Hanoi’s Café Culture: How to Make the Most of Coffee in Vietnam

Whilst sipping coffee all around Vietnam, I heard Westerners sniff at Vietnamese coffee because 1) you can’t get a good latte like in the UK (not that I’ve ever had a good latte in the UK) or because 2) the condensed milk used on the streets can be overwhelming, or because 3) it’s just too strong.

In Hanoi, I had the best coffee I’ve ever tasted – on more than one occasion. The beans are bold and robust, and depending on the café, the coffee menus are unique. The trick to finding the best of Vietnamese coffee is to try something new. Don’t look for your usual Western breakfast order of black coffee with fresh milk and granulated sugar, because that’s not what coffee in Vietnam is about.

Here are a few of the many cafés and coffees that Hanoi has on offer.

1Black Coffee & Homemade Yogurt at Kinh Do Café

Kinh Do Café is famed for being frequented by Catherine Deneuve whilst she was filming Indochine. This café certainly isn’t much to look at, but its sophisticated owner, who replies in French when you speak in English, serves up feisty black coffee, homemade yogurt and croissants.

Kinh Do Cafe coffee in vietnam

2

Coffee with Coconut and Condensed Milk at Cong Caphe

This kitsch Communist-style café chain serves delicious coffee using condensed milk, coconut, cocoa and even sticky rice.

coffee in vietnam cong pho

3

Egg Yolk Coffee at Café Pho Co

Served both hot and cold, egg yolk coffee is silky and smooth, quite unlike any other. Follow the winding wrought-iron staircase to the secret roof-top terrace which overlooks Hoan Kiem Lake from behind the trees. Ignore the overtired staff.

cafe pho co coffee in vietnam

4

Coffee mixed with Yogurt at the Women’s Museum Café

Opt for a shot of espresso laced through yogurt and ground ice after immersing yourself in the history and achievements of Vietnamese women.

coffee in vietnam womens museum

Charlie Marchant

Charlie is a long-term traveller from the UK who writes about simple ways to travel sustainably, including how to become a house sitter and slow traveller, eating local and vegetarian, and making responsible travel choices.

5 thoughts on “Hanoi’s Café Culture: How to Make the Most of Coffee in Vietnam

  1. I discovered iced Vietnamese coffee at a wee cafe on Main Street in the war zone of Vancouver. I almost dropped to my knees and sang Hallelujah! I had 2 more to make sure it wasn’t a fluke and swore someday I would go to Vietnam to just have their coffee. The French did at least one kindness to them.

    I was delighted to read that an embarrassment of riches awaits my arrival.
    Thank you.
    travelling crone recently posted…How Do You Choose Your Vacation Location?My Profile

    1. Wow, that’s quite a story! Have you made it to Vietnam yet? I’ve got to say that the coffee is one of the most outstanding things about Vietnam – it’s just amazing, everywhere. Thanks for commenting :)

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