The best Hoi An bars and brew pubs for sipping cocktails and craft beers include everything from breezy wine bars White Marble and Market Bar, which have Hoi An’s best wine lists, to riverside bars, such as Mango Rooms and Mango Mango, which offer craft beers and brilliant vantage points from which to watch the sun go down.
Central Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An is best known for its handsome yellow houses, incense filled temples, and its fascinating museums – along with its fantastic Vietnamese street food, including Hoi An specialties, such as cao lau.
But the sultry riverside town is also a sublime location for sinking back into a sofa or hopping on a high stool to sip creative cocktails concocted from tropical fruits and locally brewed craft beers, made for washing down Asian tapas and house-made charcuterie and cheeses from Northern Vietnam, as you take in the picturesque setting or savour a fine sunset.
Wherever you sip, it will be mellow. Don’t expect to be kicking on until the wee hours – unless you’re hanging out at the backpacker spots. The bar and brew pub scene is very laidback in Hoi An – in both the ancient town and at the beachside bars – in keeping with the low-key vibe of the low-rise riverside town.
These are our picks of the best Hoi An bars and brew pubs for sipping cocktails and craft beers. Let us know your favourites in the comments below.
Best Hoi An Bars and Brew Pubs for Sipping Cocktails and Craft Beers
If you only have time for one bar in Hoi An, make it sundowners on the upstairs balcony of riverside Mango Rooms, a restaurant, café and bar spread across several breezy rooms painted in calypso colours. The vibrant décor is no surprise when you learn that the bandana wearing, Vietnamese-American owner-chef Duc Tran surfed and cooked in Mexico among other places on his global travels, before returning to Vietnam to open Mango Rooms in 2003. Duc’s modern Vietnamese food is a fresh, light, fusion of tropical influences, making much use of tropical fruits – as do his cocktails. It’s essential to book a couple of stools for the 5pm happy hour so wander by in the afternoon to reserve your spots. Don’t be late returning or you’ll lose your seats. Order your pretty passionfruit sangrias before you head upstairs to settle in to savour the soft golden light on the handsome yellow merchant houses on the opposite bank of the Thu Bon River. Magic. If you’re peckish, order the pork and shrimp rolls, duck tacos or the vegetable tempura with orange, mango and mint sauce. After the sun goes down, you could slip downstairs to dine or head across the bridge to sister spot Mango Mango. And if you miss out on booking stools on the balcony, snag a cushion or cane chair in the downstairs café. Happy hour 5-7pm means 50% off.
Mango Rooms, 111 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, but the café and upstairs balcony are best accessed from the riverside Bach Dang Street. Daily 8.30am-10.30pm.
If you enjoyed Mango Rooms mosey across the bridge over the Thu Bon River to sister spot Mango Mango, which you can actually see from your perch at Mango Rooms. A fab destination for drinks, both cocktails and craft beers, Mango Mango is also owned by chef Duc Tran, Mango Mango is set in a yellow three-storey colonial-inspired building with more slim balconies offering equally sublime views, this time of the Japanese Bridge and splendid yellow façades on the opposite side of the Thu Bon River. While Mango Mango was once very similar in style and concept to Mango Rooms, only bigger and with a second floor dining space where Duc taught private cooking classes, after a 2016 renovation, Duc and wife Ly expanded and added a few bars to focus more on booze and music. Downstairs at the front is a juice bar, the third floor is home to a private bar with a lounge and piano, while out back is the Whale Spirit Bar, a long bar with a focus on music – live bands and DJs some nights – and craft beers, boutique spirits, and draft beer from Pasteur Street Brewing Company. While the country may be best known for its bia hoi (fresh beer), Vietnam has a flourishing craft beer scene, which began with the launch of Fuzzy Logic Brewing Co in 2012, and exploded in 2014 when artisanal brewers such as East West Brewing Co, Lac Brewing, Heart of Darkness, and Pasteur Street Brewing Company appeared on the scene, and tap room BiaCraft stocked the local brews alongside foreign craft beers from the USA, Australia and Europe. Try whatever Pasteur beers Mango Mango has on tap, however, we love the floral Jasmine IPA and the Saigon Saison, made with lemongrass, ginger and Phu Quoc pepper.
Mango Mango, 45 Nguyen Phuc Chu, An Hoi, Hoi An. Daily 8.30am-10.30pm.
Wine lovers should make a beeline for White Marble, Hoi An’s best wine bar, pictured above. Located in a handsome yellow two-storey corner house a block from the riverside, White Marble has a airy bar downstairs and an air-conditioned restaurant upstairs. Hop on a stool at one of the high tables by the big open windows to browse Hoi An’s finest wine list – on a blackboard on the wall, which features regular specials and a varied selection of around a dozen wines by the glass – then sit back to enjoy the people-watching and an eclectic soundtrack from the Eighties. White Marble is owned by Australian expat Nick Hatton, who also owns Hoi An’s outstanding Red Bridge Cooking School. His brother Peter Hatton makes wines at the family’s French Island Vineyards south of Melbourne – and you should find some of those on the list (last time I sampled a superb Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir) along with some of the more interesting New World and Old World wines available in Vietnam. (If you’re from Melbourne, yes, this is the same Hatton family who used to own the wonderful Hatton’s Hotel in Toorak, which was decorated with bits and pieces from Vietnam, along with his mother’s wonderful art and antique collection.) White Marble also has some of Hoi An’s friendliest staff and fantastic food to nibble on. Try the lemongrass beef skewers and deep-fried ‘money bags’ packed with plump prawns or order the tasting plate for a mix of appetisers.
