BackEat & Drink » Hanoi Ngõ Nooks » Ngõ Nooks: Come for the Coffee, Stay for the Aesthetic

Ngõ Nooks: Come for the Coffee, Stay for the Aesthetic

Apparently, the owners of Chon want people to find their café. However, you wouldn’t assume as much when attempting to navigate the narrow, snaking alleyways that lead to their joint. You’ll find a door-sized opening off of Nha Chung Street, yet there are no signs for Chon at all. The only indication of what the rat warren might lead to are bold, red declarations promising a hot bowl of phở. 

The result, however, is worth the squeeze. Having only been open for four months, Chon modestly states that they’re not yet coffee experts. They are, however, well on their way to competing for one of the best cups in town.

The cafe itself consists of a charming courtyard, with small bamboo chairs for the lucky, and stone steps for those who aren’t. That does not, however, take away from the charm and friendly nature of the cafe. Its bar has the look and appeal one comes to expect from certain facets of modern Vietnam: sturdy, dark wooden stools, fashionable lampshades and hand-drawn signs.

An appealing setting may not be enough to entice everyone, though. Fortunately, their range of teas and coffees should bring in the naysayers. They claim the barista’s role accounts for about 10% of the whole process, and spend a lot of time focusing on sourcing the best beans available.

“We always bear in mind two key points” they explain. “First of all, we’re looking for high-quality coffee beans from farms that have a focus on stability. While on the world’s coffee map, Vietnam’s coffee bean is not really outstanding.”

Their second focal point is the processing and the roasting. “We don’t directly roast our beans,” they add. “But we have a very close and constant communication with the experts that do. We communicate with our roasters almost every single day.”

The full name of the café is ‘Chon – Manual Coffee Maker,’ which seems slightly at odds with their indirect approach to roasting beans, but seeing as coffee consumption is merely energy theft at best anyway, does it really matter?

A hip young crowd come for the coffee and stay for the aesthetics. It’s this latter feature that marks the establishment as part of a handful of cafes opening up in the city, where the focus on the quality of coffee, and increasingly elegant style, is paramount. One can’t help but wonder, with such modern style easing into café culture, is the era of Old Hanoi nostalgia slowly beginning to fade?


To sum up:

Taste: 5/5

Price: 4/5

Atmosphere: 4/5

Friendliness: 5/5

Location: 4/5

Ashley describes himself as "more cơm rang than man at this point."

Chốn - Manual Coffee Makers

40 Nhà Chung, Quận Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội


Related Articles:

Ngõ Nooks: Immerse Yourself in the Traditional Architecture of Cafe Nha San

Ngõ Nooks: Take a Ride on Ha Dong’s Hipster Bus Café

Ngõ Nooks: Reng Reng, a Welcome as Cold as the Coffee at Hanoi's Most Idiosyncratic Cafe

Related Articles

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: In Phủ Cafe, Community Engagement Brings a Sense of Belonging

Three flights of stairs separate the street from Phủ Café’s timeworn interior. Their small sign won’t grab your attention if you’re passing by, but attracting new customers isn’t necessarily the aim.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Blissful Fish Feast at Bún Cá Sâm Cây Si

As hot as it gets, Hanoi’s scorching summer is no match for delightful fish rolls and refreshing sour soup.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Classic Thanh Trì-Style Bánh Cuốn That Took a Century to Perfect

Bánh Cuốn Bà Hoành is nearly a century old, and both the eatery’s name and the authenticity of the food they serve stem from the same source: the culinary wisdom of Grandma Hồng.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Secret Garden Leads to a Haven for Hanoi's Young Creatives

Immediately after strolling through the gates of Café Tu Luc, a leafy new reality helps one feel at ease.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Spicy Bún Lòng Cá From Hải Phòng That Takes Guts to Try

Út Hà Quán looks nothing like the kind of traditional Hanoi street food eatery that makes it to glossy magazines and world-famous food channels. There’s no grumpy grandma, no mold on the walls an...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Steaming Bowl of Mỳ Vằn Thắn to Ward off Winter’s Chill

The Old Quarter’s labyrinthine streets contain so many eateries that newcomers can easily feel overwhelmed.

Partner Content