If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Mumbai guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Mumbai for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Bayview Bar to busy places like Enigma that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Colaba area? No fear - we share all the facts!



Sometimes smaller is better. Part bar, part restaurant, Busaba attracts a more discerning class of drinker in search of privacy and sophistication. The compact bar is well stocked with international spirits and wines, and the glazed terrace is the perfect place for an intimate date. Don't overlook the food menu – dishes from across Asia are prepared with a distinctive French twist.

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Attracting a growing crowd of North Mumbai socialites, the Ivy Bar is cool but casual, as you might expect from the team behind the Chateau Indage wine label. Wine is a recurring theme at the Ivy – maps of wine regions are painted on the ceiling and wine racks line the walls. The cellar features more than 100 wines and many are available by the glass. Welcome to the wine-bar, Mumbai-style.

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A very cool lounge bar attracting very cool people, just off the main strip in Khar. Bar staff bathed in neon blue light spin cocktail shakers while artificial waterfalls trickle down the walls. This is a place to relax in good company. There are seven zones, each offering a different level of noise and energy. If you run out of steam on the dancefloor, you can sit back with a long drink and listen to water splashing into artificial pools in one of the quiet zones.

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The sunset view is the principal drawcard at this chichi bar overlooking Juhu Beach. A wooden deck reaches out towards the beach beneath gently swishing palms, while DJs spin the kind of beats more commonly associated with Rimini and Ibiza. It's small, slick and exclusive, and often booked out for parties by Mumbai celebs. The food menu features some interesting snacks and the bar menu features perfectly mixed classic cocktails.

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Well, it was only a matter of time. The international Hard Rock Café chain has arrived in North Mumbai, bringing the full American theme bar experience to the west coast of India. If you've been to a Hard Rock Café before, you know what to expect – rock iconography, upbeat music and an energetic party mood. It's loud, brash and good fun.

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The nightclub at the Gordon House Hotel attracts crowds of disco divas and John Travolta aficionados at weekends. Like the hotel, the club is upbeat and forward-thinking, while the soundtrack is pure old-school – reggae, soul, rock, Motown and disco. Entry is restricted to couples, though well-behaved single men are sometimes admitted. There's a cover charge from Wednesday to Sunday.

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Irish theme pubs are popular the world over, and Mumbai is no exception. Green leather sofas and stained glass panels add a shamrock hue to this convivial watering hole, and the bar has draft Guinness and a good range of Irish whiskies. At weekend, Dublin attracts a mixed crowd of business travellers and Emerald Isle enthusiasts from the North Mumbai suburbs.

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In the lobby at the Oberoi Hotel, the Bayview is a faithful recreation of a colonial bar, with a full range of single-malt whiskeys and Cuban cigars. This is a watering hole for connoisseurs, and evenings feature live jazz music. Snack on treats from Japan, India and Europe while you unwind after a busy day of meetings. The barstools have good views over Marine Drive.

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During the racing season, from August to April, the bar at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse is crowded with gamblers celebrating big wins or drowning their sorrows after backing the wrong horse. With windows looking out over the turf, this is an atmospheric place to eat and drink, and the menu features crowd-pleasing dishes from India and Europe. Note that mobile phones must be left with security at the racecourse gates.

Read more about Gallops →