Best Egg Coffee in Vietnam - Top Tips for Travelers
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"Ca phe trung" or egg coffee is truly a distinctive drink in Hanoi, which is a kind of creamy, meringue-like egg white foam perched on dense Vietnamese coffee. While venues across the city now serve it, Cafe Giang claims to have invented it.

What is Egg Coffee?

Think coffee with sugar, sweetened condensed milk with egg yolks whisked in. It might be hard to imagine but strangely enough, the egg yolks actually start tasting like soft and creamy meringue in your coffee, even though meringue is made of egg whites.

History of the legend drink

Cafe Giang is packed on both levels and in the center of the premises, at the bridge between the lower and upper levels, sits Nguyen Van Dao, keeping track of the plentiful orders in a large notebook and giving orders to those serving.

Behind him, there's a modest, open-plan kitchen where a modern, red mixing machine is whirring constantly, whisking up eggs and other parts of the recipe. Van Dao visibly swells with pride when asked about his family’s famous drink.

He says it was his father, Nguyen Van Giang, who invented the recipe while working as a bartender at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in 1946. At the time, there was a shortage of fresh milk in the country, so whisked egg yolk was used as a substitute.

"All the foreigners and the Vietnamese in the hotel liked it," says Van Dao. "So he decided to leave the hotel to start selling egg coffee and create his own brand."
When pushed on the recipe, Van Dao begins listing the ingredients while counting on his fingers.

"Egg, condensed milk, coffee powder, some butter, some cheese... but I can't tell you everything, it's a secret recipe", he chuckles.

Famous cafés for it

Café Giang – 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street
When it comes to egg coffee, Café Giang is the first place that comes to one’s mind. This original place serves arguably the best egg coffee in Hanoi. Having egg coffee there is an experience in itself. You will only see a sign above a small alleyway, which you need to walk down to the end where the cafe opens up. Then, you can see the founder’s descendants and taste the authentic flavor right at its birthplace.

Café Pho Co – 11 Hang Gai Street
There’s something special and memorable when finding this hidden place by walking into a regular silk store, then walking further and upstairs to a coffee shop that suddenly opens up to have a stunning view over Hoan Kiem lake. It’s situated in an old house as well, where visitors can see traditional wooden doors, historic family altar, and pretty antique décor at various corners.

Café Lâm – 60 Nguyen Huu Huan Street
One of the oldest cafes in Hanoi, Cafe Lam serves not only delicious egg coffee, but also others, such as distinctive ca phe sua da – coffee with condensed milk, or strong black one of Robusta. The place, additionally, presents dozens of old paintings dated back to decades ago, when artists gave their artworks to get the coffee they loved in return.

Tip to drink

Do not stir up, so that the fine egg foam will not be blended with coffee below. Drink it from top to bottom, and let your palate explore.

Price range

Café Giang: 30,000VND ~ 1.5USD/cup

Café Pho Co: 40,000VND ~ 1.8USD/cup

Café Lâm: 30,000VND ~ 1.5USD/cup

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