Hanoi Coffee- Top 10 Cafes & Egg Coffee Spots
Coffee is always a good idea! The coffee culture is booming all over the world and is growing year on year. There is no exception in Hanoi, Vietnam with coffee bars and cafes popping up all over the city. You will not be short of choices to get your caffeine fix, varying from rustic holes in the wall with plastic chairs, to trendy modern coffee bars. Vietnam really knows what they are doing when it comes to coffee and if you are a coffee lover, Hanoi will not disappoint.
To make sure you get the best out of the Hanoi coffee scene, before we move onto the best spots to get a coffee, this guide will also share the ‘must-try’ unique coffees that Hanoi is known for, so you know what to order.
History of Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnam is the second-largest coffee maker in the world, after Brazil and well known for its strong, full-bodied coffee. Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in 1857 by the French colonists and has been part of the Vietnamese culture ever since. The Vietnamese love for coffee is evident in the quality and full-bodied taste and they are also well known for unique and specialist, iced, and hot coffees.
Be warned, Vietnamese coffee is strong as they generally use 80% Robusta coffee beans and 20% Arabica beans. In western countries it is in the opposite ratio. You probably don't want to drink too many as you may struggle to sleep after for a week.
If you were interested in learning more about the coffee culture in Hanoi then why not take an organized tour? We would recommend Backstreet Academy, take a look at their coffee tasting tour here.
Hanoi Coffee Street
There is actually a ‘coffee street’ in Hanoi on Nguyen Huu Huan street. The story is that after the war and many years of rationing, lots of cafes were opened as the locals had more money and more time to socialize. The cafes on the coffee street in Hanoi are more local spots and maybe not the best place if you are looking for trendy modern coffee bars. However, Nguyen Hua Hua coffee street should be on your list of things to do if you want to see the real Hanoi. Grab a chair, sip some delicious coffee, and take in the real Hanoi.
Simple coffee terminology in Vietnamese
Here is some simple translation of common coffee terminology which may help you when ordering coffee in Hanoi.
Coffee = Ca phe
Black = Den
Iced = Da
Hot = Nong
Milk = Sua
Brown = Nau
Coconut = Dua
Yogurt = Sua Chua
Best Coffee in Hanoi
The majority of Vietnam's coffee production is Robusta and Arabica beans and many cafes use a blend of both in different ratios. So, what is the best coffee in Hanoi? Look no further, here are some of the best and must-try coffees to try while you are in Hanoi, Vietnam:
1) Egg Coffee (Ca The Trung)
Chef Giang developed an egg coffee recipe by using whisked egg yolks to create a creamy and sweet, desert-like foam that is then poured over hot coffee and condensed milk. Egg coffee is usually served with a spoon as the consistency is that thick that you can scoop it up, rather than drinking it.
Egg coffee is a must-try when in Hanoi and is known as a specialty in the city. The egg coffee was created by Chef Giang after the war as it was hard to get hold of milk and was very expensive.
It is easy to find a creamy egg coffee in Hanoi cafes and Chef Giang’s sons have even carried on his legacy by opening up their own cafes.
I will say that it was a lot sweeter than I expected, maybe too sweet, but I'm glad I tried it. The consistency was quite... unique. Here is Rob, 'drinking' his egg coffee, with a spoon.
2) Milk Coffee (Ca Phe Nau)
When you see milk coffee on a menu in Hanoi, this means coffee with thick and sweet condensed milk, rather than the thin milk westerns are used to. The condensed milk is put into the bottom of the glass and coffee is poured over the top, mix it up and then enjoy. You can ask for it to be served hot or cold.
3) Coconut Coffee (Ca Phe Dua)
Coconut coffee is made with frozen coconut milk, coconut ice and black coffee all mixed together. Coconut coffee is a real treat and like a lot of Vietnamese coffee, it has A LOT of sugar and caffeine. After one glass you will be buzzing all day.
You need to have a sweet tooth to get through a whole glass of Coconut coffee.
4) Yoghurt Coffee (Ca Phe Hua Chua)
Yoghurt coffee is as simple as it sounds. Yoghurt coffee is coffee mixed with natural yoghurt and ice. Some recipes also use condensed milk, as well as the yoghurt. The traditional yoghurt coffee does not use condensed milk so is not as sweet as other Vietnamese coffees and is very refreshing.
Yogurt coffee does sound a bit of a strange combination but just like egg coffee it works and is surprisingly delicious. Yogurt coffee is quite filling so it is a nice snack if you get a little peckish between meals.
5) Black Coffee (Ca Phe Den)
What is Ca Phe Den? This simply translates to black coffee. The coffee is made in a Vietnamese phin coffee filter. One filter is used per cup and it is a labor of love. The coffee is put into the phin, which then condenses the coffee and water is added slowly over the filter and the coffee drips, drop by drop into the cup. This process can take up to 15 minutes for all of the coffee to go through the filter. The longer the coffee takes to pass through the filter, the deeper the taste. It is quite common to drink this coffee cold. Some say that you can make the taste richer by adding a drop of fish sauce or a pinch of salt.
6) White Coffee (Bac Xiu)
This is a very sweet coffee which is mainly condensed milk with little coffee. Condensed milk was used after the war due to the milk shortage and became a vital element to Vietnamese coffee.
7) Weasel Poop Coffee (Ca Phe Chon)
Weasel coffee is also known as civet coffee, poop coffee and kopi luwak coffee. Weasel poop coffee is made from coffee which has been eaten by a palm civet which is a small animal. The coffee beans then pass through its intestines where the coffee beans are ferments. The coffee beans are then collected (with other feces), dried, washed and then roasted. This is one of the most expensive coffees in the world costing $700 per kilogram.
