Coffee ShopsDestinationsFood GuideHo Chi Minh CityVietnamTop Vintage Cafes in Saigon, Vietnam

Joel ZorrillaOctober 23, 201914 min

Streatery’s list of best vintage cafes, full of upcycled furniture, trendy vibes, and youthful clientele.

You might love the chaos that is Saigon, or for those unadventurous souls you might also hate it. However we have found the perfect respite from this noise filled chaos machine that we love, yet tolerate, at the same time; vintage cafes full of upcycled decor and a zen-like calm. Saigon has an astonishing assortment of these “ruin-cafes”, as we might call them, usually attracting a youthful bunch of hip youngsters repulsed by the ubiquitous coffee chains that offer nothing but monotony. If you love the idea of sitting on once unloved dusty armchairs, surrounded by peeling paint,  faded paintings old books, dim lighting and an intoxicating charm, these cafes are for you. They serve the usual selection of local Vietnamese Coffee, cheap beers and some refreshing drinks. In fact, over the last 2 years the Streatery team has posted reviews on some of our favorite vintage cafes, listed here for your perusal:


1. Hoàng Thị, D1: Going against the grain: an old cafe full of character, and characters.

Hours 7:30 AM – 12:30 AM | 1st floor, 14 Tôn Thất Đạm, Nguyễn Thái Bình Ward, D1 🔗

Hoang Thi by Streatery
The bar area

Strange and mysterious art pieces hang on the walls, dilapidated yet sturdy furniture is strewn about mismatching and yet perfectly complementary of this vintage old cafe. Furthermore, Hoang Thi embraces Saigon’s counter-culture crowd. Comprised of a mix of local youth embracing the ideas of a more egalitarian and open society, feminist, punks, artists, writers and members of the LGBT community find comfort in Hoang Thi. Hoàng Thị is located in the old apartment block on  Tôn Thất Đạm, sharing real estate with other similar cafes, shops and bars. Lastly, we recommend spending a few hour exploring this dusty old gem of a building uncovering the layers and layers of gems.


2. Lão Hạc, D1: A cafe full of vintage furniture, a colonial building and great views.

Hours 7:00 – 23:30  |  Address 299B Hoàng Sa, Tân Định Ward, D1🔗

Located on our favorite canal in Saigon, this old cafe hits all the notes. decorated with once-unloved furniture in a gorgeous old french colonial villa  on the Phu Nhuan canal. Lão Hạc Cafe is usually buzzing with a crowd of hip young Vietnamese and the occasional westerner charmed by the unique interior and great local coffee. Sit on their balcony, sip some local brew and watch the world go by on one of Saigon’s most iconic canals.

Streatery Vietnam vintage
The balcony

3. 81 Cafe, D1 in Tân Định: A cafe for the hipster youth, serving great refreshments.

Hours 7:00 – 22:30 |  Address  28 Nguyễn Hữu Cầu, Tân Định Ward, D1 ↵

81 cafe is a neat, old cafe nestled into 28 Nguyễn Hữu Cầu street, a stone throws away from Tân Định market. With a collection of matching old vintage scooters haphazardly parked in the entrance of the old cafe.

cafe 81 by streatery
The interior of cafe 81

Our favorite drinks at cafe 81 are actually not even the coffee. We love their creative fruit juices and teas. Using local fruits, some fresh, some some soaked in brine, others dried they managed to create some fantastic refreshingly cool drinks:

  1. Trà sắn dây – Tapioca tea with lemon 45K
  2. Trà Mơ ngâm – Iced lemon tea with dried/brined baby apricots 45K
  3. Trà Sấu dầm – Iced lemon tea with dried/brined Dracontomelon 45K

4. Cỏ Cafe, Bình Thạnh: Covered in bushes, old trinkets and a cat.

Hours: 7:00 – 22:30 | 22 – 24 Khu quy hoạch Nguyễn Ngọc Phương, Ward 19, Bình Thạnh 🔗

The 4th coffee shop in our series is situated in the heart of Binh Thanh. Specifically, across from the zoo between the Thi Nghe Market and a few minutes from the “new Japan-town”. Cỏ Cafe is one a wonderful cafe: shrouded in bushes, festooned with upcycled furniture, and frequented by young instagramming youth. Finally, their cà phê sữa đá & Cà phê sữa nóng are outstanding. ⠀

Streatery Vietanam Cafes
Decor
Streatery Vietnam Cafes
Interior

5. Nhỏ Cafe, near D3: A small cafe on the train tracks.

Hours: 8:30 – 22:30 | 115/30 Lê Văn Sỹ, Ward 13, Phú Nhuận 🔗⠀

Not for nothing was district 3 recently chosen as one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods by TimeOut magazine. Cafe Nhỏ is situated on the train tracks near D3 off Lê Văn Sỹ street. Full of broken vintage TVs and dusty old statues this cafe is adorable. One of the few spots in Saigon where you can sip your cup of Vietnamese coffee and watch the train go by. 

Nho Cafe by Streatery

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