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3 Cafes in Hanoi for Serious Java Junkies

September 02, 2020

Ever since the first coffee tree was planted by the French on Vietnamese soil, the country’s been riding a caffeine (and sugar) high. From coconut to condensed milk, eggs and even yogurt, leave it to the new-age baristas at Vietnam’s most buzzed-about cafes to create every imaginable coffee pairing. Hanoi on your hit list? Here’s a list of the must-try cafes for your next visit:

Cong Caphe

Cong Caphe

(Photo: Cong Caphe)

Cheeky, urban, hipcat gig parodying the days of red with its military vibe, propaganda splashed walls, Lenin’s edicts and khaki-clad staff. Several branches around town, it's the Hanoi-ite go-to for local joe and people show.

32 Dien Bien Phu, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, +84 91 181 11 41, congcaphe.com

Giang Coffee

Giang Coffee

(Photo: Giang Coffee)

Cappuccino – pah! You’re in cà phê trung territory now. Secreted away behind a drab shopfront in Hoan Kiem, this beloved stalwart has been brewing slightly odd-sounding, but great tasting hot n’ cold ‘egg coffee’ blends since Hanoi’s great 1940s milk shortage. Today, this unsuspecting lair is perma-packed with locals and visitors all seeking their sweet caffeine hit, so sit upstairs and take yours on the charming roof terrace replete with creeping foliage and potted blossoms. Jav-Ahhh.

39 Nguyen Huu Huan St, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi, giangcafehanoi.com

Loading T

Loading T

(Photo: Loading T)

Let the ornate tiles and rustic olive green shutters take you back as you step into this century-old French colonial mansion. Set in the scenic old French quarter, this caffeine charmer attracts not only coffee snobs but architectural and history geeks too. Don’t miss the homemade cakes. Tip: Nab a seat in the mezzanine or balcony up top for the ultimate Insta-worthy shot.

8 Chan Cam, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi, +84 90 334 20 00, @LoadingT

Read more: The Best Street Food in Hanoi

How to make Vietnamese coffee at home

With international travel halted for the time being, why not try your hand at making some Hanoi-inspired brews at home? 

What you’ll need: 

  • Vietnamese robusta coffee beans: Lower in acidity and higher in caffeine than the usual arabica blend that you’re used to, these make the perfect morning pick-me-up. 
  • A phin: a tiny metal filter combining the best of two brewing methods, a pour-over and French press. 

From normal drip coffee to the signature egg coffee, here are four easy recipes to try:

1. Vietnamese drip coffee (cà phê den)

(Photo: Cong Caphe)

This is the OG, the basic, the classic for true coffee connoisseurs - cà phê den. Place coarse ground coffee into the phin, pour boiling hot water in and let drip for about 20 mins. Add sugar to taste. Super strong brew, not for the faint-hearted.

2. Coffee with condensed milk (cà phê sữa đá)

Vietnamese coffee_cc_frank-mckenna-unsplash

(Photo: Frank Mckenna/Unsplash)

This is for all the sweet tooths out there. Brew the coffee over a spoon or two of condensed milk and, voila, you have the lighter, merrier, richer-tasting sister to cà phê den. For those in the tropics, pour the mixture over some crushed ice for the perfect cooling caffeine fix.

3. Coconut coffee (cà phê cốt dừa)


(Photo: Cong Caphe)

Look no more for a drink that teleports you to a summer under the parasol. This is one part condensed milk and two parts coconut cream, topped with a strong brew. Blend with ice for a caffeinated slushie.

4. Egg coffee (cà phê trứng)

Egg coffee

(Photo: Jon Spectacle/Unsplash)

Forget Dalgona coffee, this is the new coffee challenge. Whisk condensed milk with egg yolks until fluffy and creamy, then slop it over the coffee. Part-liquid tiramisu and part-eggnog, all decadent treat.

Feeling the buzz? Pick up a copy of our LUXE Hanoi city guides for more caffeinated finds – available in print and mobile form!

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