“Coffee is the kind of traveller who want to blend in and become a local wherever it goes.”
In deed, the best way to explore HCMC is through its coffee culture. You will have many choices, enjoy coffee on the terrace of L’Usine, a French-inspired café overlooking the opera house or a modest pavement café.
Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by the French in the late 19th century but the country quickly became a strong exporter, from vast farms of Central highlands and now the Vietnamese have taken coffee to new levels of almost gastronomical – even medicinal.
Coffee is a diversity culture with different kinds of coffee that deserved more exploration. They came with different bean combinations and recipes: Cà phê đá
: straight coffee served with crushed ice; Cà phê sữa đá
: brewed coffee layered over sweetened condensed milk with crushed ice; and you can also try Cà phê trứng
which is a famous Hanoian coffee topped with a dollop of fluffy meringue.
(By The Craff House)
The Saigonese prefer sweet favor, they create “Bạc xỉu” which is popular among women who don’t like a bitter flavor of dark coffee yet can’t resist a seductiveness of coffee. Bac Xiu is made with condensed milk mixed with boiled water then mixing in a tiny bit of coffee.
(Bac Xiu - Cong Ca Phe)
Since French brought coffee to Vietnam, it has gradually obtained the bold characteristics of the Vietnamese soul. Each region has its own special characteristics in the culture of enjoying coffee. If Hanoi capital is famous for the quiet and somehow ancient coffee shops, Hue is known of the gentle air of windy coffee garden, then Saigon is the combination of all coffee lovers from all regions along the country.
Coffee has been an indispensable cultural feature of Saigon people. Besides helping people feel awake for a new day, coffee is also a spiritual drink, a place to meet friends, partners, and even an ideal place for dating.
DO YOU KNOW?
Vietnamese coffee’s reputation is well-known and well-deserved. The French brought coffee to this region in the 19th century and to present day, Vietnam has become the second-largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil. The Central Highlands region–is home to the farms and fields producing many varieties of this magical and addictive bean that is stored in pantries worldwide.
THE COOL COFFEE SHOP IN HO CHI MINH CITY YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
Cong Ca Phe
► 2nd Floor, 26 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
► 93 Yersin, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
► Hung Vuong 3, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
A coffee shop that carries a pure Vietnamese theme with propaganda posters and communism has been driving the whole community by storm; especially with the youngsters, it’s great to have a cup of coffee at the end of the day in such a cozy atmosphere and listen to some Vietnamese tunes.
*Tips: Their signature drink is ice blended coconut coffee
(Photo by Cong Ca Phe)
► 91 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
(Photo by Linh Pham)
► 19 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
► 1st Floor 151 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, 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. L’Usine now frames this view of Saigon new life through international design classics, local master crafts and hybrid products.
(Photo by L'usine)
The Hidden Elephant Books and Coffee
►2nd Floor, 35 Phan Chau Trinh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Conveniently located right next to the famous tourist market, Ben Thanh, The Hidden Elephant truly managed to hide an elephant in plain sight. It’s located on the second floor and has one teensy little sign outside the grimy stairwell that leads to the café. A truly place to read with a fantastic view of Saigon.
(Photo by Chi Pham)