BEST HIDDEN CAFES IN SAIGON: 20 UNIQUE COFFEE SHOPS

Vietnam is the second-largest coffee-growing country in the world and is famous for its coffee culture. And Saigon has succeeded in creating a unique culture of coffee with a strong sense of heritage. From sleek modern cafes to cozy corner shops tucked away in narrow alleyways, the city boasts a rich tapestry of coffee experiences.

Make time during your stay in Saigon for exploration of the city’s amazing cafe scene. It’s about much more than coffee. In this blog is my 20 Best ‘Hidden’ Cafes in Saigon.

1. Gom Saigon (42 Nguyễn Huệ, second floor)

Hidden down narrow alleyways and tucked away in an old apartment building, Gom Saigon offers a unique kind of ambience, décor and intimacy where visitors can enjoy authentic Vietnamese phin cafe while learning all about the ancient craft of pottery making.

For only $18 (450k VND) Gom Saigon supplies you with everything you need to create completed pottery pieces, including raw materials, equipment, inspiration, and guidance – in a captivating artistic space. Lessons consist of ancient techniques using hand-building, coiling, and trimming to create amazing work of pottery.

You can book private classes and gather your friends to attend pottery workshops with you. This is also the perfect spot for you to pick up the handmade pottery masterpieces by professional pottery artists.

2. Bản Cafe (38/7 Lê Lợi, second floor)

It’s a cute little coffee shop with a large selection of books. The ambiance here is VERY quiet. It is meant to be a place to work or to read, but not to socialize.

Bản is a great coffee shop to get some work done if you thrive in a very quiet, peaceful environment. They have lots of tea and coffee offerings and a few sweet and savory treat options.

This Saigon coffee shop is hidden on the second floor with just a small sign to guide you where to go. It’s through a small alleyway and up a small set of stairs.

3. Cafe Linh (1 Truong Dinh, District 1)

Coffee is a part of the Saigonese culture and Saigon has an astonishing assortment of these vintage “ruin-cafes” where you can enjoy a flavorful traditional Vietnamese coffee in a nostalgic ambience of Saigon in the past. One of my favorite vintage cafes is Cafe Linh.

This cafe carries the look of a Vietnamese middle house in the 1980s, making it an outcast in the hustling urban downtown. You can sense the nostalgia from the crumbling mortar walls to upcycled decor (like an old-style cassette, a black-and-white TV set, a sewing machine,…); every part of the cafe is evidence that in this special place, time has not moved on.

Unlike a normal coffee shop which lines up tables and chairs, customers here are free to find a place to settle in around the house or out in the front yard, bringing a homely feeling. These “ruin cafes” are perfect escapes for those romantic wanderlust souls who get tired of the boring coffee chains that offer nothing but monotony.

4. Cafe Ống (150/16 Bến Vân Đồn, District 4)

Cafe Ống emphasizes their commitment to avoiding plastic by serving their coffee in bamboo tubes with pandan leaves, grass straws and wooden spoons. In the case of takeout, the bamboo cup is secured with straps made of coconut leaves, and paper wrap is used instead of a plastic lid.

The coffee shops owner got the idea from his camping trips when he often stored food and drinks in bamboo containers. He ventured to the Central Highlands of Vietnam to source bamboo tubes from farmers. He used a special kind of bamboo known for its large stem and hollow core to replace plastic cups.

The shop imports over 1,000 bamboo tubes weekly. Every day, they sell from 200 to 250 cups of coffee in bamboo tubes, prices ranging from VND26,000 to VND32,000 ($1.07 to $1.32). Combining the natural aroma of bamboo pipes, the coffee flavor is enhanced and more flavorful.

5. Voila Bar Chinatown (123 Đ. Châu Văn Liêm, District 5)

In Saigon despite the surge of minimalist decor, industrial theme, and rustic style cafes popping up on a daily basis, retro Hong Kong style still reigns the roost. 

If you are fond of old-school aesthetics that are evocative of the Harbour City’s vintage charm, you will love Voila Bar in Saigon’s Chinatown.

Decked out with red lanterns, neon signs, patterned tile flooring, rustic furnishings, and nostalgic old movie posters this Hong Kong-inspired cafe will make you feel as if you’ve just walked into a scene of a Hong Kong ’90s movie, evoking memories of the Pearl of the Orient in the bygone days. 

6. Nhâm Coffee (91/1 Hoà Hưng, District 10)

Books and coffee go together like bread and butter. And Nham Coffee in Saigon takes this relationship to a whole new level.

The cafe has 2 floors and a huge bookshelf all the way up to the ceilings. When you overlook the scene from your seat, the view is just spectacular!

Retro furnishings, vintage decor, soothing music, delicious coffee and pastries with bookish vibes…It’s an amazing place for quiet reading or stimulating conversation while taking in the view of shelves upon shelves of books.

