An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

1. Why you should not miss Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City?

Coming to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), you have tons of things to do. Admiring beautiful long-standing French buildings perhaps is the first thing you should do. Then, you can learn about war history at the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels. You will go shopping and eating in a city which is considered as a paradise of shoppers and foodies. And do not miss trying amazing Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City, visit the best cafe, and buy some coffee home.

I have spent so much time exploring new and old coffee shops. I have been sitting in a cafe for a half day, just to calm down or finish my work. As a Saigon people, I love and passionate about drinking coffee. I think that any traveler needs some information, including what to drink, before he goes. It makes me write this blog to introduce to everyone everything about Saigon coffee. In this Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City, I would like to share various types of coffees, where to enjoy and buy the best coffee in Saigon. This guide is written for coffee lovers, all the travelers coming to the city, and foreigners living in the city.

2. Differences between Vietnamese Coffee and Coffee in Your Country

The first thing I should tell you that Vietnamese coffee will taste different from your homeland. You may wonder what are the differences? You may be familiar with Arabica and cream which dislike the heavily strong taste of Vietnamese coffee. To Vietnamese and Saigon people, some coffee similar to Starbucks is too sour and bland, too light, and unimpressive.

What does Vietnamese Coffee refer to? Vietnamese Coffee refers to traditional Vietnamese roast and brew. It is the result of different types of coffee beans, different methods of brewing and roasting, the variety of additives, the way we drink, and the unique coffee culture. A thicker brew and a few over-roasted beans makes a distinct taste. Vietnamese coffees are different in different cafes and drink stalls so that each place is new to explore. Whatever you have tried some Vietnamese Coffee in Hanoi and Danang, a cup of coffee in Ho Chi Minh City is worth trying.

3. Types of Coffee Beans, Style of Roast in Vietnam

The following is a breakdown of different types of coffee beans and species that may be found: Arabica, Culi Arabica, Culi Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa, Civet (Weasel), etc.

Style of Roast

Traditional Vietnamese techniques involve roasting coffee beans very dark with some additives and fillers.

Ratio

Different coffee types are mixed, Robusta is added to Arabica to relieve the blend of dullness and introduce pleasant acidity, and aroma. You can ask the sellers about ratios of the beans and names of these ratios when you buy coffee in Vietnam.

Additives

Additives elevate the palatability and savoriness of the bitterness notoriously harsh of coffee beans. Common additives include butter, salt, whiskey, rice liquor, sugar, fish sauce, chemical flavorings and fragrances such as hazelnut, vanilla.

Fillers

Fillers are used to darkening, thicken, and sweeten the coffee. Some recipes include up to 50% fillers. Popular fillers are soybeans, red beans, corn.

Some common Vietnamese coffee terms

Powder (Bột), Unground coffee bean (Nguyên hạt), Roasted coffee beans (Hạt rang), Pure coffee (Cà phê nguyên chất), Ground roasted coffee (Cà phê rang xay), Instant/dissolvable ground (Hòa tan), Civet coffee (Cà phê chồn), Liberica and Excelsa coffee (Cà phê mít);

Artificial fragrance (Hương/Mùi), Butter (Bơ), Liquor (Rượu), Sugar (Đường), Salt (Muối), Fish sauce (Nước mắm).

4. Types of Vietnamese coffees in Ho Chi Minh City

Different brewing methods

Coffee is brewed differently in Vietnam. As a result of different brewing methods and special tools, Ho Chi Minh City has 2 traditional types of coffees which are brewed with drip filter and cloth filter.

Drip Filter Coffee (Phin Coffee, Cà Phê Phin)

Phin Coffee was named after the brewing tool – Phin (French-style drip filter). The preparation process helps give Vietnamese coffee its particular style. Coarsely ground beans go into a Phin, which sits on top of the cup. The beans are weighted down with a thin lid, hot water is added to the Phin, and then the water slowly trickles through into the cup.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Stocking Coffee (Vot Coffee, Cà Phê Vợt)

Cà phê Vợt means “stocking coffee” – a direct reference to a cloth filter used to strain coffee ground. This method is popular among stalls before Phin started dominating the market. To make a cup of coffee, the roasted coffee powder is put into the cloth strainer and cooked in a clay pot (or a small steel pot) on charcoal at medium heat. The coffee is kept warm in another pot on charcoal and served customers.

