headline photo hotel continental (centre) & opera house (right), two iconic buildings in hcm city history tung nguyen

Welcome to the incredible coffee shop scene in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This is *not* the first Sprudge guide to the scene here. In 2019, Sprudge contributor Michael Light wrote an extensive guide to the then-burgeoning third wave coffee culture in Ho Chi Minh City, capturing the onset of a transformative period in the city’s cafés. Since then, there has been a surge in cafes dedicated to transparency and drink quality. There have been growing pains, too, as the city has witnessed both closures of notable spots like Klasik Coffee Roasters and Drago Specialty Coffee, as well as expansions, exemplified by the growth of Bosgaurus Coffee.

In light of these changes, the time has come for an updated cafe guide to navigate the thriving coffee scene in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Consider this guide as a stepping stone, a curated selection of establishments that reflect the current pulse of the city’s vibrant coffee culture. Embrace the opportunity to engage with the baristas, seeking their insights and recommendations tailored to your preferences. Notably, many cafes on this list boast their own roastery, each embracing a distinct approach to roasting. With this diversity, it’s likely that at least one of them aligns with your preferred style of coffee. Let’s go explore!

hummingbird front tung nguyen


Hummingbird opened its doors in 2019, and after a brief change of locations, it has settled into its current spot. Hummingbird is led by Tran Hoa, a seasoned roaster, CQI Q Grader, and a distinguished judge at the Vietnam National Barista Competition for several years.

Tran Hoa is extremely serious about coffee quality, and that attitude extends to the design of his cafe. With the new space, the design is intentionally minimal to direct all attention to the star of the show—the coffee. He designed his coffee bar as a focal point, which stretches almost half the length of the indoor seating areas. There are also some outdoor seatings strategically positioned for a view of Hummingbird’s roastery brand, Blue in Green Coffee Roasters, allowing guests to observe Tran Hoa and his apprentices roasting on the 15kg Probat.

hummingbird interiors tung nguyen

Tran spent some time in Seoul honing his roasting craft with Pil Hoon Seu, the esteemed founder of Coffee Libre, a trailblazer in South Korea’s specialty coffee scene. He also has an appreciation for Australian roasters, so his roasting style is a fusion of both. There is a focus on mouthfeel and sweetness, yet the coffee still remains delicate enough to preserve the unique nuances of each coffee origin. It’s a style that is a slightly more developed compared to specialty European roasters, but a touch lighter than the majority of their American counterparts.

Hummingbird’s menu is extensive, with an unwavering focus on coffee complemented by inhouse baked goods. A visit here is incomplete without taking home at least one bag of their roasted beans. The selection, though ever-evolving, consistently features origins from Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Hummingbird is located at 103BIS Vo Thi Sau, Ward 6, Distirct 3, Ho Chi Minh City. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

grandmum cafe barista luu vi tung nguyen

Grandmum Cafe

Stepping into Grandmum feels like embarking on a nostalgic journey to your childhood home. Tucked away in a small alley amidst the exhilarating chaos of Ho Chi Minh City, Grandmum Cafe stands as a serene oasis distinct from the others on this guide. The moment you enter, it’s as if you’ve come into a house of a Saigon bourgeoisie: you are greeted by a charming outdoor seating area with low tables next to a tranquil pond in the front yard. As you venture inside, the space unfolds with the grace of a classic Saigon home, complete with a piano, a turntable, art adorning the walls, and a wine-filled fridge. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a passerby mistook it for a residential abode rather than a café.

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grandmum cafe front yard pond tung nguyen

Grandmum’s daily operation is almost exclusively managed by the owner—Le Dan Nha Thi, Vietnam’s very first AeroPress Champion—along with her talented assistant barista, Luu Vi. The cafe proudly hosts a diverse selection of beans sourced from roasters around the globe, with notable mentions including lightly roasted coffee from Apollon’s Gold and Tim Wendelboe. It’s no coincidence that Le’s coffee preferences lean towards the Nordic roasting style—light, aromatic, and complex—so I believe coffee from these roasters are put in the most capable hands. I always pay a visit to Grandmum every time I am in Ho Chi Minh, and I am always super happy with the quality of filter coffee I have here.

