The best cafes in Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Cafes

Vietnam is one of the world’s biggest coffee exporters, and socialising in cafes is a way of life here. The cafe scene in Saigon is one of the best in Asia, and cafe hopping is an activity in itself. There are hundreds of cafes across the city, from street vendors with little plastic seats on the side of the road, to specialty coffee houses that roast their own beans onsite.

This list was first published in 2012 and it has been through several updates since then. Here are some of the beast cafes in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City Cafe Map


[Link to Ho Chi Minh City Cafe Map]

If you use Foursquare I have made a list of Ho Chi Minh City Cafes.

District 1

L’usine


L'usine: Ho Chi Minh City

L’usine is one of the old-guard of the cool cafes in Saigon. This cafe is on the first floor of a building with an entrance via an arcade. Once you arrive upstairs you are greeted with a cafe that is truly world class. There are now three branches in District 1, so take your pick, or visit all three.

Location: 151 Dong Khoi (1st floor), District 1
Location: 70B Le Loi St, (1st floor), District 1
Location: 9 Le Thanh Ton, District 1
Website: www.lusinespace.com

The Workshop


The Workshop

The evolution of cafes in Ho Chi Minh City continues with the addition of The Workshop. Located in an old building with a beautiful staircase, this cafe has quality espresso coffee as well as serving pour-over and aeropress coffee.

Location: 27 Ngo Duc Ke, (top floor, just off Dong Khoi), District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/the.workshop.coffee

Saigon Coffee Roastery

Saigon Coffee Roastery

In the same block as L’Usine Dong Khoi is this specialty cafe serving some of the best coffee in Saigon.

Location: 151/5 Dong Khoi St (1st floor), District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/saigoncoffeeroastery

The Old Compass Cafe

The Old Compass Cafe

The Old Compass Cafe is hidden away in a classic old apartment block on Pasteur Street. I liken The Old Compass Cafe as a travellers cafe for grownups, so if you’ve tired of the Pham Ngu Lau backpacker scene then come here.

The proprietor also runs the Rusty Compass travel site, and if you subscribe to the Facebook page you will see there are interesting talks and music nights held here.

Location: Floor 3, 63/11 Pasteur St, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/oldcompasscafe

Shin Coffee


Shin Coffee

Shin Coffee opened up in 2015 and they now have two branches in D1 and another in D2. They have a variety of specialty coffee, they roast onsite and have a coffee training facility as well.

Location: 13 Nguyen Thiep, District 1
Location: 18 Ho Huan Nghiep, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/ShinCoffeeVN

AMA Coffee


The Workshop

AMA Coffee (also goes by Amazing Coffee) is a specialty coffee house that has espresso and cold brew coffee. This minimalist bright cafe is a good option near Ben Thanh Market.

Location: 29 Luu Van Lang, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/theamacoffee

Vietcetera


Vietcetera

Vietcetera Cafe is a boutique third wave coffee shop, brought to you by the people that run the Vietcetera website.

Location: 290 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/vietceteracafe

Vietnam Coffee Republic

Hidden away in the labyrinthian back alleys of the area known as Japantown is Vietnam Coffee Republic. These guys are serious coffee connoisseurs, and you may have seen their bottled cold brew ca phe sua da/ around town.

Location: 8a/7b2 Thai Van Lung, District 1
Website: republic.coffee

Maison Marou Saigon

Maison Marou Saigon

Technically Maison Marou is a chocolate shop, but they also serve good coffee here so I’m adding it to the list. Even without this technicality I would say that this is one of the must visit cafes of Saigon. Marou source their cacao beans from Southern Vietnam and the Central Highlands, and you can see the chocolate making process at the cafe. I recommend the Chilli Cinnamon hot chocolate.

Location: 169 Calmette St, District 1
Website: marouchocolate.com

M2C Cafe


M2C Cafe

M2C (Modern meets culture) is a stylish cafe on Ly Tu Trong. It has a mix of couches and tables over two levels, and it’s a good place to have Vietnamese food in a comfortable cafe environment.

Location: 44B Ly Tu Trong, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/m2ccafe

Running Bean


Running Bean

Running Bean is in a remarkably large property in the heart of Downtown Saigon. This bright and spacious cafe has its own roasting facilities and they make a great latte.

Location: 115 Ho Tung Mao, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/The-Running-Bean-848509518654567

Bang Khuang Cafe


Bang Khuang Cafe

This cafe is hidden away in an old apartment block that has seen better days. Once you go upstairs though you are greeted with an a cafe with artistic flair and natural light.

