The Phu Nhuan District of Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to explore. Like elsewhere in the city, you will find many unique cafes. Here are our favorites.
Cafe, Vietnamese, American, European, $$$
Being located in a small alley on Nguyen Trong Tuyen Street hasn’t prevent Jade Bakery from becoming a popular spot to hang out with friends or enjoy some cake. The menu does not only have cakes but also great coffee, smoothies, and other refreshing drinks. At this place you can read your favorite book and enjoy your weekend. If you are a durian fan, you should definitely try Jade’s durian cake–it’s the best.
Lying on the same street as Jade Bakery, The Open Space is a great working space. Glass windows with black metal frames maximize the cool views and bring in plenty of light. Sit on the top floor—if you’re lucky, you will see a train go by underneath, as there is an active train track nearby. The entrance may not give off the best first impression, but this café is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Try any of the ice blended drinks.
Mien Dong Thao is great for nature lovers. It is a garden café–full of plants, trees, ponds and artificial streams. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, you can easily kill an hour or two from your day lazing about, reading a book or getting some work done. The food menu is also great, making this place perfect for a romantic dinner date.
Tram Café is a popular hangout spot among Saigonese youth. The ambiance is very serene—it will feel like you are in a jungle surrounded by a city, not the other way around. Beautiful lanterns hang from the ceiling, there are stepping stones across a pond that you can walk across and a waterfall fountain. It is the perfect spot for de-stressing or getting away from the rush of life, as the aroma of the incense and the sounds of running water will surely calm you down.
Quan Cay Cafe is a small, quaint coffee shop that is beautifully designed. There are plenty of shelves inside with ceramic bowls, plates and books used for decoration—kind of like a home. There’s even a fish tank. There are live Vietnamese performances every Wednesday and Sunday. If you want something rather local and homey with good coffee, this is the place.
Serenata Piano Cafe is also located on Nguyen Trong Tuyen Street in Phu Nhuan District. A large space with good distance between seating areas, flowers and plants, live piano music and a great menu, this café is perfect whether you are alone, with a date, or with a group of friends.
The Coffee House is a popular name in Vietnam—akin to Starbucks in the USA. The chain has been super successful, and there are now 49 outlets within Ho Chi Minh City alone. Contemporary décor, fast service, comfortable seats, and fantastic menu with snacks, The Coffee House never fails to deliver. Great for business meetings, too.
Palan Cafe is a Korean-style coffee shop with five floors, each with different color palettes, yet elegant and simple. It is an ideal work environment as the décor is not overwhelming or distracting, there are soft tunes, electric outlets everywhere and it’s not even the slightest bit crowded. The waffles are to die for, too.
There’s a purple and green theme going on in here, almost making you feel as if you are a miniature bug in a giant lavender plant. This place is a mix of a coffee shop and a restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor spaces full of plants and flowers. Pergola is great for events such as celebrating a birthday.
Cafe Vot has been operational for over 60 years and is the one spot you should not miss. This is a shop house, with a shop downstairs and the owner’s home upstairs. There are no wooden tables to sit at but a few plastic stools spilling out into the alleyway. The coffee is special and made in a unique way that is not so common anymore in Vietnam. It is filtered using a net, and is delicious. The place is run by a lovely old couple that keep it open 24/7. The only day off they have is the last day of the Lunar Calendar, when they prepare for the New Year. Customers who have fallen in love with the old couple visit here time and time again, and you will too.