Friday, August 24, 2018

Where to Get Great Coffee in Hanoi

3 Unforgettable Coffee Spots in Hanoi

The coffee culture in Vietnam is rich and alive with many French traditions dating back hundreds of years. This all started when France began carving huge pieces of Vietnam, as well as several surrounding countries, out for itself in order to control trade there.

Today in a much more peaceful time, French influence is still widely apparent in many cultural aspects in Vietnam, and we’re happy this includes a range of culinary traditions that combine French and Vietnamese tastes.  While these influences are unfortunately rooted in territorial conquests, there's no doubt that this piece of complex history has created many unique and beautiful dishes. From banh mi sandwiches to hearty soups and exquisite pastries, Vietnam's food culture continues to thrive and evolve. Coffee culture, too, remains a vibrant, almost-integral part of life in Vietnam. In fact, since its first appearance in Vietnam, coffee hasn't just served as a tasty delight, it is now a pivotal part of the economy: Vietnam's worldwide coffee exports are only second to Brazil.

French-style coffee shops and bakeries aren't rare in Vietnam, so if you're visiting, you'll likely see many along the way. In Hanoi particularly, coffee shops are abundant. However, not all coffee spots are created equal, so let’s dive right in with our first shop that’s worth remembering when you come to Hanoi this year. 

1. The first coffee shop on our list is a French-inspired hangout. S'Patisserie is nestled next to the serene Hoan Kiem Lake and offers a range of sophisticated cakes and delightful coffees. S'Patisserie also serves up breakfast and lunch, anything from special fried rice to eggs and toast. You'll always find friendly and attentive service here, and the beautiful views are just the icing on the cake.
S'Patisserie is located at 17 Hang Khay Street and offers a Happy Hour every Mon, Wed, Fri from 4-6 pm. Let the sweet treats, coffees and fruit juices transport you from this French corner in Hanoi to another time and place. Or try a traditional Vietnamese dish to fill your belly at an affordable price.

2. Some cafes are born out of tradition, others out of necessity. This is the story behind the Giang Cafe, where egg coffee was supposedly born. As the story goes, Nguyen Van Giang had his stroke of genius during the first Indochina war in 1946. When milk became scarce, he needed something else to help cut the strong taste of Robusta, so he became innovative. His experience with baking taught him that whipping eggs and sugar could create a creamy milk-like substance, and the rest is history. Today, egg or no egg, most coffee shops will serve their Robusta coffee with a generous portion of sticky-sweet condensed milk. When ordering cà phê sữa, or milk coffee, expect condensed milk to accompany your dink. Order a cà phê trúng and you'll find a rich, creamy and decadent addition to your normal brew: a whipped egg yolk that will no doubt provide an unforgettable experience. 
Over the last 70 years, Mr. Van Giang’s recipe has been perfected and you're able to enjoy it at No.39 Nguyen Huu Huan amongst a peaceful ambiance created by beautiful artwork and friendly staff.

Egg coffee is a unique and tasty tradition that you can share with your friends right at home. Learn to make an easy egg coffee in just minutes now.

3. When we're in Vietnam, we always like to try something new. That's how we came across the Always Cafe. This Harry Potter-themed coffee shop offers an experience that's truly different from any of the traditional shops we normally frequent when in Hanoi.
The Always Cafe offers some of the tastiest alcoholic and non-alcoholic butterbeer near and wide and the atmosphere is simply ideal for an afternoon break while wandering around the old quarter. Quiet and relaxing with plenty of magical decor, you'll be able to satisfy your thirst as well as your Harry Potter geekery. The Always Cafe offers goodies including magic wands, mugs and jewelry, as well as an amazing selection of costumes you can borrow or buy. Sit and sip your poly juice potion in full garb, play a game of Harry Potter monopoly, chat with friends over a butterbeer or pick up a fun souvenir. We solemnly swear this place is fantastic.
This unique little gem is located at No 8b Hang Tre Street, just a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake.
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