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Hanoi's Best Bars with Music

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While big international bands tend to stick to Ho Chi Minh City (if they visit Vietnam at all), Hanoi can nonetheless offer its share of quality live tunes. And when no live musician is onstage, a talented DJ is often on hand to lend a creative soundtrack for the evening.
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Mai Hắc Đế, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
One of the hippest joints in Hanoi, this speakeasy-style venue combines effortless conviviality with excellent cocktails. Regular live events run the gamut from eclectic DJ sets to more straightforward nights of live music.
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Minh's jazz club is owned by one of Hanoi's most famous jazz musicians, Quyen Van Minh. Live jazz, performed by local and foreign musicians, including Minh's son, is the big draw here.
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24 Tông Đản, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Owned and operated by journalist and raconteur Nguyen Qui Duc, this Hanoi institution is now in its fourth incarnation near the Opera House. Expect a bohemian crowd, an eclectic music policy and a great selection of wine. Among the other strings...
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34 Cao Bá Quát, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Both Bar Betta and Tadioto were among the stalwarts in the now-defunct Zone 9, an arty area which revolutionized Hanoi's nightlife for a short time before being shut down. The original Bar Betta, however, is still a sterling choice for a drink...
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27/52 Tô Ngọc Vân, Quảng An, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam
With a large, fully soundproofed, upstairs room providing the space, this is undoubtedly one of the premier spots for live music in Hanoi. The emphasis is on local alternative music. However, visiting DJs also make regular appearances. If an act...
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256 Nghi Tàm, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam
This Hanoi institution looked like it was gone forever following the sad death of its original owner. However, it is back in full force by the shores of West Lake after reopening in 2012. The formula is largely identical to what went before. An...
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21 Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
With Hanoi's most powerful sound-system powering up the live music action, Swing is a popular venue for well-heeled Hanoians. A million miles removed from the more bohemian western-friendly bars in the city, this venue specializes in slicker...
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6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The main draw at this Australian-run spot is the convivial and bohemian atmosphere. Housed in a stunning 1920s colonial villa in a quiet part of the Old Quarter, the cafe has a rustic, warm vibe. While items from the simple menu can be hit or miss...
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Số 12 Phúc Tân, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Phuc Tan is something of a dive. In a city where things tend to shut early this is generally the last port of call for when the evening drags on a little bit longer than is perhaps advisable. Nevertheless, there's a lot to like about the venue....