Cup of Tea is an elegant, modern café, with a splendid rooftop and plenty of cheerful staff.

Looking over the nearby canal, Cup of Tea is as popular as you would expect any Hanoian café near water to be. Upon entering, you’ll be welcomed by a smiling waiter or waitress who will politely shoo you upstairs, as if to say, ‘it’s much nicer up there!’ And, it is. Although the ground floor has a huge coffee counter full of desserts and treats, upstairs is much better.

The first floor is deceptively large and has plenty of choice of seating, all of it relatively comfortable. There two large arched windows against a backdrop of red brick, tall green cacti painted on the wall and a few large leafy plants – none of this ‘teeny tiny’ decor trend in sight. This area is usually full by midday; office workers streaming to the café for a decent escape from the summer sun without being stuck in a dark and dingy room.

The top floor is a delightful (often empty) roof terrace with a mixture of concrete, metal and wicker seating. The front half of the area is in open air; light bulbs dangling above and plant boxes lining the walls. Located on a slight bend in the adjacent canal, there is also a surprisingly panoramic view of the surrounding area. The back half of the rooftop is covered with greenhouse-type glass and certainly reflects the atmosphere of a greenhouse. We were immediately drawn to tables covered in streaming light, and then quickly wilted in the sun. This may well be why the rooftop is often empty, but if you can handle the heat, it’s perfect.

Although the appearance of the café is definitely appealing, it’s the atmosphere and the service that really stand out. Smiling staff (bearing potentially genuine smiles) welcome you into the café. Once you find a table, it’s quickly filled with flowers, napkins and menus. And, if you sit in a bare seat, you may even be showered with a hidden supply of cushions. This is a fairly good reflection of Cup of Tea as a whole; the café has everything you need but not necessarily on display, and the attentive staff work hard to make sure the place is as neat and tidy without being overly clinical.

Address: 317 Nguyen Khang, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay

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