Location: 2 – 9 Thai Van Lung, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/BangkhuangCafe

Shelter


Shelter

Located in the heart of Japantown on Le Thanh Ton, Shelter is a skinny building on a corner with lots of natural light.

Location: 13 Le Thanh Ton, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/sheltercoffeeandtea

She cafe


She cafe

She cafe is tucked away in an alley and then upstairs in an apartment block.

Location: 158D Pasteur, (1st floor), District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/shecafe

Kamakura


Kamakura

Kamakura is a Japanese-style cafe that is listed as a dessert shop, but does coffee and Japanese lunch deals.

Location: 21 Phan Ke Binh, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/kamakuravn

Loft Cafe


Loft Cafe

Loft Cafe also has echoes of the old French-style cafes of old Saigon and it is in one of the landmark building of Saigon (on the corner of Ly Tu Trong and Dong Khoi). Unfortunately the building is scheduled to be demolished so go and experience this building before it’s replaced by a glass box.

Location: Upstairs, 26 Ly Tu Trọng, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/theloftsaigon

Nest by AIA

“Work

There are plenty of co-working spaces in Saigon but I prefer the flexibility of working in a cafe. One of the best cafes to work at is Nest by AIA, which I liken it to a cafe that thinks it’s a co-working space. The cafe is in the iconic Bitexco Tower, and its bright and spacious layout is a pleasure to work at. If you are familiar with Chiang Mai it’s similar in vibe to C.A.M.P. AIS.

Location: 2nd floor, Bitexco Tower, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/nestbyaia

L’amant Cafe


L'amant Cafe

Located on the “walking street” of Nguyen Hue, L’amant Cafe serve quality espresso and Vietnamese-style coffee.

Location: 12 Nguyen Hue, District 1
Website: lamantcafe.vn

Me Linh Cafe

Me Linh Cafe

Located in the foyer of the Sport Hotel, this is a good option near the Me Linh Square.

Location: 3 Phan Van Dat, District 1
Website: www.facebook.com/Melinhcafe

42 Nguyen Hue – The Cafe Apaertment

42 Nguyen Hue

Not a specific cafe recommendation, 42 Nguyen Hue is more of an experience. The apartment block on the walking street of Nguyen Hue has been converted as a cafe space, and each cafe advertises itself on the balconies facing the street. Discerning coffee drinkers won’t be found here, but it’s more of a place to hang out and watch the world go by below. I have no particular recommendation, so just look at the balconies and take a pick.

Location: 42 Nguyen Hue, District 1

District 3

Id Cafe – District 3


Id Cafe - District 3

The original ID Cafe has closed in District 1, but the D3 branch lives on.

Location: 61B Tu Xuong, District 3
Website: idcafe.net

42 Cafe


42 Cafe: Ho Chi Minh City

A good old-school cafe option on Turtle Lake.

Location: (Turtle Lake) 4 Cong Trưong Quoc Te, District 3
Website: www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-42/509487592412508

Cafe Nha Minh


Cafe Nha Minh

Nha Minh 80s Sai Gon is an 80s-themed cafe in a quiet alley near Le Van Tam Park. The cafe features collectables and fashion posters from the 80s, giving a glimpse of bygone era.

Location: 9/8 Truong Quyen, District 3

Saigon 1975


Saigon 1975

Cafe Saigon 1975 is worth a visit for the old Saigon and war memorabilia that is on display throughout the cafe. Here is my full review.

Location: 12/14 Truong Dinh, District 3
Website: www.facebook.com/saigon1975lequocnam

Binh Thạnh District

Bosgaurus Coffee

Bosgaurus

Unless you lived at the Sai Gon Pearl apartment complex you would never accidentally find this place. Fortunately for the crew at Bosgaurus, word-of-mouth spread the news that this is one of the best cafes in Saigon. It’s in a villa facing the river, which is another good reason to visit.

Location: 92 Nguyen Huu Canh, Villa 1D5, Sai Gon Pearl, Binh Thanh District.
Website: www.facebook.com/bosgauruscoffee

UCC Cafe

UCC Cafe

Also in the Saigon Pearl complex is Ueshima Coffee Company – better known as UCC. This is a Japanese chain which on the one hand has the hallmark looks of a chain store, but on the other hand its coffee is far superior to your average chainstore brew.

Location: 92 Nguyen Huu Canh, Sai Gon Pearl, Binh Thanh District.
Website: www.facebook.com/ucc.coffee.roastery

Pedal Bistro Cafe

Pedal Bistro Cafe

Pedal Bistro Cafe is a clycle-themed cafe located at the second Dreamplex co-working space on the busy Dien Bien Phu road.

