Long one of the favourite watering holes among students across China, Helen's has opened their second bar in the city, situated along the grand canal. It’s almost guaranteed to be packed every night of the week and has some of the lowest drink prices in Hangzhou.
The décor inside is much what you’d expect, wooden benches and tables, lots of quirky decorations, graffiti covered walls, and world flags hanging from the ceiling. A nice addition is the great view of the canal right outside the window. The staff at Helen's are super friendly and chatty, and even joined us in a game of dice; they were also quick, never leaving us waiting more than a few minutes for our drinks to come.
The menu (includes English), although quite limited in choice, certainly had something for everyone, and from the looks of it, the most popular choice was the Budweiser 3L ‘Tube’ (80RMB). At the time the only bottles available were Budweiser (15RMB), Corona (17RMB) and Bacardi Breezer (17RMB), and all come with discount when purchasing 6 bottles.
Mixed drinks tasted good, and were definitely strong enough. We recommend ordering the Mojito (28RMB), which used fresh mint and had a nice balanced flavour. The lethal Whiskey & Coke Bucket (30RMB) is a safe bet and is unbeatable in terms of value for money.
No night at Helen's would be complete without ordering a round of shots for the table, and the B52 (100RMB/6) fit the bill perfectly.
Aside from drinks, they offer some classic bar snacks and Shisha. Chicken Wings (28RMB) and the Fruit Salad (25RMB) were popular among our group, and the Shisha (50RMB) was well prepared and flavourful, with two choices, mint and peach. Every Monday the shisha is only 25RMB for a whole nights smoking.
In fitting with their slogan, ‘Only for Youth’, Helen's caters perfectly for their customers. With its insanely cheap prices, music straight with the charts, and a loud and lively atmosphere, it’ll be sure to make for a great night out for those students who are on a budget. To make things even easier on the wallet, Helen's offers daily specials and regular discounts.
Ladies are particularly in luck, with free and unlimited cocktails every Wednesday night. Best to grab a few friends together and go to Helen's in a group. Smoking permitted. Street parking available nearby.