Lifestyle slow travel Vietnam

9 laptop work friendly Saigon cafes

Saigon (also called Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC in this article) has probably more cafes than one would be able to visit in a year. Most of them are typical local hangouts, where coffee is either black or sweetened with condensed milk. But there’s also a lot to choose from when it comes to hipster cafes, serving flat whites and alternative brews.

We’ve had 5 weeks to explore Saigon’s coffee scene, thanks to my genius planning of our slow travel world tour. The main goal of our coffee adventures was to find a quiet spot, with big tables, set up an office for a few hours, drink coffee and get some work done.

Here is a list of 10 cafes (in no particular order) which were laptop friendly, had good (and free) WiFi and served nice vibes and beverages.

1. The Melbourne Cafe

254C Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
https://www.facebook.com/themelbournecafesaigon/
cash only

Home away from home, complete with the City Circle tram & Flinders St station. The flat whites (65 000 VND) almost as good as those back in Melbourne and I give extra points for beautiful presentation.

The cafe is located on the quiet end of the infamous Walking Street in a 2-level building. The ground floor proved to be more suitable for work, with a big table as well as a window bar-style seating. Upstairs was less comfortable and more distracting with all the kitchen action.

There were enough power points around (even on the days when there were laptops on every table) and the WiFi speed of over 40Mbps for download and upload was great. The background music was pleasant (non-controversial and non-distracting) and at the right volume level.

There are also cakes, croissants and meat pies with Aussie beef available as well as cooked Vietnamese food.

2. Bosgaurus Coffee

92 Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Saigon Pearl, Bình Thạnh, Hồ Chí Minh
https://www.facebook.com/bosgauruscoffee/
card payments accepted

White, industrial interior with a lot of sleek surfaces and glass elements. There are many trees, plants and flowers outside so it’s balancing the almost-clinical look of the cafe. Spacious, spread over 2 floors with many seating options inside as well as on the terrace.

The flat white, 95 000 VND, was one of the most expensive we’ve had in Ho Chi Minh but was also bigger than at most cafes. There is also a small food menu featuring very good pasta dishes (we tried the pesto chicken and carbonara) and they serve C-Brewmaster craft beers which I was very happy about.

The WiFi speed was excellent reaching over 60Mbps for both, download and upload.

3. Infinity Coffee

71c Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
https://www.instagram.com/infinity.vietnam/
cash only

One of the newest additions to the HCMC coffee scene. It may be a little hard to find at first – it’s in a tall building right next to the Lucky Plaza. There’s a small black sign with the Infinity Coffee logo pointing to the 4F. Just head inside the building and get the lift to the 4th floor.

The interior is minimalist and mostly white warmed up with wooden elements. There is a bar-style seating by the window, a couple of small tables and a comfy brown couch. I liked the big windows – they provide a lot of natural light but also allow for watching the hustle & bustle of the street below. The WiFi speed was good enough for internet browsing and work.

The coffee got me a bit confused – the hot flat white (95 000 VND) was served with a straw. Side note, I don’t like to call my flat white hot because it shouldn’t be served hot. But in Vietnam, it’s either ice or hot so every time I ordered a hot flat white I hoped the baristas know what they’re doing and it won’t arrive too hot.

4. Phin & Bean Roastery

20 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
https://www.facebook.com/PhinandBean/
card payments accepted

One of the cafes where I got a lot of work done, probably because the environment was friendly and comfortable. I dubbed the interior earthy hipster. It was a mix of green, wooden, metal and brown leather elements – really pleasing to the eye. The music was nice too (I didn’t know most of it before, had to use Shazam quite a few times).

Two floors filled with tables (and heaps of power points) but we only worked on the ground floor at a big table by the front window.

The flat white isn’t on the menu so it depends who takes your order – sometimes I had to order a latte instead but sometimes they were able to prepare a flat white (70 000 VND). There are daily set lunches available at a very decent price (65 000 VND) as well as some pasta dishes and sandwiches.

