A good café to work in can make or break an afternoon of productivity. Luckily, Ho Chi Minh City boasts a thriving café culture with excellent spots dotted along virtually every street – but with so many to choose from, settling on one can be difficult.
Working or studying in a café is an excellent way to boost your productivity, but not just anywhere will do. Comfortable seating, strong Wi-Fi and a focused atmosphere are essential for getting the best out of your session. Delicious drinks and snacks are also crucial; as George Eliot quipped, “No man can be wise on an empty stomach.” The following cafés are so appealing that you’ll be desperate to get to work.
As its name suggests, The Workshop is an ideal place to work or study. Its functional-chic decor creates just the right relaxed-yet-productive atmosphere – as well as making it a bit of a hipster hotspot. The Wi-Fi is strong, the staff are helpful and the cheesecake is off the charts. It’s no surprise that The Workshop is a firm favourite among professionals, digital nomads and students.
Kamakura is a Japanese coffee and dessert shop located in District 1’s trendy Da Kao neighbourhood. Its quiet music and minimalist decor create a chilled-out, focused vibe that makes it easy to concentrate on the task at hand. There’s an excellent range of coffees, smoothies and juices on offer, as well as some delectable desserts and a small lunch menu. It’s a popular working spot, but it never feels crowded or hectic.
Set back from a busy main road in Go Vap district, Metropolis Coffee offers a welcome reprieve from the commotion. The café has two very different rooms that make it feel like two venues rolled into one, giving patrons the best of both worlds. With its book-lined, bare brick walls and soft lighting, Metropolis’ front room is a cosy and peaceful place to work or study. The backroom is a Japanese-inspired working space, with low tables and floor pillows. Natural light floods the room and there are charging ports everywhere, which is ideal for laptop users. Metropolis has a wide range of drinks, snacks and meals on the menu, meaning you’ve got fuel for the whole day.
Bliss Coffee’s leafy decor and water feature give this delightful café a slight rainforest feel. Patrons benefit from an influx of natural light as they work thanks to the café’s three glass walls. There’s even a small garden area, ideal for taking a quick break. With plenty of space and soothing music, Bliss is a very tranquil location to bash out an essay or crunch some numbers. The long opening hours make it perfect for study at almost any time of the day. If its incredibly friendly staff don’t win you over, its sweet lunch deal will.
The Loop is a spacious, comfortable café which is very well-suited to work or study. With an extensive menu that includes some great vegetarian options and an extremely tempting selection of cakes, there’s a lot to like about The Loop. It’s relaxed, but with a creative buzz. The seats are comfortable, the Wi-Fi is fast and there’s an upbeat, cheerful vibe about the place. You’ll see plenty of expats there, happily working away on their laptops.
Oromia Coffee is an Eden for creatives. Its graceful interior attracts artists in their droves, and there’s even a piano for the musically-minded to take advantage of. The café creates a feeling of being tucked away somehow; a secluded oasis in a manic city. Days spent working at Oromia will be very pleasant indeed, not least because the café is also home to some adorable feline friends to pet.
L’Usine is something of an institution among Saigon’s fashionable crowd, and a haven for digital nomads. This café and concept store acts as a bridge between past and present Saigon, capturing the spirit of the city perfectly. There’s an amazing all-day breakfast menu that’s sure to keep you feeling full and happy while you work, and the coffee is excellent. There are several stylish branches across the city to choose from and once you’ve been to one, you’ll definitely want to visit them all.
The Open Space café is, well, just that. It’s a bright, spacious and beautiful café designed for work and study. There are sockets everywhere and the Wi-Fi is strong, so there’s no excuse not to be productive. The glass walls and minimal industrialist decor set a calm tone, and there’s even a small garden if you need to take a breather. The staff are incredibly welcoming, so you don’t need to feel worried about hanging out here for hours on end. There’s an excellent range of desserts to keep you going and the café is always quiet, so distractions are at a minimum.
Dolphy’s is so popular in the Thao Dien neighbourhood that there are multiple branches within walking distance of one another. The sight of that smiling dolphin logo promises a productive session fuelled by delicious coffee, smoothies and milkshakes – and the prices are so reasonable that it’s definitely worth trying more than one flavour. The ever-present assembly of expats and laptops pays testament to the fact that this chilled-out, open-air coffee shop is perfect for a working session.
No café guide to Saigon is complete without a mention of the famous cafe apartment block at 42 Nguyen Hue. Saigon Oi is located on the fifth floor of this Instagram hotspot, and is by far the most spacious café in the building. It’s a young, artistic space decorated with plenty of plants, hanging lanterns and wicker chairs. There’s also a balcony for those who like to people-watch as they work, or just want to take a break.