Location: Level 1, Dreamplex 2, 195 Dien Bien Phu, Binh Thanh District.
Website: www.facebook.com/pedalbistrocafe

District 2

The Deck

The Deck

Location: 38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, Dist. 2
Website: thedecksaigon.com

For a city that sits on such a mighty river, there are surprisingly few cafes by the Saigon River. If you are looking for a river view then The Deck is the place to be.

Mekong Merchant

Mekong Merchant

Mekong Merchant is a cafe/restaurant that is popular for its western breakfasts, and it has become a brunching institution in Thao Dien.

Location: 23 Thao Dien, District 2.
Website: mekongmerchant.com

Cafe Embankment

Cafe with Saigon River view

If you go to Saigon and didn’t have a coffee outside on a little plastic red or blue seat, did you go to Saigon? If you are looking for the ultimate little plastic seat experience then may I recommend this collection of seats by the Saigon River in Thu Thiem. This area of District 2 is undergoing a massive redevelopment, with the new city being likened to Pudong in Shanghai. For now though the area is still has these little makeshift cafes. You won’t find a better river view than at this cafe. It’s near the Mieu Co temple, in front of the Empire City show room. It’s listed on Google Maps as Cafe Bo Ke (Cafe Embankment).

Location: Thu Thiem New Urban Area, District 2.

District 4

The Coffee Plus

The Coffee Plus

Situated on the canal that separates D1 from D4, The Coffee Plus is a good option for those looking for a cafe in District 4. If you are coming from District 1 it’s opposite the Rainbow Bridge.

Location: 33B Ben Van Don, District 4.
Website: foody.vn/ho-chi-minh/the-coffee-plus

District 7

Awesome Coffee Roasters


Awesome Coffee Roasters

It’s a bold move to say your cafe is “awesome’, but this is a pretty good cafe so no arguments from me. The cafe is in the Little Seoul area of Phu My Hung, and the cafe has signage in English and Korean.

Location: 994 Nguyen Van Linh, District 7
Website: facebook.com/Awesome-Coffee-Phu-My-Hung-516881585021983

District 10

Sorrento Cafe


Sorrento Cafe

Break out of District 1 and head out to the outer districts where the western-style and chain cafes make way for the independent garden cafes. Lots of leafy trees and water features to give you a reprieve from the city.

Location: 91/6 Hoa Hung, District 10
Website: 4sq.com/h9P7Jv

Chain Cafes – Various Districts

Being a coffee-mad land, Ho Chi Minh City has its fair share of chain cafes. Starbucks opened its first branch in Vietnam here in February 2013, and there are a few famous Korean brands here as well. There are also many local chains which you will not see anywhere else, so those are woth a visit to see how they compare to your local Starbucks.

Highlands Cafe


Highlands Cafe

If there is a “Starbucks of Vietnam”, it’s probably Highlands Cafe. They serve Vietnamese-style coffee and espresso coffee, and they have branches everywhere. I like the garden cafe on Mac Dinh Chi.

Location: 39 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1.
Website: highlandscoffee.com.vn

The Coffee House

Coffee House Signature

The Coffee House is another Vietnamese cafe chain with prominent locations around the city. I recommend seeking out The Coffee House Signature, which is a specialty coffee branch that is s good that it’s hard to believe it is by a chain cafe.

Location: 19B Pham Ngoc Thach, District 3.
Website: thecoffeehouse.com

The Coffee Factory


The Coffee Factory

The Coffee Factory (TCF) is a fresh-roasted coffee chain from Vietnam with several branches around the city.

Website: thecoffeefactory.com.vn

Trung Nguyen Legend

Trung Nguyen Legend

Trung Nguyen Legend started out as Trung Nguyen Coffee and it was more in style to what Highlands is now. It’s since rebranded to represent a more luxury image. There is a good branch behind Diamond Plaza Mall which is set in a bamboo garden. It also has a beach room which is filled with sand. You can take off your shoes and forget you are in the big city for half an hour.

Location: 7 Nguyen Van Chiem, District 1.
Website: trungnguyenlegend.com

Starbucks


Starbucks: Ho Chi Minh City
[The opening week queue in February 2013.]

Starbucks finally arrived in Vietnam in February 2013 and they have since spread across the city. In order to compete with the many cafes here, Starbucks have a few “Starbucks Reserve” cafes, which has a specialty coffee bar in addition to the normal bar that everyone is familiar with. Starbucks Reserve Han Thuyen is located by the park near Notre Dame.

