Vietnamese Coffee: 10 Most Unique Cafes in Hanoi

20 Feb, 2023 | A-> Z Guide

There are stories hidden behind the addictive scent of coffee in the heart of Hanoi.

The coffee culture in Hanoi plays an important role in Vietnam's coffee culture. No place in this country has more coffee houses than this city. Those who like socializing can go to sidewalk cafes where people happily share the small space by sitting shoulder to shoulder. Those who like quiet places will not hesitate to walk on a long, narrow alleyway to hidden cafes that are renovated from old colonial buildings. People who find a cafe as a working place will be happy at big brand cafes such as Starbucks.  Everyone has a cafe that fits them the most. 

We list below 10 cafes that we think are the most unique in Hanoi. Some are unique because they own the “best” of the city. Some are unique in their story and history that is hidden behind each cup of coffee.

At the end of this post, you will find a beautiful note of 10 cafes with addresses and opening hours to save, in case you visit Hanoi on your Vietnam vacation and want a caffeine hit.

Now take a sip of your coffee, taste the flavor, bold taste. And discover the city in a different way with us. 

1. The Oldest Cafe

Thai cafe sold its first cup of coffee in 1926. It is named under the name of its first owner: Mr. Thai. Until now, four generations of the family have run the shop. That means the cafe has seen all the ups and downs of the city. 

Thai cafe sells out hundreds of cups every day. Their coffee beans are said to have a special flavor because the family still roasts them on firewood. Their popular drinks are traditional Ca Phe Den (Black coffee) and Ca Phe Nau (sweetened condensed milk coffee) - two of the most popular coffees in Vietnam. The locals come to sit on low, plastic chairs on the sidewalk, order their favorite drink, and sip Hanoi’s hundred-year history. (Photo: Thai Cafe)

Address: 27 Trieu Viet Vuong Str.,

Hours: 6: 30 AM - 10 PM

2. The Best Egg Coffee

Giang Cafe first opened in 1946. Mr. Giang was a bartender for Sofitel Metropole Hanoi and was known for his Capuchino - a luxury drink in the old time of Hanoi. When his culinary creativity was loved by many, he left the hotel to open his own coffee shop. 

Ingredients to make Giang’s renowned egg coffee include eggs, condensed milk, coffee, butter, and a few things that are the family’s secret. The cups are served with a rich, creamy foam perched on Vietnamese coffee giving an irresistible taste.

Egg coffee is now popular and becomes a Hanoi specialty. There are other cafes in Hanoi where you can get a tasty cup of egg coffee. Dinh Cafe, owned by Mr. Giang’s daughter, is perhaps the second-best place to savor this decadent drink with a view of Hoan Kiem Lake from its small balcony. 

Address: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Str.,

Hours: Mon to Sat: 7 AM - 10 PM; Sun: 6 AM - 10 PM

3. The Cafe That Keeps The Happiest Memories 

Located in the heart of the city, The Note Coffee is a post office where people come to send memories to no one but to everyone. Everyone who comes to the Note leaves their mark by hand-writing on colorful sticky notes some thoughts, happy, sad, funny, or just a message then stick on any place of the petite cafe: walls, tables, chairs, stairs, ceiling, windows, and everything in between. These pieces of paper tell us who sat in the exact spot we are now feeling at that moment. 

The bar is small to give the whole space for the loved notes. It serves a good delicious Coconut iced latte with a lovely view of the Hoan Kiem Lake. Sometimes on the weekend, there are street performances just in front of the cafe. (Photo: The Note Cafe)

Address: 46 Luong Van Can Str.,

Hours: Mon to Thu: 8 AM - 10:30 PM; Fri to Sun: 8 AM - 11 PM

4. The Best-kept Secret Cafe

You can hardly recognize this cafe when walking down an alley on Nguyen Van Cu Street as Citric meets Malic’s door is always closed. Tung, the cafe owner, doesn’t advertise or publicize the address and only accepts guests who book in advance. 

Citric meets Malic’s highlight is filter coffee. Tung always makes sure his menu has 3 flavors of coffee: one is suitable for everyone, one with a mild sour taste of fruit, and one with a distinct flavor that you can name as soon as you taste it. 

The cafe is open on weekends only. Tung changes his menu every week so weekdays are the time he creates new drinks. You will never drink the same cup of coffee here. The latter always has something to surprise you more than the former. (Photo: Citric meets Malic's)

Address: Nguyen Van Cu Str.,

Hours: 10 AM - 6 PM, Sat & Sun only

5. The No-price Cafe 

Phin Bar by Refined is a small coffee shop on Van Mieu street (only a few steps away from the Literature Temple). This shop has a minimalist design with 4 walls painted black. The space is just enough to fit 8 seats and a bar that occupied one-third of the area. There is no menu and no price. Guests choose one in six coffee drinks and leave money in a box, as much as they want. 

