Speakeasy bar is becoming really popular in Ho Chi Minh city. The concept of speakeasy just excites people a lot and it’s something very different from the Vietnamese drinking culture.
If you’re a newbie to this concept, Kamereo would love to introduce you the 5 speakeasy bars you should pay a visit in Saigon.
What is speakeasy exactly?
The concept of speakeasy dates back to 1920 when the prohibition period took effect in the U.S. Serving of alcohol was banned during this period, bars and pubs were shut down by authorities. However, people still found a way around to enjoy their alcohol with hidden and illicit bars. These bar were very hard to find, underground and the entrance would have a decoy of a different place. Speakeasy back then were exclusive to invitation only and you’d probably had to say a password to get in.
Surely for modern days, there is no prohibition for alcohol so speakeasy wouldn’t be the same. Speakeasy as we know of now are bars that are not so obvious to the eye, entrance should be a little inconspicuous, hard to get to, with no big and noticeable signs.
Tamarind – Hidden cocktail bar
Tamarind lives up to its name, it’s a small cozy bar tucked away on level two of a quiet building right on the busy street.
There is just small sign outside next to a very crowded street food restaurant names quan Vi Da, follow the stairs leading up to level 2 and you will see a very cozy space.
Tamarind is decorated with lots of dimming yellow lights / candles and plenty of alcohol bottles on the shelf of the bar.
If you get a seat by the bar, you can see all the drinks being made, bartenders hustling to serve all customers, along with a wall full of variety of alcohol at the back, this combination creates an ambient vibe at Tamarind.
Tamarind has a lot of signature cocktails (220k/ cocktail) if you want more unique and original taste. On the other hand, they also have classic cocktails like Negroni and Old Fashioned,… for just 180k.
Their signature menu includes:
– Vodka / Rum or Agave (tequila) based drinks
– They also have non-alcoholic drinks using soda or ale.
Besides, they have a rather large menu of wine and spirits so feel free to ask for your favourite spirit mix. There is also a small menu of finger food ranging from 80k to 350k per dish.
The bar has everyday happy hour from 5pm to 8pm so come and enjoy a buy one get one free drinks.
They usually have live music after 9pm, especially on the weekends, as well. So if you want to relax after a long week, enjoy some mellow music and get away from a busy Saigon then Tamarind is a very worthy destination.
Address: 2nd Floor, 33 Nguyen Trung Truc, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
Average price: 150k/pax
Detailed menu: https://www.facebook.com/TamarindHiddenCocktailBar/menu/
A list of speakeasies in Saigon wouldn’t be complete without Rabbit Hole. Just hearing the name Rabbit Hole already gives customers an idea of how hidden the bar is.
The bar is situated underground with a small stair case leading down to a vault-like door and lit-up sign “rabbit hole” on it.
Rabbit Hole recreates quite an authentic American speakeasy vibe with dimming lights, red velvet curtains, L shaped bar and tons of spirit bottles by the bar.
A lot of spirits, classic and signature cocktails are available at the Rabbit Hole from 200k up. The must tries are The Mad Hatter (their signature) and the classic Old Fashioned.
There is also Jazz session weekly so everyone please stay updated with their Facebook page and go there to enjoy drinks and music with your friends and family.
Address: Underground – 138 Nam Kì Khởi Nghĩa streetHo Chi Minh City
Average price: 200k/pax
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/rabbitholebarhcm/
Below – Whiskey Den
If anyone has been the well know Broma bar then Below is just one level down from it. Following up the stairs and pass Phuc Long, you will see Below…
The bar is not too big but tables and seats are arranged neatly so it looks like there is plenty of space between tables.
Below recently won the award of best Negroni bar so it’s definitely a must try here.
Below has a variety of Whiskey based classic and signature cocktails. If you have a chance to visit Below, then we highly recommend you try the two new drinks of The Tree Letter and The Smuggler of Smuggler, both are Whiskey infused!
Drinks at Below not only come with catchy name but the decorations are also unique, edgy and top-notch, very Instagram worthy!
Happy hour at Below is from Monday – Friday from 6pm to 8pm, you can get classic cocktails and mixed drinks for 100K during happy hour. Besides, every Wednesday is gentlemen’s night with 30% off for whiskies from 9pm onwards. Sometimes, you can even catch some fun live performance at Below, so come and enjoy at Below!
Address: 41 Nguyen Hue street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Average price: 150k/pax
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/below.whiskyden/
The Iron Bank – cocktail vault
The Iron Bank can be a little hard to spot since there is no signs down on the street, but you have to look up the windows upstairs where the bar is situated to see a lit-up sign. Following up a very inconspicuous and rusty staircase, you may have to look carefully for the entrance since it’s not too obvious!
But coming inside, the bar is a very vibrant place…
The bar is full of 1920s vibes from the decoration of the bar, seatings and the music!
There is a seating up stairs where you can look down and this is your gorgeous view…
But if you want an up close observation of drinks being made then the bar seats are the best!
The bar has a lot of spirits so if you want to request any mixed drinks then feel free! They have a signature drinks menu called “new money”, so fun right! Their new money menu has quite a range of selection with different tastes but we highly recommend Queen of Decadence, The Smokey Banter and The Investment! All new money drinks will be priced at 175k, quite reasonable!
And of course the classic cocktails would be on the “old money” menu, you can order the basics like Old Fashioned or Cosmopolitan!
They also have a bar food menu so if you’re feeling peckish then no worries! You can order steak tartare, Sriracha wings or salmon crostini is really good as well.
Sometimes, there will be live Saxophone and DJ night so if you want to enjoy live performance then keep up to date with their Facebook page.
Address: 47 Ton That Dam, Distric1, Ho Chi Minh City
Average price: 175k/pax
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/theironbankcocktailvault/
Snuffbox is another already known speakeasy along with Rabbit Hole. The bar is probably one of the “leaders” of Speakeasy trend in Ho Chi Minh city.
The bar is located in a fairly dark alleyway with a small complex of other cafe bars and small shops. The area around is a bit timid at night and the door leading inside Snuffbox really screams a speakeasy as well!
The seating area is quite cozy with an upstairs area just like The Iron Bank we just mentioned above. Snuffbox got all the Speakeasy decor elements with a dash of modern vibes.
For the menu, they have spirits for mixed drinks, beers, classic cocktails like Dry Martini, New York Sour or Bee’s Knee (Tanqueray Gin based) for 150k and signature cocktails ranging from 200k to 250k.
Happy hour at Snuffbox is from 6pm to 8pm everyday with almost all cocktails priced at 120k.
Besides the good drinks, there usually are a lot of live performance at Snuffbox, and the place doesn’t just stop at live music…
They have dance performance, magic performance nights or even speed dating. If you’re keen on these unique performance then keep an eye out for their social channel.
Address: 14 Ton That Dam, District 1
Average price: 150k/pax
More details at:https://www.facebook.com/speakeasysaigon/