The Saigon Cigar Club

Located on the Lounge Level of Sorae Restaurant on floor 24 of the AB Tower in Saigon, The Saigon Cigar Club features a full-fledged member club, a beautiful, one of a kind, 400-cigar table humidor, and a well maintained selection of cigars and accessories. 

Founded by two friends with a passion for cigars, the lounge is a personal hobby that is open for all to visit and enjoy. They guarantee personally that 100% of the product they sell is authentic, without any exception. Their commitment makes the Saigon Cigar Club the best destination in Vietnam for truly authentic "xì gà"!

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Drinking & Healing

The chic and refreshing Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar is one of Saigon’s youngest contenders in the growing craft cocktail & mixology bar and lounge sector. In a rising sea of competition, this bar seems self-aware for its age, bringing a unique spin on weeknight drinks. And so far, it’s gotten many things right.

Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar

The Ambiance at Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar

Located in a 150-year-old colonial-style building just a short walk from the iconic Bitexco Tower in District 1, Drinking & Healing is a noteworthy addition to Saigon’s thriving craft cocktail scene . This intelligently designed venue combines elegance and urban with an air of relaxation that is unique in this thundering metropolis.

As you enter the bar, you are transported into a carefully-crafted downtempo vibe. Brick walls lead you past cast-iron shelves and dangling bike chains to a wide-space full of dark furniture and flickering tea lights. The music selection is also intentional: the sounds of Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, A Tribe Called Quest and other legendary names in 90s hip hop make a bold statement to the main demographic it seeks to serve–– hip can be classy too.

Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar

The wonderfully lit bar is great for solo parties or pairs. Couples on romantic date nights can find candle-lit seating throughout, and there are also a handful of tables for 3-5 people. Larger groups can occupy two couch seating areas, perfect for birthdays or cocktail gatherings. Another noteworthy feature is the series of small, intimate balconies with room for two or three people, each with a stunning view of the nearby Bitexco tower.

The modern minimalist approach to furnishing and decor eliminates distractions from the main thirst-quenching event: a massive, glowing craft cocktail mixology baradorned with hundreds of gleaming bottles. Bartenders and Mixologists in handmade leather aprons work their magic beneath large low-lit halogen bulbs. Whenever a signature mixology masterpiece or classic cocktail is ready to be served, it is placed on one of two spotlit platforms designed to make every drink look like a still from a television advert.

Food and Drink Menu at Drinking & Healing

The drink menu is spirited, to say the least at Drinking & Healing. They’ve got cocktail concoctions, bottles, and glasses of everything from Gin and Vodka to Whiskey and Wine.

With glasses ranging from around VND180,000 to over a million VND, the cocktails accommodate a range of budgets and tastes. Better yet, on the highly popular ‘Healing Days’ (Monday and Tuesday) the bar offers a sweet deal—VND 99,000 per hi-ball tumbler on four original whiskey cocktails! One go-to cocktail is the High Ball Sour Healing special. This smooth, bubbly Jim Beam cocktail is sweetened with sous-vide jackfruit and topped with egg foam and aromatic bitters, giving it an almost cream soda-esque taste.

Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar

For whiskey connoisseurs in Saigon, there are a whopping 70 plus options of Scotch, Canadian, American, Japanese, and Irish whiskey selections to choose from.

People looking for something a bit lighter will be impressed by the gin and tonic spread. Served in your choice of a larger-than-life Copa de Balon or hi-ball tumbler, there are thirteen variations of this classic cocktail with flavour pairings of grapefruit and lemon to rosemary and green apple.

Add another 40 options of rum, vodka, gin, tequila, absinthe or cognac and 22 selections of wine from around the globe to the mix, and it's easy to see how Drinking & Healing can hold its liquor.

Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar

Where the cocktail bar truly stands out is in the signature craft cocktail offerings, which showcase the mixology prowess of Drinking & Healing’s star mixologists. The cascading signature menu gives patrons a sense of adventure with options for taste profile, spirit, fruit, herbal and nut notes to choose from. Considering everything from the high-quality ingredients to one-of-a-kind presentation—these signature craft mixology cocktails are undeniably top-notch.