bosgaurus coffee opera house front tung nguyen

Bosgaurus Coffee – Opera House

The latest location of the famed coffee brand Bosgaurus Coffee, Opera House recently celebrated its first year in operation. This café stands out as the most fancy-looking cafe on this guide, boasting an aesthetic that truly fits its name. It was designed around the concept of an opera house, featuring a central bar that mimics a grand stage, where baristas perform under illuminated spotlights, lending an air of theatricality to the whole experience. Minimalism runs deep in the brand’s design, maintaining the signature Bosgaurus touch—transparent frameless glass walls and a flybar housing a Synesso MVP Hydra and Mahlkönig grinders. It’s a cafe that truly sparkles.

bosgaurus coffee opera house interior tung nguyen

Bosgaurus Coffee’s forte lies in cultivating close and sustainable relationships with local producers, some of whom could be deemed “celebrity” Arabica producers in Vietnam. These relationships grant Bosgaurus access to the most exclusive coffee lots, which occasionally appear on Bosgaurus’s filter menu. If you find yourself in the vicinity, a highly recommended indulgence is the Ca phe sua da, crafted with a custom-designed Phin by Bosgaurus Coffee. While the classic Ca phe sua da traditionally features Robusta, Bosgaurus Coffee takes a daring turn by using purely Vietnamese-grown Arabica for this beverage. The result is nothing short of sublime—a concoction that is rich, delicately sweet, and remarkably captures the fruity and nuanced notes inherent in the coffee.

Bosgaurus Coffee – Opera House is located at 12 Nguyen Sieu, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

every half tu xuong location front tung nguyen

Every Half

Every Half burst onto the scene just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Vietnam, and against all odds, it not only managed to stay strong but soared to five stores as of now. Helmed by the visionary Tran Le Minh Truc, whom I recently had the pleasure of interviewing, Every Half’s stores are truly eye-catching and inviting, and they are a harmony of modern aesthetics dancing with rustic charm; stainless steel bars elegantly mingling with pale woods, occasionally adorned with bursts of greenery that whimsically fill the spaces. It’s a visual delight, a breath of fresh air compared to the sleek glass-and-metal designs of Bosgaurus Coffee. Small wonder that Every Half’s regulars mainly comprises college students and dynamic young professionals in their 20s and early 30s.

every half vo thi sau location interior tung nguyen

The brand wears many hats. For coffee connoisseurs, it stands as a destination for meticulously crafted, lightly roasted coffee beans, a sentiment I wholeheartedly share, even with the abundance of cafes on this list having their own roasteries. They currently roast on two Giesen roasters, a W1A for samples and a W6A for production. For the regulars, Every Half earns their loyalty through its extensive selection of signature drinks, ranging from cold brew to matcha to soda concoctions. Every visit becomes a delightful dilemma for me; the coffee purist within yearns for a simple black coffee, yet I often find myself sitting with a frothy matcha latte or a zesty carbonated cold brew—or sometimes, both. These drinks linger in my memory long after I leave, and I can’t help but miss the vibrant experience whenever I’m back in Hanoi.

Every Half has multiple locations around Ho Chi Minh City. Visit their official website and follow them on Instagram.
96b cafe & roastery front hana choi
Photo by Hana Choi

96B Cafe & Roastery

No longer an experiment! In 2019, I wrote a full review of 96B Cafe that has been published on Sprudge here. Fast forward to the summer of 2020, and the cafe underwent a complete overhaul in design, aesthetics, and branding while retaining its location. The heart and soul of the brand, however, remained unaltered.

At the core of 96B lies its inventive signature drinks, a realm that has expanded beyond coffee to include indulgences like chocolates and tea. I have noticed a trend in their drink repertoire: they will take something and either mix it with soda or heavy cream. Both pathways offer quite an experiences—soda drinks lean towards the playful side, often featuring cold brew or juice as a base, elevated with soda for a fizzy kick, accentuated by bright or floral notes from lime, lemon, or rosemary. On the other hand, heavy cream, contrary to its name, imparts a velvety texture to the beverage, often harmonized with vanilla syrup for a slight touch of liveliness.

