Your visit to Hanoi is perhaps going to include a visit to the famous St. Joseph’s Cathedral in the Old Quarter Hanoi. It is a late 19th century Gothic revival church built by the French and it resembles the world famous Notre Dame de Paris.
Surrounding the church, there are many great restaurants and cafes from where you can take a short break during your day of sightseeing. For a very local and down-to-earth experience, there are few lime tea shops popular within locals and you can read about them in my previous article.
If you can look up at the graceful architecture of the cathedral from those lime tea shops, here’s a place you can enjoy the same view from the top. I visited a rooftop cafe next to the church last week to see a different view. It is called Lofita – Love at First Taste. There are three locations of the cafe – two in the Old Quarter and one in west of the Old Quarter in a local neighbourhood.
On one evening before dinner, a friend and I went to Lofita Nha Tho for an aperitif. The entrance on the ground floor was rather puzzling because the building was next to some nice cafes and restaurants, but this one was an empty space under construction for renovation. But there was a parking security, who guided us to take the lift to the cafe.
The cafe is on the 6th floor accessible via a staircase from the fifth floor after getting off of the lift. The place was brightly decorated with some neon signs and vibrant colours. The interior design was slightly surprising to me because it seemed more like a tea and coffee place than a cocktail place. It was only different from my expectations, but I liked the place and its cosy atmosphere.
The tables outside were more occupied than indoor with both young local Vietnamese people and foreigners. As it’s a beautiful spot with the stunning night view of the church on one side, there were quite a few people with cameras trying to get a perfect shot of the view and themselves.
The high bar tables by the side of the church was the best to face the view and look down at the crowds of tourists and locals coming in and out of the church and also wandering around.
One thing I was slightly disappointed about was that they did not have any cocktails or wine menus. They had them in the menu list, but for some reason, they did not actually have them, so the only option was to go for beer or non-alcoholic beverages. So just bear that in mind if you want to go to Lofita. Except this, I must say that I really liked the space and of course the view.
Lofita Nha Tho – Love at First Taste
Address: 12 Ấu Triệu, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Opening Hours: Every day 09:00 – 23:00