Just when you think you know all the secret ins and outs of the city, it surprises you with a blast of tropical jazz from a humble basement. This brand new Calgary speakeasy operates from a tiny, too-easily-missed corner of Chinatown, but its style and atmosphere are far from modest. Drop by this secret den for a fresh hit of the tropics and a taste of Vietnam.

Paper Lantern, the city's newest trendy late-night stop, had its first soft opening dine-in service on Friday, June 26.

Chinatown's already known for its killer food and vibrant culture, and this hidden gem epitomizes that energy while taking it further.

Based entirely in a tiny basement below Ho Won Restaurant, this is the last spot you'd expect to find yourself late on a Friday night.

But between flavour-packed Vietnamese dishes and so many creative cocktails, this speakeasy has enough ammunition to keep you going until early morning.

For the few in the know, the speakeasy's tropical vibe and moody lighting will get you straight into the headspace to sip dry martinis in a tuxedo β€” or rather, a Singapore sling in a floral shirt, since that's more this bar's style.

If you drink, you've got to try their pandan pain killer, Saigon sling, or pineapple express cocktails.

Foodwise, it's hard to go wrong with most everything on their menu. Give their three flavours of banh mi, or Vietnamese subs, a try. Alternatively, check out their take on pineapple fried rice with pork belly and shrimp. 

If you're a fan of fine liquors, you'll love this place. Every week, they feature "break even bottles" of rare and exclusive spirits at cost, like volcanic-ash enriched 25-year-old rum and Roca Patron Anejo tequila.

For anyone complaining about a lack of an underground bar scene in Calgary, this speakeasy is the antidote. Not only is it a literal underground bar, but the atmosphere and style are out of this world.

Paper Lantern

Price: πŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ

Address: Basement of 115 2 Ave., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Taste the tropics from Calgary in this new, easily-missed speakeasy in Chinatown.


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