macau

Macau barsThis could be you.

A girlie bar of a vastly different variety, the Playboy Club Macau brings the world-famous Playboy bunnies to a sleek lounge at the Venetian.

The Playboy Club is just footsteps from the main gaming floor, so gamblers on a hot streak can stop by for a Bellinitini,
the signature house drink, before returning to the tables, and come back for a second round as late as 3 a.m. 

1, Venetian Macau Resort Hotel, Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança, s/n, The Cotai Strip, Taipa, Macau +853 6646 3838

 

Sports bar: McSorley’s Ale House

Macau barsCan't go wrong with beer, sports and a name beginning with "Mc." Macau is a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel, and this bar is one of its testaments. 

Located inside the Venetian, McSorley's in Macau is modeled after legendary Manhattan bar, McSorley’s Old Ale House, the oldest Irish Bar in New York City.

Sports fans head to McSorley’s to catch any important game and get a dose of good ol' sports pub rowdiness in the otherwise sterile casino.

McSorley's completes the experience with great pub grub like burgers and meat pies.

Also on CNNGo: Insider Guide: Best of New York City 

1038 Grand Canal Shoppes, Venetian Macau Resort Hotel, Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança, s/n, The Cotai Strip, Taipa, Macau +853 2882 8198, www.mcsorleys.com.hk

 

Punk stage: Live Music Association (LMA)

Macau barsLMA, giving Macau some indie cred.The gaming capital’s only designated rock venue, LMA is housed in a factory loft on the Macau Peninsula.

Some of China’s biggest independent rock, punk, metal and alternative bands have played here, as well as some touring bands from overseas.

LMA also promotes Macau bands at monthly rock showcases.

LMA is a far cry from the cover band-dominated casino bar scene, providing Macau with a necessary bit of rock and roll.

48-48D Avenida do Corone Mesquita, Edificio Ind. Man Kei, 10.B, Macau, +853 2822 9979, www.lmamacau.com

Hipster hangout: Che Che

Macau barsCasinos? What casinos?A tiny Portuguese-style lounge in the hills of the Macau Peninsula, Che Che is an off-the-map spot that welcomes the mellow crowd. 

With a mix of Portishead, Radiohead and Bjork playing in the background, Che Che is a true locals spot and a great place to escape the bright lights and gaudy eyesores prevalent around Macau.

Rua Tomas Vieira 70A R/C, Macau +853 6661 0500

 

Dance club: Club Cubic

Macau barsClub Cubic: Good enough for Nelly, good enough for us.It's Macau’s mega-club, where the kids get down to guest DJs and blow their winnings on Champagne.

Hosting hip hop heavyweights Nelly, Lil Jon and Eve, as well as world top-10 DJ Ferry Corsten, Club Cubic has become a staple of Macau's nightlife.

Cubic is also known around town for its Wednesday night Ladies' Night, where women enter free and receive a few complimentary shots of tequila.

Suite 2105-02, The Boulevard, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau +853 2828 6696, www.cubic-cod.com

After-hours hole: Lion’s Bar

Macau barsLion's Bar, best for the home-averse.Lion’s Bar starts the night with an acoustic house band on weekdays and an amped-up cover band on weekends.

But the party truly begins after the last set when the DJ cranks up the volume and everyone loses their composure, transforming the bar into Macau's most popular after-hours club.

Located in the MGM Grand, Lion's Bar is suitably gaudy with purple, gold and black glass and a giant LED screen that plays hip hop videos.

You can order everything from simple spirits and beers to exquisite cocktails and bottles of premium liquor.

Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau +853 8802 2375  

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Writer, front man, promoter and visionary, Dan Shapiro's a Renaissance man who's been covering Shanghai's music and nightlife scenes since 2007.

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