New bars in Saigon - our picks - review by Rusty Compass
Ho Chi Minh City | nightlife guide

Independent reviews and recommendations by Rusty Compass. No advertorial, no paid placements and no sponsored content.

New bars in Saigon - our picks

| 28 Nov 2018
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New bars in Saigon - our picks
28 Nov 2018

Saigon's nightlife scene is changing fast. This is our latest update on new places to grab a drink in the city. It's handpicked, independent and we visit every place we list - usually a few times. The list was updated in November 2018.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

2018 has been the year of the cocktail bar in Saigon. It feels like barely a week passes without a new opening. The good news is that there are some cool new arrivals in the city. Drinkers have more choice than ever.

Most of Saigon's new bars are taking advantage of the city's disappearing colonial-era shophouses. It’s great to see the old buildings finding a new life. It's a cocktail led heritage revival. Though we doubt Saigon will be thirsty enough to stave off the wrecking ball that's been hacking through the city over the past decade.

Some of these places are quite fancy and Saigon’s cocktail prices are heading north - so look out for happy hour offerings. Drink early!

Most of the bars listed are newly opened so don’t be surprised if there are some teething issues. Be nice. We found them all friendly and welcoming.

You could do a little tour of all them!

 

Padma de Fleur

Our dear friend Quynh Anh is a creator of beautiful things from spaces, to floral arrangements and food. Now she’s serving drinks at her soulful florist shop. If botanicals are a thing of the time, then Padma de Fleur is set to fly. It's a botanical garden in a bar and a visual delight - refreshingly free of mixology palaver. Pop by for a drink in a unique bar space. Closes earlyish.

Address:  55/6 Le Thi Hong Gam, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Quynh Anh - Padma de Fleur
Photo: Mark Bowyer Quynh Anh - Padma de Fleur
 
Padma de Fleur, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Padma de Fleur, Saigon

 

Bann

Owned by a group of Hanoian women who have made Saigon their home - a filmmaker, an architect and a fashion designer,  Bann is right downtown on Dong Khoi St. But it’s well hidden. it's worth seeking out for drinks in its intimate downstairs space, or the airy rooftop with views across Saigon’s evolving skyline. DJs on weekends give the rooftop a lift.

Address: 6th floor 71C Dong Khoi St, Ho Chi Minh City - near the Reverie Hotel

Bann Cocktail Bar, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Bann Cocktail Bar, Saigon
 
Bann Cocktail Bar, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Bann Cocktail Bar, Saigon

 

Birdy

Birdy’s one of these tiny places of effortless cool. You don’t sense the Japanese owner expended too much effort on the detail - but everything’s just right. And it's achieved cult standing among some city residents. Cocktails are popular and they serve a small selection of local craft beers. It doesn’t take too many punters for Birdy to fill.  It’s located in the second Japanese enclave in the city on Pham Viet Chanh St. You’ll need to head a little out of District 1 to get here. You’re welcome to order in food from the surrounding Japanese eateries. The whole area has a great feel - worth exploring.

Address: 80 Pham Viet Chanh, Binh Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City

Birdy Bar, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Birdy Bar, Saigon
 
Birdy Bar, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Birdy Bar, Saigon
 

Ironbank Vault

Ironbank’s a cosy little bar slightly away from the centre of town. Head up the dark hidden staircase in an old shophouse for cocktails with a true Saigon vibe. Good spot for a quiet drink and a chat. Can get smoky.

Address: 47 Ton That Dam St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Ironbank Vault, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Ironbank Vault, Saigon
 
Ironbank Vault, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Ironbank Vault, Saigon

 

Chin Chin

Chin Chin’s a classy cocktail bar in an old shophouse with an Indochine medicine shop theme. Feels a little more posh than other new openings. Might be nice to dress up a tad. Chin Chin is on Ho Tung Mau St - an area that’s developing quite a scene of dining and drinking.

Address: Upstairs, 75 Ho Tung Mau St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Chin Chin Cocktail Bar, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Chin Chin Cocktail Bar, Saigon

 

Chin Chin Cocktail Bar, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Chin Chin Cocktail Bar, Saigon

 

 

Drinking and Healing

There's plenty of drinking going on here so we get that. Didn’t experience the healing bit though. That starts the next day methinks. Drinking and Healing is a spacious new bar in an impressive heritage building. It wraps around a prime corner block and looks across Saigon's colonial era banking district. The building’s a real standout and the bar's a good fit. You’ll head up the original staircase, past the Instagrammers doing their thing, before entering the main space of high ceilings, exposed brick and a good mix of seating and tables. Friendly staff.

Address: Level 2, 25 Ho Tung Mau, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Drinking and Healing Cocktail Bar Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Drinking and Healing Cocktail Bar Saigon
 
Drinking and Healing Cocktail Bar Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Drinking and Healing Cocktail Bar Saigon
 
Drinking and Healing Cocktail Bar Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Drinking and Healing Cocktail Bar Saigon

 

Disclosure

Rusty Compass recommendations are always independent. We list the places we think you should know about. That’s it. We paid our way at these places and no money changed hands for a listing. We tend to favour places with some local character and vibe over slick cookie-cutter creations. Padma de Fleur is owned by an old friend.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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