Feb 11 2011
There are a few neatly tucked away cafes and bars around Hanoi, and Hanoi House is one that is worth seeking out. Its inauspicious entrance is enough to put off the faint-hearted: it’s down a rather dingy alley, up a narrow flight of stairs and past their grotty toilet — don’t come here with a full bladder — but it’s worth the effort.
To find it, stand on Ly Quoc Su with your back to the Cathedral facing Nha Tho Street, look across the road and to the left a few shops and if you’re eagle eyed you’ll spot the sign.
If you don’t, risk it and walk down the first alley and up the stairs to the right – there’s a sign painted on the wall.
So, what do you find when you get up there? It’s a very small space but is super cosy and really tastefully done up with unique sculptures and other works of art. Seating and tables are low, lending it a relaxed vibe, and there’s a tiny balcony outside which is perfect for people watching on a sunny afternoon.
The menu contains a good range of reasonably priced drinks — fruit juices and smoothies from 25 – 30,000, coffees around 20,000 and a Hanoi beer 20,000 –and staff are welcoming and sweet. They might even lay on some food if you ask nicely.
It’s not a place to go to start a big night out, nor is it a good option in the middle of a night out — I tried it once and it really killed the mood — but it’s a great place to just chill out with a drink and good friends.
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