Market Bar is a gem of a find for the down-to-earth traveler seeking a less dizzying spot in Hoi An’s Ancient Quarter. The Old Town is a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while feasting your eyes on romantic nightscapes, colorful lanterns, and historic buildings. But if only we could escape the tangle of tourists that comes with it every now and again…
Market Bar offers precisely that – a soulful and serene rooftop atmosphere in a wonderfully central location. You can catch up with friends, soak up charming views, and still hear each other speak, despite being in the midst of all the action. Or drop by when the sun goes down for some people-watching and savor your favorite beverage from a cozy, chilled-out terrace.
Nestled above the yellow cloth market, the bar may be tricky for first-time visitors to locate. When you get to the intersection leading to Cam Nam Island from Phan Boi Chau Street, keep an eye out for trees adorned with pretty blue lanterns and a wooden sign that reads ‘Market Terrace’ (the bar’s current legal name). You’ll find it facing the river at the top of a short flight of stairs. Its semi-concealed location is certainly pa rt of the charm, like discovering a secret watering hole in the heart of Hoi An.
Upon entering, gentle lighting and warm, wooden décor make for a soothing ambiance that can’t be matched elsewhere in the Old Town. The menu offers a thoughtfully-curated list of drinks including craft beers and cocktails, as well as a mouth-watering choice of food platters (cheese, vegetarian, charcuterie, and mixed). The bar houses a superb selection of wine, ranging from affordable to decadent – red, white, rosé and sparkling, both local and international. If you’re feeling indecisive or not quite the connoisseur, friendly English-speaking staff are available to assist you with picking the right wine for your taste.
During our visit, a friend and I share a bottle of flavorful Tempranillo and a delicately-crafted cheese platter made up of fresh bread and various cheeses – the tastiest I’ve tried so far in Hoi An. Meanwhile, as we were seated along the edge of the terrace, the activities of market goers and vendors on the flamboyant streets below kept us entertained.
Overlooking the Thu Bon River, Market Bar hosts an intimate setting in an impeccable location, making it a fabulous choice for a birthday party, leaving-do, book club meeting… or, course, first date. The entire space holds up to 40 people (14 on the couches) and can be reserved at no charge. I’d recommend this versatile venue to locals and travelers of all tastes, especially those searching for somewhere more ‘chic,’ quirky, and laid-back than your average tourist-filled bar in Hoi An.