One of the amazing things about Hanoi is that even after you’ve been living here for a couple of years and begin to feel like you know everything, someone can show you a hidden gem that’s been under your nose the entire time.

This was exactly how I felt one evening when a friend dragged me out of Barbetta on Ly Quoc Su and down a hidden alley off St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The honking and bright lights of the Old Quarter soon vanished and I began navigating the winding, narrow staircase to Hanoi House.


Pushing through a wooden door, we stumbled into a warmly lit room neatly arranged with small stools and wooden tables. Pairs of shoes lay next to quaint wooden staircases that led up to cubby-like mezzanines where small groups were huddled around steaming cups of ca phe. Underneath, couples sat in warm booths reading menus under the glow of lit candles.



It took me a second to realize that the café was actually part of a family’s house. Seeing us arrive, a family member jumped to his feet, greeted us with a friendly smile and handed us menus.


Like many traditional cafes in the city, Hanoi House isn’t the place to come for a full-blown meal. The menu offers a modest selection of Vietnamese coffees, smoothies, snacks and for those winding down from a night at Barbetta, reasonably priced bottles of Bia Ha Noi (VND23,000).



But the main to visit Hanoi House is for the experience. It’s quiet; it’s intimate and it’s simple. The staff will treat you like you’re a guest in their home. More importantly, you’ll get to see what life is like beyond the neon lights and among the back alleys of Hanoi. — David Mann


Hanoi House is hidden away at 2nd Floor, 47A Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

David Mann

Hanoi Editor at Word Vietnam, David relocated from sunny Sydney to chaotic Hanoi in 2013 to pursue his passion for journalism. In between writing articles, David can be found chasing after his frisky cocker spaniel, Rosie, and eating too many bagel eggers at Joma.

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1 comment

  • Comment Link James Q James Q Mar 07, 2015

    Glad you found this place. Lovely little cafe

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