You can have a great coffee anywhere in Hanoi, but there are much more to experience beside sipping a delicious cup of coffee in these Hanoi coffee shops, largely because of their plethora of interesting and unexpected traits.
They are not only about locations serving strong and dark roast Vietnamese’s Robusta beans, but also unique local settings within an amazing jumble of mismatched dwellings that perfectly reflecting the city.
A visit to a Hanoi coffee shop is therefore a compelling way to absorb the taste making up the city, to take in the daily life of the locals, and to truly feel the indigenous flavors that Hanoian has been living with. With that said, these are 10 such Hanoi coffee shops you just don’t want to miss.
1. Café Thái
Located the southern edge of the Hanoi French Quarter, Trieu Viet Vuong is referred to as “Coffee Street” by local Hanoians. Because the quiet street may have more coffee shops than anywhere else in Vietnam, ranging from family-run to modern coffee chains.
Since 1926, the family which owns Café Thai on this coffee street still traditionally roasts their well-selected coffee beans on wood fire. Hieu, the fourth generation of Mr. Thai’s family, said his café sells hundreds of littles of coffee per day, every cup of coffee is manually prepared from the first step of the traditional brewing process till it comes to customers’ plastic stools.
With its proud tradition and the authentic smoky taste of traditionally dark roasted Robusta bean, Café Thai draws consistent crowds of patrons of all ages. That makes it a perfect place to drink a great Vietnamese coffee while watching flocks of locals coming in and out.
- Address: 27 Trieu Viet Vuong, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 6h00 to 22h00
- Tel: 091 321 72 78
2. Duy Trí Coffee
Opened since 1936, Duy Tri Coffee moved around the Old Quarter and Hanoi French Quarter before setting down its current location in the West Lake area. After almost 90 years in business, this resilient family-run coffee shop still serves the finest self-roasted traditional Vietnamese coffee in the city.
From a narrow entrance of a typical Hanoi’s tube house, some glass boxes of roasted beans of all kinds and the legendary coffee grinder kept at the door really speak for its self, you’ve come to the right place. The moment you’re stepping in, its ground floor is pervaded by the walking-up aroma of grinding coffee beans.
Beside the undisputed scent from a freshly ground black coffee, its fabulous sweeten condensed milk coffee with a little froth has been the top choice for coffee connoisseurs. For those who are adamant coffee haters, Duy Tri serves incredible homemade frozen yogurts and yogurt coffee, which can be equally satisfying.
- Address: 43A Yen Phu Street, Tay Ho, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7h00 to 22h30
- Phone: 024 3829 1386
3. Café Giảng
This charming family-run café is perhaps the most famous of all coffee shops in the city. Opened since 1946, Café Giang has been renowned for creating its egg coffee. Yes, raw egg yolks in coffee sounds weird, but Mr. Nguyen Van Giang made it surprisingly delicious resembling a frothy cup of liquefied tiramisu.
Though hidden behind a narrow lane in the Old Quarter with the architectural style reflecting an interesting blend of French and Asian influences, the place is incredibly popular with locals and travelers, its two floors are often packed at any time of the day.
We occasionally visit Café Giang on our Hanoi food tour, it’s much more convincible to tell our non-caffeine travelers to try a cup of liquefied tiramisu than telling them it’s coffee. At midnight, they sometimes text us to say “you’re evil!”.
Note: Make sure you find the real one nested behind the “egg coffee lane”.
- Address: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7h00 to 22h00
- Tel: 098 989 22 98
4. Đinh Café
Café Giang was founded by Mr. Giang, Dinh Café was later founded by Mrs. Bich – Mr.Giang’s first daughter. Mr. Giang passed away, leaving the shop for his children to look after. Mrs. Bich also passed away nearly a decade ago. Currently, her son stands in the shop retaining their traditional taste.
Tucked away on the second floor of an old house hidden in the middle of clothes and suitcase shops, but Dinh Café has been famous for its sobriety and charm. When you find the house, look for the passage way leading to the old staircase to the café, you would be rewarded with an authentic atmosphere and its delicious egg coffee.
The coveted tiny balcony overlooking to Hoan Kiem Lake is the place to be, but you’d be extremely lucky to get it. If it’s full, stay inside to interact with the owner and learn about his family’s profound tradition.
Note: The place is smoky when it gets crowded, as people smoke inside.
- Address: 13 Dinh Tien Hoan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7h00 to 21h30
- Phone: 024 3824 2960
5. Café Lâm
Mr. Nguyen Van Lam opened his café in 1956, the address – 60 Nguyen Huu Huan Street became a gathering place for the generations of French trained local artists, including these great names: Bui Xuan Phai, Nguyen Tu Nghiem, Van Cao, and Nguyen Sang. But some of his artist customers couldn’t pay, and gave him their paintings in lieu of cash for the coffee.
Some 60 years later, Café Lam still serves its dark roasted Robusta coffee, but with an outstanding collection of modern Vietnamese art, representing several generations of Vietnamese painters, hangs on the walls of its one-room dimly lit café.
Though the artists are gone, Café Lam still attracts a loyal clientele who sit on miniature stools clustered around dark worn wooden tables. Some ceiling fans keep the house cool in the summer, and you can also sit outside to watch the rickshaw men and vendors ply the tree-lined street full of motorbikes.