However, here at The Hanoi Guide we would not recommend you trying this coffee, as we try to promote responsible and sustainable travel as much as possible. The farming process of this coffee is not pleasant for the animals (which you can read about here if you want more information), so think twice.
When travelling around Vietnam you may see this coffee on offer but please do your research before drinking it.
Now you are fully clued up on Vietnamese coffee, its time to know where to get the best coffee in Hanoi:
Here are the Top 10 best cafes to get a coffee in Hanoi:
1. Cafe Dinh
2. Floral & Book Cafe - Hoa 10 Gio
3. Gao Coffee
4. The Note Coffee
5. Loading T
6. Xofa Cafe and Bistro
7. Giang Cafe
8. Cafe Duy Tri
9. Hidden Gem Coffee
10. The Railway Hanoi (Cho Cho Cafe)
1) Cafe Dinh
Cafe Dihn has to be top of the list as the inventor of the egg coffee by chef Giang after the war - hard to get milk and was very expensive so crated a receipt using egg yolks. The cafe is a bit rough around the edges has but has a real authentic feel to it. If you get a little lost, the entrance is down an alley. Reasonably priced with an egg coffee costing 20.000 dong and a yogurt coffee costing you only 15.000 dong. There is also a balcony where you can sip your coffee with the view of the lake.
Address: 13 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District, 2nd Floor, Hanoi, Vietnam
2) Floral & Book Cafe - Hoa 10 Gio
Floral & Book Cafe is clean and a beautifully decorated space. It is a great cafe if you are looking for somewhere to work. In addition to the cafe, there is also a flower shop and book shop/library. The decor is trendy and they serve great coffee.
Address: 26 Hang Voi, Hanoi, Vietnam
3) Gao Coffee
Gao Coffee is a modern cafe with little tables outside the front to people watch and chill. The cafe is immaculate and serves great coffee and cake.
Address: 10 Cho Gao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
4) The Note Coffee
This is a very colorful and beautiful cafe with nice views from the balcony. Little colorful notes are stuck all over the walls creating a very Instagram friendly, so you can take lots of selfies while sipping your coffee.
Address: 64 Luong Van Can, Hanoi, Vietnam
5) Loading T
Loading T is a trendy cafe based in the French quarter. The cafe is based in a picturesque colonial building and is a real treasure chest. Cozy interiors and french music playing in the background results in a relaxing atmosphere to sip your coffee and people watch. Loading T roast their coffee with a cinnamon stick which results in a mild cinnamon flavor and is their signature coffee. Loading T also serves a really good coconut coffee if you have a sweet tooth.
Address: 8 Chan Cam Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
6) Xofa Cafe and Bistro
Xofa Cafe and Bistro is a trendy cafe that is surrounded by a leafy courtyard. It's a great place to get breakfast even though it is a bit more expensive than other cafes. There are lots of books to read while you drink k your coffee. Xofa Cafe and Bistro do a very good coconut coffee. Great cafe if you are looking for somewhere to work.
Address:14 Tong Duy Tan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
7) Giang Cafe
Giang Cafe has a lot of egg-related drinks and the egg chocolate is a must-try. The cafe was established in 1946 and is said to serve the best egg coffee in Hanoi. You can even try egg coffee with beer! Popular with the locals and a great place to watch the world go by.
Address: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
8) Cafe Duy Tri
Cafe Day Trips opened in 1936! It's a bit hard to find so head down the narrow alley and then head to the stairs. Cafe Duy Tri is best known for yogurt coffee and the slow drip Vietnamese coffee (very strong and full-bodied). The owner is full of knowledge and is a real coffee connoisseur.
Address: 43 Yen Phu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
9) Hidden Gem Coffee
As it says in the name, this is a real hidden gem. With unique decor, food and coffee, you shouldn't miss having a coffee here. The cafe is really quirky and has a top deck that goes around the entire building. It can be a little hard to find but look out for the sign and head down the alley.
Address: 3B Hang Tre, in The Alley, Hanoi, Vietnam
10) The Railway Hanoi (Cho Cho Cafe)
This cafe is basically on the train track and is a brilliant spot to grab a chair and wait for the train. When the train comes you can watch it from inside the cafe. The staff are incredibly friendly and the iced coffees are particularly good. This cafe also serves beer and food.
Address: 26, 10 Dien Bien Phu, Cua Nam, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
Here is a map with of all of the cafes and the coffee street pinned, so you know where you are going:
Now, these are just 10 of hundreds of cafes in Hanoi and there are a lot more cafes where you can enjoy a coffee in Hanoi! If you are a coffee lover, then make sure to leave some time in your itinerary to check out the cafes and soak in the Vietnamese coffee scene.
Coffee Walking Tour Hanoi
If you are interested in a coffee tour in Hanoi, then check out ‘Coffee Lovers Walking Tour’ ran by the Backstreet Academy. The tour takes you to some of the amazing coffee spots above, where you will not only get a wealth of knowledge but taste some amazing traditional coffee. Some of the cafes which are included in this tour are not easy to find, which is quite common for coffee shops in Hanoi. The tour takes around three hours and there is the option to book a private tour.
There we have it, it was a bit of a long one but hopefully, you feel fully clued up on coffee in Hanoi now. If you have returned home and are craving Vietnamese coffee then you can buy it from amazon. The two most popular brands are Trung Nguyen or Cafe Du Monde ground coffee. You can also buy a Vietnamese coffee filter (Phin) here to recreate your perfect cup of coffee at home.