White Marble, 98 Le Loi, Hoi An. Daily 11am-11pm.
Opened in April 2018, this lovely, laidback, alfresco terrace bar is secreted up on an outdoor patio on the first level of the cloth market. If you didn’t know to look for it, you could easily stroll by and be completely oblivious to its presence. From the corner of Bach Dang and Hoang Dieu Streets, look up. If you spot the lanterns in the tree and ‘Market Terrace’ sign, you’re there. I didn’t get to meet the owners on my last trip, but I’m told it’s ran by a couple of wine distributors, which explains the extensive wine list (around 50!) of super affordable bottles and nine wines by the glass. There’s also a decent range of Vietnamese craft beers from the likes of Hanoi’s Furbrew. Try their Bia Pho, a spice-infused beer inspired by Vietnam’s noodle soup. They also stock the award-winning 7 Bridges, brewed in nearby Danang. When you’re ready for a nibble, they do delicious platters of cheeses, charcuterie and baguettes. The real highlight of course is the breezy setting amongst the treetops with views onto the lively street and market below and across the old tiled rooftops to Thu Bon River, where there’s always some boating action. I’m told the owners are opening a second location, which I’ll investigate on my July trip and report back.
Market Bar, Bach Dang and Hoang Dieu Streets, Hoi An. Daily 4-11pm.
Tadioto Hoi An
If you’ve spent some time in Hanoi, you will know Tadioto, Vietnamese artist and author Nguyen Qui Duc’s bohemian bar that began life over a decade ago as a café and gallery in a more humble space before going on to become something of an institution and a magnet for the capital’s artists, creatives and intellectuals. Duc, who describes his customers as “thinkers and drinkers”, has recreated a little bit of arty Hanoi in Hoi An, with this intimate watering hole that has quickly become one of the best of the best Hoi An bars and brew pubs for sipping cocktails and craft beers, as well as premium spirits and wines. Dimly-lit, with moody lighting, filmy curtains, and flowers on tables, Tadioto is easily one of Hoi An’s most atmospheric drinking spots. Tipping a hat to the port town’s Japanese history, the specialties here are sushi and ramen, whiskies and gins, although this is very much Duc’s second home so don’t be surprised if you see a bottle of Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape on the wine list. While this is an evening spot for me, it is open during the day and they do a decent coffee and there’s also a sunny courtyard where you can sip a latte and get stuck into a good book. Try Duc’s memoir Where the Ashes Are, an account of his family’s experiences during the Vietnam War – or ‘American War’, as the Vietnamese call it – and their resettlement in the USA. Tadioto Hoi An, 54 Phan Boi Chau, Hoi An. Daily 10am-2pm, 6-11.45pm.
The Hill Station
Set in one of Hoi An’s most handsome two-storey French colonial mansions, The Hill Station is the Central Vietnam outpost of The Hill Station Deli and Boutique, which opened in 2011 in the French colonial hill station of Sapa in northern Vietnam. The founders’ aim was to showcase both Sapa’s ethnic minority culture and the French colonial history, which is why in Sapa you’ll find both ethnic minority cuisine and European specialties such as charcuterie and cheeses, and in Hoi An, the menu also features local specialties. Like their café and deli in Sapa, of which we’re big fans, The Hill Station in Hoi An offers a delicious array of cheeses and charcuterie, along with other house-made products, which they make themselves in Sapa. Like the French, the ethnic minorities from the mountains have a long tradition of slaughtering whole animals and nose to tail eating, which is why charcuterie makes sense, so don’t miss sampling the house-made pâtés, terrines, and smoked meats, especially the buffalo, as well as the heavenly roasted Camembert (from Dalat) in pineapple-infused rice wine. Everything is wonderful and it all washes down beautifully with a bottle of French wine or Vietnamese craft beers. The aromatic Jasmine IPA by Pasteur Brewing Company is great match. By day, The Hill Station feels like a café, but after dark the dim lighting gives it a moodier vibe when it feels more like a bar. However, if you drop in during the afternoon you can take advantage of their buy-one-get-one-free during the four-hour happy hour from 2-6pm, which applies to house wines and craft beers. The Hill Station is right across the road from Yaly tailors, so book a fitting before drinks – or after for a boost of confidence.
The Hill Station, 321 Nguyen Duy Hieu, Hoi An. Daily 7am-10pm.
What do you think of our list of the best Hoi An bars and brew pubs for cocktails and craft beers? Feel free to leave tips to your favourite spots in the comments below.