Most of the coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City serve you coffee brewed by machine and Phin. Only a few old-standing Vot coffee shops still work in the city. I would like to share with you these hidden gems as below:

  • Am Phu Coffee Shop, 330 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Ward 1, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 0:00 – 24:00; Prices: 15:00 – 40,000 VND
  • Cheo Leo Cafe, 109/36 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, Ward 2, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 5:15 – 18:45; Prices: 13:00 – 21,000 VND; TripAdvisor: Cheo Leo Cafe.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Different add-ins

Saigon people love to drink brewed coffee or have it with various add-ins. Some people prefer to drink coffee hot, others like coffee with some ice. That is the reason why there are many types of coffees which distinguished by extras.

Hot Black Coffee (Cà Phê Đen Nóng)

Black Coffee is dark and very dark roast coffee. It has its roots in the French colonial occupation of Vietnam but has evolved into an entirely different beast. They use Robusta coffee instead of Arabica one to brew black coffee. So that the coffee is less sour and strong in flavor.

Hot black coffee is available for local people would like to enjoy the real taste of Vietnamese coffee. Locals people usually drink this type of coffee in the early morning or in the evening when it is cool. When it is hot, they tend to order some coffee with ice to beat the heat and refresh themselves. In fact, Black Coffee is the favorite of elderly and quiet people. Young people and active people do not want to drink slowly a little dark coffee sip by sip. Hot black coffee is usually served in a Phin on top of a small cup or a small glass. Customers sit at the tables and wait until the coffee completely finished. During that time, they can leisurely chat with each other, read magazines, surf the Internet, or do some works on their computers. They could add some sugar to the black coffee at their wish to balance the darkness and sourness. If you prefer Cà Phê Đen, drink as slowly as possible at first. It can make you “drunk”.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Iced Black Coffee (Cà Phê Đen Đá)

Ice makes Vietnamese coffee less dark and strong. You can choose your Iced Black Coffee with or without sugar. A glass of Cà Phê Đen Đá is a great choice on both hot days and rainy days. It can make you awake, refreshing, and energic.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Iced Milk Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)

Iced Milk Coffee perhaps is the most popular Vietnamese coffee in Ho Chi Minh. The sweet, creamy, and greasy condensed milk, a little bitter and sour coffee, and ice blends amazingly. Note that there is no sugar in Cà Phê Sữa Đá. Fun facts: in the past, they use condensed milk because fresh milk and cream are rare.

Hot Milk Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Nóng)

Hot Milk Coffee is the favorite drink of many people in Saigon. Similar to Hot Black Coffee, it is a great choice when it is raining or cold. Certainly, it is easier to drink in comparison to Hot Black Coffee.

Iced Coffee Milk (Bạc Xỉu)

While Black Coffee and Iced Milk Coffee are popular around Vietnam, Bạc Xỉu is known as a specialty of Saigon. It has been said that this kind of drink appeared in the 1950s in Saigon China Town. Chinese vendors serve hot condensed milk their customers but find out it is more delicious if they add some black coffee to the milk. In comparison to Iced Milk Coffee, Bạc Xỉu contains a higher proportion of condensed milk (about 80%).

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Egg Coffee (Cà Phê Trứng)

Vietnamese Egg Coffee is one of 17 coffee drink over the world, listed by Buzzfeed. Egg Coffee can win the hearts of many locals and visitors thanks to the perfect blend of the brewed Vietnamese coffee, condensed milk, honey (optional), and egg white. Egg is the soul of this drink, it adds flavors and a source of protein to the drink. The bartender whisks vigorously all until it ends up with a fluffy mixture, pour the mixture into a nice cup/glass, and top it with frothy egg.

Below is 4 Best Egg Coffee Shops in Ho Chi Minh City:

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Coconut Coffee (Cà Phê Cốt Dừa)

Coconut Coffee has just appeared a few years ago in Hanoi. Cong Caphe is known as one of the first coffee shops that created Coconut Coffee recipe. This type of coffee has become popular in different regions in Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh. It is Vietnamese black coffee (or Espresso) topped with a mixture of black coffee (or Espresso), coconut milk, and condensed milk. The drink can be topped with shredded coconut meat. Most of the people love to add some ice to make the drink cool.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Where to drink the best Coconut Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City? I would like to recommend to come to:

Cong Caphe,  127 – 129 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 00:00 – 23:59; Prices: 30,000 – 100,000 VND; Website: http://congcaphe.com/; TripAdvisor: Cong Caphe.

