1. Reng Reng – YOU SHALL NOT CHAT (too loudly)
Dubbed as one of the top coffee providers in Hanoi, Reng Reng spreads its reputation mostly by word of mouth, a rather old-school marketing practice despite the excessive use of social media in our daily life nowadays. Quietly settled in a small alley on Ly Nam De Street, without any signs or direction, your best shot to find this place is to follow the crowd and the inviting aroma of fresh ground coffee. Unlike most cafés in Hanoi, Reng Reng kills off all the social interactions aspect and solely focuses on the quality of its products. This means very little space to sit down in an already small and dim sitting room with low ceiling. Furthermore, any chatting that is slightly louder than a whisper will result in one of the cordial yet cold employees to come around and asks you to lower your voice. Oh, and did I mention taking photographs of the employees making coffee is also forbidden? Hence, if you fancy a good drink on the way, dropping by Reng Reng is a brilliant idea. Looking for a chit chat place, too bad, this is not the one.
Address: Number 17, Alley 12B Ly Nam De Street, Hoan Kiem District.
Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 7:00 – 15:00, Sat – Sun: 7:00 – 19:00
Price range: 30,000 – 70,000 VNĐ
2. Hanoi House Café – Come for the wall, stay for hmm …
The next pick on this list is a major hit among Hanoi youngsters, but for a rather bizarre reason. It is the wall – yes Instagramers we are talking to you. If you go online and search Hanoi House Café, chances are that you will come across numerous check-in photos in front of a shabby concrete wall with the cafe’s
name written on it. The word “Hanoi” in vintage dark green and the French colonial architecture give away a nostalgic vibe. The distinctive Hanoi vintage feel inside this café goes so well with the back-tochildhood trend among the Hanoian millennials nowadays. In addition, this old-school coffee shop is located right opposite the Old Cathedral, making it a quite usual drop-by for tourists and young locals alike. Unfortunately, the astounding first impression soon dies out as the drinks here are a little bit underwhelming and the prices are understandably steep. Hence, Hanoi House should be an occasional visit to explore the glorious past of Hanoi, rather than a regular place to enjoy coffee.
Address: 2 Ly Quoc Su Street.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8:30 – 23:00
3. Ice coffe Hanoi – stay cool during summer in the most EXTREME manner possible
Let us all agree that summer, especially in Hanoi, is not exactly the best time for hot drinks lovers. That will change the moment you learn of this café. Ice Coffee Hanoi is one of the newer additions to the already diverse coffee scene in Hanoi. Located on Dai Co Viet Street – the more unknown territory to most expats, Ice coffee lives up to its name by making sure that everything you see inside, from the couches to the collection of sculptures, is made from ice. The temperature here is kept at around -10 degree Celsius by a fan system that runs non-stop. Some of the staff even boast that it can even be turned down to -40! COOL.
Address: 59 Dai Co Viet Street.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8:00 – 23:00 Price range: 80,000 – 120,000 VNĐ
4. Cùi Dìa ( meaning a spoon) – Wacky name and odd experimental drinks
Cùi Dìa basically is how the older (like my great grandfather’s) generations call a spoon. You could probably tell by the name that there would be a lot of antique looking spoons hanging on the wall. Contrary to its antique name, Cùi Dìa oozes out a modern yet nostalgic vibe as soon as you take a seat in either the breezy outdoor patio or the small but artsy indoor space. Yellow-painted walls, typical Vietnamese ornamental floor tiles and oriental silk cushions bring you back the French colonial era. Yet everything else is very much contemporary. To keep up with the trendy healthy detox cleanse, many of their cold-pressed juice concoctions are one-of- a-kind experiments: we’re talking green tea with watermelon juice, or celery lime juice. The no-plastic-straws policy of Cùi Dìa’s eco-friendly owners will definitely please environmental conscious customers.
Address: alley 84/2, alley 84 Ngoc Khanh street, Ba Dinh
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8:00 – 22:00 Price range: 25,000 – 40,000 VNĐ
5. I’mpresso Coffee – are you sure the price tag is correct!
Tucked away in Bao Khanh alley is one of our most favorite café in the Old Quarter/ Hoan Kiem lake area: I’mpresso Coffee & Tea. The entrance of this café looks familiar like any common Hanoi’s alleys out there: narrow, easily overlooked and seems to go on forever. Nevertheless, you will be surprised to learn that this café is actually quite spacious, with two floors and more than enough sitting room. There’s nothing wrong with I’mpresso: the drinks are outstanding, the location is super advantageous, only a few steps away from Hoan Kiem Lake. However, there’s one thing that bugs me every single time I sit down in this lovely café: the very modest price tag. Most of the drinks here will not cost you more than 50.000 VND, which is crazy considering I’mpresso’s location and the dedication put in each cup of drink. What a bargain, am I right? Address: 9B Bao Khanh Alley, right next to Long Play Bar.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8:00 – 22:30
Price range: 25,000 – 60,000 VNĐ
See more: The Most Instagrammable Cafes In Hanoi