Starbucks Reserve Han Thuyen

Location: 11 – 13 Han Thuyen, Dist. 1.
Website: en.starbucks.vn

Soho Coffee Lounge


Soho Coffee Lounge: Ho Chi Minh City

Soho Coffee is a small local chain of cafes.

Location: 185 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dist. 1

Angel-in-us Coffee


Angel-in-us Coffee: Ho Chi Minh City

A Korean chain with a few branches around HCMC.

Location: 145 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, corner of Ton That Tung, District 1
Website: foursquare.com/v/angelinus-coffee/4f108b08e4b072565bb0da84

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf


The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Ho Chi Minh City &emdash;

American chain cafe has branches around the city.

Location: Several Locations
Website: www.coffeebean.com/store/storelocatorintl.aspx

My Life Coffee


My Life Coffee: Ho Chi Minh City

Another local chain with six cafes around the city.

Location: Various
Website: www.facebook.com/Coffee.Mylife

Caffe Bene


Caffe Bene

Caffe Bene is the largest cafe chain in South Korea and they specialise in desserts served in giant bowls.

Website: caffebenevietnam.com

Closed Cafes

With so many cafes there are the inevitable closures. I’m keeping a record here of cafes that were on the list but have since closed.

The Print Room
Location: 158D Pasteur, (1st floor), Dist. 1
Cafe is now She cafe.

Cafe de la Gare
Location: 145 Nguyen Trai, (1st floor), Dist. 1

L’Anmien
Location: 76A Le Lai-Ben Thanh, Dist. 1

Kita Cafe
Location: 39-41 Nguyen Hue Ave, Dist. 1

Saigonista
Location: Upstairs, 38/1 Le Loi, Dist. 1

Ducoin Saigon
Location: 2nd Floor, 76 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Dist. 1

Cosmo Cafe
Location: Corner of Le Thanh Ton and Le Pasteur Street, Dist. 1

Coffee Viva
Location: 144 Tran Hung Dao St, Dist. 1

Thoai Vien Cafe
Location: 159 Nguyen Van Thu, Dist. 1

Kujuz 3son
Location: 3A Ton Duc Thang, Dist. 1

La Rotonde
Location: First Floor, 77B Ham Nghi, Dist.1

Lobean the Coffee
Location: 18AB Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dist. 1

La Fenetre Soleil
Location: Upstairs, 44 Ly Tu Trong, Dist. 1
Closed in March, 2018 and is looking for a new venue.

Id Cafe – District 1
Location: 34D Thu Khoa Huan St, Dist. 1
Id Cafe has closed at its current address and may open in another location. The District 3 cafe is still open.

Touch Coffee
Location: 88 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dist. 3

M2C
Location: 4B Le Quy Don, Dist. 3
The second branch of M2C opposite the War Remnants Museum was closed after the property was redeveloped.

2no Coffee
Location: 219C Pham Viet Chanh, Dist. 1

Fafbfc the coffee shop & bakery
Location: 393/5A Tran Hung Dao, Dist. 1

Chez Vous Coffee House
Location: Upstairs, 4 Phan Boi Chau, District 1.

The Morning Cafe
Location: 2nd Floor, 36 Le Loi, Dist. 1

Decibel
Location: 79/2/5 Phan Ke Binh, Dist. 1

Banksy Studio
Location: 14 Ton That Dam, Dist. 1

Stop Coffee
Location: 18AB Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dist. 1

Urban Station 25
Location: 25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dist. 1

Regina Coffee
Location: 84 Nguyen Du, Dist. 1

Birds Coffee
Location: 55 Vo Thi Sau, Dist. 3

Unclosed Coffee
Location: 85 Ho Tung Mau, Dist. 1

Saigon Cafe

Saigon Cafe

Saigon Cafe was a cafe chain that had a spectacular rise and fall in a short period of time. At one point it had opened up around 10 cafes in some of the most prominent locations in the city, then they all closed without a trace.


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Comments

  1. Great post, James!
    Thanks for listing down the cafes there … Many great cafes in HCM! 🙂

  2. This post has the perfect timing for me.I arrived here yesterday and I’m going to stay for a month. Thanks!

  3. Ohhh yeah… This is awesome!

  4. Great round up James! I didn’t realize there’d be so many coffee shops with wifi in the city, the only one I’ve visited was Coffee Bean. Will keep this mind for the future, coffee & wifi is a must-have for extended travel 😉

    – Lily

  5. I could really use a frampahino from Startup Coffee right now.

    BTW, that computer / latte combo. Pure sex.

