5 hidden coffee shops provide refuge in bustling Hanoi
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With Hanoi allowing indoor dining to resume, these cafes tucked inside small alleyways are suited to those seeking a quiet working space or to enjoy a slower pace of life.
Photo courtesy of Acid8 Coffee.
The cafe stands in an alley connecting Tran Quoc Toan and Tran Hung Dao Streets in Hoan Kiem District. From outside, it stands out for its red brick wall and red and black interior, offering visitors a sense of slowing down.
However, the parking space is a bit narrow, so customers are encouraged to take public transport here. The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The menu includes black coffee, iced coffee with condensed milk, tea and cupcakes that cost from VND40,000-65,000 ($1.74-2.82).
Ca Phe Pho Co
Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Trang.
"Coffee in the Old Quarter," located inside an old house on Hang Gai Street in Hanoi's Old Quarter, is hard to find for first-timers. But many customers return, either for the drinks or the exotic space with decorative antiques and woodcrafts, along with plenty of trees across all floors.
The most favored seats are on the terrace, which takes a climb up three flights of stairs and offers "a sweeping view over thousands of motorbikes on their circumambulation around Hoan Kiem Lake," the New York Times wrote.
As a place to have coffee and drinks, the ancient family shrine on the second level however is a highlight of the cafe where some customers like to pose for photos. While the first floor is decorated with plants and some statues, the third floor features an open area with simple stools and tables from where you can see the entire Hoan Kiem Lake and its busy surrounds.
The joint is famous for drip and egg coffee, a specialty of Hanoians.
Drinks cost from VND30,000-50,000.
Photo courtesy of La Viet Coffee.
Nestled on the quiet Hang Bun Street in Ba Dinh District, La Viet coffee shop has both indoor and outdoor areas, with its second floor balcony a customer favorite and offering sweeping views of the street, which used to be famous for producing noodles.
The interior is designed in the familiar style of the same-brand stores in the Central Highlands town Da Lat and Ho Chi Minh City with a bar lounge, spacious tables and chairs.
Not only serving coffee, the cafe also has cold brewed drinks, juices, tea and some snacks with prices from VND25,000 to 55,000.
Hidden Alley Hanoi
Photo courtesy of Hidden Alley Hanoi.
It's not easy for first-timers to find this coffee shop on the second floor of an old rented apartment on Alley 9B Bao Khanh on Hang Trong Street in Hoan Kiem District. The indoor space is a bit dark but warm with large sofas. Inside, the array of baked brick walls, old-fashioned wall paintings and balconies covered with vines offer visitors a sense of nostalgia. The space boasts a super-cool terrace surrounded by green trees.
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, alcoholic drinks, and sweet cakes are priced from VND20,000 to 65,000.
Photo courtesy of Tiny Post.
This coffee shop is hidden in an airy, green and peaceful space in contrast to the noisy and crowded Truong Chinh Street. The entrance features a cobbled courtyard covered with shady green trees to help customers cool down in summer.
The shop has three spacious floors with many large bookshelves. If customers wish to enjoy the hustle and bustle of daily activities on Truong Chinh Street, the second and third floors with balconies are ideal choices. Drinks here cost about VND30,000 - 60,000.