Hanoi knows their coffee. And this is coming from a girl who lives in Scandinavia, otherwise often referred to as the “Coffee Capital of Europe” (okay, I may have made that up but Scandinavian’s love their coffee).
Now I have to admit, I used to hate coffee. But, over the past couple years I have been quickly converted to a coffee-obsessed… I mean, I go to bed dreaming about waking up to my morning coffee. That’s why seeking out a cuppa joe and cutesy cafes has become one of my most treasured travel traditions.
What I’ve learned as I’ve sipped my way across the world, is that no matter how the coffee is served, the concept of coffee serves the same purpose all around the world: It is a cultural foundation that brings people together.
This is no different in Hanoi. I’ve had some of the best coffee I’ve ever sipped on here, served in so many different ways: hot, cold, sweet, very VERY strong. And it’s all DELICIOUS. And with lots of research and a little help from Backstreet Academy’s “Coffee Lovers Walking Tour,” I was able to check off some of Hanoi’s coolest cafes off my list.
want to know where to find the best coffee shops in hanoi?
read on to find out!
Full Disclosure: As a Backstreet Academy Ambassador, I was a guest on Backstreet Academy’s “Coffee Lovers Walking Tour.” As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. About Backstreet Academy: Their motto is “Do Good as you Travel.” Through offering unique handcrafted experiences, they offer authentic local experiences, they identify individuals in BOP (bottom-of-the-pyramid) communities and turn them into Backstreet Hosts. You can find our more about Backstreet Academy’s mission and tours here.
One of the best coffee shops in Hanoi was introduced to me on our “Coffee Lovers Walking Tour” and I was obsessed. Located in a French mansion in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, it was so busy and I can understand why. Loading T is the only place in Hanoi that offered this special iced cinnamon roasted coffee and it was TO DIE FOR. I’m not kidding, I dream about that coffee.
Must Try: Cinnamon roasted coffee with coconut milk (you can thank me later).
The Note COffee
This insta-famous spot is definitely worth a spot if you’re wandering around Hoan Kiem Lake. The entire cafe is covered head-to-toe in stick notes with messages from visitors all over the world. It’s a unique spot to enjoy a coffee and grab some photos.
Looking for famous egg coffee in Hanoi (like the one shown in the first photo of this blog post)? Look no further than Cafe Dinh. This is another spot that we were brought to on our “Coffee Lovers Walking Tour” and I loved it! Egg coffee might sound a bit weird, but you must try it. It’s actually quite delicious, and super sweet like a dessert.
Cafe Dinh is owned by the daughter of the man who founded egg coffee in Hanoi. Most travellers visit Cafe Giang, owned by the son of the inventor. We went to both Cafe Dinh and Cafe Giang, and female support and empowerment reasons aside, I actually preferred the version served at Cafe Dinh.
Pro Tip: Cafe Dinh, in true Hanoi fashion, is found down an alley and up a very unsuspecting set of stairs. If you think you’re at the wrong spot, you’re not. I’ve included the location of this spot on the map below.
If you’re looking to sip on a cup of coffee (or even a glass of beer) and get a unique viewpoint of St. Stephen’s Basilica, La Place is the place. Go up the stairs to the second floor and you’ll be able to sit on a quiet balcony overlooking the cathedral. The views are beautiful!
ANYWHERE ON TRAIN STREET
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – Isn’t the famous Hanoi train street closed? Technically, yes – it is. However, many of the businesses lining the street have remained open. And while I am all about respecting local rules and customs while travelling, I also am all about supporting tourism-dependent, bottom-of-the-pyramid businesses that have been negatively affected by government regulations and are therefore struggling to survive.
If you go by the entrances to the train street, you’ll notice barriers and guards blocking the street. However, there are also often local restaurant owners standing nearby who will ask you to come have a coffee. If you’re escorted by the owners, you’re welcome to visit the street.
And what’s better then enjoying a coffee trackside while a train speeds by?!
Cafe Duy tri
Another stop on the “Coffee Lovers walking Tour,” Duy Tri is a bit away from the typical tourist hot spots and close to The West Lake. It was one of the first five coffee shops in Hanoi, and is home to some of the best Vietnamese Coffee in Hanoi. They source and roast their own coffee, and the results were easily some of the best coffee we had in Vietnam.
The Hanoi Social Club
I loved Hanoi Social Club – both for coffee, and for brunch. This place needs to be added to your list of places to eat and drink coffee in Hanoi, and not only because of the good food and coffee. The cafe aesthetics are so pretty.
MUST TRY COFFEE IN HANOI:
Traditional Vietnamese Drip Coffee (with condensed milk)
Cinnamon Roasted Coffee
Weasel Poop Coffee (if you're feeling daring, but please be a responsible traveller and do your research - there are a lot of fakes out there)