Best happy hour in Danang City
eating, Vietnam

An Introduction to Drinking and Nightlife in Danang City



Best bars in Danang City
Danang City. Photo credit: Pixabay

The nightlife in Danang City, Vietnam seems harmless enough, and it can be, but alas, is that not how all legendary nights begin?

The mid afternoon heat wave descends, while lethargy and swamp ass ensues. Perhaps one chilled Larue beer- only one- imbibed at one of the many local seafood restaurants alongside My Khe Beach will serve nicely to hydrate and replenish after a harrowing day of tourist activities.

Your evening begins as soon as your rump touches down on that child-sized plastic stool beside the road. The first frothy sip tingles the lips and you’re pulled into a trance amplified by traffic beeps and hums, as palm fronds dance and the smell of garlic and BBQ envelops the nostrils bringing you to a safe space as comforting as the feel of your mother’s plump breast against your cheek.

Next thing you know, some 25-year-old Vietnamese banker from the table to the right shakes your hand, practices his English greetings with great fervor and refills your glass of beer, plunking an ice cube in with a splash to commemorate this newfound friendship. Danang is amazing, you think to yourself, then drinking cheers erupt in a burst of lemongrass breath and beer infused spittle: Mot, Hai, Ba,Yo! Giddyup cowboy, this is when your evening takes off galloping towards the horizon without you even realizing it.

Best restaurants for happy hour in Danang
Those eyes.

Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo!

This old Vietnamese lady with a basket of jackfruit won’t leave your side. In fact, the more you say “no” the more her stare drills into your black soul and your eyes widen in sheer terror because she knows your deepest, darkest secrets; her toothless smile confirming all suspicions.

Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo!

Hold the phone hombre, is this beer? The clear liquid in your glass tastes like the shit you use to bleach sneakers white again…rice wine, is that what this humble refreshment is called?

Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo!

Everything goes black, save for a few blurry flashes of the mouth of the golden Dragon Bridge (Cầu Rồng) spewing flames, the glimmering Han River at night, a guy dressed in a stinking Pikachu get up giving you a shoulder massage and a solemn vision of pale pink N2O filled balloons waving innocently from the hands of the slick haired, inebriated youth. Their gassed up smiles convince you that life exists cradled within the palm of your hand and best lived free, this night is but one and you’ll survive yet again, just take the balloon and give it a little kiss, you’re in Danang, baby… and the deafening Vinahouse jam ebbs and flows through your ears like a heartbeat after fast, sweaty sex with the one you adore most.

Danang nights aren’t as crazy as they seem (or are they?). Perhaps I’m delving a bit too far into the hazy memories of my own alcohol laden nights, but to underestimate the glory of this city’s nightlife would be a crying shame. It’s simply knowing how to approach the evening with emotionless finesse and no expectations, not jinxing yourself like a borderline anorexic sorority chick with a cigarette pinched between two hot pink claws, stating: “I’ll only drink one vodka water and go to bed early, I have to work out with Gunther in the morning.” And finally, knowing exactly where to find the much coveted, most elusive, mighty strong mojito.

Best happy hour in Danang City
Hello gorgeous: My Casa’s delicious mojito.

My Casa Danang Fusion Restaurant & Cocktaileria

This tapas restaurant located close to My Khe Beach in Son Tra offers chill vibes and a laidback community-esque feel that will have you tucking a frangipani blossom behind one ear and making new friends in no time. Kick it in a tropical oasis outside in the garden and relax for hours while sampling a smorgasbord of Italian pastas, Malaysian cuisine & Spanish tapas. An impressive cocktaileria with a buy one get one happy hour refuses to skimp on the amount of alcohol poured. You’ll be feeling summertime fine after one of these magical concoctions- aka the mojitos. Arriba.

Minsk Bar

Get the reggae vibes you seek at this thatched shack located in My An and people watch as you sip…you guessed it….a XL sized passion fruit mojito. The ambiance of this bar is truly one-of-a-kind, with a pack of rescued dogs and their fluffy puppy spawn running underneath your legs, live music, and an eclectic junkyard collaboration of furniture and decor that will make you feel like one of the Goonies on a serious quest to find One-Eyed Willy’s stolen treasure but of course, you’re only getting wasted instead.

Wang’s Pub

I frequent this street-side hideaway just to catch a glimpse of the owner and legend himself, Mr. Tuat. He literally found a tiny vacant lot on the side of the road, threw up a canopy, and nailed together boards to produce what resembles a 5-year-old’s lemonade stand, then slathered some paint here and there and built tables and chairs from antique sewing machines, car and motorbike parts, giving birth to an extraordinary local hang that is minimal, yet it will satisfy that I-need-a-cheap-drink-and-a-place-to-contemplate-life type of feel.