Burgers, Salads and International Food Options at Drinking & Healing Bar

The Burgers are prime beef real-estate in this mixology monopoly. A towering triple-patty Foie Gras burger and its distant cousin, the classic American double cheeseburger, are easily on par with other gourmet burgers in town. Luckily there’s no shortage of craft cocktails to wash them down.

Check Drinking & Healing’s Facebook page to find out about their new burgers, which will be coming out for Christmas and New Year!

Drinking & Healing Cocktail Bar

If you’re not drooling yet, there’s also a small but impressive menu of food pairings. Animal fries (potato wedges smothered in cream cheese and jalapenos) or crisp truffle fries dusted in parmesan cheese, prawn Ceviche, fried chicken wings, baked buttons mushrooms, and other snacks are some of the cocktail pairings available.

What People Say About Drinking & Healing

People on Trip Advisor are pleasantly surprised by Drinking and Healing bar and lounge. With 67 percent Excellent and 33 percent Very Good ratings, the cocktail bar has zero negative reviews! Patrons all seem to be pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere, menu, and overall dining and drinking experience. Clearly, Drinking and Healing is on its way to becoming a favourite craft cocktail and mixology spot for the local and foreign business class.

What City Pass Guide Says About Drinking & Healing

Drinking & Healing is ideal for an office worker looking for a great after-work drinking hole or locals or foreigners looking for a laid-back yet hip and elegant place to decompress from the hustle and bustle. The vision of the owners is communicated so clearly through the entire consumer experience from door to drink and beyond. Expert mixology inspired cocktails crafted with excellent precision and presentation, plus a laid-back urban vibe makes Drinking & Healing a mixology powerhouse that speaks to a promising future for high-quality craft cocktails in Saigon.

 

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Air 360 Sky Lounge

Not far across from its sister club, Chill SkyBar, the Air 360 Sky Lounge is the newest addition to the Capella Entertainment family. More adult and more business than Chill, Air 360 centers around a multi-level, lounge-like space with plenty of seating and a 360 degree view of the city. In a nutshell, Chill entertains, Air 360 helps unwind.

Ambiance

The venue is split into roughly four levels, starting from the Sky Pool, where guests can reserve a private event space with a swimming pool. The Sky Deck and indoor area sit on the next level, offering an outdoor bar similar to Chill’s but with a bit more space to sit and lounge around. The Sky Gallery is the walkway between the upper level and the Sky Deck. Finally, the upper level offers a higher vantage and a more private space for intimate groups to chat. The Sky Pool runs “Dining by the Pool” from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with modern Vietnamese cuisine that focuses on fresh seafood, meat and vegetables.

Air 360 Skybar

Not as crowded or noisy as its sister venue, those who prefer Chill’s indoor area and generally an environment suitable for after-work mingling will enjoy Air 360’s multi-level options. Those who prefer indoor area will find a classy, quiet lounge to dine and wine in. The crowd consists of professionals, more mature couples, artists and creatives, and more; a more adult audience in general.

Air 360 Skybar Saigon

Service

Service can be expected to be on par with Chill, albeit more accommodating for those who simply want a drink and a view, and not an all-night bottle session. There is little pressure to purchase anything and staff is smiley and accommodating.

Air 360 Skybar

Drinks

Like its sister venue, Air 360 features a number of custom cocktails that incorporate elements of Vietnam with Western spirit practices. During our time we tried three signatures, recommended by the head bartender:

Air 360 Skybar HCMC Drink

White Night

Gin, cucumber, ginger, sugar, lime and port wine make up the White Night, one of Air 360’s infusions of Western and Eastern ingredients. The gin and cucumber make for a fresh, cooling palate, and the lime and port make for sour-sweetish element that give this drink an added kick. Gin lovers will be pleased.

Chocolate Martini

There is no vermouth, vodka or gin in this martini – but as this is Vietnam, regular naming conventions may not apply. Instead, you get a nice mix of dark rum, cacao liqueur and a chocolate liqueur, resulting in a Black Russian of sorts, a bit creamy and sweet.