The WiFi speed is very good, the staff kindly refills water in cups all the time and like I said in the beginning – the environment is comfortable so I’m not surprised most people come there with laptops to do some work.

5. Kamakura

21 Phan Kế Bính, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
https://kamakuravn2.shopinfo.jp/
card payments accepted

We stumbled upon this Japanese (as the name would suggest) cafe while walking around after lunch. It had a nice traditional Japanese vibe with a slight hipster twist so we gave it a go.

It’s rather small but filled with tables of all sizes, a lot of greenery and cool origami decoration on the wall. It has really comfy chairs and the WiFi at a very decent speed of over 30Mbps.

We didn’t spend as much time here as in the other cafes, so we didn’t get a chance to try the coffee. But their matcha latte (52 000 VND) and tea (45 000 VND) were good.

6. Red Door

151/3 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
https://www.facebook.com/reddoorspace.saigon
card payments accepted

A very quiet cafe that may be hard to find the first time (you need to enter through an art passage and climb some stairs). It’s also located above the much more well known L’Usine.

The flat whites (90 000 VND) taste good but ours were lacking a fancy milk art on top. Some of the coffees come from popular Melbourne roasters.

There isn’t much when it comes to food – just some cakes and pastries but it’s still a nice place for a few hours of laptop work. With very good WiFi, decent coffee and few people around you can really focus on working.

7. Vietcetera Cafe

290 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Hồ Chí Minh
https://vietcetera.cafe/
card payments accepted

Small but mighty. There are just a few tables downstairs but thanks to very tall ceilings, there are two “upstairs” sections. One, bigger, at the back has a great bar table which overlooks the entire cafe. And a smaller, more private section over the entrance but for this one, you need to climb up ladder-like stairs.

There are plenty of universal power outlets, the WiFi speed is great, over 60Mbps and the music isn’t too distracting.

The coffee is good (68 000 VND for a flat white), teas are from https://clippertea.com.sg and there is also food available. We tried a salad and a pasta dish – they were tasty but the presentation wasn’t too good.

8. Modern Hustle

12 Đường Tôn Đản, Phường 13, Quận 4, Hồ Chí Minh
https://www.facebook.com/modernhustle/
card payments accepted

Vietcetera’s sister cafe with the best WiFi speed we’ve seen in any HCMC cafe. It’s housed on the ground floor of an office building and has an apparel & accessories section.

The coffee is equally as good as at the Vietcettera but at 50 000 VND, it was the cheapest flat white we got in Saigon. There is a small food menu with the portions not really big enough for lunch (more like an afternoon snack). From 5 – 8pm they have a happy hour promo –  25% off

Heart of Darkness brews on tap.

9. Saigon Coffee Roastery

5 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 70000, Vietnam
http://saigoncoffeeroastery.com/
card payments accepted

Another of the hidden cafes which once again translates to not too many people inside. It’s located on the other side of the same building as the Red Door.

Although the WiFi is good and the music quiet, the tables are mostly small and chairs don’t feel comfortable after two hours so I wouldn’t recommend staying for too long.

Coffee-wise this was my favourite place during those 5 weeks in Saigon. The flat white (75 000 VND) was great, as were the local Vietnamese beans we got to use with our Aeropress.


Prices, information and photos from December 2018.


 

You Might Also Like...

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Thu
    January 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    I live in Saigon but I would have to scratch my head for a while every time I need a decent place to work with my laptop. Thanks so much for this great list!! Some I’ve already been to and love, some have been on my list to try, and the rest are places I now know I have to check out!
    Best,

  • Reply
    Craft beer, cocktails & speakeasy bars - where to drink in Saigon? | a matter of taste
    August 14, 2019 at 6:18 am

    […] a bar for a good night out or just want to do some day-drinking while you work on your laptop (because cafes are so last year), Saigon has got you […]

Leave a Reply