Fantastically located but a little tricky to find, Vietlesson serves up not only unique coffee and delicious fruit drinks, but also Vietnamese and English lessons for language students across Hanoi.

Hidden down a garden path, which branches off an alley, which branches off a lane, which branches off a side street parallel to a main road, Vietlesson can be a nightmarish find. But don’t give up, as once you’ve found this quiet oasis, all the stress of finding the place will simply drift away. Owners Lien and Sam have done a brilliant job of cultivating this charming, linguistically-orientated cafe, which offers language classes as well as free discussion groups (in English and Vietnamese). There are a number of areas organized over three handsome floors, all of which take advantage of the natural light surrounding this beautiful detached mansion. Come on a sunny day to see the place at its best.

Lien, who doubles as a Vietnamese teacher, and Sam, who doubles as an English teacher, are as charming as the cafe, and will do their best to make you feel at home. Also, the drinks are delicious, cheap, and freshly prepared. The specialty coffee here is cà phê sữa Sài Gòn, but don’t expect a coffee exactly as it would be served in Hanoi’s southern rival. Lien spent several years down in Hue, where they refer to a tall glass of milk coffee served over ice as Saigonese milk coffee. Brilliantly refreshing on a warm sunny day under the swaying palm trees of the garden patio.

House 26, Alley 34, Au Co Street, Tay Ho

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