7. Cong Cafe (274 Hai Bà Trưng, District 1)

You will have seen countless pictures of Ho Chi Minh City’s flamboyant pink church, Tan Dinh Church on Instagram. And if you want to get the perfect shot of this famous Instagram-worthy church, the best spot is from the balcony of Cong Cafe (located almost opposite Tan Dinh Church). This is the spot where you can get that shot through the bougainvillea behind.

Cong Cafe is a local chain that has a war time theme. They have many locations scattered around the city with unique decor but the general theme is low ceiling, retro furnishings, and a quirky vibes. They have the best coconut coffee.

The entire store consist of 3 floors with quite a number of seatings, kind of packed and crowded when we visited, but all’s good! We were lucky enough to secure a balcony seat and was able to see Tan Dinh church from café view!

8. Cafe Cheo Leo (109/36 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, District 3)

Cafe Cheo Leo is the oldest cafe in Vietnam (85 years old). Unlike many trendy coffee shops around the city, it looks quite plain, with stainless steel tables and plastic stools.

The essence of Cheo Leo’s lasting charm lies in its old-fashioned, almost extinct, way of brewing coffee with a clay pot and a cloth strainer. There are just a handful of shops that are still using the method around the city.

Cheo Leo’s owners are known for having been meticulously carrying out the whole brewing process for decades, treating it like a ritual. They still use an old stove that their father made specifically just for boiling water. They then poured the hot water into a cloth strainer containing finely ground coffee. The strainer is placed in a clay pot that Chinese people often use to cook medicinal herbs.

9. The Cafe Apartment Building (No.42 Nguyen Hue Street)

The Café Apartment Building is an unique blend of old-world and modern charm. It houses a vibrant array of workshops, independent cafes, boutique fashion stores, and co-working spaces.

The Café Apartment Building spans nine floors. When inside the building, take your time to explore the different floors and businesses.

You’ll need to take an elevator to access the beautiful views from atop the apartment blocks. I took the elevator to the 8th floor and grabbed a stool on the balcony of the Good Day cafe.

This coffee shops offers the best view of the Nguyen Hue Walking Street. The street is alive with activity, offering a delightful atmosphere where locals and visitors alike come together.

10. S’more (2/12 Cao Thang, District 3) 

Unfinished concrete surfaces, metal pipes, visible ducts, high ceilings and exposed structural systems are common sights in old factories and warehouses. However, in recent years, we have seen an increasing demand for this aesthetic in both residential and commercial spaces. And S’more in Saigon has taken this concept to the next level.

S’mores is an architectural and interior decor gem for enjoying coffee. Its vintage interior theme of exposed brick walls, distressed features, dark wood furnishings, carefully chosen lighting and a sprinkling of greenery is carried throughout. All while each of the spaces maintains its own personality.

The ground floor has its main serving counter and various seating in the front half. The rear features a nicely planted, crushed stone minimalist courtyard, a delightful little greenery filled oasis that would make for blissfully nice evening coffee sessions in the fresh air.

11. Cafe Do Phu (113A Dang Dung Street, District 1)

A café takes visitors down a unique memory lane as a living museum to the Vietnam War. Walking into this cafe is like taking a step back in time. Long, everlasting history with the marks of the Vietnam War and the era of the 1970s-1980s in every nook and cranny.

The coffee shop makes a first impression with its ancient appearance of a charming wooden house. Inside, the cafe is a makeshift museum. Old black-and-white photos hang on the walls, and bric-a-brac fills the wall space. Every object displayed in the coffee shop is preserved since wartime and they are still working.

This wooden house from the 1940s was originally a place to sell coffee and broken rice of Mr. Do Mien and his wife – Mrs. Nguyen Thi Su. The shop is called “Do Phu”, which means the palace (house) of the Do family. When visiting Do Phu cafe, diners cannot miss the “Dai Han broken rice” dish. A full plate of rice includes grilled ribs, shredded pork skin, sunny-side-up eggs, egg meatloaf, and oily scallion.

12. The Little Bean ( CC1 Trường Sơn, Quận 10)

Workshop Coffee is one of the best Saigon cafes for delicious coffee amid lots of natural light. Here, you’ll find an industrial design with exposed brick walls.

Large lights hang from above, not that they’re needed during the day. For digital nomads and expats, it’s the perfect spot to get some work done or enjoy a good coffee.

13. April Tea (193/19 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, District 3)

This coffee shop has a quite extensive menu of drinks and desserts. And they are famous for their seasonal decorations.

We visited this coffee shop 2 times and each time they displayed a different theme decoration for their interior and exterior space. The first time was during Tet Holidays (2024) and their front yard was transformed into an incense village.

Two months later when we came back, the coffee shop turned their yard into a spring wonderland with an instagramamble VW campervan surrounded with beautiful white cherry blossom.

This coffee shop is always flooded with locals and tourists alike for photoshoots. I loved their easy-going and relaxed style; as long as you order the drinks you can stay as long as you want until you get that perfect shot for your Instagram.

