Vietnam is the 2nd largest coffee exporter of the world and its coffee culture is remarkable. You will never run out of cafes to visit – I bet you there is one in every block. Yet, people still ask for some recommendations. I totally understand. With so many choices, you can get overwhelmed, so here is a list that has narrowed down the 1000s of cafes in the city of Saigon to just 11. It excludes those well-known brands such as Trung Nguyen, Phuc Long and the Coffee House. Despite their delicious coffee and awesome environment, they can get a bit crowded as they are popular. If you just want to find a place to relax with a book and a cuppa, then this list is definitely for you 😉
Here are our top 11 cafes in Saigon. We recommend these not just for the taste of the coffee but also for the ambiance and environment. It doesn’t matter if you drink coffee or not – you’ll just want to go and chill or take that perfect Instagram snap.
Thinker & Dreamer – 4th Floor, 42 Nguyen Hue Street, D.1
Located in the 42 Nguyen Hue building, this coffee shop was created by one of Saigon’s most popular photographers. That being said, Thinker & Dreamer is a stunning artistic space that completely stands out from other coffee shops in the same building.
It is the ideal space to think, relax, and even daydream. The coffee shop is quite small, but its layout is neat and airy. Besides coffee, you can also order a slice of cake or tea. The signature dish is their flowerpot cakes. Almost every dish on the menu looks as good as they taste!
Nam Muoi Muoi Lam – 29 Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, D.1
The shop is named after a traditional childhood game in Vietnam, capturing the spirit of this lovely place. You’ll be transported to your childhood years with traditional games, home cooked meals, and tea cups full of aromatic flavors. This is nothing short of a walk down memory lane. The windows are always open and the place is bedecked with plants
Despite being recognized as a super vintage space, the drink menu of Nam Muoi Muoi Lam is not very diverse. In fact, the shop only serves a short list of drinks. Luckily, the food menu is a significant improvement to the beverage offerings. The kitchen dishes up a number of traditional dishes such as Ca Kho To, Rau Luoc, etc.
The 1985 Cafe – 151 Dong Khoi Street, D.1
The latest trendy destination, The 1985 shares an address with other popular cafes as well. Inspired by Japanese menus, this intimate cafe offers teas, cakes, and other dishes resonant of the Land of the Rising Sun. With a beautifully crafted pastry at hand, one can’t help but admire the overall artistry of the space.
The downside: the prices are a bit higher compared to other places on the list. But rest assured, the price is worth the experience. The perfect time to visit the 1985 Cafe is between 3 to 5 pm, with sunlight basking the interior in rays of glittering light.
Padma De Fleur – 55/6 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, D.1
On this list, Padma De Fleur stands out because, in addition to selling food and drinks, Padma De Fleur also sells flowers. Step inside and you’ll feel like you’re lost in a fairytale garden. It is the prime spot for those seeking the beauty of nature amidst a concrete jungle.
The cafe regularly organizes flower arrangement classes and you can bring your own masterpiece home. Unfortunately, the lunch set costs around 6$ for a person, which is significantly higher than the average price of lunch in Ho Chi Minh City. But the presentation is as a photogenic as they come.
An Xanh 1958
In a small alley rests quietly at the heart of the city center, there are two cafeterias located opposite to one another. One is an elegant modern tea house, the other speaks the voice of Saigon in the 1900s.
That old place is An Xanh 1958. It’s a vegan coffee shop that serves most foods and drinks on a donation-based basis. They use grass straws instead of the plastic. After you finish your servings, the left behind will be sorted into any of the three types: decomposite, burnt, and recyclable. You can also find several choices of eco personal care such as soap, shampoo and detergent.
Most takeaway drinks are served in glass bottles, with the price ranges between 25,000 VND – 45,000 VND. You can choose to reuse the bottle or to return these bottles to the shop. You get 5,000 VND back per returned bottle that is still in a good condition.
Occasionally, there will be eco and art events arranged at An Xanh 1958. Head up there if you are a fan of eco-art!
Address: 58/9 Truong Dinh street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
L’usine – 1st Floor, 151 Dong Khoi, D.1
The coffee shop doubles as an exhibition gallery and boutique shop. Interestingly enough, the cafe occupies an amazingly large space despite being situated in a small alleyway. The decorations here intend to bring you back into the past when Saigon was the capital of Indochina.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for some high-quality Western food, then you’re in luck. Here, Western culinary delights are as much of a highlight as space itself. Thanks to a team of foreign chefs, all dishes here are prepared to Western standards
Nguoi Sai Gon Cafe – 9 Thai Van Lung, D.1
Located on the one-way street of Thai Van Lung Street –Nguoi Sai Gon café is a wide open space welcoming guests looking for a peaceful morning to kickback with a cup of pure coffee goodness. The cafe’s decor with peeling walls, black and white television sets, and old school car models hanging all around feels like something you’d find in Saigon during the Eighties. In case you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Saigon’s crowded streets, look no further! With a diverse range of reasonably priced beverages and a peaceful atmosphere, Nguoi Sai Gon Cafe definitely warrants your visit.
Thuc Coffee – Many Locations in D.1
Thuc Coffee is a familiar name among the youth of Saigon. You may think that Saigon is busy during the day, but the downtown area gets even crazier when the sun goes down. At Thuc, customers can spend their sleepless nights enjoying a coffee while perched on the roadside. This is the perfect place for people watching. You can easily pick a spot inside or outside, but for Ho Chi Minh first-timers, take a seat outside to soak it all in.
Golden Mountain Coffee – 226 Dien Bien Phu, D.3
Built in the 19th century, Golden Mountain Cafe is outstanding due to its classic French style architecture, which is both elegant and mysterious at the same time.
Beyond its sophisticated design, Golden Mountain also enchants coffee enthusiasts wanting to discover the differences between famous coffee roasts from around the world. You can sample different brews from areas such as Costa Rica, Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil, Sumatra, Dominican Republic, etc. In addition to hidden nooks and crannies perfect for couples wanting some alone time, the place also has a number of seating areas suitable for large groups.
Cafe Vot – 330 Phan Dinh Phung, Phu Nhuan D.
And we’ve saved the best for last… to cap our full-bodied list is the charming Cafe Vot. You won’t find any signs or kitschy décor because this is an unassuming coffee stall with some plastic tables, chairs, and an old man running the whole operation.
So why is this place high on the priority list for the best coffee shops in Saigon? Each cup is bursting with flavor so unique, you’ll be begging for more. Using the antiquated technique of filtering the coffee grounds with a cloth, the lady brews the coffee in her own professional way. It is undoubtedly impossible to find a similar flavor anywhere else in the city. This process undergoes several stages, requiring the maker to be super meticulous and knowledgeable to come up with a such a qualified cup of coffee. Seriously, this hidden experience is worth the time and energy. Don’t skip out on Saigon without visiting Café Vot!
Fun fact: Ca phe Vot is said to be the most hardworking cafes in town since, during its decades of operation, the place only closes in only 10 minutes every year.
So, are you still confused where to enjoy your cup of coffee? Talk to your friends about these cafes and put all of them to your to-do-list right away!
Read more: Saigon Street Food: Ca Phe Vot
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