Hanoi’s sweltering right now. But that, at least, gives us even more excuse to shelter inside, under blazing air conditioning, maybe with a burger in hand, a glass of fine wine, or a cocktail – which is fortunate because all those and more feature in our 5 new places to eat and drink in Hanoi.
Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt
News flash: Hanoi’s got it going on. There’s something about the way all that history and heritage, captured in those crumbling buildings, gets activated by bold new bar and restaurant concepts.
Capos Hanoi – Spanish Tapas Bar
As if the area around Hanoi’s late 19th century Gothic revivalist centerpiece St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi didn’t hum with enough energy already, on the street alongside it, Capos Hanoi – Spanish Tapas Bar has opened.
Having already slayed Saigon’s foodies at Octo Tapas Restobar, Chef Kike Gallardo has turned his attention to the capital with the kind of bravery you’d expect from a majestic matador. But, Kike tells us, Spainish tapas culture and Vietnamese nhậu culture already have lots in common.
To the shared passion for small plates of sharing food and lots of beverages, Kike and Capos have added a 360-degree open kitchen, so guests can get up close and personal with the cooking process.
And that, Kike says, is the best place to grab a seat for the evening.
But, if you want a little more privacy, at Capos Hanoi – Spanish Tapas Bar there’s private dining rooms too where you can enjoy plates of vinegar-cured and herb-oil marinated Spanish white anchovies, croquetas de jamón Capos, and fresh Atlantic Boudeuse oysters with green apple gazpacho. And, to those add a glass or two of Pintia from the Bodegas Vega Sicilia, or simply Capos Hanoi – Spanish Tapas Bar’s house sangria.
In a nutshell: Capos, where Spanish culture and cuisine is celebrated and shared with the people of Vietnam
Address: 4th-5th floor, 12-14 Au Trieu, Hanoi
Rarely has a brand name summed up a restaurant’s energy as well as GoodTime Burgers does. Whether launching their new (and first ever) bricks-and-mortar outlet with a rave fronted by Larria or welcoming in the endless line of fans into their hip, renovated, brick-walled space to loudly convene over GoodTime Burgers’ signature break-in-half burgers, good times are guaranteed. There’s even a disco ball hanging outside the bathrooms.
The GoodTime Burger boys, Duc, Tommy and Long, wisely built up a fanbase since founding their concept in November 2020 through online deliveries. And it was Duc, they remember, who had the idea while he was living in Korea.
“I saw the burger scene booming there, and then thought back to Hanoi where there really isn’t a scene and I wanted to change all that. And I wanted it to be fun,” Duc remembers.
That dream led to GoodTime Burger’s iconic center slice that serves two purposes: to show off the glorious contents of the burger bun and, with that spirit of fun still in mind, to allow guests the simple joy of sharing the other half with a friend.
To that they added some local savvy, tailoring the taste of their GoodTime burgers to their Hanoian customers. “There’s definitely a Vietnamese flavor profile embedded into each juicy burger,” Duc says. “We use some familiar Vietnamese spices, Hoi An chili sauce, sour pickled mango with fish sauce, fried onions – things like that.”
And so, having successfully gathered a devoted following for their burgers, Duc and the team have turned their attention to broadening the range of burgers on offer – now there’s the VietKieu Sensation, the Backyard BBQ and the Cuk Tak besides the much loved Original GoodTime – and to perfecting their side dishes like their unctuous drunken chicken wings.
Duc especially recommends the VietKieu burger to anyone new to the brand. “For me, this is the most Vietnamese burger we make of all. And, with that, have a signature cocktail whose names tell you the flavor that’s inside: Sour, Spicy, Salty, Bitter, Sweet.”
In a nutshell: Iconic cut-in-half burgers full of Vietnamese flavor that guarantee good times.
Location: 1 Nam Trang, Truc Bach, Hanoi
Bạn Bè Bar
Hanoi’s Bạn Bè Bar sticks with the community spirit and the hangout-culture of Hanoi with its outdoor seating. “The idea was always simple: to make a nice little space to chill and gather,” the Bạn Bè Bar team tells us.
And, true to Hanoi’s artsy spirit, the space is atmospheric and poetic, and recalls the movie, ‘Tâm Trạng Khi Yêu’ – Wong Kar Wai’s ‘In The Mood For Love.’
“We liked the aesthetic of old apartment blocks, and dormitories, and wanted to capture a bit of that too.”
Sitting outside Bạn Bè Bar you get that energy as the trees above cast enigmatic shadows upon the terrace. “We guess we’re home to people who love art, and serenity, and for couples wanting their surroundings to match their romantic mood,” they add.
And that name, Bạn Bè? Well, the two founders are long-time friends after all. And, inevitably you’ll become their friend too, if you visit this welcoming new Hanoi cocktail bar.
In a nutshell: Serenity (and cocktails) amidst the Hanoi chaos.
Address: 1a Le Phung Hieu, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Godmother Bake & Brunch
Godmother Bake & Brunch was a ground-breaking concept when it first came to Saigon. That’s because it gave locals a hip, contemporary space, with superb coffee and just-woke-up comfort foods to the city’s excitable brunch set.
Now, the eco-friendly brunch brand (they use eco-friendly takeaway packaging and glass straws for in-house orders), Godmother Bake & Brunch brings their menu of Aussie brunch classics to the capital. So, expect the same rapturous reception here for dishes like their shakshoukas and their stacks of pancakes. And, they’ve added some local-palate-satisfying signature like their bo ne wagyu bowl and their Iberico and rice plate.
Handily, it’s right beside St. Joseph’s Cathedral in the same building as Capos (they’re from the same group after all). And so it makes a perfect pitstop for weary tourists as well as hungover Hanoians for brunch or afternoon tea. Just remember to check out their five kinds of chiffon cakes: vanilla, caramel, earl grey, chocolate and jasmine (an exclusive flavor only available in Hanoi for now).
In a nutshell: Thanks a brunch Godmother! For bringing your tasty brunching talents to Hanoi.
Location: 12-14 Au Trieu, Hanoi
Wong Bar Wine
In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a theme emerging here: bars inspired by Wong Kar Wai. The renowned rabble-rousing raconteur, Nguyen Quy Duc, always had a poetic, dreamy, Wong Kar Wai edge to his projects – check out his Tadioto too. Here, he and Pierre Rodeau have teamed up on a new wine bar, Wong Bar Wine.
Not surprisingly, as Duc is a former radio broadcaster, writer, editor and translator, the project grew out of multiple conversations he had with Pierre. And both, they quickly discovered, were avid fans of the Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai.
They took on the fun name, to hint at their illustrious influence, and added a long list of wine. Then they made a space where the mood mirrors the movies. “The ultimate aim is for guests to enjoy great wines. And to do so at a reasonable price. All while embracing the moody atmosphere of a Wong Kar-wai movie,” the Wong Bar Wine team tells us.
The bar is dotted with soft lights, brocade fabrics, vintage radios, and cinema-style seats – all, they say, are nostalgic touches that should recall Hong Kong of the movies.
“Honestly, we have a very unique wine list. It’s a really spectacular mix of wineries from around the world,” Duc tells us happily about his latest project.
In a nutshell: A truly cinematic Hanoi-meets-Hong-Kong wine bar.
Location: 14 Hai Ba Trung alley, Hanoi