The 3 Dragons pub in Hoi An is what you might call a “local” pub to the hotel, and one which I often visit when I want to do some work with a pint of Huda. Although officially a sports pub, and they do certainly have plenty of TVs that show a wide variety of sports at all hours of the day, one of the things I like best about the 3 Dragons is the riverside terrace.
The 3 Dragons pub is basically an old shophouse that has been converted to a pub and extended through to include the shophouse at the back to reach the river. This makes it quite narrow and long, but also a pub of rapidly changing style and atmosphere. When you first walk into the 3 Dragons, you are met with the overwhelming sense of sport’s bar. There are high tables and stools on both sides of the entrance, all trained towards the day’s sports event, which is often either Aussie rules football, rugby, cricket, or premier league football. If you’re a sports’ fan, this is an absolute mecca for you, as they have enough TVs to show what you want, if they have it, and are willing to stay open late for the big occasions. If you are not a sports’ fan, though, and can think of nothing worse than sharing space with some half-drunken footie fans, then please don’t walk out upon first glance, as this pub has a lot more to offer than just the sports. It just takes a few more steps.
Once you have passed the gauntlet of possible sports’ fans at the entrance, the inside part of the pub, that is still primarily aimed at sport’s lovers, tends towards the cosier side. From the hard-core stools and tall tables that typify the avid fan at the entrance, once you have walked past the bar on the left, the seating becomes more comfortable, with booth-like areas featuring larger tables and comfier sitting areas, but all still well within sight of a TV, so you won’t miss any of the sport. This area also has a pool table, which might seem a bit of an afterthought here, but can be huge if you like pool, and have someone to play.
If you continue walking, the 3 Dragons pub changes yet again. From a bar with the atmosphere and feel of an Australian sport’s bar, you now venture into the outside area, which is also broken into two parts: The first is a covered terrace on the back of the shophouse with tables that are perfect for dinner or sitting with a beer, and is surprisingly quiet considering the sports events happening only a few metres away. There is a view of the river from here, and it really is a lovely spot to sit and have dinner. But if you walk through the open gate, straddled by the old stone walls, you can sit in the uncovered outside area. The tables and chairs here are typical pub garden fair, but they are perfect for sitting and having a beer, or writing articles about pubs, and having a beer. I have to admit that I am writing this while having a pint of Huda by the river at the 3 Dragons pub. It is a lovely spot with views of the bridge and the main river running through Hoi An, and provided the weather permits, it is not too bad a place to sit and work at all. Actually, now I come to think of it, the word “views” doesn’t really cut it. The outside seats at the 3 Dragons stretch from the edge of the terrace to literally the edge of the river, so it is a view in the same sense that a back garden is a view from the house. If you are looking for somewhere to sit and have a quiet drink by the river, then this part of the pub is hard to beat, and is the place I spend 99% of my time when at the 3 Dragons. But, hey, if you are hankering for sports, the other side is cool too.
The 3 Dragons Food
I have only eaten here a few times to be fair, but the food on offer is hearty and varied. If you are looking for some good old-fashioned pub grub then this is probably your place. They offer your standard pub food like burgers and pasta, but they also seem to have a speciality in chicken schnitzels with varying toppings. I have to say that I have become rather partial to the Chicken schnitzel with curry sauce and mashed potatoes. At a price of 170,000 VND it is rather good. They also have some Vietnamese/Asian dishes on the menu now, which look quite good but I have not personally tried yet.
I also seem to have tried their chicken burger a couple of times, and it is rather impressive in size, being basically a chicken schnitzel in a bun. They have a couple of versions of the chicken burger, I think, as one certainly came with bacon, which is always a positive addition. It’s good with fries, but even better with fries and gravy. I mean, who doesn’t like gravy on their fries?
Their menu is certainly more varied now than it was before and the food is of a good quality, so I am happy to recommend it to anyone who is looking for some comfort food and not authentic Vietnamese dishes. This is perfect beer food and who doesn’t want a pizza style chicken schnitzel after a few pints of Huda?
The 3 Dragons Drink
The 3 Dragons, like many places here and elsewhere, boasts a happy hour from 4pm to 6 pm everyday. This happy hour will entitle you to cheap Huda beer (a light tasty beer from Hue) for 40,000 VND per pint at time of writing, and a buy 1 get 1 free offer on some cocktails. I personally like the Huda beer so it’s perfect for me, but if you are not a beer drinker, I am sure you could find a gin and tonic or negroni to enjoy by the river, and then get another one for free. What’s not to like?
Let’s be honest here though. While the 3 Dragons has quite a wide drinks selection and it is very reasonably priced compared to many other places, this is not why you would come here when on holiday. You come here because sitting outside by the river is a beautiful place to be, and if you can get a cheap pint of Huda, or a half priced vodka orange while you are there, then that’s just gravy.
How to Get to the 3 Dragons Hoi An
The 3 Dragons pub is just over the bridge from the hotel, but of course Google shows you the quickest, but not the best, way to walk there. If you want to walk by the river instead, then check out how to walk to Old Town. Either way, it’s not much more than 12 minutes of brisk walking. Now that’s what I call a local.
All views and opinions are my own and do not reflect the official viewpoint or recommendation of Hoi An Odyssey Hotel.