We’re not big on night outs but the mere mention of a “beer corner” got our attention. We learned about it by chance at the hotel lobby and, of course, we had to go.
Hanoi’s Beer Corner is a strip of a makeshift outdoor bar that spills over from Luong Noc Quyen to Ta Hien Street.
It is packed with people (locals and foreigners) sitting on small stools gathered around a little table on the street enjoying their beers. Many also people watch by sitting on stools facing the street.
So there we were in our little corner, sitting (almost squatting) on small wooden chairs, enjoying our beer with food that keeps coming.
International School student (out for a birthday party with friends) explains and recommends to Anton a street food.
We chatted with locals who introduced us to a string of sumptuous street food from the various vendors that scatter the area offering local favorites.
If you find yourself there on a weekend, before heading out to the Beer Corner, the weekend night market might interest you.
The Dong Xuan Night Market spreads along Hang Giay to Hang Dao Streets, splitting through the center of the Old Quarter. The streets transform into vehicle-free pedestrian lanes (but some motorbikes are seen navigating the streets still) as stalls are set up in the middle of the road.
I find nothing spectacular with this market, truth to tell – you’ll find a myriad of stalls selling merchandise from clothes to souvenirs to food of all kinds. Having said that, it is still interesting to at least pass through, you never know what you might find – we did get a few of these.
We went for a quick Banh Mi dinner before exploring the market
Banh Mi: A Vietnamese sandwich of a combination of pork, eggs, pâté on a baguette. Usually found on small shops or stalls by the road.
but what we should have done instead was to go there for the food.
It is a fabulous place to explore some street food.
Shredded coconut flavoured with sugar and sesame seed, rolled in some sort of crêpe or a spring roll wrapper. Can make for a lovely dessert.
View from the Top
Our favorite spot to while away the time before dinner is at any of the terrace cafes atop a building overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake and the plaza below.
We like it because it is the best place to enjoy a few drinks while we amuse ourselves with the crazy traffic of Hanoi.
From my last visit 7 years ago, nothing much has changed (including the traffic) except for a few more cafes to choose from.
We were at the City View Cafe every night 7 years ago, but we made sure to check out the Coffee Club (under construction then) across so we could enjoy the view from a different perspective.
City View Cafe: 1-3-5 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District
Coffee Club: 3B Le Thai To, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District
Banh My Pho Co: 38 Dinh Liet Street, Hoan Kiem District