Throughout history, the coffee culture has been one of the most prominent cornerstones contributing to our modern culture. A cup of coffee first thing in the morning, coupled with a nice meal as we go about reading the newspaper; hard to find a better way to start the day. Vietnam is, unsurprisingly, no exception. The coffee drinking culture in Vietnam (the second largest coffee exporting country) especially these last decades is abundant, interesting and growing in numbers. With that comes a variety of coffee options for tourists that just happen to be coffee enthusiasts! So come along, here is a list of the most highly rated coffee shops in Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City that we consider to be essential for every trip to Vietnam.
Tổ Chim Xanh – Bluebirds’ Nest
Address: 13, 19 Đặng Dung, Quán Thánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
Tổ Chim Xanh, Vietnamese for ‘Bluebird’s Nest,’ is every bit as cute as it sounds, with a cozy little library, a corner for live music performances, and a fantastic rooftop terrace. As pleasant as the ground floor is, the highlight is the spacious rooftop terrace from where you can unashamedly spy on the surrounding residents. The rooftop is dwarfed and encircled by various Soviet era apartment buildings brought to life by the colorful hanging clothing that the inhabitants have put out to dry.
Hanoi Social Club
Address: 6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Owned by a local Hanoian, Nga and her Australian business partner, John, the food, the music and the vibe are inspired by Australia’s cafe capital, Melbourne. Hanoi Social Club brings a unique menu of salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta juices and other fresh flavours to a delightful 1920s French colonial villa. A basic, well priced wine list also makes it a great space to take some time out from bustling city in the late afternoon or evening. The decor is rustic and with original tiles, wooden furnishings and high ceilings.
Cafe Pho Co
Address: 11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Another hidden cafe in Hanoi. With concrete walls, mini shrines, bird cages and even some birds out of cages – it’s definitely a Vietnam coffee shop experience. Order downstairs and make your way up the wind-y spiral staircase. Enjoy your coffee on the rooftop, with an amazing view of the city and lake.
Uy Viet Coffee Bean
Address: 580 Cua Dai
Here you can get great coffee and amazing service (they also have freshly ground beans to take home, if you are interested in making your own brew), and the coffee bars on Ly Thuong Kiet. This street is lined with top-notch coffee bars for half a kilometre, with all the different types available. The staff mostly will be able to steer you through the ordering process without much confusion.
Address: 130 Tran Phu
Positioned in the heart of Old Town, Faifo offers great house-roasted coffee and a fantastic rooftop on top of the shop in which to enjoy it.
After placing your order on the first floor, navigate your way up the narrow dark wooden stairs, past the retro motorbike and up once more to the roof. With lanterns swinging overhead, are two tables and a number of stools well shaded from the harsh sun. This level offers a unique view of Old Town, with tiled rooftops all around. Faifo also has a middle floor well cooled and equipped with more comfortable seating.
The Espresso Station
Address: 130 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
The Gemstone Art Museum in the Old Town showcases an extensive collection of minerals and rare gems from around Vietnam.
Tucked in the back, a gem not as well known in Hoi An is their lounge and coffee shop. A laid-back and refined space, complete with mustard walls and a unique fountain with water trickling down marble formations with spinel deposits. Thoughtfully filling the area are thin roots hanging from a canopy of vines overhead. The longest roots reach all the way down to the water in their deep well. The atmosphere makes this a great spot for a coffee break and to also appreciate the beauty of the stones on display.
They also have a good number of cocktails, wine, and fruit juice on the menu, making it a versatile stop.
Ho Chi Minh City
Address: 34D Thu Khoa Huan St, District 1
Id Cafe has an unassuming frontage, but once inside this two storey coffee shop the modern-retro theme is really funky.
The 70s style armchairs are comfy as well as stylish and the decor of vinyl records and stencils lining the walls, and period radios and typewriters positioned here and there mean there’s always something to catch your eye. Located just one block north of Ben Thanh Market, Id Cafe offers shoppers the perfect respite from the frenzy of the market.
Address: 41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach, District 3
Housed in a canary yellow French villa, Hideaway Cafe is one of the most attractive coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh. It’s the kind of place you would never know was there if you didn’t look for it, even though it’s just one block from Turtle Lake roundabout in District 3. As the name suggests, Hideaway Cafe is located down a small alley. You enter through a gate and into a central courtyard. Either side there are period buildings with high ceilings and small opulent touches redolent of the French colonial period.
Address: 70B Le Loi St, (1st floor)
L’usine is at the forefront of the part coffee shop, part fashion boutique establishments that are springing up all over the city. Downstairs there is a clothing store with both male and female fashion, and on the first floor there is a minimalist and extremely cool coffee shop. The whitewashed brick walls, brushed concrete and antique lighting create a bohemian vibe that suits the clientele of Ho Chi Minh’s scenesters. Alongside their excellent range Vietnamese style coffees, and European style cappuccinos and lattes, there is a cute little deli with croissants, quiches, cupcakes and macarons. There is also a large balcony for looking out onto Le Loi, one of the main thoroughfares of the city.