Hanoi’s next best thing to The Leaky Cauldron, Always is a Harry-Potter-themed café suitable for only the most magical of muggles.
This little gem of literary nostalgia can be found on Hang Tre, just a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. At first sight, Always looks no different from your average café, with only a handful of simple tables and a small counter on display. The only giveaway is the Deathly Hallows symbol hidden within the café’s name. As with any spell-bound hideaway though, there’s more to the venue than meets the eye.
Head to the back room to find portraits of your favourite witches and wizards, a Hogwart’s uniform and even a classic Firebolt broomstick. The modest room is decorated in Gryffindor colors and packed with Potter gear. The drinks menu is just as enchanting with both the famous Polyjuice Potion and Felix Felicis on offer, each served in ominous-looking potion bottles. However, you’ll be pleased to know that the bewitching drinks are not only surprisingly tasty but have had no known sorcerous side-effects to date.
The whimsical charm of Always means that you may be occasionally swarmed by a crowd of young wizards playing Potter-themed Monopoly. But, it’s nothing that can’t be cured with one of Always’ delicious Butterbeers. And, if Always wasn’t magical enough, enter Thiet, one of the café owners and a rather convincing Harry Potter impersonator. Thiet, or Harry, can often be found sweeping across the café floor casting spells, presumably keeping ‘He Who Cannot Be Named’ at bay from this cosy spot.
8B Hang Tre, Ly Thai To