There are other Vietnamese coffees out there such as Avocado Coffee (Cà Phê Bơ), Salt Coffee (Cà Phê Muối), Cà Phê Ya Ua (Yogurt Coffee), Cà Phê Trái Cây (Fruit Coffee). However, they are not very popular in the city.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Canned/bottled Vietnamese Coffee

There are many canned/bottled Vietnamese Coffee drinks for your choice in supermarkets, at vending machines, convenience stores, drink stalls on the street. Almost beverage brands offer canned/bottled Vietnamese Milk Coffee drinks. Certainly, canned/bottled Vietnamese Coffee could not be compared with that in a coffee shop made by bartenders. However, it is a good choice if you are in a hurry but in a thirst. In addition, a takeaway plastic cup of coffee is not as convenient as a can or a bottle of coffee when you are traveling the city.

Some popular canned/bottled Vietnamese Coffee include Birdy, Nescafe, MyCafe, Highlands Coffee, Mr. Brown. The cost is not too high, prices range between 15,000 and 40,000 VND.

5. Saigon Coffee Culture

Where and When Saigon people drink coffee?

Drinking coffee has become a very important part of Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon). Coffee is not only a drink but also a cultural feature of the city. You can find hundreds of places to have a cup of coffee in coffee shops, at drink stalls on the street and in alleys, on moving carts, even motorbikes around the city.

Saigon people of all ages drink coffee. Coffee shops with free Wifi are the places where students study, officers works, businessmen meet their partners, friends and couples date. They may come to coffee shops to enjoy their drinks as well as the atmosphere of the shops. Or they buy a takeaway cup of coffee and drink at their places.

It is true that Saigon people drink coffee at any time of the day, from the early morning to the late night. They have coffee whether it is sunny or rainy. They drink coffee when they are working or studying. Coffee shops are also the best places for dating and meeting. The phrase “Đi cà phê”, which means Let go to drink coffee is one of the most familiar phrases of Saigon people.

Different Places to Drink

Cà Phê Bệt (Sitting-plump Coffee)

Have you ever drinking a cup of coffee while sitting plump around a coffee stall? Why not experience the way of enjoying coffee in Saigon. Sitting-plump Coffee is a Saigon’s unique cultural feature that exists for hundreds of years. In the past, people usually buy coffee from street vendors who do not offer them places to sit. As a result, they find a nearby area where they can squat or sit plump on old newspapers.

Some of the most famous places where Saigon people gather for a drink, play guitars, talk to each other:

  • Turtle Lake, Pham Ngoc Thach Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral, 1 Cong Xa Paris Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • 30/4 Park, Han Thuyen Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

The is very cheap there, a cup of coffee costs less than 20,000 VND. The areas are the most crowded in the evening when you should come and experience Cà Phê Bệt.

Alley Coffee (Cà Phê Hẻm)

Are you planning to visit an alley in Ho Chi Minh City? Most of the things you can read and be advised are Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Cruise, War Remnant Museum, etc. If you have a chance to troll into an alley, you can see a small drink stall with a few old tables and stools. The stalls sell cheap drinks, including coffee. You may wonder who are the customers. The answer is the people who live in that alley. “Hẻm” means alley in English, that is the reason why we call this way of enjoying coffee Cà Phê Hẻm. Today, some coffee shops which are located in houses or apartment building in narrow alleyways, are also called Cà Phê Hẻm

Although there are many coffee shops in alleys, I would like to introduce to you my favorite cafes in alleys of Bui Vien Street:

  • Nha Co 3 Lau, Floor 3rd, Apartment Building 155, 157 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00; Prices: 18,000 – 40,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nhaco3lau; Highlights: You can sleep, lie on the sofa or carpet, read books, play guitar, and talk leisurely with the 2 lovely hosts.
  • Ut Lanh Coffee Shop; 283/37 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00; Prices: 18,000 – 40,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/utlanhcaphe; Highlights: No wifi, no smartphone, but banana ice cream, popcorn, instant noodles, and numerous old items of furniture, decorations.

Pet Cafe (Cà Phê Thú Cưng)

Saigon people love animals so that there is no lack of coffee shops where nice and friendly pets wandering around. The list of the best Pet Cafe is as below:

  • Hachiko Coffee, 14 Hoa Sua Street, Ward 7, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 6:30 – 22:30; Prices: 35,000 – 62,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HachikoCoffee.Dog; Highlights: lovely dogs.
  • Pet Me Cafe, 198 Nguyen Van Huong Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 8:00 – 23:00; Prices: 30,000 – 80,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PetMeVN; Highlights: lovely parrots, tortoises, rabbits.

