Apini is Latin for honey bee and though this place has a pleasant buzz about it, it is not for busy types, with patrons preferring to loll about at their leisure. The bar has almost been around long enough to be considered a stalwart of the Hanoi expat bar scene, though a fair few locals flock here too.
Set back behind a flower market, nearly 1 km away from Tay Ho’s main recreational drag, it is not a bar that is easy to find by chance, which gives it the feel of a chilled-out neighborhood bar, with friendly staff and regulars.
Feeling the desire to get well-lubricated, Chào opted for a couple of swift Long Island iced teas at 90,000 VND each, which had plenty of kick — as is the way with this boozy classic. More mild cocktails — mojitos, whisky sours, old fashioneds — are available for 70,000 VND per pop, and are solid alcoholic drinks albeit a far cry from what a trendy mixologist might dish up in posher territory.
With its dim mood lighting and sparse decor, Apini is an unassuming watering-hole with just a touch of the backpacker bar about it. It offers a fair few pub-classic entertainments by way of a football table, dartboard and large screen for sports, not to mention a small stage for occasional stand-up comedy and music nights, though must people seem to be just hanging out and enjoying the atmosphere, with the venue being, shall we say, smoker friendly. Come to Apini for a relaxed cold beer, and stay for the friendly company all around.
236 Ngo Au Co, Tay Ho
+84 (0) 968 298821
Open from 5 p.m.