The Best Bars in Vietnam
Looking for a good bar? Vietnam has something for everyone: rooftop bars, chill hotel lounges, glittery discos, informal open-air cafés, and high temples of craft beer worship. Order yourself something cool and sit back and watch the show at these great places, full of Vietnamese flavor.
38 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ, Thảo Điền, Quận 2, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 10000, Vietnam
Arriving at the Deck Saigon, a restaurant in District Two on the Saigon River, is often one of the highlights of an evening here—many customers come by boat directly from District One to dock right at the restaurant’s waterside steps. Drawing a mix of expats, locals, and tourists, this restaurant is partially set on a riverfront deck (hence the name); it’s been open since 2008. The menu is pan-Asian, while the breezy interiors include solid wooden chairs, creative lighting, and plenty of fresh flowers. Vietnamese ingredients are used in dishes like Phu Quoc prawn rolls and regional soft-shell-crab tempura—but foods sourced globally include French foie gras and New Zealand lamb.
144 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 70000, Vietnam
In the burgeoning craft-beer scene in Ho Chi Minh City, Pasteur Street is undoubtedly the front-runner. Opened in 2015 by a pair of Americans—one involved in hospitality in Vietnam, another who worked at a brewery in Colorado—the outfit concocts classic craft brews with Vietnamese ingredients. The comfortable space, with a long wooden bar, warm lighting, and a deliberate absence of TV screens, fosters a congenial atmosphere, one focused on beer and conversation. While the menu includes bar bites like Nashville Hot Chicken, black-eyed-pea hummus, and fried pickles, the beers are what keep tipplers coming back, including those that utilize local ingredients like jasmine, pomelo, passion fruit, and cinnamon.
An Thượng 5, Bắc Mỹ An, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Vietnam is not the most obvious surfing destination in the world, but the swell near Danang is actually excellent -- especially during the monsoon season. The centre of the surf scene is Tam’s Pub in Danang, which is a good spot to rent a board and get advice on conditions and choice surf spots.
24 Tông Đản
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 in Duc’s bow is a talent for furniture making and his bar is a showroom for some of his exquisite handmade items.
14 P. Đông Thái, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
As informal as it gets, an evening at this street-corner bar in the Old Quarter of Hanoi is a rite of passage for any visitor to the Vietnamese capital. Every night, from sundown to the wee hours, the intersection of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets bursts to life as locals and tourists take up the sidewalk (and much of the road) to drink dirt-cheap Vietnamese draft beers and shoot the breeze. The beer is decent—and only about 20 cents for a tall glass—but it’s the people-watching (young Hanoi residents and baggy-panted travelers tightly crammed together atop plastic stools) that makes a trip here a memorable occasion.