Serein Cafe & Lounge
This is an old French colonial building overlooking the 120-year-old Long Bien Bridge over the Red River which was built by the architects Daydé & Pillé of Paris. The scene is lively during the day and sparkles at night.
Decorated with ancient wooden tables and chairs, old sewing machines and old sofas from the third to the fifth floors, Serein Cafe & Lounge offers live pop and ballad music every Saturday.
Among its drinks, which are usually made with just a little sugar to retain the original flavors, mango shake and bac siu (coffee with a lot of milk) are the most popular.
Address: 16 Tran Nhat Duat Street, Hoan Kiem District.
Price: VND50,000 – 150,000 ($2.2-6.5).
Tranquil Books & Coffee
True to its name, the café is quiet. You might hear the sound of leaves rustling on a windy day. It is on second and top floors of a French villa opposite Cua Bac Church.
If you are a bookworm, it is definitely your place since it has hundreds of books in three large shelves, and tall reading lamps hang over your head. Or it can just be a place to shelter from the cacophony of the city.
A large tree grows in the outdoor area of the café and sunshine peeps through its leaves.
Tranquil Books & Coffee serves both the local drip coffee, ca phe sua da (coffee with condensed milk), and western-style brews like cappuccino and latte as well as beverages like yogurt and fresh juices at reasonable prices. During weekends there is often live music by professional and amateur singers or enterprising customers.
Address: 18 Nguyen Bieu Street, Ba Dinh District.
Price: 30,000 – 60,000 ($1.3-2.3).
Xofa Café & Bistro
Located on ‘food street’ Tong Duy Tan, Xofa is also in an old French villa and offers food and drinks. Open 24/7 and with a stylish and classy decor, it has a lot of sofas with cushions in various colors. Thus, the place is a popular choice among foreign visitors looking for refreshments after arriving in the city at night.
The drink menu offers many kinds of coffee, tea and juice, and the coconut coffee here, which combines the bitterness of coffee with the sweetness of coconut, is considered among the best in town. On a street full of restaurants, Xofa is one of the few to offer international foods like Italian, French and Mexican.
Address: 14 Tong Duy Tan Street, Hoan Kiem District.
Price: VND30,000 – 200,000 ($1.3-8.6).
Floral & Book Café
Since it sells coffee and flowers, the place is one of the favorite destinations for young ladies (and their boyfriends) thanks to its vintage decoration and the fragrance of flowers, handmade soaps and oil extracts.
Located in the busy Old Quarter, it is known as a quiet space where people can spend time reading books. There are books on Vietnamese literature and old magazines.
The shop owner has written on the café fanpage that his café seeks to "nurture nice things." The café serves bamboo straws instead of plastic to be environment-friendly.
The bestselling items here are matcha chocolate, passion fruit pudding and salted egg sponge cake.
Address: 26 Hang Voi Street, Hoan Kiem District
Price: VND30,000 – 80,000 ($1.3-3.5).
Ca Phe Pho Co
Ca Phe Pho Co hides itself in an alley of souvenir shops close to the iconic Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake. Around 50 m inside the shoulder-wide lane, you will find yourself out of the noisy traffic and into an old French-style house.
As a place to have coffee and drinks, the ancient family shrine on the second level however is a highlight of the café where some customers like to pose for their photos. While the first floor is decorated with plants and some statues, the third floor is an open area with simple stools and tables from where you can see the whole of Hoan Kiem Lake and its busy surrounds.
The place is famous for drip coffee and egg coffee. Many customers will choose to sit at the open area on the third floor with some sunflower seeds and coffee, enjoying the lake views.
Address: 11 Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem District.
Price: VND 30,000-50,000 ($1.3-2.2).