  6. Great post! Am a coffee-lover too! 🙂

  7. No doubt Jon gave you some great suggestions. But just so you know some of the best cafes are outside of District 1. Hit us up next time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Awesome post, James! Vietnam’s a booming place and I think it will still improve financially, With this growth, we can expect to see many more coffee shops in key cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

  9. Oh, wow!!! I can’t stay away from a cuppa good coffee.
    Thanks for this great post, I’m adding HCMC to my travel list right away.

  10. I feel a bit ignorant, but… At first glance, I would have never thought any of these cafés were located in Vietnam. Clearly, I don’t know a lick about this country 😉 can’t wait to visit and be surprised many times over! Great photos + post

    – Maria Alexandra

  11. Wow James, You have certainly been around the coffee haunts. My husband loves coffee shops. We found Highland Coffee a great place in Hanoi to hang, charge our laptops and generally use to relax away from the busy streets. That Vietnamese coffee – a glass within a glass is an excellent idea. It was so hot when we were in Saigon last April, that we could not get past the cold fruit drinks. Cheers.

  12. We’re going to be in HCMC next year, so this has been bookmarked and will be our go-to guide when we’re out there!

    I love your cafe review posts…if only because it makes me feel better that we’re not the only ones who spend practically the same on coffee as we do on food 🙂

  13. Startup Coffee

    Just for your “Honourable Mentions,” the core image of the (revised version) Starbucks logo has been changed today.

  14. Thanks for geat post!!
    I will visit saigon next week, It is really useful for me. I will go around those cafes.

    One question:
    Which cafe you can use a “power outlet” ?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Taka,

      thanks for that. Most of the cafes have power outlets, and I have found that if they don’t they will run an extension cord for you if you ask.

      Have fun!

  15. Andy Nguyen says:

    Thank you for introducing a part of my city – HoChiMinh city. Great!

  16. BD in Houston says:

    there is a small coffe shop in the corner of Dong Khoi and Mac thi Buoi street. I don’t remember the name but very unique coffee taste.

    • Its name is Phuc Long – Vietnamese coffee chain, good taste and very good price, amazing atmosphere! My fav coffee!

      Thanks James for great post!

  17. This post has been incredibly helpful as I get settled in Ho Chi Minh City. Thank you for such an exhaustive list! I like I.d cafe so much I’ll be lucky to get to just a fraction of the others!

  18. I was fortunate to hit The Press Room with the one and only Jesse Lawler when I stayed with them a few days in January. Loved that place, though the tree trunk tables were a little weird to navigate with laptops at first. I guess I’ll need to head back to check out a few more of these cafes. Thanks for the run-down!

    • Yes those tree trunk tables are slightly awkward. I have run into Jesse there as well so I am beginning to think it is his second lounge room. And you should come back anyway 🙂

  19. Heading out to check some of these soon! Arrived this morning.

  20. Nick Donnelly says:

    Interesting list thanks.

    It would be good to make a distinction between places that make the awful, robusta based vietnamese coffee – and the higher quality international standard places (even Starbucks only use Arabica beans).

    If I have to drink any more black robusta sludge I think I will have to kill myself.

    Oh how I crave an antipodean Flat White round about now – any chance of highlighting any such places as it’s not clear from browsing which is which.

    A bit of a focus on the style & quality of coffee would be helpful.

    Thanks.

  21. Adolfo Riedel says:

    Great Article! It is amazing how much selection one can find in Vietnam!
    I found coffee houses in Vietnam to be accessible and their menus were user friendly. The staff in most of these spots speak some English but the further out you go from District 1 the less likely you will find English speaking but pointing works well. As and FYI “sweet milk” = condensed milk 🙂
    Happy Travels.

  22. IF you’re willing to chill like a real local, post up in District 1 outside of the mall on the sidewalk. You can get coffee for maybe, 30 cents? and they give you free ice tea all day. Not to mention, if you come at night, you get some of the best street watching you’ll ever get. Thats just my opinion though (I’m Viet!)

  23. Hi James,
    Thanks for the article, I’m a little late to the party. I was searching for “best coffee shops ho chi minh city” and it came up. Thanks to it I am sipping a great Vietnamese coffee at L’usine. I will be coming back to this post as I explore the Saigon Cafes. Thanks.
    Maciej

  24. Gonna be utilizing this all week 🙂 Great writeup James. Hope we can connect while i’m here!

  25. Love the Saigon Café s

  26. peng sang says:

    Thanks James for the great advices and introduction. I like d1 at District 3. The atmosphere is good and staffs are friendly. Just a bit walking distance from District 1, though but overall, quite and easy place. Thanks again James!

