When driving past La Bodega on an afternoon or evening you will often see people sat outside on the high chairs enjoying a glass of wine, coffee or a cocktail — it’s the spirit of European café culture in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2.
In the very heart of the old quarter is Craft Beer Pub. As you’d imagine, they sell lots of craft beer.
Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar on the top floor of Caravelle Saigon has been a favourite watering hole of politicians, journalists and soldiers, and has been welcoming people to its rooftop since 1959.
Since opening four years ago, BMV has become a staple of the drinking scene in District 2. It brings a schnitzel-sized slice of Germany to this corner of Saigon, and is open daily from 11am to 2am.
Sandalwood flooring, leather armchairs, and black walls sporting a library of wine bottles; Den Bar is an old-school alternative to Hoan Kiem’s generally characterless selection of watering holes.
Situated at the corner of Mac Thi Buoi and Phan Van Dat, on the location once occupied by Seoul House, Soi & Meo Taproom is a hangout opened just after Tet. To explain the name Soi & Meo (wolf and cat), Quynh, the bar manager, says: “It’s inspired by America, where animals are used to name their bars.”
Something feels different upon stepping inside Layla for the first time that sets it apart from other cocktail bars in the same category around Saigon. It could be the floor-to-ceiling windows that bookend the space and allow the last of the fading afternoon light to filter in before the sun dips behind the buildings along Dong Khoi Street below.