Following up on my guide to cafes in Ho Chi Minh City I now present my guide to cafes in Hanoi.
In my previous cafe reports I have usually had at least a month to try out the cafes of each city. My trip to Hanoi was for one week, so this meant I had to pace my cafe visits in addition to making time to revisit my favourites. It was something of an occupational hazard to visit so many cafes in a week, but it was worth it.
Like in Saigon there are a countless amount of cafes all over Hanoi, ranging from vendors with little plastic chairs on the side of the street, cafes in the front room of family homes, and smoky karaoke dens. For street cafes you won’t need my help: you only have to walk outside your hotel and you will soon find a cafe. For the purpose of this blog I have listed cafes that have wifi and are suitable for digital nomads to work in.
At the end of this post I’ve also included some cafes that you should visit for a different coffee experience.
Hoan Kiem District
Puku Cafe & Bar
I arrived in Hanoi with my friend Dan, who is also living in Saigon. He came to Hanoi to soak up the writerly vibes that this city emanates while finishing his book. I was happy to have a fellow cafe fiend on the trail and he recommended we come here first. This was a great first choice and we ended up revisiting a few times over the course of the week. They serve good espresso coffee and it is open 24 hours, in case you want to work or hang out into the wee hours.
Location: 18 Tong Duy Tan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Other Reviews: Our Man In Hanoi
Comga Cafe & Bar
[Edit: Looks like it has closed.]
A sister cafe of Puku (or I’m assuming they are seeing they both have the same distinct typeface), this cafe also serves Lavazza coffee and has indoor and outdoor seating upstairs.
Location: 1 Cua Dong (corner Hang Ga and Cua Dong), Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
The Hanoi Social Club
As soon as I walked into the Hanoi Social Club I had this sensation of feeling at home. As it turns out one of the co-owners is from Melbourne, which explains that homely feeling for me. If I was living in Hanoi I would be a regular here for sure.
Cong Caphe have six branches in Hanoi. I like the arty vibe of this cafe group and I ended up visiting three of the six. I would have liked to have completed the Cong set of six, but there is only so much coffee you can drink in a week.
The cafes are decorated with communist posters and American-Vietnam War era trinkets, and serve different styles of Vietnamese coffee. My favourite branch is on Nguyen Huu Huan in the Old Quarter, which has a corner balcony upstairs overlooking the crazy streets of Hanoi.
Location: 35A Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi (and other locations)
Highlands Coffee are a chain that can be found across Vietnam, so you won’t need to try hard to find a branch. I just wanted to add this one for the location. If you go to the roundabout at the northern end of the Hoan Kiem Lake there is a giant building that occupies a whole block. There are several cafes inside that overlook the lake, and I thought the Highlands was the best pick of those cafes.
Location: 5 Dinh Tien Hoang St, Hoan Kiem Disrict, Hanoi
Moca Cafe is near St Josephs Cathedral and is set in a lovely colonial era building.
Location: 16 Nha Tho, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Joma Bakery Cafe
For those who have been to Laos, you might remember Joma from Vientiane and Luang Prabang. There are two branches in Hanoi and there is a bakery attached to the cafe (and a good one at that). I went to the one near the Cathedral.
Location: 22 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Ba Dinh District
One of the hippest cafes I visited, and another cafe with some Australian influence (the head chef is from Sydney). It was crazy busy when I went, though that might have been due to it being a public holiday.
Location: 18 Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Home Coffee Store
Nicely decorated cafe, complete with Singer sewing machine tables.
Location: 192B Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
I spent most of my time in the old quarter (Hoan Kiem district) so I didn’t explore Ba Dinh district as much as I should of. Cat Cafe is worth checking out if you are in the area.
Location: 2 Chau Long, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Foxilly Coffee Bar
I had just been to a cafe, and I was walking to an appointment at another cafe when I walked past Foxilly. By now it was apparent that one week in Hanoi was a ridiculously short amount of time to compile this list. Added to the list for reference.
Location: 66 Chau Long, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
5th May Coffee Shop
A little cafe that feels like someones lounge room, serving Vietnamese style coffee.
Location: 85 Nguyen Truong To, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Other Hanoi Cafe Experiences
While I have compiled this list of cafes for places you can work at, there are a some coffee experiences that you should also try if you are in Hanoi.
Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe
While this coffee concoction isn’t as weird as kopi joss (the charcoal coffee from Yogyakarta), I was still slightly skeptical before trying it.
So the verdict? Delicious! The best way I could describe it would be a coffee flavoured eggnog. We went back for seconds on our last day, and I left feeling relieved that this is not available in Saigon (that I know of), otherwise I’d be having this all the time.
Location: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem Disrict, Hanoi
Yogurt Coffee at Cafe Pho Co
Another coffee that is popular in Hanoi is yogurt coffee, which – as the name suggests – is coffee with yogurt in it. I have tried this before in Danang, in central Vietnam, but this coffee combination doesn’t seem to have made its way further south to Ho Chi Minh City.
Try this ultimate 2-in-1 breakfast drink at Cafe Pho Co, which has a stunning view of the Hoan Kiem lake.
Location: 11 Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem Disrict, Hanoi
Frozen Yogurt Coffee at Cafe Duy Tri
I’m so glad I had the regular yogurt coffee before having this cup-o-goodness-from-the-Coffee-Gods, because any other yogurt coffee would have been a letdown after this. Set in a run down old building with an unassuming entrance (aren’t all the best places like that?), I was whisked to this place on the back of a motorbike by a new friend who had just taken me to one of his favourite eating places.
If I lived in Hanoi I would probably find myself going out of my way to come here on a regular basis. I left this cafe wondering why isn’t this a thing everywhere else?
Coffee with cats at Ailu Cat Cafe
When I went to the Cat Cafe I wondered if there was a cat cafe in Hanoi, like a cafe with actual cats in it? Turns out there is, but I only discovered this after I left so I didn’t get to go (there is also an Ailu Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City). My friends who have been tell me they are definitely NOT work cafes, but if you want to pet some kittehs while having a coffee then this is your place.
Location: 4 Thuy Khue, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
Hanoi Cafe Map
Hanoi Cafes Map
Hanoi’s trendiest cafés CNN Travel