If you find yourself in Hanoi and need a breather from the incessant buzzing and honking of scooters and mopeds, make your way to Cong Caphe! Nestled in the heart of the Hoan Kiem district and just a short walk from the beautiful Old Quarters / Hoan Kiem Lake, Cong Caphe offers the perfect pit-stop to enjoy some of Vietnam’s most popular local snacks and a much needed relief from the bustle of Hanoi.
The café is tightly tucked in between shop houses and residential apartments and can be missed quite easily. The ground floor has a very Japanese inspired bar housing a wide range of rums and whiskeys. There is a narrow spiral staircase behind the bar leading up to the second floor which has antique Vietnamese propaganda posters and war photographs on the wall and a small window with grills looking out onto the busy street below. Its quite cozy despite the particularly low ceiling. Outdoor seating is available too, and definitely recommended, as you get to sit on small stools (in typical Vietnamese style) while gazing at the cars go by.
We ordered the Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguettes) with Condensed Milk, Coconut Coffee and a Coffee and Rum. The food and drinks were both absolutely delicious. The Banh Mi was freshly baked and went perfectly with the condensed milk (of course it would!). The Rum and Coffee was nice and bitter and the Coconut Coffee was divine. The menu had some interesting cocktails, regular selection of alcohols, hot red wine (a Vietnamese favorite), a good selection of Bias (“Beer” in Vietnamese) and various types of coffee with strange combinations (e.g. Coffee with Yogurt is very popular in Vietnam and absolutely brilliant). All in all, a fantastic place with a unique ambience, chill atmosphere and a groovy vibe. Go there!
32 Điện Biên Phủ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
(This review was conducted by guest blogger, Sarvesh Nevatia. Thank you Sarvesh!)