Book Cafe (Cà Phê Sách)

Books are abundant around and you are free to stay and read the books as long as possible at book coffee shops. There are some kinds of coffee shops in the city but I would like to share with you my favorite place – Nguyen Van Binh Book Street. There you can stop at:

  • Dep Cafe, 3 Nguyen Van Binh Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:30; Prices: 25,000 – 30,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DepCafeDuongSach.
  • Phuong Nam Book Cafe, Nguyen Van Binh Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 8:00 – 22:30; Prices: 25,000 – 60,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bookcafepncnguyenvanbinh.
  • Another lovely book cafe is Slowee Coffee & Books, 53 Loc Hung Street, Ward 6, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday; 8:00 – 21:00; Prices: 25,000 – 50,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SayAcousticCafe.

Live Music Cafe

I do not know if I go a little far to put the list of cafes where you can not only drink some coffee but also enjoy amazing live music. I hope that the information is useful for someone.

  • Hard Rock Cafe, Kumho Asiana Plaza (or Mplaza Saigon), crossroads of Le Duan and Hai Ba Trung Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:59; Prices: 30,000 – 300,000 VND; TripAdvisor: Hard Rock Cafe; Highlights: great live rock music.
  • High-end Cafe, 21 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Da Kao Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:00 – 23:00; Prices: 30,000 – 66,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiendcoffee.hcmc; TripAdvisor: Cafe High-end; Highlights: audiophile lover;
  • Acoustic Cafe, 6E1 Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, Ward 7, District 3; Opening hours: 18:00 – 23:00; Prices: 60,000 – 165,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Acoustic-Cafe; TripAdvisor: Acoustic Cafe; Highlights: the best live music, noisy and crowded cafe and bar.
  • Vung Oi, Mo Ra Cafe, 1st Floor, 17 Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, Ward 6, District 3; Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00; Prices: 25,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: www.facebook.com/Vừng-ơi-mở-ra-Café; TripAdvisor: Vung Oi, Mo Ra Cafe; Highlights: a cosy café in an old, decaying French villa, undulating strips of patterned material like the interior of a kasbah, walls adorned with prints, etchings, and sketches depicting anything from historical figures and events to movie stars.
  • S – Cafe & Studio, end of the alley 420 Le Van Sy Street, Ward 6, District 3; Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:00; Prices: 17,000 – 53,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scafestudio; Highlights: soft melody and acoustic music.
  • Say Cafe, 60 Tran Minh Quyen Street, Ward 11, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 7:30 – 23:00; Prices: 30,000 – 66,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SayAcousticCafe; Highlights: you can sing with a guitarist there.
  • Vung Oi, Mo Ra Cafe, 1st Floor, 17 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, Ward 6, District 3; Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00; Prices: 25,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: www.facebook.com/Vừng-ơi-mở-ra-Café; TripAdvisor: Vung Oi, Mo Ra Cafe; Highlights: a cosy café in an old, decaying French villa, undulating strips of patterned material like the interior of a kasbah, walls adorned with prints, etchings, and sketches depicting anything from historical figures and events to movie stars.
  • Ngoi Nha So 7 Cafe, 7 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, Ward 6, District 3; Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00; Prices: 25,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: www.facebook.com/mockingbirdcoffee; Highlights: With flowery, hippy dresses on coat-hangers, the coffee shop makes you feel like entering the dorm of a creative student from 1960s Britain.
  • Yoko Cafe & Bar, 22A Nguyen Thi Dieu Street, Ward 6, District 3; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00; Prices: 60,000 – 99,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yokocafesaigon; Highlights: the best live music.
  • Tuong Cafe, 436B/6 Ba Thang Hai Street, Ward 12, District 10; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00; Prices: 25,000 – 35,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuongcafe; Highlights: unique decoration, great drinks, cheap price.
  • Rock Fanclub, 25A Tu Xuong Street, District 3; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockfanclub.rfc; Highlights: great rock music.

6. Best Coffee Franchises in Ho Chi Minh City

Highlands Coffee

Number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City: 97; Click HERE to find locations of all the Highlands Coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh and other provinces.

Opening hours: The shops in different locations start working from 8:00 to 10:00 and close from 21:00 to 22:00.

Prices: 19,000 – 59,000 VND.

Menu: Traditional Vietnamese coffee, Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Phin Freeze, Tea, Vietnamese Bread, Cakes. Check the menu and prices HERE. My favorites at Highlands are Phin Freeze, Golden Lotus Tea, all Vietnamese coffees (black/milk/hot/iced) brewed by Phin that cost only 29,000 VND. If you are hungry, you can enjoy one of the best Vietnamese bread in the city.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Highlands-Coffee.

Website: https://www.highlandscoffee.com.vn/en.

Establish year: 1999.

