Going to Vietnam without drinking their coffee is like going to Singapore without eating Laksa. You can definitely see coffee shops in every street corner and one can really see that the coffee culture in Vietnam is very strong. The standard Vietnamese coffee is black coffee mixed with sweet condensed milk. Their coffee is strong but because of the condensed milk, the acidity is subdued by the sweet condensed milk. We didn’t get tired of drinking their coffee anytime of the day and just sitting at their stools whether on the sidewalk or inside an upscaled coffee shop.
We tried different coffee shops around Hanoi and these are the ones that we recommend:
Prior to our arrival in Hanoi, Sharlyne was already ecstatic to try the Coco Coffee by Cong Caphe. It was highly recommended by one of the blogs that she was able to read while researching for the food and the coffee shops to try in Hanoi. While Sharlyne got the Coconut Coffee, I ordered the Yoghurt Coffee. It’s an ice blended Vietnamese coffee with yoghurt. Coffee and yoghurt may sound weird for some but I loved it! The Coconut Coffee on the other hand is coffee, coconut and condensed milk. It was surprisingly good and refreshing. We paid for VND 90,000 for both coffees we ordered.
Cong Caphe is also a nice hangout place and i noticed that a lot of young people go there. I liked their interiors and according to their website, it brings you back to post Vietnam war. They have different branches in Hanoi. We went to their branch at 54 – Hàng Điếu, Hoàn Kiếm.
Helio Original Coffee House
2 Iced Coffee (all for VND 132,000)
Helio’s Coffee is probably the most expensive one that we have tried in Vietnam. They are located at the heart of Old Quarter in Hanoi, which is really close to Hoan Kiem Lake. Above the Helio coffee shop is the Water Puppet theatre so it’s a great place to hang out while waiting for the show to start.
Joma Bakery Cafe
Joma Bakery Cafe originated in Laos. Unlike the other coffee shops that we have been to in Hanoi, Joma Bakery Cafe is not homegrown. It’s actually owned by Jonathan and Jocelyn Blair, and Michael and Areerat Harder. What we like about the said cafe is that is supports initiatives focused on meeting basic life needs by giving 2% of its revenue.
In this cafe, we were able to try Con Panna which is espresso with whipped cream.
Joma Bakery Cafe is a great place to hangout because of its cozy atmosphere. It is airconditioned and they even have wi-fi. Even if the cafe originated in Laos, it’s very much westernized as evidenced by the food that they serve.
We heard about the Egg Coffee (or Cà Phê Trứng in Vietnamese) from Nina of Just Wandering so this was already part of our Hanoi bucket list. We scoured for the internet on where we could possibly try the most popular place to have Egg Coffee and, we stumbled on Cafe Giang. As mentioned on their website, the cafe was difficult to locate. We almost gave up but went ahead in pursuit of experiencing the cafe culture in Hanoi. Cafe Giang claims that they’re the ones who invented egg coffee and they’ve been there since 1946. It’s an institution as they say and a lot of locals and even tourists go to this hidden spot. You couldn’t notice it immediately because they only have the sign in front. You’ll have to go inside the alley and at the end, you’ll see the counter where you can order the drinks.
Egg Coffee is made of the following ingredients: chicken egg yolk, Vietnamese coffee powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese. We tried both egg coffees – iced and hot, so that we would be able to taste which one is better. For us, it is best to try the iced egg coffee because flavors are much evident compared to the hot version. Many would find this kind of coffee weird but just imagine that you are drinking coffee flavored custard. They serve it on a small class or cup and with the black coffee at the bottom then it’s covered with the condensed milk and frothy egg on top.
Trung Nguyen Coffee
Trung Nguyen is a popular instant coffee in Vietnam. In it’s packaging, you may found the text “Vietnam’s #1 Coffee”. If you’re contemplating on what kind of “pasalubong” to buy for your friends and loved ones, it has to be Trung Nguyen coffee if you’re on a budget. We wanted to bring home some Vietnamese coffee home here’s the place!