Savour traditional Vietnamese coffee beverages and tea, light-bites and desserts at Saigon’s latest talk of the town, Cà Phê Cô Ba. Spanning the second floor of a beautiful heritage building at 2 Dong Khoi Street in District 1, the café’s vintage wooden interior combines southeast Asian tones with a touch of French colonial nuances.
Cà Phê Cô Ba’s architecture and comfortable cushioned seats create a splendid environment for spending time with friends and family while immersing yourself in the vintage allure of pre-1975 Saigon.
A great escape from Ho Chi Minh City’s fervent and relentless sunshine, the café is a short stroll away from Nguyen Hue walking street and Ho Chi Minh City Hall. Cà Phê Cô Ba’s ultimate central location is also ideal for tourists and locals to rejuvenate and loosen up tired feet over a cup of hot or cold Vietnamese coffee.
Plenty of eye candy surrounds guests when seated. The owner of Cà Phê Cô Ba is a passionate collector of antiques and her dazzling display of aged treasures include working vintage typewriters, telephones, posters and forgotten art pieces.
Cà Phê Cô Ba’s set tea is amongst one of the most popular menu items. Guests may select a tea from choices including black tea, green tea and numerous English favourites while sinking their teeth into candied lotus seeds, ginger and buttery Danish-style cookies.
For a more filling or indulgent snack, Cà Phê Cô Ba’s food menu offers more than five types of banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches). Choose from fillings such as ‘sunny-side-up’ eggs, ham with pâté or barbecued meatballs with lemongrass and savoury sauce. Guests who do not fancy sandwiches may opt for other popular menu items such as Cô Ba’s traditional English breakfast, a classic beef pho or fragrant flavoured rice with a pan-fried chicken leg. For a unique local experience, diners may also opt to sample Cà Phê Cô Ba’s signature marinated rice paper salad with dried beef jerky, which is highly popular with local guests.
Cà Phê Cô Ba’s beverage menu is refreshing and creative at the same time. No matter their preference, guests will have no trouble finding something to enjoy over deep conversations.
Apart from Vietnamese coffee classics such as ca phe nong and ca phe sua da, the café’s iced coconut and calamansi juice is an addictive, non-alcoholic thirst-quencher while the Hanoi-style iced black tea with peaches or lychee is a favourite amongst youngsters.
Ice-blended coffee, coconut, green tea, chocolate and cookie freezes are a match made in heaven with the local sweltering weather. Italian-style coffee is also available for guests who prefer cappuccino, latte or americano. For the health conscious, choose from a wide range of fresh fruit juices such as pineapple and watermelon. Also, be sure to try Cà Phê Cô Ba’s asian-style herbal sweet teas innovatively served with a spoonful of chia seeds for an added nutritional boost.
The café also features a semi-outdoor balcony area for smokers to take a breather and for guests who enjoy their drinks and food al fresco style.
The interior of the café is charming and vintage. Plenty of softened, natural light enters the air-conditioned interior. One of the best things about the café is the comfortable seating. Large armchairs and sofas are hard to find in most cafés but at Cà Phê Cô Ba customers can actually sit down and get cosy.
Most customers spotted were Saigonese or local Vietnamese tourists, a sure indicator that the food and drinks are reasonably priced and of good quality. All these factors combined with the café’s friendly opening hours from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm makes Cà Phê Cô Ba more comfortable and convenient than the majority of other common chain cafés on Dong Khoi and Nguyen Hue street.