Travel Edition: Top 5 cafes to visit in Hanoi
1. NHA SAN
To many in Hanoi, Nha San stands out as definitely one of the most unique coffee establishments in the city. Customers enter the front door and into a quaint little courtyard completely overflowing with a delightfully eclectic mish mash of old vintage pieces.
Essentially, it’s an ancient looking old wooden warehouse, with lovely high ceilings, a smattering of seating choices downstairs and an upstairs loft area overlooking the courtyard. If you are looking for a rustic and soothing ambience, Nha San is really hard to beat.
As with most respectable cafes in Hanoi, there are plenty of power plugs conveniently located throughout the establishment, making it an ideal spot to quietly grind through work over the course of an afternoon.
Nhà Sàn is located at : 462 lane, Buoi Str.
Discreetly located in what appears to be a semi abandoned parking lot, Gardenista is a café that allows patrons to enjoy a lush green environment on a delightful patio space.
Not far from the hustle and bustle of the fashion stores of the Kin Ma area, the bright floor to ceiling windows make this café an excellent refuge from the grey Hanoi winter days.
Pots overflowing with flowers and herbs, some hanging from the ceiling, delicately styled terrariums, this space is without doubt a nature lovers paradise.
While sipping on your favourite ice coffee, staff will occasionally do their rounds watering the myriad of plants and flowers throughout the café. For those that are handy with the camera, this place definitely is a content generator for your Instagram and Facebook page.
Gardenista is located at 50 Van Bao Street, Ba Dinh
3. HANOI SOCIAL CLUB
I don’t think there is a city in the world without the cliched insert city name “social club” café/restaurant/bar popping up in the local hipster district. Hanoi is no different, with the local edition of the social club being a worthy addition to the trendy to-do-list in the Vietnamese capital.
With the pre-requisite cool vibe, eclectic décor and wholesome and healthy food options, the HSC has quickly established itself as an ideal spot for a hearty lunch, a decadent slice of cake or to relax the afternoon away sipping on a beer or cocktail.
Opened in 2011, HSC is delightfully set in a 1920s French colonial villa, the interior remains true to its heritage – original tiles adorn the floors, wood furnishings from the period remain, and the classic high ceilings, make this a must for any self-respecting vintage lover.
Hanoi Social Club is located at 6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm.
4. THE KAFE
A self-described “modern, energetic, casual urban café”, mixing an uplifting and refreshingly modern interior with an interesting selection of classic food options and unique fusion Vietnamese style sandwich creations.
Located at The Yard Shopping Mall, 67 Pho Duc Chinh Hanoi, The KAfe welcomes you with a well-lit and tastefully appointed interior, creating an extremely relaxing environment for the weary traveller.
On the menu, the food philosophy behind the KAfe matches the interior – unfussy, clean and hearty comfort food that will satisfy the modern urban diner.
The breakfast selection contains the usual suspects we would expect - pancakes, classic eggs dishes and pastries. The day menu, starting from noon to close, lists modern takes on the classic Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwich, along side café must-haves such as burgers, home-made pastas and salads for those counting the calories.
5. CAFE GIANG
What would you like with your coffee? Sugar? Milk? I’m more of egg and butter man myself. That’s how it’s done at the legendary Café Giang in Hanoi. Located on a busy street in the Old Quarter, this hidden gem is hard to find for both locals and tourists alike – you need to travel down a narrow alley to reach the entrance. This is the birth place of a peculiar Vietnamese invention – cà phê trúng or Egg coffee. Like most cafes, there is a long list of available beverage options for both hot and cold, but all that is being ordered is Egg coffee – all day every day.
Café Giang is located at 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm.
The current owner, Nguyen Van Dao, is often seen at the front counter, and it was his father that came up with the beverage in 1946 while working behind the bar at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. During that period, milk was a scarce commodity in Vietnam so whisked-up egg yolks was traded in. This tradition is still going strong today, and is a must-try for any coffee lover visiting Hanoi.
Header image from here.