Ho Chi Minh has a buzzing nightlife. It is quite possibly the party capital of Vietnam. But if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated than the pumping bass on the pedestrianised street of Durong Bui Vien, why not try one of the many cocktail bars in Ho Chi Minh. Here’s our list of the best speakeasy bars in Ho Chi Minh, for anyone looking for a stylish night out in Ho Chi Minh with a more exclusive crowd.
- What is a speakeasy bar?
- Best speakeasy bars in Ho Chi Minh
- Telephone Bar
- Layla Eatery and Bar
- Firkin Bar
- Tamarind Hidden Cocktail Bar
- Want to read more about Vietnam?
What is a speakeasy bar?
A speakeasy is a bar that illegally sells alcohol. This type of establishment became popular in the USA during prohibition in the 1920s. Today, speakeasy’s are completely legal, but try to capture the essence of the heady romance of the 1920s, offering a little secrecy and subtlety compared to a normal bar.
Best speakeasy bars in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh has a number of speakeasy bars throughout the city. We loved visiting these to get away from the crowds and the regular hum of scooter engines. Here’s the top 5 speakeasy bars that we found in Ho Chi Minh:
The Telephone Bar, found here, we love the entrance to this bar. I’m not sure this flamboyant entrance would have passed muster in the 1920s, but we loved the fun of it regardless. Inside there is a two floored cocktail bar, with a small number of seats.
Expect dark lighting, hushed tones and the chance to order “off menu” based on your favourite cocktail. A bespoke cocktail with a small snack will cost you approx. 300,000 VND (more than $10). That’s quite a high price point for Ho Chi Minh!
How do you get in?
Well, we won’t give the secret away. But think Lady Ga Ga’s most famous hit in 2010.
Layla Eatery and Bar
It may be pushing it to call Layla Eatery and Bar a “speakeasy”, but it does have a quite concealed entrance as it’s on floor 2 of an otherwise unassuming (scruffy looking) building.
This luxe style bar offers cocktails for 95,000 VND ($4), making it one of the cheapest speakeasy style bars in Ho Chi Minh. Layla also serves snacks and has a fun pool table for guests.
Some awesome activities while you are in Ho Chi Minh.
Firkin Bar, found here in District 1, a stones throw away from the Opera House, would be a great place for a pre-show drink. In fact, Firkin has a happy hour from 18:00 to 20:00 every day with 50% off the signature cocktail of the day.
Firkin bar is known for whisky. Think dark wood panels, cigar smoke rings and an air of masculinity.
Snuffbox, found here in District 1, is one of the original speakeasy bars in Ho Chi Minh. In fact, it claims to be the first. We liked Snuffbox for the 18:00 to 20:00 drinks deals and the live music available on some nights. You can find the schedule here. Look out for the ladies “free flow” nights on Tuesdays too.
Snuffbox draws in a young crowd looking to let their hair down and party 1920s style. This is one of the livelier cocktail bars in Ho Chi Minh.
Tamarind Hidden Cocktail Bar
Tamarind Cocktail Bar, sits here in District 1 close to the Reunification palace. As this bar opens at 17:00, it’s the perfect pit stop after a day of visiting the tourist sites of Ho Chi Minh. Despite guidance online there was no happy hour when I visited but they may have it some days.
This place may not be “speakeasy” from the outside, you can clearly see the entrance. But it’s got a 1920s feel on the inside and the live music is great fun. Plus, the cocktail selection is solid and it has a friendly atmosphere.
Some more activities to consider while in Ho Chi Minh.
Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case. Find them here on Amazon.to get the travelling started!
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