  27. Great list James – i’ve checked out a few of these since moving here now. Update for anyone using this list, Geisha and Press are now closed unfortunately. Things move so quick here…

  28. i’m headed back to saigon in two months. 🙂 thrilled. obviously l’usine will be my first stop.

    but to clarify, paris baguette is also a korean chain. and yes, so is angel-in-us. (i live between saigon and seoul.)

    cheers. 🙂

  29. Dear James,
    Many thanks for your list. Almost shop is too nice.

    I love Cúcuta Coffee in District 1. Not only delicious coffee, but they also serve a number of cocktails that are very very good. You are right, their cat is so lovely.

  30. WOW! Didn’t know that so many cafes @ HCMC! Thanks for the awesome blog, can’t wait to visit Saigon and look for my Vietnamese friends.

  31. Hi James,

    This is Uyên, from The Morning Cafe. I think we’ve met already at my shop. Many thanks for your nice review. It’s wonderful article. I would ask for your permission to share this link on my http://www.facebook.com/themorningcafe.saigon so readers will have more change to discover the SG cafes.

    Have a nice week ahead and hope to see you again!
    Uyên.

  32. Hi James!
    Thank you! I’m so glad to have this list with me when I’m traveling in HCMC.

    So far my favorite cafe is ID at district 3 🙂

  33. Dan Cowell says:

    I’ve been slowly working my way through this list over the last few days. Sitting in Id Cafe at the moment. Looking around all I see are macbooks and digital nomads working hard – I think a few people have been taking your advice – for good reason!

    Thanks for the recommendations – I’ve been impressed with all of them. 🙂

  34. Anastasia says:

    Awesome recommendations! I’ve been to 4 of the cafés you recommended so far and it’s been super awesome! (Morning cafe, ducoin, m2c, she cafe) there’s a cute cafe right next to morning cafe btw, it’s called Saigonista (I think it’s pretty new)

  35. I’m setting up for a few months in Saigon in a few weeks, this article is probably all the research I need before arriving! Can’t wait for a fix of Viet style coffee.

  36. Thank you very much for this detailed listing, you can tell the passion for good coffee! Trust to be in HCMC soon to check out the town’s best bakeries. Ciao, Donatella (coffee loving baker based in Germany)

    • I love your article! I’m studying in HCMC and started exploring my neighborhood and found some really nice places. Your list will be my todo for the next 5 months 🙂

      @Donatella, don’t expect any cakes in the coffee shops – you normally don’t get any pastries to your coffee.

  37. It’s nice that you keep this updated – some good updates since last year…

  38. I love your posts, they are so inspiring. As I live in Saigon at the moment, I also checked out a lot of cafés – some of them were from your list… there are some updates and new coffee places to be discovered!!

    In my blog I added some more, and from other parts of district 1 and 3 – take a look 🙂

  39. Hi James, Thank you for the wonderful list! I recently moved back to HCMC from overseas and this lets me know cafes that are great for conversations with friends and business contacts. Tremendously useful!!!

  40. I have an update for you guys, the DUCOIN is closed. I tried it 4 times to go there and everytime the said it’s closed…

  41. Should try out [a] cafe. They do nice specialty coffee, from chemex to kalita and even syphon. https://m.facebook.com/Acafein

  42. Hi,
    I’m thinking to live in Vietnam for a year to change the air, imbue my in their culture and break with my actual routine. I’m independent translator and I have many happy and loyal clients, so it I can work in any place in the world with internet.
    I like nature, sailing, reading. I consume tons of silence, makes me happy 🙂
    I don’t want to be travelling like a tourist during this year, so my plan is to rent a place that will be my home during the entire year. Eventually I wish to visit on some weekends other places in Asia: Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, other places in Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.
    My wish is to live alone with my wife in a place near some river, beach or sea, with kitchen (I like to cook every day, this make me feel in home), minimum confort. Nightlife is not for me, I prefer family lifestyle.
    Can you recommend me some cities in Vietnam to do this?

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards from Argentina,
    Esteban

  43. Hi, Thanks for that list!

    Which would you -or anyone who’d like to contribute- say is the BEST Espresso in Saigon?

