Cafe crush: Puku, Hanoi

Peeling paint adds to Puku’s vibe

Satisfying stuff – a BLT, plus chicken and fried egg

A breakfast fave – eggs benedict

Puku brings a little touch of bohemia to one of the Old Quarter’s popular shopping strips. A bit of a hideaway (it’s accessed down a skinny, dingy alley and up a steep staircase) Puku has a faded charm and an arty/studenty/expat-y vibe. With its high ceiling, peeling paint, comfortable but scruffy furniture and a blackboard menu behind the counter, it’s a (much) grungier version of Saigon’s La Fenetre Soleil. The food is western cafe fare – mostly melts, sandwiches and breakfast standards.

Go for: the faded charm, a dose of comfort food when you’re all pho-ed out, a birds eye view of the charming street below, free wi-fi, delicious melts, aย laidback atmosphereย and the casual, breezy rooftop area
Not for: the coffee, which isn’t so great (inexcusible really when there’s such good coffee to be had in Vietnam!), the sometimes surly service
Puku, 60 Hang Trong Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi
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9 Responses

  1. W-M-K April 25, 2009 / 9:35 pm

    Hi! I recently discovered your blog through another travel blog. Asia is one continent that I am determined to explore more (So far, I’ve been to India). I am fascinated.

    Anyway, I hope you don’t mind that I added you to my blogroll!

    Check out my travel blog when you get a chance:
    http://wandieing.blogspot.com/

  2. megan April 25, 2009 / 11:42 pm

    Adorable! That sandwich looks delish.

    I really liked Hanoi, a lot more than I liked Saigon – living in HCMC, what are your thoughts? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. A Girl in Asia April 26, 2009 / 6:22 am

    Hi Wandie – thanks for adding my blog, have added yours to mine! I like your writing style!

    Hi Megan – I really really like Hanoi but I’m wondering if it’s a better place as a tourist than a resident (though I can’t say for sure without living there). I do like Hanoi’s old world feel and gorgeous old buildings, the lakes, the great shopping… but Saigon has modern conveniences and variety (in terms of everyday living kind of stuff) that may make it more ‘liveable’…so for now I’m happy having access to Hanoi for a dose of its charm while basing myself in Saigon!

  4. kristine April 26, 2009 / 4:37 pm

    Oh my, that looks like my new favourite place. shame I am on the other side of the world…

  5. megan April 26, 2009 / 9:13 pm

    Actually, I can see what you mean! For every day living, Saigon would definitely be more modern and convenient. Hanoi has a winter though…and I love winter ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. A Girl in Asia April 27, 2009 / 1:13 am

    Kristine – yes, but I’m also jealous of the great places you feature :-).

    Megan – I love winter too (I miss getting rugged up). Actually I just bought two winter coats, justifying that I’ll need them for visiting Hanoi in winter!

  7. jen laceda April 27, 2009 / 3:02 pm

    I just love that peeling paint look, “shabby chic”!!

  8. Sepulchre May 7, 2009 / 3:18 pm

    cool, i fell upon this blog via moans ’bout vietnam /along bay on the lonely planet’s thorn tree forum, then via a Saffa blogger-dude in saigon and onwards….

    will defo be checking this place out, looks like a retreat from the crazy mofos on bikes out on the deathway.

    just arrived in hanoi btw.

    like the blog!

  9. about me May 15, 2009 / 8:44 pm

    I love the decor. I always thought Vietnamese cafes have such a nice sense of atmosphere.

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