In a city where coffee stands and laid-back, streetside cafes line every inch of peripheral vision, a quick pick-me-up is never far. This rich coffee culture extends to the world of specialty coffee as well. Although sweet, Vietnamese-style coffee, poured through Phin filters, is generally the preferred variety in casual settings, there is a strong contingency of shops in the city focused on offering both single-origin coffee and fine espresso. Combining great coffee with a relaxing atmosphere, well-suited for an out-of-office workday or leisurely afternoon reading, here are some of our favorite spots for the best specialty coffee in Saigon:
1. Okkio Caffe, District 1
Drawing its inspiration from the coffee houses of Japan, Okkio rests at the top of a tight spiral staircase over Le Loi Street in the heart of the city. It’s a quiet, spacious zone to take a break from the bustle of the city and leaf through a book while jazz plays over the speakers. Okkio brings a wide array of expertly-crafted espresso drinks as well as pour-over coffee, and their homemade baked goods are not to be missed.
Banana bread: 50K
Address: 122 Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1
2. Soul Specialty Coffee, District 3
On a side street off of Le Van Sy, Soul Specialty Coffee offers an impressive and creative menu of specialty coffees. In addition to coffees from around the world, their cold brew, served standalone or mixed with lemongrass and fruit, stands apart from the crowd. Sit at the bar to see the pour first-hand or, by night, cool down with a cold brew cocktail.
Flavored Cold Brew: 75K
3. The Workshop Specialty Coffee, District 1
An institution in the Saigonese cafe scene, The Workshop has earned its reputation. A massive, top-floor space with plenty of natural light, its large wooden table and wrap-around bar is packed with both regulars and travelers in the know. They have a rotating list of coffees, allowing coffee enthusiasts to read about the day’s beans then choose their preferred method; from pour-over (Chemex, Kalita) to immersion (aeropress, french press), they have something for everyone. Boasting an all-day breakfast menu, it’s a great place to make yourself comfortable.
Address: 27 Ngô Đức Kế, Bến Nghé, Quận 1
4. Bosgaurus Coffee, Binh Thanh
Bosgaurus brings a scientific precision to the art of specialty coffee. Away from the noise in a quaint neighborhood near Saigon Pearl and the river, the cafe and roastery’s minimal design—complete with full window walls—makes it a contemplative escape beyond the traffic-lined streets. You can, of course, simply stop in for a coffee, but they also have extensive literature about their bean-to-cup method and all that goes into their final product.
An art-space and cafe three stories above Dong Khoi Street, Red Door brings a roster of specialty coffee from Europe and around the world with a modern feel. Inside, find a calming atmosphere packed with local art, books, and magazines—albeit more upscale, it’s a must-stop when strolling around district 1. Read our previous, in-depth review here.
Address: 151/3 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1
6. La Viet, District 3
For a Vietnam-centric coffee experience, be sure to stop in at one of La Viet’s two Saigon locations. Having expanded south from their flagship cafe in Da Lat, La Viet’s coffee is cultivated in Vietnam and everything is done in-house. Their light and welcoming cafes have become a favorite hangout in Saigon for those looking to spend a day working or capture a few photos on the patio. It’s also a great option when it comes to picking up beans for home preparation—we recommend the fruity light roast.
Coffee: 35K (espresso)-50K (pour-over)
Address: 191 Hai Bà Trưng, Phường 6, Quận 3