Remember the cool images of Vietnam in the 80s, the Chinese touch on old houses of Hanoi or the sunny yellow walls being stained with moss? Let’s travel back in time with our picks of Nostalgic cafes in Hanoi, you can definitely use it as an ultimate guide for your Hanoi café hopping plan and come home with a Nostalgic album which you may name "the Hidden Hanoi".
Where: Multi-places but best view recommendation – 27 Nha Tho (Cathedral Church view) or 116 Cau Go (Hoan Kiem Lake view)
When: 07.00 – 23.30
“Cộng” = “Communists” – the name says it all.
As for ordinary concept, the slag-painted wooden chair, the broken sewing machine table are just "junk", but just with some touch of creativity, these items become a highlight. At Cong Coffee, such a display is a factor to score.
In another corner, the alarm clock, hurricane lamp (US light), old electric fan ... are selected as display items, creating accents.
"The drinks here are not the best, nor cheap, but the space and feeling these coffee shops create is the best.", said a returned customer. This is why Cong cafes are loved.
The suggested locations are best for the views to famous attractions of Hanoi; other than that, you can always visit any Cong cafes for the most immersion into the local life of Hanoi.
Where: 2 Dinh Liet, Hang Dao, Hanoi
When: 07.00 - 23.00
Price: $$ - $$$
Bancông = Balcony (that’s how French lent Vietnamese words)
Balcony Cafe is located on a French mansion which is nearly a century old on Dinh Liet street – which is in walking distance from the original Hanoi Beer Corner. Designed in Art Deco style, Bancông is one of the must-visit cafes in Hanoi at the moment.
The most special is probably the round doorway and the space sitting on the balcony facing the crowded Dinh Liet street! Encapsulated in a word to describe it is "lovely". The round door and the railing with the white lotus branches and colorful paintings both adorn the nostalgic picture and create a soft feel like a young woman!
Plenty of Instagram-worthy corners in the shop, great drinks, and the vibes that the staff coordinate will give you a calming time in the bustling Hanoi.
Where: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
When: 07.00 – 22.00
Price: $ - $$
Being best known for its egg coffee, and also been featured on CNN, Café Giang is worth visiting again and again for its simple signature cup of egg coffee. Created by Giang, a chef in Metropole Hôtel back in the 40s, egg coffee has now become the symbol of Vietnamese street-food that travellers are always curious how it tastes before falling in love with it.
The house has a very narrow entrance, but inside is a large and airy space, decorated with many green décor trees and old objects. Old paintings, clocks, ceiling fans are nearly 80 years old ... Giang’s son - Hoa said, all these fixtures his family kept intact from the time his father was alive.
Where: 13 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
When: 07.00 – 21.30
The original owner of Dinh was bigger sister of Mr. Giang, started selling coffee in her house after her time working as a teacher.
Dinh café is located on the second floor of an old French mansion facing Hoan Kiem Lake. Before getting up to the shop, you must go through a bag shop on the entrance and then go through the old wooden staircase.
The shop is not spacious but cozy feely. With small tables, tiny chairs with lots of pictures on the stained wall, decoration here is definitely nostalgic. The gold seat is probably on the balcony overlooking the lake, which has been closed off for spiritual purpose of the house.
Where: 2nd Floor, 47A Ly Quoc Su, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
When: 09.00 – 21.00
Without a clear guidance, you will hardly discover Hanoi House café. Located on the 2nd floor of an Old Quarter styled house on Ly Quoc Su street, you must go through a small alley before getting to the stair leading upstairs.
We bet for the first-time visitors, you'll have to ask the shopkeeper on the first floor for directions.
Setting foot on the old staircase, you seem to step into an old house, with the old way of life still intact, popping into your eyes is a very small, strange and unique space.
Here at Hanoi House Cafe, you can freely watch the streets of Hanoi peacefully, admire the ancient and majestic Cathedral, sometimes hear the bells ringing, which might evoke some nostalgic feelings.
>>>Tips: You should check out the famous Pillow-cake shop opposite for a street-food taste, it’s worth trying!
Hidden Gem Coffee – Recycle Coffee Shop
Where: 3B Hang Tre, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi (in the alley
When: 08.00 – 23.00
Price: $ - $$
Hidden Gem Coffee impresses visitors by the furniture in the shop which is created by reusing discarded products, from plastic bottles, tires, paint containers ... to some parts of Minsk motorcycles, or plows?!
“When rubbish is also a resource, when beauty is born from the garbage and tied to the meaning of protecting the environment, protecting us, our families, our planet and the creatures other on this earth it has become perfect”, said the owner – A PRAISE TO HIS GREAT VISION AND PURPOSE!
Where: 60 Tho Quan, Dong Da, Hanoi
When: 09.00 – 22.30 (Closed on Monday)
As soon as you step into Cam, walk through the long corridor and moss-covered golden walls, you will find people hugging a guitar, comfortably singing or quietly sitting and reading books; but maybe 1-2 friends who are spreading their hearts gently with some cute cats and dogs. Everything here is so light and peaceful just like that!
Perhaps, people come here to feel the old flavour, to spread their hearts, to live slowly but peacefully in the heart of noisy Hanoi. Sometimes, Cam cafe also organises a small music concert with classic Pre-war music and sentimental love songs for diners to experience from music cafe to pet coffee for about $2 for a drink to then enjoy this super romantic space.
Where: 33 Yen The, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi
When: 08.00 – 00.00
This lovely cafe is located in an ancient garden villa refurbished with white and wood as the main theme, creating a peaceful, elegant and luxurious space. Outside, it is the airy corners, mingled with lush greenery in the garden.
On holidays, you can come here to sip a hot cup of coffee, quietly reading a favorite book. Inside, the cafe is decorated in an ancient, cozy style, extremely suitable for gentle dating with loved ones.
Where: 49 Hang Quat, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
When: 09.00 – 00.00
Circle Coffee Bar is an old French house in Hanoi that is a combination of classic and modern décor styles with open space hidden behind a small path led by the light of beautiful small lanterns.
Be inspired more of a bar, you can still find a simple drink with a great menu from coffee, beers, cocktails (beautifully presented), wines and liquors. You’ll find this place as a fabulous little hidden cafe, fun, cute and quirky all at the same time.
Some classic rock in the background and the atmosphere here is definitely a relaxing one if you want to just hide away from the honking on the streets and have a quiet time by yourself or with your friends. Apparently, they have live music at night too – thumbs up!