Tu, the owner, won the third prize in the Vietnam Open roastmaster Championship 2021. He uses Robusta coffee, which is often underestimated, and Phin (a Vietnamese metal filter) to create caffeine hits. Tu chooses Robusta beans from coffee farms in Pleiku, Bao Loc, and Buon Me Thuot - the highland of Vietnam where the climate is cool and the soil is good, suitable for growing high-quality coffee. (Photo: Phin Bar by Refined)

Address: 43 Van Mieu Str.,

Hours: 8 AM - 6 PM

6. The Most Artistic Cafe

A 1930s French villa is located quietly on a small alley - that’s Manzi Art Space & Cafe: A rendezvous of people who love Vietnamese contemporary art and Hanoi art scent. Manzi aims to support and sponsor local young artists in their experimental creations. Besides hundreds of contemporary artworks, art lovers can join lectures, workshops, art exhibitions, and book talks that Manzi also regularly hosts in the space.

Some visit Manzi for art. Other simply want to relax with good coffee in a sunny place then suddenly find themselves lost in the world of art. Manzi also serves delicious cakes to beat afternoon cravings. (Photo: Manzi Art Space&Cafe)

Address: 14 Phan Huy Ich Str., 

Hours: 8 AM - 7 PM

7. Cafe of Kindness 

KymViet Cafe is large and airy. Here, all staff are disabled (most are deaf). The menu has sign language instructions for guests to communicate with staff and order drinks - quite a special experience.

The space is not for the coffee shop only. It also has a workshop and a showroom selling handicrafts made by the disabled. The beautiful and colorful embroidery products show perfectly the talent of the people who made them. 

Kymviet Cafe's coffee and cakes are highly appreciated for the cooking skill and thoroughness of well-trained disabled staff. (Photo: KymViet)

Address: 123 Trung Van & 91 Nguyen Dinh Thi

Hours: 7 AM - 10:30 PM

8. The Cafe with The Best View of Hanoi

Located on the 3rd and 4th floors of a white building on Tran Nhat Duat Street, Serein Cafe has a magnificent view of the iconic rail track of the 100-year-old Long Bien Bridge. Go to the rooftop to have a snapshot of the sundown over the bridge when the city lights up and comes to the busiest time of the day with bustling traffic flows. The train runs through this track many times every day so it’s likely to have a chance to catch it.

The menu offers from coffee and soft drinks to cocktails and wine Drinks are more expensive than in a regular cafe but the scenery makes up for it. (Photo: Serein Cafe&Lounge)

Address: No 16, Long Bien Apt., Tran Nhat Duat Str.,

Hours: 8 AM - 11 PM

9. The Highest Cafe

Top of Hanoi actually is a rooftop bar serving coffee in an upscale ambiance, along with cocktails, wines, and whiskey on the 67th floor of the Lotte Hotel. Its unique location allows you to have a 360-degree sweeping view of the city. Top of Hanoi has countless Instagram-worthy corners for those who love taking photos.

Arrive in the afternoon to catch the sunset on the city skyline then come back after dark to soak in the music while sipping a cocktail and watching the twinkling light of Hanoi by night. Slippers or sleeveless shirts are not allowed. (Photo: Top of Hanoi)

Address: 54 Lieu Giai Str.,

Hours: 5 PM - 12 PM

10. The Most Ethnic Architectural Cafe

Nha San Art Cafe is transformed from an ancient Muong stilt house (Nha san) by Mr. Nguyen Manh Duc, a Vietnamese famous artist. For four years, from 1998 to 2002, this place used to be Nha San Collective - the first experimental art space in Vietnam that supported local contemporary artists in their journey of self-discovery. In 2014, it comes back in the form of a quirky coffee house and also a space for artists, coffee, and art lovers to gather. 

The wooden house on stilts looks out of space among modern houses in Hanoi. Every corner is a story-teller with antiques meticulously collected by the owner year by year, bringing a nostalgic feeling of Hanoi. (Photo: Nha san Art Cafe)

Address: Alley 462, Buoi Str.,

Hours: 8 AM - 10 PM

SAVE 10 UNIQUE CAFES FOR YOUR NEXT VISIT (It's beautiful and free to save)

 

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