    I enjoy trying different kinds of coffee and have thoroughly adored different brews, beans and prep methods from all over the globe ranging from some fabulous Blue Jamaican Mountain (slow press) to good authentic Turkish coffee (basically thick and grind-y-amphetamine) but as much as I love trying new things and finding awesome spots, I really miss my coffee from back home. I like the Vietnamese cold coffee I’ve had so far (both with condensed milk and black) and I’ve had some decent espresso around, but usually they’re occasional drinks for me and nothing exciting or extraordinary.
    That said, I’m positive in this bustling city with a growing cafe culture there’s some place that makes coffee like in Rome or Napoli, I just haven’t come across it yet!

    I drink my espresso ristretto (that does Not mean 3 drops of thick sludgy tar for those of you who don’t drink coffee), black and with no sugar… so Especially when there’s nothing to disguise low quality beans, burnt-bitter-sour-acidic lingering taste, poorly executed preparation etc. the taste really matters. I have yet to check out many places on this list, and can’t wait to do so regardless of my post here..but I would Love to have a go-to Just for the coffee and nothing else (I don’t care if it’s a hole in the wall with zero charm and no atmosphere or wifi or manners or even seats!!)
    Any and all tips welcome! Thank you again for the incredible list.

    • Back home is Italy by the way. Not that it matters much, although perhaps it clarifies why I’m so picky

    • Dan Cowell says:

      You’re as picky as me!

      The only place I know of that even knows what ristretto means is L’usine. They have (in my opinion) the best espresso in Saigon, with Workshop a good option if you want to mix it up a bit. Workshop have some truly brilliant brewed-to-order and cold-drip coffee though.

    • Basilico (part of intercontinentalnhotel) does a fair Illy – but as you know – depends on barista – some are good, some less so. I usually opt for double shot machiatto to be on the safe side 😉
      If you love love blends, check out Kith in Singapore if you are ever there – their blend has a distinctly Asian edge to it, by design I understand.

      • Great! I’m in Singapore next month so I will check it out 🙂

        • the original and purest Kith is on Robertson Quay by the river (just above Saigon Bridge!!) it so small and in a sheltered corner (may fave hangout there), but they have a newer place at sentosa cove with a much larger food menu – and a nice view of boats in the marina

  44. You should check out the district 2 coffee shops too, for me Shalom coffee in Thao Dien, district 2, makes the best macchiato I have found in HCMC with a consistent standard, I haven’t tried your full list yet, but agree with many of your picks, some of them I still don’t know how I haven’t got to them yet – great article 🙂

  45. “Coffee House” located at 207 Vo Thi Sau District 3 has traditional coffee and is under new management. The coffee is strong & definitely one of the best iv tasted. If your in District 3 then this is the coffee shop to visit

  46. Hi James,

    Thanks for this and all the cafe guides you’ve written.

    One thing that might be worth noting for Saigon is the smoking policy in each cafe. Knowing before you go would help both the smokers and the non-smokers. I’s pretty important. For me, I hate smoking, so even the best Saigon cafes are unbearable when they allow smokers anywhere in the place. Even the non-smoking sections usually aren’t too helpful, since the smell gets everywhere anyway.

    Would you or anyone have any great non-smoking cafe recommendations? ID is my fallback, but there must be more!

  47. James, great post and love the map. I am fairly new to Saigon, been here for a month, and wanted to share some info on where to get really good coffee beans. I love coffee and drink it every morning. I especially enjoy the process of using a manual drip coffee cone and the head buzz when I get when I drink really good coffee. I took me a while to find some good coffee beans here, since most of the stores sell traditional coffee grounds, which I find over roasted or burnt.

    There’s a store attached to (just right of the cafe) at Passio coffee, 15F Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai. This store has normal working hours, 8-5, Monday thru Saturday. The store manager, Huan, sells his own beans from his farm in Đà Lạt in the store. His beans are the best I have found in Saigon and reasonably priced (compared to beans in the US). He has several different varieties of beans that he roasts himself.

    I hope others looking for beans in Saigon find this helpful.

    No need to try the coffee at Passio, James lists better cafes, just go there for the beans. You may also be able to convince Huan to brew you some if you’re looking for a really tasty cup of coffee.

    • Thanks for the tip! I haven’t been into that store so I will have to check it out, even if only to get that wonderful smell when you walk into a shop selling coffee beans 🙂

  48. Amazing list! Heading to HCM this weekend and will definitely check out at least a third of the cafes here!

  49. Sacramento Man says:

    Thanks. Great list and pics. This would make a great booklet. I live on coffee on alternate days (alternate day diet) so I was so happy to find this website for my up coming visit. Just how many coffee shops are in HCM city? It’s interesting to see the variety of atmosphere and architecture. Love it.

