In Saigon, one of the most well-known things is “Saigon ca phe sua da” which mean Saigon ice milk coffee. The flavor of Saigon coffee is quite different from common American coffee. For most American coffee, it is washier than the Saigon coffee so it might be not tasty. Moreover, besides the flavor, coffee shops in Saigon also recall for the customers get back to the old times. There are some vintage coffee shops that reappear Saigon in 1970, the time that Saigon was very wealthy and prosperous. Having a cup of coffee in these places, you will have the feeling of going back in time, reviving the old years, when the little boys and girls ran around the porch. In this post, I will introduce to the Saigon specialties which are the vintage coffee shops that still remain in Saigon.
Lao Hac – Beer & Cafe
Located at: 214/19A Nguyen Van Nguyen St, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, HCMC
As a vintage cafe lover, you definitely should come to this coffee shop. Take the concept from the Vietnamese literary to name the coffee shop so the decoration in here mainly from the old things. The cafe shop has 2 floors and the owner has decorated mostly from wooden materials. About the space and atmosphere, the shop often turns on Trinh music and mix with the peaceful space, the shop created a delightful moment for customers. Therefore, it is suitable for you to come and share stories to your friends among this retro coffee shop.
Cafe 81 coffee shop
Located at: 216B, Nguyen Van Nguyen St, District 1, HCMC
From the old scooters to the old objects like the former Soviet sewing machine, silver leaf-leaf frame, iron table fan, etc. you could see in here. From the old things, it reappears back to the time the life of Vietnamese people during the Vietnam war. At the front of the coffee shop, you could see the owner has arranged some old decorations like small ceramic pig statue, the old-style pots, mini wooden house, etc.
Hoa Giay coffee shop
19 Huynh Tinh Cua St, Ward 8, District 3, HCMC
Hoa Giay coffee shop is humbled to stand on Huynh Tinh Cua street. The most notable is the owner has covered all the coffee shop with the yellow color. In front of the shop, there are some colorful lanterns, that makes people to remember about the Hoi An ancient town. Without any big signs, fancy decoration, and flashing lights, the store only attracts you by its unique design and luxurious tables and chairs with ancient features of the yellow walls and blue iron window pane.
Saigon Retro coffee shop
1st floor, 55 Tran Quoc Toan St, Ward 8, District 3, HCMC
Inspired by the time 1965s, the image of Saigon at that time was so peaceful and balance. The owner is a Saigonese, and his family also are originally from Saigon. With him, the best moment that he remembers is the time when he saw intellectual families that lived in Saigon in 1965s. Thus, it becomes a motivation for him to recreate the living room of intelligent families at that time.
Ut Lanh coffee shop
283/37 Pham Ngu Lao St, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, HCMC
Located at the alley of Phạm Ngũ Lão street, right next to the Bùi Viện St – a pedestrian street for foreigners, the cafe shop will bring you the quiet feeling at the first step you come to cafe shop though. To keep the space and the vintage charisma of the store, there is no air conditioner, wifi, no expensive/luxury interiors, just only has the old things like boards and antic furniture. The store up to now still keeps the architecture of an old-style house, from the old sofa to the old TV cabinet. The music plays songs about Hanoi from the cassette machine, upstairs is a desk, next to the bed old.
In general, among the modern lives, you could see and understand more about the historical development of Saigon by those coffee shops above. If you have the chance to come to Vietnam, especially come to Saigon, try to explore and visit once. I’m sure that you will have unforgettable moments and feelings.