Best coffee in Hanoi (Old Quarter)

I may not be a coffee connoisseur, but I’m undeniably a coffee addict. In fact, I drink so much coffee that I recently had a case of acid reflux and was advised by the doctor to abstain from caffeine for a full month. If that lends any credibility to my views on coffee, then read on for my list of best coffee in Hanoi (Old Quarter) that you should definitely try.


1. Zulu Café

Best coffee in Hanoi

This was the first cup of Vietnamese coffee I drank on my trip, and boy did it set me up for a coffee binge. At just VND20,000 (SGD1.20), this Iced Vietnamese Brown Coffee (coffee with condensed milk) reminds me a lot of affogato because it’s cold, creamy, sweet and all-round satisfying.

The ambience of the cafe is also rather laid back and in sync with the rustic Old Quarter street of Hàng Đậu it finds itself in, perfect for a lazy backpacker’s afternoon.

Zulu Café
42 Hàng Đậu, Nguyễn Trung Trực
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

2. The Note Coffee

Best coffee in Hanoi

The history of Vietnamese egg coffee dates back to the French War, when Vietnam experienced a shortage of milk and locals decided to use eggs as a substitute for milk in coffee. I’m not particularly fond of (in fact I’m rather grossed out by) runny eggs, but decided I had to try egg coffee at least once since everyone who knew I was going to Hanoi told me to do so.

As The Note Coffee was highly recommended by an American documentary filmmaker we met on the trip, I figured it’d be a safe place to try this exotic-sounding beverage. Even through the thickness and buttery flavour of the egg, I could pick up rather earthy notes of the coffee (VND 30,000 / SGD1.80) which I enjoyed. For the unadventurous like myself, this is definitely a safe place to try Vietnamese egg coffee.

The cafe’s ambience is rather hippie, mounted with a rainbow of post-its written by globetrotters on its walls and tables. It even has a second floor that overlooks the Hoàn Kiếm Lake if you like staring out into open spaces.

The Note Coffee
64 Lương Văn Can, Hàng Trống
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

3. Highlands Coffee

Best coffee in Hanoi

This is one of Hanoi’s bigger coffee chains that you’ll be able to find at virtually every famous tourist attraction. Despite being a coffee lover, I had the Iced Kamquat Tea (VND 39,000 / SGD2.30) because it was just so hot after walking around the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long in the afternoon, I wanted something light and refreshing. I particularly liked how this fruit tea used freshly squeezed lime rather than syrup, and it was definitely a thirst-quencher for a typical hot and humid afternoon in Hanoi.

The experience in this Highlands Coffee outlet was also much more pleasant than others because of its al fresco setting. All in all, great for a stop from walking around the city’s historic sites in the vicinity.

Highlands Coffee
Located beside the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long
28A Điện Biên Phủ, Điện Bàn
Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam

4. J’adore Coffee

Best coffee in Hanoi

This was probably the most expensive cuppa (VND 45,000 / SGD2.70; double the average price of coffee in Hanoi) I had on this trip, but one I’d recommend nonetheless. While it tastes pretty much as good as the other coffees listed above, J’adore has an extremely tumblr-esque Scandinavian glasshouse vibe to it, and is located at the edge of Hanoi’s ‘shoe street’ by Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

If you’re on a couples holiday or just looking for some down time over a good cup of coffee, this place is pretty much all you could ask for.

J’adore Coffee
28 Hàng Dầu, Lý Thái Tổ
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

5. Quang Minh Coffee and Tea

Best coffee in Hanoi

Quang Minh Coffee and Tea isn’t a cafe in the strictest sense of the word. It’s more of a specialty coffee shop that lets its customers try samples of its many different types of coffee and tea.

I’ve heard it said that civet cat coffee tastes great, but never really had the guts to try it. But the shopkeeper was offering free samples, so I figured why not? If you were there when I took my first mouthful, you’d have seen my pupils dilate with eyes wide open. Undoubtedly the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had, the Kopi Luwalk (200g for VND 200,000 / SGD12; can be used for approximately 6-8 cups) sold here has deep nutty notes that have a mellow and pleasant aftertaste. Let’s just say I spent a tenth of the cash I brought for this trip at Quang Minh and don’t regret it one bit.

Quang Minh Coffee and Tea
121 Hàng Buồm
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam


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