A GUIDE TO COFFEE IN SAI GON
Vietnam is the second largest coffee producing country in the world, so you know they mean business when it comes to brew.
Sai Gon was my last stop in Vietnam. Prior, I’d been to Hanoi, Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An and Da Nang over the course of nearly a month in a country that stole my heart almost immediately.
Getting to Sai Gon, you’d think I’d be tired, figuratively- not literally- after drinking so much caffeine. How much more could I really drink?
Spoiler: A lot more.
Leaving Sai Gon to head to the Philippines for a few days, followed by Taiwan, I found myself experiencing genuine coffee withdrawal. I’d had so much great brew during my time in Vietnam, that the sudden stop of several cups a day triggered a whole slew of symptoms (increased anxiety, nonsensical irritability, difficulty sleeping).
But, if given the option, I’d do it all again. I love coffee, that’s no secret.
And, in Vietnam, it’s coffee mania.
Whether you’re an all-in coffee addict like me, or rarely find yourself sipping a cuppa, you should definitely try different types of coffee in Vietnam. From egg coffee to coconut coffee, it’s a way to experience the culture of this incredible SE Asian country.
If you’re planning a trip to Sai Gon, don’t miss these great spots for your caffeine fix.
A Guide to Coffee in Sai Gon: 8 Can’t Miss Spots
Cong Caphe: New city, same coffee order. Coconut coffee, please and thank you.
Tip: The Cong on Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận has a beautiful balcony, overlooking the chaotic city streets below.
The Loft: Tucked above the busy streets below, The Loft is next to the Cong location mentioned above. This cafe has become Insta famous for its rustic interiors, huge clock wall and twinkling string lights. There’s no denying it’s a dreamy place to escape the rain or heat for a bit. Here, I had a cà phê đá that was absolute perfection.
Saigon Coffee Roastery: Like many of Sai Gon’s cafes, this one is hidden down a hallway several levels above the street below. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a giant clock, and a narrow sipping room with a long, communal table. Here, I tried the iced coconut coffee, which was very different from the coconut coffee I’d grown to love at Cong- instead of frozen, it’s served iced. Less sweet, and a stronger brew. Two thumbs up.
Goc Ha Noi (Little Hanoi) Egg Coffee: Hidden down an alleyway, this egg coffee is the real deal. The women who run the cafe are from the north, so you know it’s gonna be good. Climb up the narrow ladder, and you’ll find yourself in a tiny room that resembles the living room of a traditional home. Don’t bother asking for a menu here- the only thing you should order is the egg coffee.
Shin: Legendary. You’ll see tourists from across Asia piling in one of their two locations to snap photos, buy beans, and order pour overs. I’ll admit it: I bought a few bags myself to ship back to friends in the States. I liked Shin so much, I came a few times- twice for egg coffees and once to try their cold brew. Everything was excellent. The egg coffee is a different style than what I had in the north, but still great.
ID Cafe: Stopped in here one night after dinner for lychee tea. I can’t speak for their coffee, but the menu looked incredible, and the space is seriously great for chilling out or catching up with friends.
Workshop: Favoured among expats, this is the place to be at brunch time on the weekends. When I visited, there was a wait for tables, but I snuck right in at a bar seat to try their house cold brew. Worth a pop in if you’re already downtown, it’s near Cafe Apartment.
Cafe Apartment: An entire apartment block of cafes? Where do I move in? I spent a morning here, visiting a few cafes and roaming the different floors, but could have easily come back time after time to try new places. My advice? Pay the small fee to take the lift to the top, and then work your way down.
With nearly a week in Sai Gon, I tried to visit as many of its renowned cafes as possible, but know I barely scratched the surface. Vietnam isn’t somewhere I ever really thought about living until I fell for Sai Gon and Da Nang.
Now, I completely understand why so many digital nomads call the country home. And, I’ll admit, I’m quite jealous of their access to incredible coffee.
Have you been to Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City)? If you’re a coffee lover, which cafes did you visit on your trip? Would you add any spots to this guide to coffee in Sai Gon?
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