  50. This is a great American style coffee shop in d.7, serving American style pies, pastries & food. Run by Americans, now in their 3rd location. First in d.10, then in d.7, now a new location in d.7 next to Starbucks across from the river. Check it out! http://Www.masterscupsaigon.com

  51. Great to see some local cafes in this list.

    I made a coffee list updated to 2015 for when you come back! My list is based on more nice spots to chill and take pictures than the coffee itself. Happy hunting!

  52. James, I cannot thank you enough for compiling this list of fabulous cafes to work at. I’m at L’usine at the moment and love it. Excited to check out a few more from your list over the next few days. Enjoy your travels 🙂

  53. This post is amazing! Now let’s see if we can visit all of them in our one month here 🙂

  54. There’s a new coffee shop on Nguyen Van Thu street, Tổ coffee shop, at 102 bis. In vintage style, pretty quiet, a soundly good place for working.

  55. Thx for this James. My first time in HCMC this week, and great to shamelessly leech off these recommendations. In L’Usine II for lunch as I write this, after post-breakfast Ca Phe in ID Cafe, and now looking for Cafe number 3 of the day. Cheers.

  56. Great list! Wow!

    I visited a couple of you recommendations and these are my thoughts…

    ID CAFE

    Loved the decor and ambience, but when I was in there (Mar 16) there were hardly any desks, just low tables and seats. The only tables were out on the balcony or downstairs, neither really suitable as you are exposed to the heat.

    THE WORKSHOP

    Again great vibe, but I found the staff in there to be too helpful. What I mean is, they just kind of hung around near where I was sitting and kept looking over at me, in an expectant way. I know they are just doing their job, but I find this attention a little off putting in a work environment. I suppose you could argue it’s not really a work environment!

    I will be going against the grain here, but I actually prefer the Starbucks in HCMC, because you are just left alone, however long you are in there, more like you’d expect in Western countries.

    This is just my take on cafes in Asia. I found the same in Bangkok. If a cafe is over-staffed, it kinds of puts me off!

  57. Thao Ha says:

    Hi James
    First of all, I’m very grateful when you introduced Vietnamese Coffee Shop. I don’t know whether you are still in VietNam or not. If you were still in Viet Nam, I would like to invite you try my own coffee brand: Đỏ Cafe. This is my first own coffee business. When i built Đỏ Cafe, I hope that the foreigner living in Viet Nam can drink Vietnamese coffee culture.

    Regards
    Thao

  58. Great list! I’d recommend The KAfe too (the one on 18 Phạm Hồng Thái, D1) although it’s a chain.
    Also, Decibel just recently closed down.

  59. James, great post and love the map. I am fairly new to Saigon, been here for a month, and wanted to share some info on where to get really good coffee beans. I love coffee and drink it every morning. I especially enjoy the process of using a manual drip coffee cone and the head buzz when I get when I drink really good coffee. I took me a while to find some good coffee beans here, since most of the stores sell traditional coffee grounds, which I find over roasted or burnt.

  60. You covered all of the nicest coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh. I usually go to She and Thoai Vien Cafe to work or hangout with my friends since they have a good ambiance and I like their interior.

  61. Love this list James! It’s amazing how this post is still relevant after almost six years from date of posting. I’m a self proclaimed coffee addict so this was one of the things I’ve been researching before my trip to Vietnam. Glad I came across this page.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Hotel [two locations] and Duxton [small 3+ star], plus numerous free internet in the coffee shops. http://www.nomadicnotes.com/travel-blog/ho-chi-minh-city-cafes/ The Starbuck’s of Vietnam is: Trung Nguyen Coffee. Go to their flagship shop in D1, near Diamond […]

  2. […] workers who travel with a backpack and a laptop. After all, there’s a cafe practically on every corner. Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 has everything a westerner could want, from fresh, cheap Asian […]

  3. […] with wifi and co-working spaces. For example, here in Ho Chi Minh City you could go to a different cafe every day for a month and still have many more to visit. Over the past year several co-working […]

  4. […] Quiet Coffee: L’Usine has some delicious coffee as well, but I headed to Morning News when I wanted to read or write quietly. (Their business cards say “writers hideout, book lovers corner” after all!) Set in a teeny alley off the busier main street, you walk up several floors and then into a wood and art-filled room. More on the cafe from Nomadic Notes in his cafes of HCMC roundup here. […]

  5. […] So…rather than wallow in angst I took it as a good opportunity to personally validate some of the excellent cafes around town that have been nominated by fellow bloggers like James from Nomadic Notes. […]

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