Sexy Bar

A tropical blend, fruit juice lovers will find this up their alley with its well-masked alcohol. Rum, mango juice, orange juice, coconut, vanilla syrup and lime juice create a more-sweet-than-sour blend that goes down easy. It may be too sweet for some, but those who like fruity cocktails will enjoy the Sexy Bar.

What Can Be Improved

The signature drinks are more on the sweet and sour end. Those who prefer old fashioned, less-saccharine options will not find as many choices.

What People Say

With a little over 20 reviews at the time of writing, Air 360 Sky Lounge has a solid four bubble rating, with many people praising the experience, atmosphere and service. The 360 degree view seems to be a consistent favorite.

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GEM Lounge

With its sophisticated and relaxed setting located at the exquisite GEM Center, this modern lounge has something for everyone. From the decorations to the menu, all aspects of the GEM Lounge are centered around the creation of a warm and inviting ambience. Whether stopping by for a quick coffee on the way to work, for a lunch break, an afternoon tea or as a meetup spot after work, the GEM Lounge caters to all interests. The carefully crafted food, juices and drink options bring together a diverse group of seasonal favourites. Unwind from a day’s work, indulge in a delicious drink and relish in the live piano music from 7pm to 10pm everyday.

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East West Brewing Co.

The first thing you’ll notice entering East West Brewing Co. is the gleaming machinery towering overhead.

As the doors close behind you, shutting off the din of downtown District 1 and Ly Tu Trong street, your ears will be greeted with the cavernous acoustics of something like to a museum. The floor plan is open permitting a clear view of the Ho Chi Minh City brewer’s pièce de résistance: the mammoth gleaming tanks on two floors that make up the beer maker’s in-house brewery.

east west brewing

Show, Don’t Tell

In response to why the brewhouse was built to be a public-facing operation, East West Brewing Co.’s founders explained that craft beer’s relative newness and novelty in Vietnam created an opportunity for them to present the drink in a more intimate way.

At the time of writing, East West remains the only place in Saigon where the city’s thirsty can drink a craft beer made on site. Brewery spokeswoman Mimi Truong said that explaining the broader motivation of craft beer—the process, the reasons behind making it and drinking it versus a Tiger or Heineken— is a bit like telling a story.

east west brewing

Like all stories, it benefits from a visual aid.

Mimi used an analogy to explain. “Let’s say you’re eating street food outside. There’s some kind of relationship when you visually see them cooking and the hard work that goes into that process.”

“If we didn’t show the general public upfront what craft beer was about, then the understanding wouldn’t be there”, Head Brewer Sean Thommen said. “That’s the biggest challenge that we have as a country that doesn’t really have a craft beer culture behind it.”

“We could just be brewing the beer elsewhere and using the location as a taproom”, Mimi said. But “to actually have it laid down in front of you ... it introduces the concept of real brewers brewing real quality beer. It creates this relationship that’s more personal.”

“It’s one thing to tell you, it’s another to show you”, Mimi said.

How It’s Made

The untrained eye might get lost in the chromy gleam of the open brewery. The four tanks at the top are seated on another five polished 1,500 litre tanks at the ground floor.

It’s like looking at the engine of a car: the industrial beauty is enhanced by the mystery of how the Rube Goldberg machine-like invention works.

East West Brewing Co. offers tours of its brewery to learn more about how they make the beers.

During the tour, you might learn that the brewery is not just a two-storey machine, but also contains a third at the very top. It’s here that the recipe begins, crushing the grain in preparation for the mash.

From there, the malt moves to the second “hot” floor where the ingredients are combined with boiling water and cooked to specification. Then the liquid is moved to the kettle and boiled. This is where one of the most important steps for perfecting flavour happens: adding the hops.

east west brewing

Unfinished beers leaving the second floor are sent to the bottom to cool and condition in the 1,500 litre tanks standing at attention adjacent to the dining room floor. Depending on the style of beer, the unfinished brew could be in fermentation for a long time—the malty, pronounced Independence Stout calls for a resting period of a month and a half—or a short one, like the Summer Hefeweizen, which is ready for kegging and bottling in just over two weeks.

