A classic difficult-to-find Vietnamese café with delicious fruit teas and minimal, traditional decor.
The balcony of Cu Xa can be spotted from the main road but it’s not quite as easy to find a way in. As with many of our favorite Hanoian spots, it may take a couple of tries to find the entrance. Getting into the café involves dipping down an alley, heading through the back entrance of the building and climbing to the second floor. But, that’s part of the fun.
Inside, the café feels as if it has two different styles. To the left, there are bright yellow walls, tiled floors and some strategically-placed clutter. To the right, there is a balcony made of plain, grey concrete, with colorful lanterns hanging from the ceiling and walls lined with healthy, green plants. This area is also split into three different sections, with a surprising amount of steps for a small, one-floor café. In our opinion, the two different decor styles just make it all the more satisfying to find the perfect seat. The variety of patterns and materials used throughout the building are also particularly appealing – steel window grids, terracotta tiles, metal lamp shades, etc. – much like Culaccino or Tracce.
The café overlooks a busy road and a large school, so it can occasionally be filled with the noise of motorbike horns or chattering teenagers. As with many of Hanoi’s best spots, timing is the key to enjoying a visit to Cu Xa.
The drinks are great, with plenty of fresh ingredients in the fruit teas and tasty Vietnamese coffee. Customers are usually treated to a free bowl of puffed wheat, which is much tastier than it sounds, and a cold cup of tra da. The café also serves some food, which is pretty good for a snack or a small lunch.
Address: Floor 2, A11 Tap The Khuong Thuong, Ton That Tung, Dong Da, Hanoi