Vietnam is the world’s second-largest producer of coffee, and most of this comes from the central region of the country. A product of French colonialism, coffee is widely consumed by Vietnamese people, who congregate at the dozens of cafes on every city corner to re-energize, reconnect, and take respite from the heat. It’s a part of Vietnamese culture to take one’s time over coffee, which is brewed via a single-serving, slow-drip metal filter called a phin.
A small roaster with two locations in Saigon (one in District 1 and one in District 2), Hue Cafe offers all the classic styles of Vietnamese coffee: black, with condensed milk, blended with coconut and ice. But the standout is salt coffee, a specialty from the cafe’s namesake, Hue, the former imperial capital located in central Vietnam. The drink involves whipping cream into a salty fluff to accentuate the natural sweetness of the coffee.
Simple pleasure and relaxation is the essence of Hue Cafe, whose best location is on the shady, tree-lined strip of Xuân Thủy in the expat area of District 2. Order your coffee and enjoy it outside where all the regulars gather around on plastic stools and watch the bikes go by.
Know Before You Go
They don’t take credit cards, so bring cash. There’s air conditioning inside if it’s too hot for the sidewalk experience.