Nestled between aluminium walls and busy advertisements on the corner of Au Co and Xuan Dieu is a bar that has no name.
Nameless opened a year ago, and since then it’s gained a small but loyal following of regulars. It sits on top of Der Imbiss, a German-style street food restaurant.
The red walls are scattered with empty bottles and model planes, wine glasses hang from the ceiling and pictures of Bob Dylan and other figures from that era hang from rusty nails. The dim lighting resonates around the room creating a warm glow while through big windows you can gaze at the world’s characters scurrying along Au Co to some unknown story. Giang, the owner and bartender works around the clock to keep her customers in high spirits.
On a quiet night, pull up a stool at the bar and you can count on the next person that orders a drink to strike up a conversation, there’s a social feel here that makes you want to get involved. Once the clock has struck midnight you might have made some new friends, played a game of darts and at least one person in Hanoi has woken up with a model plane in their jacket pocket (an artefact that Giang would like to see again, if you have it, reader).
On a weekend you can expect it to get a little claustrophobic. It’s a compact place, and if you don’t turn up until 11pm on a Friday, you’ll be standing.
You can’t get draught beer here as there isn’t enough space to install pumps, so bottles will have to do. Apart from Bia Hanoi, Bia Saigon and Tiger at VND30,000 for a 330ml bottle, the bar’s real muse is Na Da beer — a locally brewed, German-inspired beer that comes in a metal canister-style bottle that looks like it should be loaded into a howitzer. It’s VND50,000 for a glass, or VND100,000 for a two-litre bottle.
They also sell Portishead Cider, a new and locally brewed cider courtesy of the owners of Home38 restaurant, for VND55,000 a bottle.
All spirits with a mixer are VND50,000 and cocktails range from VND70,000 to VND100,000.
Now that winter has come, you want somewhere that’s cosy and welcoming, with a laid-back atmosphere, good company and good drinks — and just a stone’s throw from authentic German sausages.
This bar has something that others in town don’t have, it’s not that you can’t find a certain localism elsewhere, but the way that customers are treated in Nameless makes it feel like you’re more than just a profit-making punter. The service delves into the best of bartending — it’s more than just someone making a drink, you’re made to feel at home.
Nameless Bar is at 53 Au Co, Tay Ho, Hanoi
Photos by Theo Lowenstein // Word Vietnam