One of the many reasons to visit Vietnam is the rich, flavorful coffee found on its shores. As the world’s second-leading producer of coffee and the leading producer of Robusta coffee, the country takes its coffee very seriously, making it the ideal destination for coffee lovers.
Espresso fans will quickly fall in love with a drip coffee, with Vietnamese coffee typically prepared with a special press filter known as phin. Each cup is intensely flavorful and aromatic, albeit oilier than the usual roast in other parts of the world. Travelers will quickly learn the different styles of Vietnamese coffee after a few days of exploring various cafés.
- Ca phe sua da is coffee served with condensed milk to counter the bitterness and high caffeine content of the beans. Known as “ca phe nau” in northern Vietnam, it’s usually served iced but can also be served hot.
- Ca phe da, or black coffee, is perfect for coffee purists—it’s mixed with nothing but sugar.
- Ca phe trung translates to egg coffee. It’s made by beating an egg yolk with condensed milk to create an airy froth poured over hot or iced coffee.
- Ca phe dua mixes black coffee with coconut and condensed milk.
- Coffee smoothies have also gained popularity in the past few years, especially in Vietnam’s bigger cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. These creamy concoctions blend coffee, milk, and fresh fruits (like banana and avocado) for a unique take on caffeinated drinks.
You can get an excellent cup of brew anywhere in the country. But if you’re looking for the best coffee in Vietnam, these five destinations are good choices for a well-caffeinated journey.
Dubbed the center of coffee culture in Vietnam, Hanoi is a fantastic place to visit for a delicious cup of brew. The scooter-ridden streets of the capital city are lined with modern Instagram-friendly cafés and decades-old traditional coffee shops. Egg coffee is a uniquely Hanoi specialty, said to have originated from Café Giang that’s still operating to this day. Other notable coffee shops in Hanoi include Café Po Co, Café Tho, and Loading T Café. Stroll through Trieu Viet Vuong, dubbed as “Coffee Street” for being packed with a dizzying array of cafés.
Ho Chi Minh
Another major caffeine destination is Ho Chi Minh, a city with a thriving coffee scene that boasts both trendy new cafés and old-school spots. There are even apartment blocks filled with different cafés, like The Café Apartments, an ultra-hip apartment building featuring stylish restaurants, coffee shops, and co-working spaces. If you’re a serious coffee connoisseur, you’ll definitely want to visit The Workshop, hailed as the pioneer of the third-wave coffee culture in Saigon. Travelers seeking a unique atmosphere will also appreciate the bookstore-slash-café Hidden Elephant Books & Coffee and the historic Ca Phe Do Phu with its underground bunkers and vintage memorabilia.
Much of Vietnam’s coffee beans come from the Central Highlands, specifically around the coffee-growing Da Lat region. Some of the finest coffee in the country is found here, and there are plenty of charming cafés in town to choose from. La Viet and K’Ho Coffee are acclaimed coffee shops serving delicious coffee straight from the farm. Chuon Chuon Bistro is also a great choice with beautiful panoramic views of the highlands.
Buon Ma Thuot
Known as the capital of coffee, Buon Ma Thuot in the Dak Lak province is another highland city that’s a must-visit for coffee enthusiasts. The city is so passionate about caffeine that it’s even home to Trung Nguyen Coffee Village and the World Coffee Museum, where travelers can learn more about Vietnam’s rich coffee culture and get a taste of the aromatic drink.
Salt coffee anyone? The unique specialty drink is a signature cup in the enchanting imperial city of Hue, Vietnam. Rustic spot Ca Phe Muoi and Instagram-friendly One Coffee & Bakery are both excellent places to try salt coffee in Hue.
If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, make sure to check out the impressive list of tours and deals on KKday.