After a hot afternoon of wandering around Hanoi, nothing hits the spot like a cold Bia Ha Noi (Hanoi Beer) at a lakeside cafe. Bia Ha Noi has been called by many the "cheapest beer in the world" and you can say it it tastes like it, but when served crisp and frigid on a sweltering Vietnamese day. And while the breeze of the lake does little to dry one's sweat, the shade and the atmosphere are quite relaxing.
Of course, you don't have to have beer. People at neighboring tables downed sundaes, tropical drinks, coffee and sodas. Even brands of beer other than Ha Noi could be had. Many of the patrons were westerners, but mostly we were surrounded by locals enjoying their Sunday off.
By the way, "bia" is Vietnamese for beer. It sounds like they learned the word from a native of Maine!
Au Lac is a really nice place to have breakfast (particularly if you are staying in the metropole). Good service and atmosphere. Lovely outdoor cafe.
Favorite Dish: I particularly like their croissant, huge and served with really nice maralade.
For me, it is indeed the ultimate leisure to enjoy good food in a new place while watching people pass by. This is what Au Lac Cafe brings you.
It is a charming outdoor cafe across Metropole Hotel that offers Vietnamese as well as European selections. While it is famous for light snacks and coffee, it serves delectable full meals also. My travel partner and I, in fact, had lunch here. See the girl behind me in the photo? She was peeking in envy at the mouth-watering dishes we ordered.
Really a nice place to fill your tummy and relax after a day of shopping.
Great place to have coffee outdoors on a beautiful day. Au Lac, despite sounding French, is the name of a Vietnamese empire (some call it thr first) established in 258BC in the Red River delta region where Hanoi is today.
Favorite Dish: Coffee and croissants.
Au Lac is an outdoor cafe shaded by the surrounding trees. It's a nice place to rest after so much siteseeing. Most of the customers are expats, tourists, and wealthy locals.
Favorite Dish: I live in Hanoi now, and now that I've revisited this restaurant, I've discovered that the food isn't as good as I remembered it. It's still quite decent, but I have memories of it being a culinary oasis. Maybe it's because I was a starving traveller at the time. While it's certainly not going to be the best meal you've ever had (unless you happen to be a starving traveller), I definitely recommend Au Lac for it's relaxing atmosphere.
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