Hanoians will be glad to know that the day I was led to Ozone Cafe, the city’s newest hipster hangout on Dien Bien Phu, I was relieved to find another space worthy of a place on my list of top coffee haunts.
Located directly opposite the city’s reigning hipster stronghold, otherwise known as The Kafe, Ozone offers four levels of comfy lounge space and worthy iced lattes to shield you from the sweltering summer heat.
What No Burberry?
Macbook Airs and tortoise-shell may be overly represented here, but don’t let that put you off completely. The upper levels have been fitted with Ikea-inspired wooden crates that have been pieced together to form intimate booths ideal for working, socialising or even napping. The atmosphere is vibrant without being obnoxious and laid-back enough to allow you to slip off your shoes and put your feet up. When things cool down outside, there are also two funky outdoor areas to soak in (some of) the fresh air.
The industrial-chic design and post-modern prints may convince you (at least after waking from an accidental doze) that you’ve landed in Brooklyn. And thanks to its clever design and sound-proofed interiors, it probably won’t be until you head outside into heaving peak-hour traffic that you’ll realise you’re actually in Hanoi.
The cafe offers a mix of western food options, including a range of burgers, pizza and pasta dishes should you choose to dine-in, while the downstairs dining areas are also well equipped to accommodate entourages of any size, big or small.
The menu serves up a pretty standard combination of blended iced drinks, sodas and desserts that you can expect to find in similar Western-style cafe houses dotted around the capital. And with coffee lounges a dime a dozen in Hanoi, it doesn’t necessarily offer anything unique.
But what it does, it does well. And is that really such a bad thing? At the very least, the coffee is definitely good enough to make Hanoi’s top baristas a little hot under the collar. — David Mann
Ozone Café is at 21B Dien Bien Phu, Ba Dinh