Egg coffee: What, how and where?

Egg coffee is a Vietnamese nationally acclaimed specialty made of egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and robusta coffee. This is a very popular drink in Hanoi, which can also be found in almost every coffee shop in other parts of Vietnam.

Egg coffee

Most tourists will be surprised to see this harmonious combination of egg coffee (Source: Collected)

Egg coffee is served in numerous cafes in Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular. It has been a staple of any cafe’s menu since the 1950s. Mr. Giang, the inventor of egg coffee, developed the recipe for this unique drink back when milk was still scarce in Vietnam. He replaced the dairy product with egg yolks, which together make a curious yet harmonious combination that will take many foreign tourists by surprise.

1. The origin of Vietnamese egg coffee

The Travel, a Canadian magazine, has listed Vietnam among the 10 countries with unique coffee culture. Vietnamese people have an intense love for coffee. For them, coffee is not just a drink to start the day. Rather, it can be enjoyed at noon, in the afternoon, or even at night. Among all the coffee variations that Vietnam has to offer, egg coffee is a specialty that you definitely should not miss out on, especially while you are in Hanoi.

Egg coffee

Vietnamese locals have a unique coffee culture (Source: Collected)

Back in the 1940s, during the French colonial period, milk was scarce in the city. In order to make his coffee, a bartender named Nguyen Van Giang had to find an alternative ingredient, which is egg yolk. At that time, he was still working at the renowned Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi. After the patrons began to be awed by his newly created drink, he decided it was high time to quit his job and open up his own shop in 1946. That was how Vietnamese egg coffee came into existence.

Egg coffeeGiang cafe is the birthplace of egg coffee (Source: Collected)

2. How is egg coffee served?

2.1. Ingredients

Egg coffee is made of three types of coffee: Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica. This combination results in a delicious drink that is rich, aromatic, and full of flavor. Other essential ingredients to make egg coffee are egg yolks, sugar, and milk.

In particular, the egg coffee at its birthplace, Giang cafe, is unique because they have a secret recipe that can minimize the fishy taste of the egg yolk. Other cafes have different recipes with various tweaks, obviously.

Egg coffeeEgg coffee is often served in a small cup (Source: Collected) 

2.2. How is egg coffee made and served?

While traditional egg coffee requires ingredients like egg yolks, sugar, butter, condensed milk, and even cheese, some modern variations keep it simpler and more to the point. The key is to use egg yolks to complement the coffee without making the drink smell like an actual egg. This is often easier said than done.

To make a good cup of egg coffee, the egg yolks are whipped with milk and granulated sugar, then mixed with boiling coffee. A brown color will immediately surface in the cup, along with an irresistible aroma. Egg coffee can be served hot or cold, and both variations will bring you some quite different experiences of paralleled delight.

Egg coffeeYou should try both variations of egg coffee, one hot and one cold (Source: Collected) 

3. Best places to have a cup of Vietnamese egg coffee

Although the original variation of egg coffee can be found in Hanoi, this popular specialty is also present in every other region and city of Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City. As egg coffee continues to draw international attention, more and more cafes are including this drink in their menus. Below are some of the best cities where you can come to try egg coffee in Vietnam:

3.1. Egg coffee in Hanoi

  • Pho Co Cafe: Located at No. 11, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem district, this cafe opens from 6 am to 10 pm daily. It is nestled in a quiet corner, away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi streets, making it one of the best hidden gems for egg coffee in the city.

Egg coffeeThe egg coffee served at Pho Co Cafe will definitely make you drool (Source: Collected)

  • The Note Coffee: Located at No. 64, Luong Van Can street, Hoan Kiem district, this cafe opens daily from 6:30 am to 11 pm. The highlight of this place is the many beautiful notes fixed on the wall, each with a unique story of the writer.

Egg coffeeA foreign tourist enjoying egg coffee at The Note Coffee (Source: Collected) 

  • Dinh Cafe: This cafe was founded by the second daughter of Mr. Giang, the above-mentioned creator of egg coffee. Located on the 2nd floor of a humble two-storey house at No. 13, Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hoan Kiem district, the cafe opens from 7 am to 9:30 pm daily. While it may not be the fanciest cafe, Dinh Cafe will surely bring you a cup of egg coffee in its most authentic flavor.

3.2. Egg coffee in Saigon

  • Goc Ha Noi: This lovely cafe is nestled on an alleyway at the center of Bui Vien Street. Located at No. 165/3, Bui Vien street, District 1, the cafe opens from 9 am to 11:00 pm daily. The menu at Go Ha Noi is incredibly simple, consisting of just Vietnamese coffee, egg cacao, egg coffee, and a handful of teas and juices. Make sure you also try the cookies on the 3rd floor, which are made from the whites of all the eggs that were used to make egg coffee at Goc Ha Noi Cafe.

Egg coffeeEnjoy cookies and egg coffee at Goc Ha Noi Cafe (Source: Collected)

  • Nap Saigon: This is another excellent place for a cup of egg coffee. Located at No. 3/5, Nguyen Van Thu street, District 1, the cafe opens from 7 am to 9 pm daily. Nap Saigon is a multi-function building, with a modern cafe on the first floor and homestay rooms on the upper floors. The cafe is extremely popular with the locals, as it serves one of the best cups of egg coffee in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). They also serve egg cacao if you are in the mood for egg coffee but without the caffeine.

Egg coffeeNap Saigon serves one of the best cups of egg coffee in Saigon (Source: Collected) 

  • Hue Cafe Roastery Thao Dien: Located at No. 67B, Xuan Thuy street, Thao Dien ward, District 2, the cafe opens from 6:30 am to 10 pm daily. The espresso at the bottom of the cup of egg coffee has a slightly nutty flavor, which pairs perfectly with the creamy egg on the top, making the cup taste like french toast. As the name would imply, Hue Cafe Roastery roasts its own beans, so you can pick up a bag of their coffee to brew at home.

Egg coffeeIf you are staying near Thao Dien and craving a cup of egg coffee, head to Hue Cafe Roastery (Source: Collected)

3.3. Egg coffee in Hoi An

  • Phin Coffee: Located at No. 132/7, Tran Phu street, this cafe opens daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Nestled at the end of a quiet alleyway away from the hustle and bustle, its interior space is filled with lush trees and cute little succulents, making it resemble a green oasis. The beans used here are produced in Da Lat, which boasts the highest quality coffee in the country, and are roasted carefully. This premium source of ingredients and the skills of experienced baristas result in an excellent cup of egg coffee in Hoi An. As a result, there is no doubt that Phin Coffee is one of the shops serving the best egg coffee in Hoi An.

Egg coffeeTry the unique coconut egg coffee at Phin Coffee Hoi An (Source: Collected) 

  • Hoi An Roastery: This coffee chain was founded in 2015. Currently, it has 7 different shops located at prime locations in Hoi An Ancient town. Each place offers a comfortable and atmospheric indoor space, professional service, and a wide variety of drinks. This cafe has one of the best cups of egg coffee in Hoi An thanks to its careful procedure, from selecting coffee beans, and roasting to mixing. Most notably, the chain uses high-quality coffee beans from the Central Highland region, the largest coffee growing area in Vietnam.

You can find a cafe of this chain at No. 135, Tran Phu street, which opens from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Egg coffeeEnjoy egg coffee at a peaceful corner of Hoi An Roastery (Source: Collected)

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