- Address: 60 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7h00 to 23h00
- Phone: 024 3824 5940
6. Café Phố Cổ
Though it has a spectacular view over Hoan Kiem Lake from its rooftop, Café Pho Co is indeed one of the most hidden cafes in Hanoi. To reach the cafe, you must first walk through a clothing store on the Silk Street, down a narrow lane, then you find an antique-bedecked courtyard filled with bonsais, birdcages, and the reception where they take the orders.
To get the delightful views of the city, including the green expanse of Hoan Kiem Lake, you need to ascend the stairs, up through a home, past the family altar, and few more winding stairs to reach the roof. The view up there is finally worth your effort!
The café serves a wide selection of drinks including the famous egg coffee, weasel coffee, fruit juices, and local beers. Chocolate fans can try the egg cacao, which adds hot Vietnamese cocoa to the mix for a rich flavor.
- Address: 11 Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8h00 to 23h00
- Phone: 024 3928 8153
7. Loading T Café
Just three minutes walking from the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Loading T Café, with barely any clues to their existence from the street, is tucked in a crumbling French-colonial house in the unstated border of the French Quarter and Hanoi Old Quarter.
The beautiful architecture was built in 1932 and housed one wealthy family, but was appropriated by the communist government and divided into 17 separate dwellings. Loading T Café occupies one of these divisions, while the others remain as family homes.
This cozy space is occasionally one of our stops on Flavors of Hanoi French Quarter food tour, as its ornate tiled floor and mismatched period furniture retain Hanoi’s faded glamour that we want our travelers to see. Yet, the owners, Son and Trang, roast cinnamon sticks with the coffee beans giving an unusual aftertaste to their coffee, which is an ideal drink for our travelers on any cold days.
- Address: 8 Chan Cam Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8h00 to 22h00
- Tel: 090 334 20 00
8. Manzi Art Space and Café
This is an art space and café at a beautiful colonial house, and the house maintains its architectural integrity in a relatively quiet Hanoi street. Manzi is perhaps the only café in Hanoi where its frequent customers would look around every time they visit before taking a seat, because the art loving owners often rotate their abundance of contemporary exhibit.
With the charming French windows that bathe the art space in natural light, Manzi is definitely a great place to check out some interesting arts from up-and-coming contemporary Hanoi artists, even if you can’t afford to take a piece home, you can still enjoy it before sitting back for a drink.
When we first walked into Manzi years ago, we were wowed at the super-amazing paintings, but we have to admit we were a bit unsure of what the coffee was going to be like. Was this just a pretty facade for some average caffeination?
We’re happy to report that this place is the real deal, the drink menu is abundant with distinct flavor of Vietnamese coffee, hot chocolate, well prepared mint juice, or a refreshing pineapple, while the food is highlighted with a variety of sushi plates throughout the day.
- Address:14 Phan Huy Ich Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8h00 to 22h30
- Phone: 024 3716 3397
9. Hanoi House Cafe
Hanoi House Cafe is a relatively new addition to the Hanoi coffee scene, but it’s one that knows its stuff. So, it’s occasionally one of our stops during the Heart and Soul of Hanoi Old Quarter. The cafe locates itself on the second floor of a French house featuring faded walls, original colonial-era tiles and exposed beams. Its space is super atmospheric, highlighted by rustic interiors and hard wooden chairs.
Beside being one of Hanoi’s most intimate indoor spaces and impossibly ramshackle balcony looking to the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, our travelers are impressed by the owner, Huong, a proud barista never without a smile. The sophisticated French classics that play from the speakers are just perfect, who can propose a more fitting playlist for this over a hundred-year-old colonial house?
Sit back with coffee that we would say it’s superb, the jasmine teas and cookies are inventive, while the ginger tea and fruit yogurt are deliciously sharp. That’s all we need for a little cozy cafe like Hanoi House Cafe.
Tip: The cafe is easy to spot from the street, but difficult to access. Head down the alleyway on the left of the café and climb the steps on the right.
- Address: 47A Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7h00 to 23h00
- Phone: 0865 551 847
10. Café 39 Tạ Hiện
This coffee shop goes above and beyond your conventional cafés, it’s one of the most incredible street cafés in Hanoi. There are no table except for plastic stools, which can also used as table to place your drink while you take a photo. Definitely it’s not the most comfortable place to lounge around, but this is an ideal place truly feel the city and drink a coffee like the locals do.
How do you know this place is legitimate? Well, just join flocks of locals sitting on little plastic stools spread out on the sidewalk. But be careful with the little plastic stool if you are bigger than the locals, our travelers sometimes prefer to stand with their drinks.
Its black coffee is supper fresh though it’s pre-filtered before being scooped into glasses. The sweeten condensed milk coffee gives a unique sweet dairy flavor, and it’s great to see the condensed milk at the bottom of the glass. If you’re not so much into coffee, the passion fruit juice and lemonade are just as superb as the coffee.
- Address: 39 Ta Hien Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 6h00 to 22h00
So, which Hanoi coffee shops are worth your time? Hope this list gets to the bottom of that question and point you in the right direction. Please contact us if you are looking for a private Hanoi food tour with a local foodie, we are good at what we are doing and looking forward to showing you around our city.