5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Good Sunday ! Enjoy your coffee ! #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Housed in old apartment blocks or deep inside small alleys in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, five coffee shops have become part of the capital’s old charms. 

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Dinh Coffee on the second floor of a small attic at 13 Dinh Tien Hoang Street in Hoan Kiem District has become a familiar address for domestic and foreign tourists to Hanoi. 

The entrance of the 40-year-old café is quite small and narrow, bearing the characteristics of Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

The shop is only about 20 square meters large, with a small balcony overlooking the Sword Lake. This place is also famous for popular staples — black coffee and iced milk coffee that are made entirely by filter. 

In recent years, its egg coffee is favored by foreigners.

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Giang’s coffee shop is one of the oldest in Hanoi with a history exceeding 70 years.

It is named after its founder Nguyen Van Giang, known as the creator of the city’s famous egg coffee. Giang invented egg coffee in 1946 when he was working as a bartender at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. 

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

His signature egg coffee was a blend of coffee and egg whites, folded with sugar and drunk hot or cold, and thus a perfect alternative to cappuccino given the limited milk supplies at the time.

His cafe originally stood on Hang Gai Street but now has two outlets on Nguyen Huu Huan in Hoan Kiem District and Yen Phu in Tay Ho District.

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Located on the same street as Giang café is Lam coffee shop at 60 Nguyen Huu Huan, which is nearly 70 years old. 

The shop’s first owner was Nguyen Van Lam, an art collector of books and paintings. In the past, he was also known as a coffee supplier to the poor artist community in the capital, with typical hot and iced coffees mixed with milk.

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

The café at Nguyen Huu Huan has a nostalgic feel to it, with many paintings on the wall.

Lam Coffee now has a few more outlets owned by his son. However, Lam’s art gallery space with small tables and chairs is still the most sought-after. 

In addition to egg coffee, the shop also serves smoothies and other drinks. 

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Occupying the second floor of an old French-built apartment at 8 Chan Cam Street in Hoan Kiem District, Loading T was featured by CNN in 2017. 

At first glance, the facade does not stand out, and is hard to find for first-comers, but once you climb the mossy stairs and enter the shop, you will discover a completely different space.

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

The café is adorned with period features, including patterned floor tiles, exposed original brickwork, and towering window shutters that allow light to stream in on a sunny day. Loading T was set up by Hoang Tuan Son and his wife Nguyen Hong Trang in 2014.

The menu includes egg coffee, tea, smoothies and cakes that cost from VND20,000-45,000 (US$0.81-1.82).

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Just a few steps from Hoan Kiem Lake, Pho Cho Cafe at 46 Cau Go Alley near Hang Be Market is also a not-to-be-missed address.

Last August, U.K. Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft and his entourage visited the cafe during their official trip to Hanoi. 

The shop is designed with many imprints of old Hanoi. There is a row of Vietnamese flags outside while the yellow wall inside is decorated with Dong Ho paintings. It serves drinks like egg coffee, tea, juice, and beer.

5 cafés in Hanoi’s Old Quarter exude nostalgic ambience

Inside the shop is equipped with old tables and chairs or old mattresses, TVs or wooden shelves that bring back memories of a former Hanoi.

The drinks are not too special, including coffee, smoothies and tea.

By Tam Anh, Hieu Luong for E.VNExpress.net

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