Fine Wine Paris

If you enjoy getting drunk with an added touch of elegance, then head to Fine Wine Paris for a platter of the finest French cheeses and cold cuts, then wash it down with a bottle or two of wine imported from all corners of the globe. The atmosphere is chic and the service is on point. You’ll wonder why you’re not making progress on your first glass of cabernet sauvignon because it’s deftly being refilled by a pack of little gnomes armed with leather wine flasks. Located on a quiet street in Son Tra, you’re a hop, skip and jump away from the madness that your refined self secretly craves and the warmth of wine will help you to discover.


backpacking, chicken, cooking, eating, expat, food, Southeast Asia, Thai food, Thailand, travel

The Chicken Place


A plate clatters to the floor, clanging, banging, startling….everyone stops their work to glance at the mild ruckus. The older Thai woman behind the counter with kind eyes and a warm smile makes eye contact with me, and we both burst into a fit of giggles.

I’ve been living in Chiang Rai, Thailand for over a week now, and eating at- what I call- the chicken place has become part of my daily routine. Here, no one speaks English, except for me and my farang friends. But the language barrier doesn’t matter. The family that runs the restaurant- Mr. Art’s- know us, chattering away in Thai. I nod in agreement, pretending to understand, wanting so badly to understand.

Every morning, I savor the 15 minute walk from my tiny studio apartment to have breakfast and coffee. The heat is starting to creep as I pass the highway, and beads of sweat cluster on my forehead and lip. On the bridge, I stop, as usual, to enjoy the spectacular view.


The Kok River is all amber glass and sheen, draped with a lush backdrop studded with never-ending rows of slumping limestone mountains. An enormous white Buddha statue sits peacefully above the peaks, the stone giants bow down respectively from North, East, South and West.

This is home.

Upon arrival at Mr. Art’s, they know my usual order of chicken, rice and hot espresso, and no longer serve my chicken with the skin on it. They’ve noticed that I always peel off the tender strips before digging in.

Service is quick. I sip ice cold water after my hot walk as a plastic plate is laid gently before me. My eyes, nose and mouth are met with a mound of steaming white rice, topped with thick strips of white-meat chicken, encompassed with neat cucumber crisps. A pink bowl of fresh chicken broth accompanies the dish.

But, I eye the brown ceramic bowl before me. There is one on each table. The lid comes off and the rich aroma overwhelms my nostrils. A homemade sauce consisting of chunky ginger, diced chilli peppers and a sweet and spicy medley of flavors creates the most addicting condiment my taste buds have ever savored.


“Always fresh. Cook with no MSG,” chef and owner, the one and only, Mr. Art explains enthusiastically to me in broken English.

I’ve never seen such passion for food, and Art’s dedication and love for his restaurant is obvious. The little chicken place on the dusty outskirts of Chiang Rai is constantly busy. Helped by his wife, aunts, mother, father, brother and  daughter- it is one big happy family affair.

All work together doing whatever it takes to keep customers satisfied and the business running smoothly. But, at the same time, smiling and joking with each other, cherishing each day they share together and with their customers.

Belly full of chicken, rice and ginger, I enjoy a pot of jasmine tea and observe the family in the light of a busy new day. I watch with a smile as Art takes a minute from putting together delivery meals to kiss his small son or the women chuckle together as they prepare meals. Art’s young daughter always runs up to us with menus, eager to practice her English with my friend Ale and I.


“Special menu… red curry,” Art whispers shyly, sliding over a small sampling of pork marinated in a delectable blend of coconut milk and bright, red spices. Every day there’s something new he lets us try, free of charge. He simply loves cooking and wants others to enjoy it as much as he does.

Not only is the food delicious, but it’s the heart-warming atmosphere Art and his family have created that keeps me coming back. Their positive attitude and genuine kindness is the perfect start to my day, and I always look forward to it. They don’t treat you like a customer- they make you feel as if you’re part of the family.


Mr. Art’s is open early each morning from 7am to 3pm, with fresh, tasty Thai food and impeccable service that has made it a popular dining choice for locals.

A small sized dish of chicken and rice- their specialty, costs a mere 30 baht. Other chicken and pork dishes are offered, changing daily. They also serve yummy bubble teas and fresh, strong coffee. This is a must try spot when visiting Chiang Rai if you want to get away from the typical tourist joints. I’ll see you there 🙂

Bon Apetit!