As the sun finishes up its rotation and headlights begin casting shadows around corners, Bar +84 is preparing for another night of pouring beers, mixing cocktails and bringing out the wine coolers.
Malt looks a bit like the set of a TV sit-com; the mid-range size allows for privacy and space, while also being small enough to not get lost. Decorated with exposed brick walls, gold leaf murals, and a highly coveted shuffleboard table, Malt is the type of place you could stumble into during a rainstorm, and then realise five hours later that you’ve found your new regular.
Tucked away close to the East-West Highway sits a beautifully pristine French colonial facade, patiently waiting to be discovered. Inside, the restaurant is a fusion of east and west, with strategic mirrors that add light and space to the room, and beautiful ceramic tiles on the floor. Even the bathrooms create a luxurious experience with their long mirrors and elegant sinks.
BirdCage is probably one of the most unusual late-night spots in Hanoi. In order to get there you have to turn into a small dirt road off Au Co, and drive down a field. You’ll all of a sudden see the lights and hear the music. There is a curtain of vines that you walk through before entering the bar, that with its off-the-beaten-path location, really makes it feel like you’ve discovered a hidden gem.
Located in the Lancaster Building on Le Thanh Ton in the spot once inhabited by Sin Lounge and Cepage, Qui Dining Lounge looks like it has been around for longer than the short time it’s been open. It offers mood lighting and a mellow atmosphere that is equally good for lunch, the afternoon, after-work cocktails, or for an evening out on the town.
Just a stone’s throw from the Opera House, the recently opened La Plume is awash with urban elegance. Sat on the third floor of the Press Club Building, it feels a bit strange to look out of the window and see the red and green roofs of Hanoi staring back. Don’t worry, you haven’t been somehow transported into a bygone era, though the soft jazz piano and the red wine in your hand might make you feel like it.
Recently reopened to cater for Hanoi’s late-night enthusiasts, Zone 17 does nine-to-five the other way around.