7 Amazing Hidden Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City
The Vietnamese have a love of coffee that is bordering on obsession – and for good reason. Preparation and delivery of the hallowed, roasted bean is unique and the taste is the best in the world (in our humble opinion, anyway). Whether you drink it over ice or steaming hot; sweet and milky or bitter and black, the many, many coffee shops dotted around Ho Chi Minh have got you covered. Of course, it’s not just the delicious coffee that makes Ho Chi Minh’s cafe scene so rich and vibrant. The following list contains coffee shops with amazing interior design, lounge worthy vibes, great views and all with free Wi-Fi.
1. Id Cafe – For Lounging
Id Cafe has an unassuming frontage, but once inside this two storey coffee shop the modern-retro theme is really funky. The 70s style armchairs are comfy as well as stylish and the decor of vinyl records and stencils lining the walls, and period radios and typewriters positioned here and there mean there’s always something to catch your eye. Located just one block north of Ben Thanh Market, Id Cafe offers shoppers the perfect respite from the frenzy of the market. The coffee here is great, but it’s also popular for a beer or glass of wine over a meal. The menu is a bit of a mix-and-match with Vietnamese and European fusion dishes; think baguettes, burgers and, obviously, noodle soups.
Location: 34D Thu Khoa Huan St, District 1
2. Hideaway Cafe – For Peace and Quiet
Housed in a canary yellow French villa, Hideaway Cafe is one of the most attractive coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh. It’s the kind of place you would never know was there if you didn’t look for it, even though it’s just one block from Turtle Lake roundabout in District 3. As the name suggests, Hideaway Cafe is located down a small alley. You enter through a gate and into a central courtyard. Either side there are period buildings with high ceilings and small opulent touches redolent of the French colonial period. We recommend tables in the house at the front (even though this is the restaurant section) as it is far more attractive inside, with art hanging on both floors and bare floorboards. If you don’t mind the heat, take a seat on the second floor balcony for a lovely tête-à-tête. In case you fancy a bite to eat, their breakfast menu is excellent and the seafood rocket pasta is an enjoyable lunchtime dish.
Location: 41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach, District 3
3. L’usine – For the Hipsters
L’usine is at the forefront of the part coffee shop, part fashion boutique establishments that are springing up all over the city. Downstairs there is a clothing store with both male and female fashion, and on the first floor there is a minimalist and extremely cool coffee shop. The whitewashed brick walls, brushed concrete and antique lighting create a bohemian vibe that suits the clientele of Ho Chi Minh’s scenesters. Alongside their excellent range Vietnamese style coffees, and European style cappuccinos and lattes, there is a cute little deli with croissants, quiches, cupcakes and macarons. There is also a large balcony for looking out onto Le Loi, one of the main thoroughfares of the city. Location: 70B Le Loi St, (1st floor), Dist. 1
Location: 70B Le Loi St, (1st floor), Dist. 1
4. She Cafe
She Cafe, with its slogan “The Woman is the reflection of Her Man”, has reflected the life of little Saigon in an small and hidden coffee shop tucked in an old apartment building. Step into this cafe, once may feel something strange but familiar. The wall showcases lots of picture frames of beautiful women on over the world, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts… “She” is a cool, relaxed and posh cafe. “She” is perfect place to rest, work or enjoy social media or a book. Among pictures and art, this old school is set with modernist concept.
Location: 1st floor 158D Pasteur, Ben Nghe Ward, D1
5. The Fig Café
On a quiet street in Phú Nhuận District’s ‘café triangle’, The Fig is easy to miss because of its concealed, low-key entrance. This district, north of the high-rises of downtown Saigon, is where many small private businesses have their offices, tucked away down narrow alleyways. Dozens of comfortable, stylish yet business-like cafés have opened to cater to the young professionals who work in the area. The Fig is the best of them. Outside seating is in a green garden on a wooden deck around a pond with a contemplative-looking statue of Buddha in the middle. Inside, the décor is a good mix of modern and traditional: tiled floors, soft seats, fancy lanterns, and contemporary furniture. Music here is mercifully soft and the choice is ‘anodyne-ambient’ rather than the sentimental pop that many other cafes choose. Coffee, of mediocre quality, is 30-40,000VNĐ ($1.50-$2). Unusually for most cafes on this list, The Fig offers a wide range of alcoholic drinks, including many wines. It’s also worth trying one of the tasty and inventive desserts here, many of which are a kind of Vietnamese-Western fusion.
Location: 15 Nguyen Thi Huynh, Phu Nhuan District
6. Trầm Café
Here is really nice popular coffee shop in the Phu Nhuan District called Tram Cafe on 100 Tran Huy Lieu street. If you like quiet coffee shops, Tram Cafe is for you.Being located next to a pagoda, Tram Cafe offers a tranquil Buddhist environment filled with water pools and green plants. It is a good escape from the large bustle of the city. There are
Being located next to a pagoda, Tram Cafe offers a tranquil Buddhist environment filled with water pools and green plants. It is a good escape from the large bustle of the city. There are several air conditioned room or you can sit on the second floor outside. Both are great locations.
The food and coffee are quite good. Prices are good two, two meals with two drinks (for two people) came to 145,000 VND. The staff is prompt and quite nice.
Location: 100 Tran Huy Lieu, Phu Nhuan District
7. Things Cafe
On the first floor of the same run-down yet intriguing apartment building as Mockingbird, Things Café has a similar trendy, bohemian feel to it. Tiled floors, wooden furniture, table lamps, chess boards and Murakami books lying around create an extremely mellow mood. As with many of Saigon’s ‘indie’ cafes the theme appears to be nostalgia: old to antique items abound, from brass taps on the sinks to Singer sewing machines and creaking ceiling fans. Various artworks hang on the walls next to famous quotes from Uncle Ho chalked up on blackboards. Again the atmosphere is that of a studio, study or student dorm. Indeed, this whole apartment block is riddled with these fascinating, enticing cafes, and the building itself exudes a certain bygone era charm: the winding staircase has floral wrought iron banisters suggesting it might once have been rather grand, and the shaft between the stairs was once an elevator of the kind that you had to manually prise open the doors. You could spend a whole day café-hopping in this magnificent yet dying apartment building in District 1. Things Café is a great place to while away a couple hours with a book or some friends. Coffee, served in big, thick mugs, is 40,000VNĐ ($2).
Location: 14 Ton That Dam Str, Dist 1
7. Mockingbird Café
Although the street outside may not be Saigon’s most salubrious, the four flights of stairs heading up to this hidden coffee spot lead you to views over much of the city’s downtown financial district, including the Soviet-Gothic façade of the State Bank of Vietnam. A small, leafy outside balcony at Mockingbird Café allows you to sit and drink while you gaze on the bustle far below. Inside, chalk murals and art prints dot the walls. The cafe is set in an old colonial apartment block, still lived in despite its frayed edges, and the shop’s atmosphere absorbs some of the raffish, unkempt charm sported by the rest of the building. Alcoholic drinks are also served.
Location: 4th Floor, 14 Ton That Dam St, Dist 1