The brewery is built in levels like this to have gravity do the work of moving the tremendous liquid volumes from the top to the ground floor where the beers enter the fermentation stage, the last step in becoming drinkable, finished brews.

Changing Tastes

As Saigon’s beer lovers are getting to know East West Brewing Co., the brewer is also getting to know it’s audience and it’s shifting preferences better.

For example, when the microbrewery opened a year ago, the top seller was the Saigon Rosé. The light, fruity raspberry wheat beer was a popular first foray into craft beer for the local drinkers, a crowd typically doused with light lagers like Tiger and 333 at other places.

Then, “in just six months the palette changed so quickly”, Mimi said.

Nowadays, the brewery is now equally known and renowned for the Summer Hefeweizen, a citrusy, zesty take on the classic German wheat ale recipe, as well as their Far East IPA, and its flagship East West Pale Ale, a polished, hoppy beer that acts as ”a nice bridge” out of the land of industrial scale lagers, Mimi said.

east west brewing

The beer that carries the brewery’s name is an abridged reimagining of the company’s story. The East West Pale Ale combines hops from the US with hops in New Zealand. Similarly, East West Brewing Co. is the lovechild of a marriage between craft beer—a western convention—to a vision formulated by a US-raised Vietnamese entrepreneur Loc Truong and Sean Thommen, a US native leading the brewing operation.

“If they can come in and see it, smell it … they can understand why it’s not just a product”, Thommen said. “We have to show them that it’s … an experience, there’s a science behind it.”

Most importantly, he added “it’s fun.”

Your meal prep routine will forgive you if you head to East West Brewing Co. for lunch. With a wide selection of Saigon & San Diego based dishes ranging from VND50,000 to VND175,000+, your wallet won’t likely mind either. Choose from a menu that includes appetizers like the Lotus Root Palm Heart Salad or Steak Watercress Salad and a main course, like the Spicy Garlic Tiger Prawn Tacos, California Burrito, or Teriyaki Salmon.

Come back on Saturday and Sunday morning for brunch. For VND750,000+, you can indulge in the brewery’s Kegs N’ Eggs Weekend Brunch package, which includes free flow craft beer as well as creme brulee french toast, california eggs benedict, and carne asada steak tacos.

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Whiskey & Wares

What makes Whiskey & Wares special? The drinks are reasonably priced (but not excessively cheap); the atmosphere is comfortably casual yet also refined and stylish; and the service is friendly, attentive and laidback. And once you see the cozy, couch-filled upstairs lounge, you’ll see that it’s an ideal bar to visit with friends.

whiskey and wares couches

Located just off of Bui Vien on the much more reserved (yet still busy) De Tham Street, Whiskey & Wares offers patrons quality drinks at great prices. True to its name, one side of the menu is filled with constantly rotating whiskey choices, which are organized by country of origin (brands from Japan, Ireland and the U.S. are only a few among the selection) rather than price. Derek Jay, who co-owns the bar with Wan Winters, said was an intentional choice. “We want people to try really good whiskeys they haven’t tried before. So the nice whiskeys are still affordable.” Cheers!

Whiskey and wares couches

If you’re not in the mood for whiskey, there’s plenty of other options. There’s an extensive list of local craft beers as well as a large selection of original and traditional cocktails with an Asian twist. If you have a weakness for whiskey sours, be sure to give their Tamarind Whiskey Sour a try. The most notable drink, however, has got to be the Saigon Whiskey Collins, a well-balanced mix of tac (Vietnamese kumquat), star anise, ginger and whiskey. Keep an eye on this list – each month a new cocktail will be added.

Whiskey and wares bar

Don’t just go to this bar for the drinks, though. Also stay tuned for the locally made art the owners continually showcase, the weekly live music, the soon-to-be-added food items (barbecue banh mis! Texas-Saigon beer chili!) and the rooftop patio that might be opening up in the near future. However, smokers accustomed to ashtrays indoors beware: while there’s a balcony and chairs out front, smoking is prohibited inside the bar itself.

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