Trung Nguyen Legend

Number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City: 26; Click HERE to find locations of all the shops in Ho Chi Minh and other provinces.

Opening hours: The shops in different locations have different opening hours. Some shops open from 6:30 to 22:00.

Prices: 30,000 – 150,000 VND.

Menu: Traditional Vietnamese coffee, Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Tea, Fruit juice, Smoothie, Tea, Cakes, Vietnamese Bread, Rice dishes, Pho, etc. Check the menu and prices HERE. I like the original coffee at Trung Nguyen. You can enjoy the great cups of Energy Coffee by the Life-changing books selected from the knowledge’s essence of humankind.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trungnguyenlegendcafe.

Website: https://trungnguyenlegend.com/?lang=en.

Establish year: 1996.

Cong Ca Phe

Number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City: 14; Click HERE to find locations of all the shops in Ho Chi Minh and other provinces.

Opening hours: The shops in different locations have different opening hours. Some open from 7:00 to 22:30, Cong Caphe in Bui Vien opens 24/24.

Prices: 30,000 – 100,000 VND.

Menu: Traditional Vietnamese coffee, Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Freeze, Tea, Fruit juice, Smoothie, Sunflower seeds, Spicy corn, Mung bean cake, Peanut candy, Bread/Croissant, Dried beef, mixed fresh fruits, etc. Check the menu and prices HERE. My favorites at Cong is the signature Coconut Coffee which could not be found anywhere. Sometimes I order Spicy corn and Mung bean cake.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CongCaphe.

Website: https://congcaphe.com.

Establish year: 2007.

The Coffee House

Number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City: 63; Click HERE to find locations of all the Highlands Coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh and other provinces.

Opening hours: The shops in different locations start working from 7:00 to 9:00 and close at 22:00.

Prices: 19,000 – 59,000 VND.

Menu: Vietnamese coffee, Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Freeze, Tea, Macchiato, Smoothie, etc. Check the menu and prices HERE. Some people say that coffee is not strong enough because they use coffee making machines instead of Phin. However, most shops are spacious, decorated modernly, and are great places to stay.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The.Coffee.House.2014.

Website: https://www.thecoffeehouse.com.

Establish year: 2014.

Urban Station

Number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City: 22; Click HERE to find locations of all the shops in Ho Chi Minh and other provinces.

Opening hours: The shops in different locations have different opening hours. Some shops open from 7:00 to 23:00.

Prices: 20,000 – 50,000 VND.

Menu: Traditional Vietnamese coffee, Espresso, Ice Blended, Hot chocolate, Matcha blended, Matcha Latte, Cookie & Cream, Smoothie, Soda, Italian Sorbet, Tea. Check the menu and prices HERE.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UrbanStation.com.vn.

Website: http://www.urbanstation.com.vn.

Establish year: 2011.

Phuc Long Coffee & Tea

Number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City: 39; Click HERE to find locations of all the shops in Ho Chi Minh and other provinces.

Opening hours: The shops in different locations have different opening hours. Some shops open from 7:0 to 23:00.

Prices: 25,000 – 100,000 VND.

Menu: different coffees, Smoothie, Tea, Bubble Tea, Coconut Tea, Juice. Check the menu and prices HERE. I usually come to Phuc Long for a cup of bubble tea 🙂

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phuclongcoffeeandtea.

Website: https://www.phuclong.com.vn.

Establish year: 2007.

There are other franchises such as Viva Star Coffee, Starbucks, and Tous Les Jours. I will write about them in another blog.

