The Hanoians drink a lot of the dark, caffeinated beverage and prefer sipping their stronger blends outside in front of a small shop with some sweet milk and a spoonful of sugar. Every morning, on hot days of summer and cold and dull days of winter, you can easily see some here with a cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other.
Old people love cafes which have been around a long time, located in old streets or inside deep alleys. Office workers like cafes with romantic and quiet styles like those in Pho Co (Old Quarter). Young people prefer the noisy and busy atmosphere of modern and luxury or pavement cafes.
Though you won’t find a Starbucks in Việt Nam, there is no shortage of a variety in Hà Nội’s cafes. Besides the standard four coffee drinks — hot black coffee, iced-black coffee, hot coffee with milk and iced coffee with milk — available in any cafe, there is hot coffee with a raw egg beaten into it, with or without milk, which tastes a bit like flavored meringue. With sugar, it is practically a meal. Coffee shops are ideal for having gossip, meeting old friends, talking to pass time of day, stealing precious moments for romantics…
The typical Hà Nội cafe is a tiny space, often just a storefront with a beaded curtain separating it from the street. Hà Nội residents come to cafes to escape the heat of the day, to relax, and to sip a cup of a grainy, bittersweet local blend. For many people, a cup of coffee is simply a crutch for the sleep-deprived but Vietnamese coffee, on the other hand, can teach you the feeling of linger.