4 Hidden Saigon Cafés You Never Knew Existed

drink - Saigon/HCMC: June 12, 2015

1. So 7 Cafe

This one's pretty cool. I was shown So 7 Cafe by a friend about 3 months into my time here and I became a bit of an addict in my early sketching days. I used to do a weekly market and every week I'd spend most mornings at So 7 creating the portrait commissions I'd taken from said market. There is in fact another secret cafe about 20m from So 7 which I dare you to look for. Challenges challenges... the only clue you get is that you've got to go through a restaurant. Good luck!

A 'Secret' cafe so sneaky that you probably will never find it

Where: 7 Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, W6, D3.
Facebook: so secret it doesn't have one! But here's a fan page...
Parking? Yep, flat rate of about 5k.
Why: because you like gentle acoustic guitar, cuteness and noodles.
What: Vietnamese coffee, other random and incredible coffee creations, smoothies, juices and milk. Also food! Noodles (mi), chips, rice paper snacks...you could just keep snaffling all day.
Free tea? Yep!
Wallet damage: small-ish. Expect to pay about VND25,000 - 35,000 for a drink and more for food.
When: 8.30am to 10.30 pm Monday to Sunday


2. Cakes & Ale

Kind of the best combination, right? Or maybe cakes and dry white wine... I'll admit I'm no connoisseur (either of cakes or wine) so I hereby extend humble acknowledgements to all those who are, but Cakes & Ale isn't about the alcohol anyway. It's a super cute corner in a super crazy city for people who like cats and tickling their taste-buds. So get your socks and sandals down to D1!

coffee

Where: 1F, 6B Cong Truong Quoc Te - Ho Con Rua (D1, off Thai Van Lung Street)
Facebook: Cakes and Ale Café Saigon
Parking? Yes indeed, for free! Hurrah.
Why: because you find the concept of cake with everything to be totally up your alley
What: Vietnamese coffee, soda, tea of endless variety, milkshakes and of course...ale. With that, quite a lot of cake...
Free tea? Free water, yes
Wallet damage: average. The average drink is about VND45,000.
When: 9 a.m. - 10:30 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


3. YOLO

Maybe you know of this one – it's pretty amazing. Either way I wanted to include it as I am a big fan, they have exciting coffee art and there's always at least one monk in there. Do monks drink coffee? Yeah man, apparently they do...

This coffee shop also has a weekly drama night every Friday at 8:30 pm and acoustic music every Saturday at 8 pm from Ho Chi Minh City's talented local students. 

coffee

Where: 173/10 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, W. Pham Ngu Lao, D1.
Facebook: Yolo Cool Coffee Shop Saigon
Parking? Yep! Free.
Why: Because you don't believe me about those monks
What: All sorts of Vietnamese and Western coffees, flavoured, traditional, bizarre...and other interesting smoothies and mixes too!
Free tea? Nah mate, but free water
Wallet damage: darn cheap. A cappucino is 30k and other drinks are a similar price, or less!
When: 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday to Sunday


4. Kujuz

Are you a bit of a foodie? Do you like windows? Do 'empty' and 'quiet' sound like good ideas? Well then Kujuz is for you. This unique garden shed-like coffee house sells only a few types of drinks but the huge huge highlight is that YOU MAKE THEM. Yes. You're given free-run of the kitchen, a recipe if ya fancy and a helping hand if you so require and then, once you've blended your very own watery blend of goodness, you're banished to the far corners of a beautiful breezy building to enjoy. This place is a photographer's delight, and when it rains it's like being inside a green-house, which is fun.

coffee

Where: 5 Tran Quy Khoach Street, W. Tan Dinh, D1.
Facebook: Kujuz Tan Dinh Café 
Parking? Yeh, for free
Why: Why not? There's no-where else like this place
What: Drinks, by you.
Free tea? Nope, such is life
Wallet damage: totally reasonable. The flat rate seems to be around VND50,000 for a drink, but for that you get your own tailored beverage, hours in a secluded heaven, and a very nice toilet.
When: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Sunday

(By Hoang Tuyet Mai: meosut)