Tucked away in Ba Dinh, this small, cosy coffee shop is something between a café and a science lab. Above the counter is a sign that lists seven different tools of the barista trade to choose from, and imported coffees from the likes of Burundi, Costa Rica and Papua New Guinea — a rarity even in a city as obsessed with coffee as Hanoi.
Malt looks a bit like the set of a TV sit-com; the mid-range size allows for privacy and space, while also being small enough to not get lost. Decorated with exposed brick walls, gold leaf murals, and a highly coveted shuffleboard table, Malt is the type of place you could stumble into during a rainstorm, and then realise five hours later that you’ve found your new regular.
Forget chicken, beef, fish and shrimp, time to try out all that’s weird and wonderful on the Hanoi cuisine scene. Edward Dalton hits the weird food hotspots in the capital with not a dog or cat in sight. Photos by Julie Vola
Thanks to Hanoi Taco Bar (6 Dao Duy Tu, Hoan Kiem), the city now has a place focused on the unusual double act of tacos and cocktails. The brainchild of founders Leo Smith, Will Reeve and Charles Jeammot, Hanoi Taco Bar (HTB) is situated in a bustling Old Quarter street in the heart of Hoan Kiem.
Tucked away close to the East-West Highway sits a beautifully pristine French colonial facade, patiently waiting to be discovered. Inside, the restaurant is a fusion of east and west, with strategic mirrors that add light and space to the room, and beautiful ceramic tiles on the floor. Even the bathrooms create a luxurious experience with their long mirrors and elegant sinks.
On the edge of the Old Quarter lies a small café that has the power the teleport your mind to Hogwarts. The walls are lined with fake Harry Potter newspapers and butter beer signs; flying brooms hang from the ceiling. You don’t have to be a Potterhead (as serious Harry Potter fans call themselves) to enjoy all the quirkiness and photo opportunities scattered throughout the café. If you’ve been searching for your magic wand, medallion or tie affiliating you to a certain Hogwarts School of Wizardly, Always café has several Harry Potter memorabilia up for sale.