Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, everyone needs some time to enjoy the culture of Saigon, the following cafes will be the best wake-up calls of your life.
1. Chieu coffee – 124 Cao Thang, District 3.
Opening from 1969, Chieu cafe has survived for 50 years and is one of the rare pre-1975 cafes left in Saigon.
The small cafe was formerly an old villa, with the original purpose of being a gathering place for Boy Scout and Girl Scout, gradually, Chieu became a familiar place for students and intellectuals in Saigon.
The black renders of time shows all over the wooden wall, and the coffee brewing method in Chieu still retains the old style, preserving many years of its existence.
Flowing Chieu’s existence, the guests have so far passed three generations: Saigon students before 1975, students after liberation and today’s students.
In Chieu, one could see a middle-aged intellectual choosing to sit at the corner, leaning against the wall and nodding at the songs from Ngo Thuy Mien, Vu Thanh An, Trinh Cong Son, remembering their youth.
2. Café de l’Opera – Caravelle Saigon
Café de l’Opera takes its name from the cinematic Opera House, where the patrons can sit in style, sample small bites, and enjoy the wonderful view. It is considered to be one of the best coffee shops to enjoy in Ho Chi Minh city during my stay in Vietnam due to its vibe & drinks quality.
Natural light from floor to ceiling windows creates a happy setting for business meetings and friendly catch-ups during the day. Premium Lavazza coffee, Ronnefeldt teas, light meals, pastries and tapas are all available for guests on-the-go.
At night, patrons can enjoy a musical duo’s soothing strains of jazz and mellow tunes, with 30% off on beverages by the glass, runs from 19:00 to midnight.
3. “The Hell” coffee – 330 Phan Dinh Phung, Phu Nhuan district
This creepy nickname was given by the guests to an unnamed, no sign, no concept of closure coffee stand that keep selling for the past 60 years.
In the memory of Mr. Dang Ngoc Con, his father began pushing a small coffee car in the street from the mid-1950s. He took over his father’s business, moved to the alley near Phu Nhuan with his wife after 1975, and kept on selling to this day.
The duo has only closed one time, but the visitors were still waiting, they did not dare to close since, afraid of their guests’ disappointment.
But the most interesting thing is, all the coffee is brewing with a … racket, this item always be handled with extreme care from the owner, because “the longer the racket is used, the stronger the taste of coffee.”
4. “Cheo leo” coffee – 109 Nguyen Thien Thuat, District 3
If we are ranking the best and also the oldest cafes in Saigon, Cheo Leo is indispensable. Opened in 1983 when a Hue family chose this land as a settlement.
As one of the old-style cafes, the restaurant is not flashy, but it attracts students gathered after school. Cheo Leo’s images are built for so many years, it was the image of all the indifferent classes sharing the same coffee in one small area.
The house remains the same. The wall was strewn over time, a part of the ceiling haunted a dark yellow color – a trace of smoke rising from the grounded coffee.
Tables and chairs still hold its scratches, In front of the house, a cigarette car selling a few typical things. At Cheo Leo, the love songs never stopped.