7. Best Coffee Shops in Ho Chi Minh City

District 1

  • Mockingbird Cafe, 4th Floor, Old Apartment Building, 14 Ton That Dam Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00; Prices: 25,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: www.facebook.com/mockingbirdcoffee; TripAdvisor: Mockingbird Cafe; Highlights: With flowery, hippy dresses on coat-hangers, the coffee shop makes you feel like entering the dorm of a creative student from 1960s Britain.
  • Things Cafe, 1st Floor, Old Apartment Building, 14 Ton That Dam Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:00; Prices: 20,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: www.facebook.com/thingscafe; TripAdvisor: Things Cafe; Highlights: The atmosphere is that of a studio, study or student dorm. The coffee shop is decorated with chess boards, Murakami books, old to antique items, famous quotes from Uncle Ho, etc.
  • Bang Khuang Cafe, 2nd Floor, 9 Thai Van Lung Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 8:00 – 23:00; Prices: 40,000 – 110,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BangkhuangCafe; TripAdvisor: Bang Khuang Cafe; Highlights: It’s relatively quiet, smoke-free, and bathed in natural light with tall and open ceilings and features cool retro space with special decor.
  • She Cafe, 1st Floor, 158D Pasteur Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:30; Prices: 30,000 – 61,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shecafe; TripAdvisor: She Cafe; Highlights: With its slogan “Coffee for Ladies”, the cafe has lots of large prints of important, beautiful women all over the world.
  • The Workshop, 2nd Floor, 27 Ngo Duc Ke Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:00 – 20:00; Prices: 20,000 – 80,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/the.workshop.coffee; ; TripAdvisor: The Workshop; Highlights: a wonderful balance between business and pleasure, great food and an impressive selection of specialty coffees.
  • ID Cafe, 34D Thu Khoa Huan Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 8:30 – 23:00; Prices: 25,000 – 75,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ID-Cafe; TripAdvisor: ID Cafe; Highlights: dim lighting, plush seating and subdued art.
  • The Old Compass Cafe and Bar, 3rd Floor, 63/11 Pasteur Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 10:30 – 22:00; Prices: 50,000 – 200,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oldcompasscafe; Website: https://www.oldcompasscafe.com; TripAdvisor: The Old Compass Cafe and Bar; Highlights: different kinds of events including live band or an academic giving a speech.
  • L’Usine, 70B Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:30 – 21:00; Prices: 40,000 – 150,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lusineleloi; Website: http://lusinespace.com; TripAdvisor: L’Usine; Highlights:  flowers, kitties, a koi pond and chic decor, talented musicians to play on their piano.
  • Shin Coffee, 13 Nguyen Thiep Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00; Prices: 20,000 – 100,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shincaphe; TripAdvisor: Shin Coffee; Highlights: egg coffee.
  • Loft 1 Cafe, 1st Floor, Apartment Building, 26 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 8:00 – 22:30; Prices: 40,000 – 100,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theloftsaigon; TripAdvisor: Loft 1 Cafe; Highlights: good environment, good menu, and good service.
  • M2C Cafe, 26 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:30 – 23:15; Prices: 40,000 – 88,000 VND; TripAdvisor: M2C Cafe; Highlights: M2C stands for modern meets culture, delicious Vietnamese coffee.
  • The Note Coffee, 183 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:00 – 23:59; Prices: 35,000 – 60,000 VND; TripAdvisor: The Note Coffee; Highlights: a spiraling staircase leads you to a quiet space to escape busy Bui Vien.
  • Padma De Fleur, 55/6 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 8:00 – 19:00; Prices: 85,000 – 150,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/padma.de.fleur; Website: https://padmadefleur.vn; TripAdvisor: Padma De Fleur; Highlights: flowers are everywhere, foods and drinks are homemade.
  • Chat Coffee Roasters & Bistro, 55/6 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 6:30 – 22:30; Prices: 25,000 – 850,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chatcoffeeroastersandbistro; TripAdvisor: Chat Coffee Roasters & Bistro; Highlights: a minimalist, rustic look to it due to the stainless steel, copper, and wooden decor.
  • Cong Caphe, 1st Floor, Apartment Building, 26 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:30; Prices: 40,000 – 80,000 VND; Website: https://congcaphe.com; TripAdvisor: Cong Caphe; Highlights: decor and furniture contribute towards creating a rustic, ’80s feeling.
  • Thuc Coffee, 182 Pasteur Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 24/24; Prices: 20,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThucCoffee247; Highlights: wood and yellow lights, privacy.

District 2

  • Snap Cafe & Restaurant, 32 Tran Ngoc Dien Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2; Opening hours: 7:30 – 22:00; Prices: 100,000 – 200,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSnapCafe; Website: https://www.snap.com.vn; TripAdvisor: The Snap Cafe; Highlights: it looks like a few boutique shops but it is warm and cozy inside.
  • Dolphy Cafe, 31 Thao Dien Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2; Opening hours: 6:00 – 22:00; Prices: 23,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dolphycafe; TripAdvisor: Dolphy Cafe; Highlights: a perfect spot to set up your laptop and get some serious work done.

District 3

  • Hideaway Cafe, 41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, Ward 6, District 3; Opening hours: 7:30 – 22:30; Prices: 60,000 – 400,000 VND; TripAdvisor: Hideaway Cafe; Highlights: Housed in a canary yellow French villa, high ceilings and small opulent touches redolent of the French colonial period.

