In stark contrast to its bleak, neo-Gothic neighbour St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Eden Coffee’s aesthetic is vibrant and Bohemian. As the name suggests, the café is supposed to serve as an oasis for people to escape the hectic city. But the biblical allusions end there — the name and the location are just coincidence.

 

All standard Vietnamese and Western coffee variations are offered ranging in price from VND35,000 for Vietnamese coffee and VND50,000 for a latte. The café uses Impress Run Coffee beans and grinds all their coffee in-shop. Non-coffee drinks like smoothies, cocktails, juices and tea, are also available.

 

Against The Flow

 

One of their new and rather unconventional drinks is the doughnut choco ice blended (VND69,000), which is a chocolate shake with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and a chocolate doughnut on top.

 

If you’re in the mood for something less decadent, the tofu ice blended (VND55,000) is a healthy alternative. Albeit an acquired taste, this drink is a refreshing blend of raw tofu, soy milk, sesame seeds and rose essence.

 

 

For something fruity and not-too-sweet, try their hibiscus mango iced tea (VND60,000). The twinge of tartness in the tea is deliciously balanced with the sweet pieces of mango.

 

Eden Coffee also serves a variety of beer cocktails like coffee beer (VND69,000), peach and mango beer (VND69,000), and passion fruit and pineapple beer (VND69,000).

 

Aside from beverages, the café also serves snacks both sweet and savoury. Choose from their selection of cakes like tiramisu or lemon mousse for VND50,000 each, or try a salty snack like a bowl of dried chicken, also VND50,000.

 

In Your Face

 

When you first walk into the café, an enormous rainbow-coloured mural of a peacock and the smell of incense will greet you. The first two floors are indoor spaces sectioned off into little nooks perfect for groups of people who would like more privacy. In line with the café’s atmosphere, people can choose to sit on floor pillows or lounge in ornate couches while they enjoy their beverages and snacks.

 

 

Nothing about the décor is subtle. A lively mix of striking textiles, richly coloured walls, and Indian and African-inspired art decorate the walls. To add to the allusion of a sanctuary, one of the café’s walls is entirely covered in leafy vines.

 

 

Also matching the café’s garden theme, the third-floor outdoor rooftop is covered in fake grass and decorated with hundreds of hanging plants and succulents. The roof has a perfect view of the cathedral, and during mass on Sundays you can hear the church bells ringing. Flower-shaped weather vanes spin freely in the wind, and at night, fairy lights illuminate the deck so that customers can sit outside long after dark.

 

 

This café is a fine place to go on a date, get some work done, or host a group meeting. Originally, the owner opened Eden more than a year ago in the hope that it would attract teenagers, who she thinks do not have enough places to hang out in the city. Located adjacent to a primary school, the café is frequently bustling with school kids.

 

If you’re feeling suffocated by the helter- skelter of the city, visit Eden for a delightful break from Hanoi’s chaos.

 

Eden Coffee is located at 2 Nha Tho, Hoan Kiem, Hoan Kiem and is open every day from 8am to 11pm


 

PHOTOS BY JULIE VOLA

 

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