Vietnamese coffee has been a fame thanks to its strong flavor and impeccable aroma. Taking a morning cup of coffee therefore has become indispensable habit of many Vietnamese locals. However, coffee culture in Vietnam is not always about the coffee itself but also about the atmosphere where you enjoy it. There are countless nominees for the best café in Hanoi but here are my top 7 for those who want the diversity in their coffee experience.
Hanoi Social Club – A retro artist hub
Address: 6 Hội Vũ
Must-try: Chill Cinnamon and Chocolate Coffee with Orange
Relaxed vibe, eclectic décor, and wholesome food are what this place is known for. Hanoi Social Club also positions itself as a perfect spot for tasty meals and chill-out drinks. And while many people enjoy shopping in Hanoi old quarter, some others just love the feeling of settle down in a coffee shop and chill. Hanoi Social Club also holds regular events like acoustic music night, Equinox harvest dinner, and Trinh Cong Son music night.
As for drinks, chocolate coffee is the healer for the soul. And the rooftop bar is a good spot for a seat. However, Hanoi Social Club is more than just a place for drinks. The food, with no Vietnamese options, has a heavy emphasis on vegetarian cuisine. It’s ideal to come at night when you can fully immerse yourself in the quirky décor, chill music, relaxing vibe, and a cup of hot coffee.
Cộng Cà Phê – A Communist-inspired coffee shop
Adress: 46 Tràng Tiền
Must-try: Coffee with coconut and milk
Cong Caphe is a popular coffee chain, and Hanoi is now packed with its franchise. But the most favored Cong is Cong Trang Tien – close by Hoan Kiem Lake, Opera House and Metropole Hotel. With its rustic and military chic décor, Cong Caphe offers a nostalgic ambiance of Vietnam War period. This place is where plenty of young hipsters gather and drag on their cigarettes with a cup of coffee.
The khaki and army green tones inside the coffee shop with its harshly militaristic décor amazingly give visitors a feeling of being welcomed. Also, the interior is dressed in relics from Vietnam War: black and white photos, vintage furniture, and Communist-style propaganda posters. The menu is diverse, but “Ca Phe Cot Dua” seems to be the top favorite.
Giảng – The birthplace of egg coffee
Address: 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân
Must-try: egg coffee
The father of egg coffee must not have expected his modification of coffee recipe will be such a hit in today’s time. During the French War, the shortage of fresh milk led him to whisk in egg yolk as a substitute. At that time, it took a long time to hand whisk the egg until the mixture achieved the right consistency and the eggy flavor is reduced to the appropriate level. Now with blenders and the popular use of condensed milk, making egg coffee is much more facilitated.
You can find numerous versions of egg coffee along Nguyen Huu Huan St. – the so-called “Hanoi coffee street”. But the original recipe stays in no. 39 – Giang café. As to the inventor of egg coffee, coffee-making is an art to which he devoted his entire life. While many cafés in Hanoi are westernized and modernized, egg coffee here never changes. And for those asking what is Hanoi famous for, egg coffee at Giang is one of the answers.
Xofa Café – It can be your second home
Address: 14 Tống Duy Tân
Must-try: Black coffee with fresh milk
It is not only a coffee shop, but it can also be your home, where you can leisurely lay your back on a makeshift bed or a squishy couch. The name Xofa is like a Vietnamese way of saying “Sofa”, and it epitomizes comfort. And just coming inside makes you feel the homely atmosphere with warm colors. It opens 24/7 and offers an optional number of places to sit, relax, and even take a nap.
The menu is beautifully illustrated with a broad range of food and drink options. Even though Xofa is quite a new name, its concept of an elegant house full of sofas really sets it from other brands, making it worth to be in the best café in Hanoi.
The Note Coffee – Post-it love
Adress: 64 Lương Văn Can
Must-try: Iced Vietnamese Coffee (and a note)
Besides the straight view to Hoan Kiem Lake, The Note Coffee also offers a cozy hideaway from the chaotic streets of Hanoi. And what makes it worth to be one of Hanoi best coffee shop is not really about the taste of the coffee. In fact, the coffee here is just a typical Vietnamese kind of coffee, but the atmosphere is incomparable.
The walls are decorated with sticky notes. And there are thousands of memos written by visitors from all around the world. This café also witnessed a romantic love story of two young visitors coming to Vietnam. A young man traveled half of the globe and found the note from thousands of notes – the note that his girl had left while traveling to Hanoi. He then came back with the note as a proposal.
Manzi – It’s not all about being a café
Address: 14 Phan Huy Ích
Must-try: Coffee with whipped cream
Manzi does not only position itself as a café but also an art space and a part chic bar. In fact, Manzi looks more like a restored French villa hosting exhibitions of sculpture, photos, and paintings. And its elegant courtyard garden is an ideal place to sit back and chill with a cup of coffee.
Also, if you are wondering what to buy in Hanoi, there’s a small shop inside Manzi selling artworks by contemporary Vietnamese artists. This may not be a place where you can look for an impressive food and drink menu. Instead, what makes Manzi among the “best café in Hanoi” nominations is the art space it offers, something that you just cannot find in any galleries of Hanoi’s tourist area.
Café Phố Cổ - One of Hanoi’s best-kept secrets
Address: 11 Hàng Gai
Must-try: Bạc Xỉu
Café Pho Co hides behind a traditional silk shop and an antique courtyard. Finding the café seems like an adventure. You will find yourself winding your way up many narrow staircases before finally resting your back in a decent-looking café section. This café is like a small hidden treasure for those who are wandering all days around the old quarters looking for something truly Hanoi.
There is no fancy tables and chairs. The café section is minimal with aluminum tables and plastic chairs. But a cup of Bạc Xỉu here is always one of Hanoi must-drink because you won’t find any feeling like what this kind of coffee will bring. Sip your coffee, smack your lips slowly and feel the flavor coming down through your throat. And while sipping it a little by little, look out over a stream of scooter traffic on the street from the rooftop. It’s the feeling when you know you are somehow a part of this city.
Just so you know, a cup of coffee is always on the list of things worth to buy in Hanoi. And above are 7 best café in Hanoi, where you can find and immerse yourself into Vietnamese coffee culture authentically.
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