96b cafe & roastery 96b team with lucia solis hana choi
Photo by Hana Choi

While Liberica has recently gained global recognition, few might be aware that 96B has been using this unique coffee species since the cafe’s inception. Hana Choi, 96B’s visionary founder, a Korean-born and Vietnamese-raised coffee professional, always has her own way when it comes to coffee selection. She has long been an advocate for Vietnamese-grown Liberica, ensures her guests at the café can savor Liberica in various forms—be it through filter brewing, espresso, or by taking a bag of this exquisite coffee home.

96B Cafe & Roastery is located at 96B Phan Ngu, Da Kao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

hoff coffee brewers staffs tung nguyen

Hoff Coffee Brewers

A foray into cafe retail by Beanhop Coffee Roastery, Hoff Coffee Brewers finds its niche on the second floor of an antiquated apartment building, nestled in the vibrant heart of District 1. The cafe, though minimalist in design, exudes a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. It’s an ideal getaway for people who seeking to spend a languid afternoon with a good book or a productive workspace with the added indulgence of exceptional coffee.

The staff at Hoff are more than welcoming, taking the time to walk me through their diverse range of drinks. What’s on the menu at Hoff? Following the third wave coffee tradition, you can choose from a selection of espresso-based and filter coffee options, and guests can choose to purchase bags of coffee to take home. Among Hoff’s extensive offerings, I suggest trying the bac xiu with brown sugar boba, the summer breeze cold brew, or the sparkling matcha.

hoff coffee brewers interiors tung nguyenMy favorite would be bac xiu with brown sugar boba. It emerges as a standout creation, drawing inspiration from the beloved boba tea culture in Asian countries, but with a unique twist—coffee takes center stage instead of tea. Crafted with honey-processed Robusta from Vietnam and complemented by condensed milk and a touch of fresh milk, it offers a more approachable yet no less adventurous take on the classic ca phe sua da. Its velvety texture, reminiscent of boba tea, intertwines with a delightful caramelized sweetness from the coffee. It was the best Robusta-based coffee I have had until now. If faced with the task of choosing a winner between Hoff’s bac xiu and Bosgaurus’s ca phe sua da, I would undoubtedly be nitpicking myself.

Hoff Coffee Brewers is located at 42BIS Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

lac teahouse interiors tung nguyen

Lạc Teahouse

Followed the pattern that I established in my coffee guide for Penang, Malaysia, I’d like to round off the Ho Chi Minh guide with a delightful twist—a tea house. At Sprudge, while our love for coffee is unparalleled, our curiosity for tea is similarly boundless. Enter Lạc Teahouse, a gem that opened in the summer of 2022, bearing the name of its owner Nhược Lạc—a writer and poet. Jointly managed by Nhược Lạc and her husband Pham Duc Dung, the tea house is a manifestation of the couple’s shared passion for tea.

Unlike cafes in this guide, Lạc Teahouse is a bit farther from the city center, but the journey is worthwhile. Just as many renowned coffee professionals didn’t start their careers in coffee, one doesn’t necessarily need an exhaustive tea education to open a tea house. Sometimes, the experiences and skills acquired from other industries contribute to the unique character of a brand. In this regard, Lạc Teahouse did not disappoint.

lac teahouse tea selection tung nguyen

The tea house’s menu is meticulous, offering a curated selection of seventeen different teas during my visit. From the traditional camellia sinensis of raw oolong, black tea, pu’er, and green tea to tisanes, matcha, and houjicha, Lạc Teahouse caters to everyone’s palate. During my visit, I opted for two choices—an osmanthus white tea, a classic pick, and a bud tea. You might wonder what is bud tea? In spring, tea plants produce buds that slowly open up into leaves. As buds evolve into young leaves, their chemical composition changes, notably the caffeine content and distributions of amino acids, which directly impact the tea’s flavor. To me, bud tea offered a more gentle, lighter aroma and flavor, with more florality and a softer mouthfeel, evoking an elegant expression.

Beyond the exquisite tea offerings, Lạc Teahouse introduces quite a selection of in-house baked desserts—from canelé to basque cheesecake, swiss roll to chiffon, the options are limitless. These small treats mirror the sophistication of their teas, boasting a soft, light, and elegant profile. I highly recommend pairing one of these delightful creations with a pot of tea for an elevated experience at Lạc Teahouse.

Tung Nguyen is the founder of Citric Meets Malic and a Sprudge contributor based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Read more Tung Nguyen for Sprudge.

All photos by the author unless otherwise noted

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