Vietnam is one of the world’s top producer of coffee and you can see it in the culture. There’s basically a coffee shop on every corner. You thought it was bad seeing two coffee shops at a corner, albeit the same chain, but here in Hanoi, expect up to all four being a coffee shop. And the majority of these aren’t the kind where people sit inside, snuggle up to the comforts of home, and read. No, they’re the kind that opens up to the street. Patrons sit facing outward, spend hours on hours of people watching, and sipping on a seemingly endless amount of cafe sua da, a chilled drink sweetened with condensed milk. And unlike the variety found in the U.S., the coffee here doesn’t have that super dark super caffeinated roast that keeps you up for hours on end. Here, it’s pleasantly smoother.
There are some coffee shops that stand out and here’s a list of the ones I tried.
Hang Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem
Verdict: Check at least one of them out. There are several around town. Interesting interior, free wifi, and good coffee.
39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem
Verdict: Try it! Even though it’s not for me, you need to give the egg coffee a taste.
Thuy Ta Cafe
1 Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem
Verdict: Pass. It’s right next to the lake, but the coffee wasn’t anything to come back for.
Cafe Pho Co
11 Hang Hai, Hoan Kiem
Verdict: Pass. Interesting venue, but the yogurt coffee wasn’t memorable. Yeah, it’s got good reviews, but mainly from foreigners.
The Hilltop Station
7 Muong Hoa
Verdict: Solid cup of coffee. And yeah, this was up in Sapa, but I wanted to include it here.
Obviously I didn’t visit these shops in one day or else my writing would make even less sense. This all started as I looked for ways to kill time, a way to chill as I waited for my friends. Of course, it was to a coffee shop. After one amazing cup of coffee, I decided to write about it. Hopefully this was informative.