District 7

  • Gallery Cafe, 156 – 158 Ha Huy Tap Street, Tan Phong Ward, District 7; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00; Prices: 25,000 – 80,000 VND; Highlights: simple but wonderful decor, a good place to work or just chat with friends.
  • The Coffee Connect, 5 Street 38, Tan Quy Ward, District 7; Opening hours: 7:00 – 23:00; Prices: 20,000 – 55,000 VND; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecoffeeconnect; Highlights: this cafe has a rarity among shops in this city: an elevator.

Tan Binh District

  • Coi Xua Cafe, 55 Tan Canh Street, Ward 1, Tan Binh District; Opening hours: 7:30 – 23:00; Prices: 35,000 – 110,000; Facebook: www.facebook.com/CaPheCoiXua; Highlights: a garden café in the style of a crumbling traditional Vietnamese rural home.

Phu Nhuan District

  • Tram Cafe, 100 Tran Huy Lieu Street, Ward 15, Phu Nhuan District; Opening hours: 7:00 – 23:00; Prices: 40,000 – 66,000 VND; Facebook: www.facebook.com/tramtranhuylieu; TripAdvisor: Tram Cafe; Highlights: a genuine oasis where you can escape from the noise of the city, stepping stones guide you through tasteful water features, adorned with reclining Buddhas, giant earthenware vases and faux classical busts.
  • Ghe Dau Cafe, 28 Hoa Mai Street, Ward 2, Phu Nhuan District; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00; Prices: 15,000 – 44,000 VND. Highlights: Seating is exclusively on low wooden stools, which means “Ghe Dau”.
  • Mien Dong Thao Cafe, 221A Nguyen Trong Tuyen Street, Ward 8, Phu Nhuan District; Opening hours: 7:00 – 23:00; Prices: 20,000 – 55,000 VND. TripAdvisor: Mien Dong Thao Cafe; Highlights: man-made stream with trees and ivy growing up around it.
  • Du Mien Cafe, 48/9A Ho Bieu Chanh Street, Ward 11, Phu Nhuan District; Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00; Prices: 30,000 – 66,000 VND. Highlights: a large amount of greenery, 15-foot high waterfall with a group of sculpted deer at the bottom.
  • Nho Cafe, 115/30 Le Van Sy Street, Ward 13, Phu Nhuan District; Opening hours: 8:00 – 22:00; Prices: 30,000 – 60,000 VND. Highlights: The furniture also fits the retro theme, all reflect an old-timey charm.

8. Tips on buying a cup of Vietnamese coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

  • You can be more familiar with coffee that is aromatic, slightly sour with a gentle bitter aftertaste. It is easier to get “coffee drunk” when you drink our coffee. You should take it slow first to see if your body can get used to the sudden surge of caffeine. Black coffee perhaps is the strongest coffee so that be careful with it.
  • Prepare small money to pay at coffee stalls on the streets and in alleys. The price is quite cheap and vendors may not accept the big notes such as 500,000 VND or do not have small change available.
  • At some stalls, they mark the prices with K letter which stands for 1,000 VND. For example, 15K means 15,000 VND.
  • You can buy a cup of coffee made from deadly cheap and dirty coffee on Ho Chi Min City streets. This does not mean all street vendors sell dirty coffee.

  • Not all of the places have menus written in English. Some Vietnamese vocabulary you should know to order a cup of coffee at coffee shops/stall/moving carts: Cà Phê (coffee), Đen (black), Nóng (hot), Đá (ice), Sữa (Milk), Dừa (coconut), Trứng (Egg).
  • Special notes: There are abundant lists of the best coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh in some blogs and articles on the Internet. I have referenced to them before writing this blog and found that some of the shops are closed permanently, addresses or opening hours have been changed. Check carefully before you go. You can follow the facebook or website links and see if they are active on Facebook. Google can help to let you know that the coffee shop is closed permanently. Contact them via Facebook Messenger or try to call the coffee shop (if phone numbers are available). I will do my best to update the information about coffee shops in this blog as soon as possible. So that you can read the right information and have the best coffee experience in Saigon.

9. Which and where to buy Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City?

Buying coffee at coffee shops

Some coffee shops sell their own coffee such as Highlands, The Workshop, Phuc Long, Trung Nguyen, etc. So that you can buy some packs of coffee after drinking and falling in love with the coffee of the shops. Locations and open time of the coffee shops are given above.

Highlands Coffee

Prices: Traditional coffee roasted & ground coffee (Arabica and Robusta): 47,000 VND/pack of 200g, 235,000 VND/pack of 1kg, Phin: 79,000 VND. Learn more about updated prices on Highlands Coffee website.