14. Lac Cafe (216/1 Đ. Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, District 3)

In the bustling streets of Saigon, amidst the chaotic traffic and vibrant energy, lies a hidden coffee shop waiting to be discovered.

Lac Cafe is located in a very tiny alleyway hidden between two old apartment buildings. It gives you tons of nostalgic props to capture a perfect photo for your Instagram in a very cool, hip vibe.

Outside the alley, there is a sign indicating the entrance to Lac Cafe with a wooden table and a lovely fresh flower vase that is the background frame that often appears in the check-in pictures of many young people when visiting the coffee shop.

Lac is a cafe with a nostalgic, ancient style, reminiscent of an elegant Hanoi. The space is small, but is arranged very neatly and skillfully by the owner, ensuring that each guest who comes here has his/her own corner.

15. Cu Xa Tra Banh Cafe (M8D Đ. Hương Giang, District 10)

A long time sentimental favorite among the locals. On a narrow lane in District 10 this small café is almost invisible from the street behind all the foliage that surrounds it.

The cafe has the style of a traditional rural Vietnamese home. Indeed, the structures of this café look as though they’d be more at home in a provincial village than the middle of Saigon. 

Cu Xa Tra Banh is a lush, hidden, tropical world in the middle of Vietnam’s biggest, busiest city. A genuine oasis where you can swap the roar of motorbikes for the trickle of water and rustle of leaves.

16. Nicotin Cafe (26 Ly Tu Trong)

This cafe seems to be a peaceful hiding place in the heart of the city if one day you feel tired of high-rise buildings and bustling towns.

From the design style to the small interior details are minimalist designs and close to nature, creating a unique feature for the coffee shop.

With the main neutral color theme, this beautiful cafe always gives you a comfortable and airy feeling. You can listen to melodious music through headphones or read a book. The open space here always gives you the feeling that all your troubles will slowly drift away.

17. Maison de Boony (10 Lê Quý Đôn, Quận Phú Nhuận)

Stepping inside Maison de Boony you will be transported to a charming European countryside cottage. The pastel dreamy color theme makes this cafe seem straight out of a storybook.

Through both the romantic songs played constantly and the western design, Maison de Boony wins the heart of its clients. The café offers an excellent experience similar to that of European countries with soft light gently filling the whole space thanks to the open air.

18. Rose Villa (58/10 Villas, Thảo Điền)

Stepping into Rose Villa , the first impression is the charming architecture, the shimmering pool, and the lush tropical gardens

It’s hard to believe that amidst the hustle and bustle of Saigon, there exists a place filled with birds’ chirping and peaceful water sounds. Take a leisurely stroll, admire the landscape, and enjoy a cappuccino next to the surrounding cabanas.

19. Patisserie de Verite (84T/1 Tran Dinh Xu, District 1)

Patisserie de Verite is located in a quiet alley on Tran Dinh Xu street. The pastel theme bakery serves up high-end cakes and pastries in its French-style cafe. It can be said that this cafe has a very “western” style compared to other alley cafes in Saigon.

The first impression of this coffee shop is the space as well as the layout: elegant and sophisticated. The collection of vases, cups and a series of cookie jars neatly arranged on the counter will surely make you curious as soon as you step inside.

With a diverse menu of French-style pastries and drinks, you are free to stay here to taste each cake or sip a cup of tea. Most of the nice cafes in the alleys of this busy city are quite small, but Verite is an exception. The shop is actually a gorgeous villa with 6 floors.

20. Tram Om Mot Cai (97B Ly Tu Trong, district 1, floor 1)

This cafe has a unique concept that connects strangers with letters. Here as you sip coffee, you will be provided with scrapbooking supplies to create your own hand-written letters.

This is the perfect spot for those who appreciate good coffee, and the lost art of handwritten letters and calligraphy.

Final Thoughts

I spent a lot of my time drifting between the different cafes when I was in Saigon. They’re great places for locals and travelers alike to escape the noise of the city and immerse themselves in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. One of the things that I absolutely love about the coffee shops in Vietnam is that you’ll never feel pressured to rush or leave. They have a very relaxed style and attitude so once they deliver your order, you’ll pretty much be left alone. I also loved how many of them were hidden in plain sight. Seeking them out was fun and made me feel like I had discovered something secretive and cool.

We hope you will find the best coffee in Saigon. Let us know in the comments if you have visited one of our favourite cafes in Saigon.

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By inAra

Hi there! I’m May, a girl who loves to wander and wonder! I’m from Saigon, based in Los Angeles, but my current location is anywhere and everywhere. Travel, Photography, Tea Time, Picnic, Home Decor and Event Planning are a few of my favorite things.

inArabymay is a travel and lifestyle blog inspired by beautiful destinations, by color and nature, and by wonderful people that I’ve met on my journey.

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