8 of the Best Cafes in Hanoi

February 3rd, 2016, by Bill in Asia, Coffee, Vietnam.

The big cities in Vietnam have a cafe culture that is virtually unknown to the rest of the world. Don’t expect a Chemex of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe with hints of blueberry and strawberry or an Aeropressed Kenyan. You might be able to locate one eventually, but not before tripping over scores of cafes serving up tumblers of coffee so dark it looks like used motor oil and smells like the most intense mocha you’ve ever had. It’s no secret that we love Vietnamese coffee and as a follow up to our very popular Saigon cafes list, we offer a list of some of our favorites in the northern capital city. Also be sure to check out our handy guide to ordering coffee in Vietnam.

So, in the event that you can’t find this guy rolling around town, keep scrolling and we’ve got you covered with the list below. Feel free to share with your friends.

Coffee delivery motorbike

8. The Note

64 Lương Văn Can, Hàng Đào, Hoàng Mai,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

6:30am – 11pm

A cafe located right next to the top of Hoan Kiem Lake with long hours and covered pretty much floor to ceiling in post-it notes.

Note cafe facade covered in post-it notes

7. Cong Caphe Nha Chung

Nhà Chung, Hàng Trống
Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

 
Cong is busy creating a cafe empire in Hanoi. When we started writing this they had six locations and by the time we finished it they had ten. Luckily, their drinks are great at all locations and their communist-era concrete walled minimalist decor is actually quite comfy in its own way. This location is a popular spot to hang out in the evenings.

coffee from above

6. Ca Phe Pho Co

11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

8:00am – midnight

You’ll find Ca Phe Pho Co on lists from the NY Times and CNN, among others. It has the allure of being tucked above and behind a small boutique and also has a great view of the lake from its multiple levels of overlooking terraces. The coffee isn’t our favorite and you’re paying a high premium for the view (it’s the most expensive coffee we’ve had in Hanoi), but it is a nice view and worth a look if you’re in the area. The building is interesting and we’re generally ok paying a premium for drinks when they come with any sort of view.

night time view from cafe Pho Co

5. Cong Caphe Westlake

Ngõ Trúc Lạc, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

 
Have a seat facing the lake, tuck into a coconut ca phe, and enjoy life.

A glass of iced coconut coffee

4. Hanoi Social Club

6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

8:00am – 11:00pm
website

Hanoi Social Club is a great spot with multiple floors of different spaces and plenty of room to relax and hang out for a while. Good place to get some work done or just enjoy a coffee in a hipster hangout. It’s no secret that we have an affinity for rooftops so, naturally, we like to head to the third floor terrace and have an egg coffee in the plant-filled oasis overlooking street life below.

Hanoi Social Club facade
iced coffee on a table from above

3. Giang

39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

 
When you ask anyone about Hanoi’s famous egg coffee aka ca phe trung, Giang comes up every time as one of the best places to try it. We agree, the ca phe trung at Giang is great as is the minimal decor that creates the full experience of a true local Hanoi cafe.

Hanoi egg coffee at cafe Giang

2. Cong Caphe Hang Mam

Hàng Mắm, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

 
The upper floors of this location of Cong are one of our favorite places to sit and watch Hanoi street life roll by if you can snag a seat by the windows. Similar decor and ambiance as the rest of their locations and the same great drink menu. Treat yourself to a frozen coconut ca phe (basically an amazing Vietnamese version of a frappucino) and sit back and relax and watch in amazement as the intersection below plays out a real life game of Frogger.

iced coffee on a barrel table

1. Dinh

13 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam

7:30am – 9pm

Dinh is easily our favorite spot in Hanoi. You’ll pretty much only see locals in there, the coffee is great, and the ambiance is just about as local as it gets. An approach that begins in a bootleg bag shop, down a hallway to a stairway that looks like you’re heading into someone’s apartment and then opens onto a smokey room filled with local kids sipping coffee in tiny seats on rusty diamond plate metal floors.

Dinh Cafe outside
Dinh Cafe
 

We admit fully to not having spent nearly as much time in the north so please feel free to offer up your favorites in the comments and we’ll be sure to add them to our list to check out next time we’re in Hanoi.

Bill (3 Posts)

Bill is a photographer and designer originally from Ohio, currently living in Sydney. His travels are almost exclusively driven by food and coffee. Find him on Instagram @bill.


Bill





Recent Articles

The 5 Best Night Markets in Taipei

Taipei is inarguably one of the top street food cities in the world. Taiwan is known as the land of snacks: they have literally...

8 of the Best Cafes in Hanoi

The big cities in Vietnam have a cafe culture that is virtually unknown to the rest of the world. Don’t expect a Chemex of...

How to Order Coffee in Vietnam Like a Local

Vietnam is a country that runs on coffee. There is a cafe on just about every block in Saigon and Hanoi and they’re packed...

10 THINGS I CAN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT

Recently I’ve taken a four-month break off of travel to settle into a comfortable life in a quiet town. It’s been nice, mostly.

I do...

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL: RENT A SHORT-TERM APARTMENT WHILE TRAVELING

If you want to experience the true life of a place, experience it like a local: get an apartment in a true neighborhood. Wake...

SIEM REAP’S 10 BEST BARS: CLASSY, HIDDEN DIVES JUST OUTSIDE OF ANGKOR

Every year I find myself in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a week. It’s inevitable, and always enjoyable.

Angkor Wat is, along with Bagan in Myanmar,...

‘A STOP AT WILLOUGHBY’: THE TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE THAT EXPLORES OUR NEED TO TRAVEL

“a place around the bend where he could jump off”

Created during a time (1959-1964) when American television seemed eerily clean and domestic, The Twilight...

SURVIVING BORACAY ALONE

In March of 2012, I was nearly finished with a 3-week journey moving west through the Visayas region of The Philippines. Visayas is famous...

NEVADA’S ROUTE 50: AMERICA’S LONELIEST ROAD

Highway 50 is one of those generous, eternal American roads that goes from coast to coast (nearly). It begins in Sacramento, California and ends...

WHAT IS THE SAFEST SEAT ON AN AIRPLANE?

I grew up in 1980s America. I remember the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Scotland in 1988. I remember the...

VISITING THE TSINGTAO BEER FACTORY, HOME OF CHINA’S ICONIC BREW

Some travel destinations are tied to beer. Think: Munich, Milwaukee, Dublin, Sapporo. The seaside city of Qingdao, on China’s northeast Shandong coast is forever...