Ho Chi Minh City is a coffee-lover's paradise

The residents of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam love their cold-drip coffee and now espresso machines have entered the city there are great cafes to get to.

Vietnamese coffee
  • Karen Tee
  • September 2018

From the traditional drip coffee sold at just about any eatery to hip new cafés filled with cool kids, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is a coffee connoisseur’s dream come true.

Coffee powder.
Ground coffee for espresso is becoming more and more prevalent in Ho Chi Minh City.

1. For Serious Coffee Geeks

Where: The Workshop Coffee opens in new window, 3rd Floor, 27 Ngo Duc Ke St, District 1, +84 8 3824 6801.
With a wide variety of brewing apparatus such as Chemex brewers, cold drips and syphon equipment prominently on display on its shelves and counters, The Workshop Coffee means business. It sources beans from around the world and its baristas are able to recommend the top brewing methods to coax the best flavour out of each roast. There is also an all-day breakfast menu, pasta and pastries, and snacks for those feeling peckish. With its high ceilings and free wi-fi, this airy industrial-chic café is also a good place to hang out for a few hours if you need to power up your laptop.

Cold drip coffee.
The cold-drip coffee loved throughout Vietnam is prevalent everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City.

2. Soak Up The Vintage Chic Atmosphere

Where: Mockingbird Café opens in new window, 4th Floor, 14 Ton That Dam, District 1; +84 9 0926 2161.
Located in a dilapidated building in the downtown area, Mockingbird Café is notable for its relaxed, homey atmosphere, thanks to the vintage wooden furniture and lightbulbs, and an assembly of cutesy knick-knacks and pages torn from fashion magazines serving as décor. The café offers a range of coffees such as café latte and cappuccino and there’s a selection of snacks including sandwiches and noodles. The view of the colonial-era State Bank of Vietnam building from the balcony adds to the old-school atmosphere.

Men having a coffee.
Having a coffee and a chat is commonplace in Ho Chi Minh City.

3. Relax In A Garden Sanctuary

Where: Café Tram opens in new window, 100 Tran Huy Lieu St, Phu Nhuan, +84 9 3370 2230.
In bustling Ho Chi Minh City, where the cityscape is dotted with buildings and the streets see a constant flow of motorbikes, garden-themed cafes are a way for locals to escape the hustle and bustle. The picturesque Café Tram has so much hush greenery, it is hard to tell where the garden ends and where the café begins. The sprawling café features wooden terraces, comfortable cushioned seats and Asian-centric décor such as oversized earthen jars, ponds and stone statues and busts. The menu offers the usual coffee varieties as well as an array of Vietnamese dishes.

Pianist playing a piano.
Jazz is played at the intimate and romantic hidden gem Vung Oi Mo Ra Café.

4. Enjoy Live Jazz With Your Cuppa

Where: Vung Oi Mo Ra Café opens in new window, 1st Floor, 17 Ngo Thoi Nhiem St (alleyway 17), District 3, +84 8 2215 7813.
Only the truly determined will find this hidden gem which is down a dead-end alley. Walk through the building’s kitchen and up a staircase to get to this café, which looks like you’ve stepped into an aunt’s living room, complete with fabric armchairs, delicate curtains and freshly cut flowers. Swing by at night, when the lights go down and the space is lit up with candles. This intimate, romantic atmosphere is perfect for its live jazz performances, which feature a rotating roster of Vietnamese musicians – all for only a small entry fee. Their iced coffee – a modern interpretation of the traditional drip coffee – is rich, sweet and thirst-quenching in Ho Chi Minh City’s humid climate.

5. Ideal For #OOTD Photographs

Where: M2C+ Café opens in new window, 230 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, District 3, +84 8 3930 2886.
Fashionistas and Instagram addicts, take note. If you are looking for the picture-perfect backdrop for your painstakingly styled #ootd (outfit of the day for the social-media shy) photographs, make a beeline for these Scandinavian-inspired interiors featuring light-toned wooden laminate tables, funky chairs and a raw cement wall that will make anything you wear look even better. Besides a modern Asian fusion menu and excellent coffee made with beans sourced from Vietnamese farms, two private rooms on the property listed on Airbnb are for café junkies who want the experience of living with a local host and waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed java.