Cafe Pho Co, a coffee shop in Hanoi, takes the concept of hole-in-the-wall to a whole other level. Several levels up, in fact.
To reach it, you must first walk through a clothing store, down a narrow hallway, then across a courtyard filled with birdcages, plants, and the occasional roaming chicken. Then, you’ll start ascending the stairs, up through what seems to be a home, past a family shrine and a portly ginger cat, and finally to the roof.
You could sit on the floor below the roof, but then you wouldn’t get the same delightful views of the city, including the green expanse of Hoan Kiem Lake. Slide into one of the patio chairs and sip on cà phê trứng, also known as Vietnamese egg coffee, a popular style that adds a whisked egg and usually a heaping helping of sugar or condensed milk to Robusta coffee for a decadent, foamy effect. Chocolate fans should try the cacao trứng, which adds hot cocoa to the mix for rich, mocha flavors. If it’s hot out, the cafe serves iced versions of most of its brews, as well.
You’ll place your order at one of the lower floors. While the service is known for being a little slow, that’s all the more reason to sit back and enjoy the view at this little space tucked away above all the bustle of the city below.