The Workshop Coffee

The Workshop, 2nd Floor, 27 Ngo Duc Ke Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Opening hours: 7:00 – 20:00.

Vietnamese coffee beans: 240,000 VND/ a pack of 1kg.

Phuc Long Coffee & Tea

Beans (Moka/Robusta/King) with butter: 54,000 – 88,000 VND/pack of 200g, 130,000 – 185,000 VND/pack of 500g; Learn more about updated prices HERE – Phuc Long Beans with butter.

Beans (Arabica – Culi/Moka/Robusta/King/Royal/Cherry) without butter: 54,000 – 88,000 VND/pack of 200g, 130,000 – 185,000 VND/pack of 500g; Learn more about updated prices HERE – Phuc Long Beans without butter.

Roasted & ground coffee: 87,000 – 116,000 VND/pack of 200g; Learn more about updated prices HERE – Phuc Long Roasted & ground coffee.

Girl set (100g x 2 packs, 1 Phin): 185,000 VND; Brocade set (50g x 4 packs, 1 Phin); Prices: 207,000 VND; Learn more about updated prices HERE – Phuc Long Coffee set.

Trung Nguyen Legend

Luxury products: Civet coffee gift set: 1,850,000 VND; Civet coffee: 860,000/pack of 500g; Creative coffee: 360,000 VND/pack of 500g, 185,000 VND/pack of 250g.

High-quality roasted and ground coffee: 150,000 – 288,000 VND/kg.

Roasted and ground coffee: 96,000 – 260,000 VND/kg.

G7 Instant coffee (3 in 1, 2 in 1, black, strong 3 in 1, Cappuccino): 40,000/box of 18 packs.

There are some famous coffee brands which coffee can be bought at brand’s stores, brand’s coffee shops, supermarkets, local markets including the iconic Ben Thanh market. The best Vietnamese coffee brands include Trung Nguyen (recommended), Vinacafe, Cafe G8, Cafe Me Trang (recommended).

Me Trang Cafe

Traditional coffee or Phin roasted & ground coffee (Arabica/Arabica-Robusta/Civet/Luxury/Civet/Culi/Ocean Blue/Robusta): about 80,000/pack of 250g; 109,000 – 504,000/pack of 500g.

Organic coffee: 90,000 – 140,000 VND/pack of 250g; 143,000 – 239,000/pack of 500g.

Instant coffee: various boxes for your choice; 102,000 VND/box of 50 packs x 16g.

Learn more about products and prices at http://www.metrang.com.vn/san-pham.

Buying coffee at supermarkets

As mentioned above, you can buy Trung Nguyen and Me Trang Coffee at supermarkets. It is safe to buy there because the prices are fixed and the coffee is original. Some good supermarket near tourist areas in the city are as below:

  • Vincom Center, 72 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; 500 m from Notre Dame Cathedral; Opening hours: 9:30 – 22:00;
  • Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, next to Notre Dame Cathedral; Opening hours: 9:30 – 22:00;
  • Coopmart Cong Quynh, 189C Cong Quynh Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, 700 m from Bui Vien Street – Backpacker Area; Opening hours: 9:30 – 22:00.

Buying coffee at local markets

However, the products are not as diverse as at coffee shops and coffee kiosks in local markets. At the markets, you can choose from many kinds of products. The downside is that the real price is up to 50% less than their original asking price. Thus you must bargain to get the best price and it may be a hassle for you. Fake coffees are popular in many countries, including Ho Chi Minh City. So that you can buy coffee at local markets in case:

  • You are a coffee professional;
  • A local friend goes with you;
  • You book a Saigon shopping tour.
  • You have limited time in the city and must buy the coffee on the Ho Chi Minh City tours which take you to markets.

Some big markets in the city are as below:

  • Ben Thanh Market Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 5:00 – 23:00;
  • Tan Dinh Market, 1 Nguyen Huu Cau Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 6:00 – 20:00;
  • Binh Tay Market, 57A Thap Muoi Street, Ward 2, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:00;

Buy coffee online

Mr. Viet Coffee

Mr. Viet Coffee website is in English and the coffee can be bought online at https://mrviet.net so that I do not list the products and the prices here.

French colonists might have introduced coffee to Vietnam but Vietnamese coffee has developed a style of its own. Vietnamese coffee is the drink, the soul, the culture, and the pride of Saigon people. Come, try, and love Saigon coffee! Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any information about coffee in the city.

Check out our Ho Chi Minh Day Trips, Mekong Delta Tour, Cu Chi Tunnels Tour, and Saigon Motorbike Tour.

An Ultimate Guide to Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City
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