In the autumn of 2018, my friend took me to Loading T cafe at 8 Chan Cam street, a coffee shop in Hanoi French Quarter, and it has been my favorite ever since. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, with a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French architecture that showcases an old French villa built in the 1930s. Once a home for a wealthy family, it was later split into 16 living spaces for families. The iconic yellow walls and green windows, along with the lovely trees surrounding the coffee shop, contribute to its unique charm.
Inside, you’ll find a hidden gem named Hien Van Ceramics, a lovely ceramic shop that adds to the overall atmosphere of the building. You’ll be welcomed by the friendly owners, Anh Son and Chi Trang (Anh and Chi are Vietnamese words for elder brother and elder sister). Whenever I visit, they always greet me with a warm smile, and my favorite drink, “cafe sua da,” Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, which has a unique cinnamon flavor that sets it apart.
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I was born and raised in Dak Lak, the Robusta coffee capital of the world, so my love for coffee is strong. I highly recommend trying the coffee with yogurt, even though it may sound strange, as it is a delicious combination. Even if you don’t drink coffee; or you are vegan or vegetarian, there is a selection of flower teas available, with jasmine tea being a standout choice.
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Note that the coffee shop can be busy on weekends with both locals and tourists, so the best time to enjoy it is around 8 or 9 AM during weekdays. It is easy to walk there, as it is only about 5 minutes away from Hoan Kiem Lake and 2 minutes from St. Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi. If you have a motorbike, you can park it on Phu Doan Street (100 meters away), and the lovely owner will give you back 5,000 VND for the parking fee.
I hope you have a wonderful coffee experience in Hanoi. If you would like to enjoy coffee and explore the French Quarter, join our Hanoi French Quarter tour to discover the historical and cultural beauty of Hanoi. Our walk will take you through specific areas of Hanoi rarely covered by guidebooks, providing in-depth information on the city’s rich history in a relaxed and joyful atmosphere.