Shot at Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi.

My favorite joints in Hanoi, Vietnam for coffee, food, and photography.

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Eric Kim at VUI STUDIO, Hanoi.
  • VUI STUDIO: High ceilings, stone walls, art and photo book library, and very spacious. My favorite place in Hanoi for inspiration.
  • Tranquil Coffee Shop: two locations in Hanoi. Both are good. The one in the old quarter: better for reading books, and relaxing on a Sunday. Other location across the street from the Yellow Catholic Church: bigger space, cool treehouse glass cube, better photo and art books, and better to do work.
  • VPRESSO: good espresso and cappuccino. Also close to the church in old quarter, good area to shoot street photography.


Sapa, 2017
  • MUM: Antoine (former SF Bay Area, Vietnamese-French-American entrepreneur) is the owner. Great beef hot pot soup, and you feel like family. My favorite Vietnamese food in Hanoi.
  • Uu Dam Chay: only vegetarian restaurant I like. Beautiful Japanese zen aesthetics, lots of wood, insanely high ceilings. Top floor is a garden/greenhouse. Everything on the menu is good. Come here for the aesthetics, relaxed vibe, and when you need lighter food.
  • Hot N Tasty: Vietnamese-Korean styled all you can eat BBQ. Best value, comes with unlimited meat, and free Thai style hot pot at the end. Before eating here, get a massage at Omamari: best massage in Hanoi. Go there for visually impaired massage masters. Cindy and I got a membership there. About $10 USD a massage for an hour. Tip included.
  • Lotte Tower: insanely huge skyscraper in Hanoi. Go to the Dimsum restaurant for a good value and a great view of the city. Also, go to the rooftop bar for the best view of Hanoi.
  • Chops: several locations in Hanoi, go for the best burger and beer in Hanoi.
  • Namaste: the best Indian food in Hanoi. Gobi (owner) is our dad, Cindy and I have been here at least 15 times. Our goodbye dinner was here. Get anything lamb/mutton here.
  • Bar-rique: best affordable French food in Hanoi. Go on the second floor patio. Order the duck, steak frites, the froie gras, or the fish.


Hanoi, 2017

My friend Chu Viet Ha is the best street photographer in Hanoi. Look at his photos for inspiration.

My favorite places to shoot street photography:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: walk around the lake in central Hanoi, for a lovely view of the water, and good street photography. Also look for the guys at night who workout in the street gym.
  • Dong Xuan Market: great indoor street photography and outdoor marketplace. Fresh veggies, meat, and good photography action.
  • Old Quarter: The entire place is good to shoot street photography. Just get lost, and shoot around.
  • Pizza 4P’s: go to the one next to the big church. Japanese styled pizza. Beautiful stone aesthetics. I eat no carb, but this is the only pizza I will eat. Get the soy garlic beef, burrata pizza, and ginger pork pizza.

Why I love Hanoi

Hanoi Photography Workshop

Hanoi is very fun, the people are very friendly. The French style of the old quarter is aesthetically pleasing– I like the old pastel yellow walls, the Provence green, and the variety of affordable restaurants here.

Also I’ve lived here for 8 months. Watch my YouTube “Eric Kim Hanoi Vlog” videos for more recommendations.

Hanoi: one of the most underrated cities to travel in the world.

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