DJ BAR / LATE NIGHT
284 Nghi Tam, Tay Ho, Tel: 0915 663993
Open late, Le Soleil has become a place to be seen, especially if you’re the dancing-into-the-early hours kind of person. Sofas, bar stools, menus on blackboards and neon-coloured lighting, there’s a grunge-style feel to the place, but it’s an ambience that Le Soleil’s customers seem to love. Has a pizza joint, Paolo and Chi, upstairs.
55, Thao Dien, Q2, Tel: (08) 3744 5453
What does the Thao Dien area of Saigon seriously lack? A sports bar. And this is the Al Fresco Group’s answer to a distinct shortage hole in the market. Sleek lines, modern décor, elegant and spacious, dartboards and of course, lots of large screens to watch the televised sports. Check out their daily food specials.
24 Hai Ba Trung, Q1
One of this city’s longest running watering holes — and the original home of the darts league — has recently reopened in its new premises. Naturally, darts are still key here, with each of the bottom three floors having elements devoted to this most pub-friendly of sports.
Earlier this year we published an article about an inner-city bar crawl one of our staff members took in Melbourne, which is well known for its beautifully designed bars. We said then that Vietnam is well on its way to catching up, and with several new entries on this years shortlist, it does appear that the drinking scene here is going from strength to strength.
So it's in the backpacker area. So, it's a place myself and a whole host of other people are likely to avoid. So, it's another bar. But I can tell you, my first two visits to the Spotted Cow have been a pleasant change.
Vietnam is building itself an enviable collection of beautifully designed cafes and bars. But for the city that has made bar design into an art form, you need to head to Melbourne. Words by Jon Aspin
114 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Tel: (04) 6675 9838
A miniscule sports bar on the main drag of Xuan Dieu is perpetually crowded with regulars drinking out front on plastic stools. Notorious for its burgers, cooked fresh to order, Tracy’s is also famous for their draft beers, claiming to serve the coldest draft beer in Hanoi.
MODERN SPORTS BAR
7A Quang An, Tay Ho, Tel: 0904 010116
A contemporary mid-range bar and eatery showing live sport and boasting a convivial atmosphere. Has a creative comfort food menu, excellent breakfasts, daily specials and a popular second-floor outdoor terrace.
DIY BAR & EVENTS VENUE
199D Nghi Tam, Tay Ho
A bar and grill with an eclectic, DIY-style semi-outdoor setting. Regular DJ nights and live music add to the great ambience. Check out their grill fare. Tasty.
LAKESIDE WATERING HOLE
25 Duong Ven Ho, Tay Ho
Located on the lakeside lane just below Xuan Dieu, this warm, quiet and friendly pub offers a selection of international and local beers, wine, cocktails and a nice view of West Lake. Serving pies and pasties from The Cart, Vietnamese food from Dieu’s next door, or delivery from nearby favorites. Unpretentious, dog-friendly.