Roasted and ground: 10 places that make the coffee map of Saigon

By Phong Vinh   May 22, 2016 | 08:24 am GMT+7

Located only seven hours by car from Vietnam's coffee capital Buon Ma Thuot, Saigon has succeeded in creating a coffee culture that tops the city’s talk-about list. These 10 cafes are the steaming evidence of a robust current that flows inside Saigon.

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Nguoi Sai Gon

Situated on Thai Van Lung Street (District 1), Nguoi Sai Gon (Saigoneer) cafe has made itself known among serenity lovers. The Saigon of yesterday still manages to linger here through the juxtaposition of old wooden doors, black and white TV sets and bikes hung on the wall. Maybe it’s the sense of nostalgia deliberately imposed here that has earned Nguoi Sai Gon so many regulars. Price range: VND40,000 ($2) - VND80,000. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Ngoc Ha

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Kujuz

Kujuz sticks out thanks to the combination of glass and colorful design. The cafe aims at offering the true privacy through closed corners and a chilled atmosphere. Suitable for both group hangouts and lone visitors, Kujuz offers the unique self-service experience rarely found in Vietnam. Price range: VND40,000. Photo by VnExpress/Van Giang

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Fix Republic

Any photographer looking for a chance to socialize with their peers shouldn’t miss this place. The cafe is widely known as the hub for photography enthusiasts with an artistic and serene space without making one venture out of Saigon. Price range: VND20,000. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

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Ut Lanh

Drawing most of its inspirations from Saigon of the 80s and the 90s, Ut Lanh (translates into the youngest daughter named Lanh, with Lanh itself meaning benign) is filled with furniture that reminds many Saigoneers of their own houses. The menu features all kinds of drinks found at any other cafe in Saigon beside a list of snacks to which Saigon’s youth is no stranger. Plus point: all ingredients are homemade. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

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Strainer cafes

As the name suggests, coffee at these cafes is prepared using cloth strainers instead of the popular ‘phin’ (Vietnamese drip coffee) or directly from ground coffee. The cafes that have their names attached to this way of coffee preparation include Cheo Leo cafe at Nguyen Thien Thuat apartment building or Mr. and Mrs. Ba’s cafe in alley 330 on Phan Dinh Phung Street. All of them have been doing business long enough that many customers turn to them for the sense of nostalgia and interesting stories about the city. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

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Oromia

Oromia wins the heart of its clients through both the western design and the romantic songs played constantly indoors and outdoors. Light in the day thanks to open air but dreamy at night with yellow light gently covering the whole space, the cafe offers an experience similar to that of European countries. Nature also lends its lifeblood to the atmosphere at Oromia through the clever installation of plants, pond and natural materials. The cafe serves a wide range of drinks from traditional coffee to take-away iced blends and sodas. Price range: VND40,000 - VND 150,000. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

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Thuc

The youth of Saigon are no stranger to Thuc (All nighter). Dubbed “The city that never sleeps”, Saigon stays true to the name, and Thuc is no exception with space designed especially for the city owls. The cafe boasts a modern design suitable for all nighter activities. A whole night at Saigon’s cafes is definitely an experience worth trying for anyone craving for a taste of the city. Photo: Facebook

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Station 3A

Similar to former Zone 9 in Hanoi, Station 3A (3A Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1) is a complex of entertainment and contemporary art that came into operation a few years ago. This is the gathering of multiple exhibition spaces and shops interlaced with cafes and a food court. Since its opening, Station 3A has proved itself a go-to urban retreat, attracting youngsters from all over Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

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Kokois

Kokois places aesthetics and luxury high on its priority list through the hailed artistic installation. Located on a mezzanine, Kokois boasts two bars, one indoor, the other outdoor with inspirations drawn mainly from heavy industry and containers. Photo by VnExpress/Cao Tri

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Sidewalk cafe at Notre-Dame Cathedral

If you are not into a walled experience, it’s highly recommended for you to head for 30/4 Park (District 1), the place that recently adopted a new reputation for its sidewalk cafe. Customers choosing to have coffee here are exposed to all kinds of sounds typical of urban Saigon: traffic, birds, chatting, and sometimes improvised street shows by students that are also regulars to the cafe. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

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