Eat (& drink!) here: Nola, Hanoi

Cafe Nola
89 Mã Mây, Quan Hoan Kiem, Hanoi


One of my best friends was in Vietnam a few years ago and absolutely loved it. When I told her my sister and I were going, she had two recommendations: try some white rose dumplings (I’ll get to them), and go to Nola. She gave us fair warning that it was hidden down a dodgy looking little alley way, but it was worth the hunt to find it.

We followed our map, banking on the fact that my friend loved me enough to not send me to some dark place that would result in organ harvesting, and kept our eyes open for number 89. We eventually spotted a little “NOLA” sign above our heads, and followed the colourful alley down a little further, ending up here: the front bar at Nola.

We were the led up a few flights of stairs into a hidden little paradise…


This place is amazing! It has gorgeous, tiered terraces, with umbrellas floating overhead, and beautifully mismatched lawn furniture. A little bit kitsch, a little bit colonial, a little bit hipster, a little bit garden paradise. We were seated immediately and handed a menu – two cocktails and a plate of fresh spring rolls, thanks!

My mojita was magnificent – ice cold and full of fresh lime and mint. The spring rolls were… well… just look.


Beef, omlette and fresh herbs and veggies. The rice paper was soft and silky smooth, not even remotely chewy or tough. You can tell when they’re made fresh over there, and these couldn’t have been fresher. The beef was super tender, and the dipping sauce was really good!

Not only delicious food and great service, but super cheap as well! It’s a great place to just kick back and relax, to enjoy a break in your travels – if you’re in Hanoi, put it on your list!

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