One of the reasons I love going to Hanoi, Vietnam is for the coffee shops. As a coffee addict who drinks at least 15 cups a day, Hanoi is my kind of town. With its French-influenced Vietnamese strong coffee, served everywhere from tiny street stalls to cool cafes and coffee shops, Hanoi is a coffee lover’s paradise, and these are some of the city’s best coffee shops.
Moca Cafe – My favorite cafe in Hanoi is Moca Cafe. Not only do they serve some of the city’s best coffee with loads of different varieties and styles, they also serve some of the best food in the city. Vietnamese, Indian, Italian, French – you name it, it’s on their massive menu, and everything I’ve ever eaten there is incredible. Moca Cafe is also a cool cafe to hang out in as it’s always busy with expats and Vietnamese, and located as it is in an old converted French convent, you can only imagine how gorgeous it is. Moca Cafe is at 14-16 Nha Tho Street in Hanoi.
Au Lac Cafe – Another favorite cafe in Hanoi and one of the city’s best because of its front patio where you can sit all day and people watch, Au Lac Cafe has great coffee, good food and a friendly staff. There’s a nice courtyard, which is perfect for sitting with a book and a cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee with milk) and, at lunchtime, all the expats arrive to enjoy some decent food. So you might end up in an interesting conversation too. The pizza and sandwiches are excellent and the atmosphere is great. It’s also a wonderful spot for an afternoon coffee and a homemade cake. Au Lac Cafe is at 57 Pho Ly Thai To in Hanoi, across the street from the Sofitel Hotel.
Highlands Coffee – One of the newer coffee shops in Hanoi, Highlands Coffee is already well on its way to being one of the best. It’s a Vietnamese coffee chain that serves consistently good coffee, (their lattes are wonderful), and is a good place to sit and watch the world go by. In the afternoons, it gets a bit crowded with lots of teenagers who come for the fruit smoothies and to watch the local girls and boys pass by, so unless you’re into noisy, it’s best before 2pm. Highlands Coffee is in a lovely garden at 6 Nha Tho Street in Hanoi.
Segafredo Zanetti– While I wouldn’t say Segafredo Zanetti makes the best coffee in Hanoi, it certainly has some of the best seating. If you can, grab a chair at the window upstairs, as it’s an incredible place to look down on all of Hanoi motorbiking and cycling by. Decorated in a contemporary style with lots of comfortable chairs, the staff is friendly (although not the best at speaking English) and their food is reasonably priced and decent. Segafredo Zanetti is located at the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake at 7 Hang Gai, Hanoi.
If you like drinking coffee, you’ll enjoy a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam. The coffee is quite strong and can be a little bitter, but if you make sure you get lots of condensed milk in your order (that’s how the Vietnamese drink it) or order a coffee au lait (coffee made with milk) you’ll find much of the bitterness disappears and the coffee is delicious. These four coffee shops are some of the best in Hanoi, but there are plenty more. Try as many as you can. You won’t be sorry.