Set back in a small alleyway in Ba Dinh District, Oldie Chum is a cafe that is hard to characterize. Quaint. Colorful. Hip. It is hard to be sure. A little pug and an even tinier cat only add to the surreal qualities of this unusual little nook of a bar.
Quite why it is called Oldie Chum is unclear, neither is the purpose of the cutesy small hand-drawn decorations of what appear to be a monk, priest, rabbi and a Muslim (there is a punchline here somewhere), but that is half the fun of the place.
Unusual fixtures here including raggedy cassette players, retro televisions, rotary telephones and acoustic guitars, give the place a nostalgic vibe that has been all the rage in Hanoi for several years now, which is all oddly set off with a curious mix of modern pop music and ambient dance tunes blazing out from a widescreen TV.
Venture upstairs (shoes off first) and there are a couple of brightly decorated rooms with old books lining a couple of shelves for the perusal of patrons, as well as a couple of small balconies for those that like their coffee al fresco. The menu offers all of the classics of its genre, from potent coffees (25,0000- 40,000 VND) through to smoothies, teas, juices and a selection of snacks such as sunflower seeds, fermented pork and sweet potato fries (35,000 VND).
The clientele here are mainly young artsy Vietnamese and the occasional foreigner looking confused by the delightful hotch-potch nature of it all. Oldie Chum is a wonderfully outre spot in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District, likely to bemuse and delight in equal measure.
Phố Yên Ninh 81, Quán Thánh, Ba Dinh
8 a.m.-11 p.m.
+84 (0) 983407722