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“Run by space cadets...”

The Hanoi Social Club
Ranked #61 of 2,187 Restaurants in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$1 - US$7
Cuisines: Bar, Cafe, European, International, Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Kids, Child-friendly, Bar Scene
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Drinks, Brunch, Breakfast, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: The Social Club is an oasis in a quiet laneway in the heart of Hanoi, serving excellent coffee and tea, and hearty meals, including a wide range of vegetarian choices. Come and enjoy this creative space (including our terrace garden) and relaxed vibe, day or night. Regular live music events - check our facebook page!
dontchuwurryabouthat
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Run by space cadets...”
Reviewed 24 February 2012

... and I'm still giving it five stars! I've eaten here at least five times over the course of my short stay in Hanoi, and I'll most likely be returning tomorrow. For starters, the food is magnificent. Tasty, healthy, and original, it's as if the menu (and decor, and customers, and atmosphere, and overall concept) was transplanted into this unsuspecting alleyway from Park Slope or Silverlake or any other Yipsterville (yuppie + hipster), USA.

Kings of Convenience playing in the background, patrons quietly clucking away on their MacBooks or conversing over carrot juice and lattes, the ambiance is definitely zen. More generally, the Social Club possesses a certain je ne sais quoi, a positive energy (dare I say magic?) that enchants it. The intimate space, coupled with its predominately Western clientele (a clientele hip and savvy enough to be frequenting such an establishment in the first place), sets the stage for meeting new people and making friends in the area.

Specifically, I should share the story of my friend with whom I travelled here who has decided to remain behind in Hanoi indefinitely. A week ago, she hadn't a single connection in this city. Over the course of our visits to this café, I watched in amazement as conversations sparked between us and neighboring tables. Thanks to these random encounters with likeminded people, she has come across a room to rent, a job teaching yoga, and an opportunity to collaborate in some local event production. If you're planning on being in Hanoi long enough to grow weary of all things Vietnamese, the Social Club is a great way to connect with the capital's yipster underground!

And regarding this review's title, what can I say? The servers and managers, while trendily dressed, sociable, and charming, are space cadets. As a space cadet myself, I can relate, and I don't make such claims whimsically: literally every single time I have eaten here, some aspect of the service has gone awry, ranging from major slipups (outright forgetting to notify the kitchen of our order) to milder ones (spacing out on a requested glass of water). Perhaps we've just been unlucky, but this has occurred too many times for me to consider it coincidence. On the bright side, this phenomenon is only an inconvenience if you go in expecting snafu-free service. As long as you enter your dining experience knowing that something will go wrong, the shoddy service is no longer an issue. I, myself, have resigned to this mindset, and this observation is definitely not intended as a discouragement, but rather a heads-up.

Definitely go to Hanoi Social Club for everything you miss about the trendy neighborhoods we all know and love back in the States! And laugh heartily when you have to go downstairs to the counter to place your order because the staff forgot they had customers upstairs!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank WinstonFiore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“relax & nice meal”
Reviewed 21 February 2012

we stayed in Hanoi for 3 days. and every day we came here to taste new dishes and change outside picture for something more welcome.
the weather was wet, rainy and cold. and it was a pleasure to come here and getting warm with ginger&lemongrass tea and honey.
musli with yogurt for breakfast was very nice. green salad incredible!
super friendly staff and very good in english. wifi is available but better on 1 floor (there are 3). it's not very easy to find the place at your first visit, but it is worth the efforts!

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank telaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An oasis in hectic Hanoi”
Reviewed 19 February 2012

Very nice atmosphere, good (western) food, and if you are craving for french fries, which sometimes just happens, go there. They have nice vegetarian food as well.
Good place to relax for a moment in hectic Hanoi

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank NathalieMatze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
215 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Slow Service and Lacks Taste”
Reviewed 18 February 2012

I decided to go here for lunch as it sounded great. It took a bit of searching to find it. The place is nice inside, but a bit dark so very hard to read the menus. They need some extra lighting or a bigger font on the menus.

I ordered my drink which arrived about 5 minutes later. However, after waiting around 40 minutes there was no sign of my couscous wrap. I asked for the bill and then magically my wrap appeared with no apology for the delay.

I should have just paid for the drink and left, but I wasn't that rude. Although the wrap was seriously lacking in any taste.

I would certainly not go here again if I was looking for a vegetarian option. A lady close to me had to ask for the veg patty to be added to her veggie burger as they sent her one without it initially.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank thejournalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“We could have been in Fitzroy”
Reviewed 9 February 2012

It was great being able to escape the 'hustle and bustle' of the city, by entering a cafe that could easily be in a different city. It had a Fitzroy (alternative-hipster) feel to it and therefore would not look out of place in trendy locations in major cities such as Melbourne.

We had an inconvenient flight time and so had either a very early dinner or a late lunch snack of a burger, french fries and a mango curry with cocktails and coffee. We really enjoyed the time we spent here.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travels_without_fuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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