DOC CAFE’- In Memory of Hanoi during the Subsidy Period

Doc (Poison) Café located in an ancient house on Trieu Viet Vuong Street in Hanoi attracts people with an atmosphere of repose from the past with old furniture and objects of the subsidy period, which are quite strange in the modern city.

Entering the café, one sees a dummy with a mask on its face, explaining the concept of the café’s name of Doc (Poison) and it is surprising to learn that every single object here dates back to the 70s.

Owner of Doc Café, Hoang Hiep, studied for seven years in France. Photo: Trinh Van Bo/VNP

Part of the space for displaying objects of the subsidy period at Doc Café. Photo: Trinh Van Bo/VNP

Corner for making leather products at Doc Café. Photo: Trinh Van Bo/VNP

At Doc Café, people can see familiar objects of the subsidy period,
including old TV sets, typewriters and canteens. Photo: Trinh Van Bo/VNP

Doc Café attracts youngsters for its old and warm space. Photo: Trinh Van Bo/VNP
Coming to the café, customers are also impressed by exposed brick walls with propaganda posters, oil lamps, old TV sets, old style electric fans, vinyl disc players and radio cassettes from the war. Singer sewing machine tables, antiquated old suitcases or outdated communication equipments are used as tables and seats.

Besides the main room, the café has a bar and a corner for making leather items. The old knick knacks placed elsewhere often catch the customers’ eyes. Hoang Hiep, Doc’s owner, said: “The café with the combination of both antique and modern features creates its own artistic style and attracts youngsters right from their first step in.”

At Doc, customers can admire precise and meticulous handmade stuff in a separate corner for craft lovers. 


Some objects of the subsidy period such as loudspeakers, sets of medical devices
and military communication equipment. Photo: Trinh Van Bo/VNP
Customers highly appreciate the vintage style of architecture at Doc. It has a quite large space for gatherings and private corners for those who want to enjoy themselves among the hectic life of the city.

The café also fascinates youngsters because of French styled beverages, such as Monaco, Viennoise or Galaxy coffee, prepared by the café’s owner who studied for seven years in France.

Amidst a vibrant and marvelous city, Doc café hails as a peaceful and serene place that reminds people of Hanoi in the past./.

By Trinh Van Bo