Decade-old coffee houses in Hanoi

French colonists might have introduced coffee to Vietnam, but morning cups of coffee soon became a local habit. In the millennium capital of this second largest Robusta coffee producer in the world, you can enjoy coffee anytime and anywhere. But the authentic flavor or spirit of this special drink which includes strong dark roasted coffee brewed with filter and added condensed milk or some family recipes can be only found within old houses hidden amid the bustling Old Quarter. The scenery of various groups of both young and elderly people who drink coffee and have a heart-to-heart chit chat or delighted laughter illustrates exactly the lively Hanoi.

Giang Café

Vietnamese egg coffee

Named after its founder Mr. Nguyen Van Giang which was a former bartender in Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi during the French colonial time (1930 – 1945), Giang Café is among the most long-standing coffee houses in Hanoi. The famous egg coffee here was known as a variation of Cappuccino served at such luxury hotel during that time. Since the first opening of Giang Café in 1946, this drink has saved its original ingredients with egg yolk, Vietnamese coffee powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese, and then kept in hot water to maintain its temperature. However, few people know that this amazing receipt came up due to the scarcity of milk, then egg yolk was a replacement for the creamy flavor added in coffee.

Going above and beyond a normal coffee house, Giang Café is considered as a companion to Hanoians through various vicissitudes. There are three Giang Café – branded houses in this capital so far, run by daughters and sons of Mr. Giang at 13 Dinh Tien Hoang (or known under the name of Dinh Café), 106 Yen Phu and 39 Nguyen Huu Huan.

Lam Café

Cups of drip coffee

Established in 1952, Lam Café was the favorite destination of civil servants and artists in 1950s. In addition to hand-roasted coffee with the special taste featured with the quite burnt smell which has been remained throughout more than the past 60 years, Lam Café is also well-known for pictures of many famous artists including Bui Xuan Phai, To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Hong, Nguyen Sang, Vo Tu Nghiem, etc. Lam Café has two addresses now in Hanoi including 60 and 91 Nguyen Huu Huan Street. Therein, the location at 60 Nguyen Huu Huan is kept antique and almost unchanged compared to its original version.

Nhan Café

Vietnamese iced coffee

Since the opening in 1946, Nhan Café has undergone the strongest transformation amongst the well-established coffee brands in Hanoi with a chain of shops developed from the official location at 39D Hang Hanh. Rather than the tiny wooden stools and tables that coffee lovers are sitting along narrow pavements across Hanoi, Nhan Café has modern décor with tables covered in glass and some reproductions of famous paintings on the wall. The space is filled with locals sitting on large comfy red and green chairs, enjoying coffee and food. Comprising famous thick, dark and bitter coffee, Nhan Café still remains an important position in Hanoian’s mind, their memories and drinking habit.

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