Infamous for fueling the cheap-beer-filled nights of many a Hanoian, Beer 2KU is expanding. Already seven locations deep, the brand’s latest venture sits on prime Quang An real estate, a low-key lakefront oasis sandwiched between the fancier of Tay Ho’s eateries. The first time I passed by, I had to do a double take. Is that an actual pool inside the bar? Yes it is.

Oh, Le Soleil, how do I love you? Let me count the ways. (Okay, I tried to start counting, but all I got was ‘pizza party’ three times). If there ever was a bar strategically set up to host epic underground pizza parties, though, it is you.

Mark Gustafson might be the most popular man in town right now. Everywhere he goes he keeps getting thanked. Thanked for helping bring craft beer to Ho Chi Minh City, thanked for opening up a location in Thao Dien, and thanked for giving an opportunity to new brewers. It’d be sickening if he didn’t deserve it.

Walking into TAPS is impressive. The place is huge, like, airport-hanger huge. Open for around six weeks on Truong Dinh by the time you read this, TAPS is about carving out a middle ground between the beer clubs and the high street.

Providing a home from home for many a long-serving outlander, Polite Pub is something of a rarity in the frenetic bustle of the Old Quarter.

Mojito at Rumours

Situated on West Lake, Rumors is one of those places I’ve walked past many times on my way to other bars and idly wondered about.

Hien & Bob's. Photo by Francis Xavier

In the hurly burly of a developing city, change is part of the daily routine. So sometimes it’s nice to have some constants. In Ho Chi Minh City, where for the last 22 years towers have risen, urban rail systems have been commenced, stalled and re-commenced, and heritage buildings have been demolished in favour of the latest thing, Hien & Bob’s has been an oasis of the same. Surviving in the same central location it’s always been at, serving the same drinks it’s always had, and giving the same sassy attitude over the bar it’s famous for, it’s one of those places that people who’ve been coming here for years always come back to. It’s a touchstone and is unwavering in its simple philosophy. As owner Hien puts it, “Cold beer and good music, that’s it.” 

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