Best Coffee Shop Workspaces in Saigon

By: Sivaraj Pragasm

Video source: City Pass Guide

Everyone would know by now that Saigon is a coffee paradise with loads of cafes, street vendors, coffee chains, international coffee franchises and, well, you will always be able to get a cup no matter where you are in the city.

However, beyond the beverage, coffee places are also excellent places for work, especially for freelancers or those looking to set a business meeting outside the office. Excellent Wi-Fi, no loud music, a relaxing ambience and of course, great coffee with local and foreign brews will help towards a conducive working environment.

Kamakura

At a quiet corner of Dakao ward in District 1, Kamakura is a Japanese coffee and dessert shop where you can get really good matcha-based ice cream, cakes and lattes and, of course, coffee.

Although the cafe is small and a little narrow, it features a very relaxed ambience thanks to its decor and is a very good place for the creative professional to get inspiration thanks to its cosy atmosphere. Origami models of koi fish, black pine walls and a glass wall with plenty of natural light give the place a rather homely feel.

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The items on the menu are affordably priced and delicious. You can sit on a couch if it’s available, or at a table and there are sockets available should you need to plug in your laptop or charge your phone.

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Location: 21 Phan Ke Binh, D1
Pricing: VND50,000-VND150,000
Ambience: Cosy and feels like a simple roadside cafe in Japan
Variety of Coffee: Espresso, cappuccino and if you’re feeling exotic, a matcha latte will do the trick.
Food Options: Plenty of desserts to choose from. They also have pancakes, toast and ice-cream.

Thinker & Dreamer

On the 4th floor of the iconic 42 Nguyen Hue building, Thinker & Dreamer could come across as a hipster joint with a neat Instagram page with plenty of followers. However, the establishment was set up as an artistic space for customers to think, relax and daydream.

Another go-to spot for the creative professional, the decor oozes inspiration and although a tad small, the layout is well-planned to create pockets of space that allow your mind to wander. The staff are also really warm, approachable and friendly.

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Besides the usual coffee, they are also famous for their flowerpot cakes and most items on the menu are really affordable, considering its location. This is one of those places where you could spend hours in and not even realise it. Kind of like a home away from home.

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Location: Level 4, 42 Nguyen Hue, D1
Pricing: VND 50,000-VND100,000
Ambience: Cosy yet roomy with pockets of space
Variety of Coffee: Espresso, Cappuccino and their own creations called Mr Dreamer which contains soymilk and Mr. Thinker which features a secret recipe.
Food Options: Snacks such as pastries and cakes.

Work Saigon Cafe

Probably the most aptly named establishment on this list, Work cafe was created for the purpose of … you guessed it, customers to get their work done away from the home or office.

Located off Dien Bien Phu in District 3, this place is primarily a co-working space with the upper floor hosting office spaces for actual companies whereas the bottom floor remains open to public.

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A sprawling layout with open tables and plenty of power sockets, this is also the quietest venue on the list, to the point where the silence might just seem a little tense. All you need to do is make your order, pick a table and it’s all yours and you’ll hardly get disturbed. Perfect for the introverted freelancer or the hermit who likes working in peace.

There is also a free swimming pool that nobody actually uses, and a resident dog that walks around offering a pleasant distraction every now and then.

Location: 267/2 Dien Bien Phu, D3
Pricing: VND 40,000-VND100,000
Ambience: Spacious and very quiet
Variety of Coffee: Standard fare from ca phe da to long black
Food Options: All-day breakfast, pizzas, sandwiches and main-course dishes like pasta.

[a] Cafe

A quaint and classical-themed cafe, [a] Cafe is at Dakao ward in District 1 and feels more like a home than an actual establishment. It was actually a home before it was refurbished into what it is today.

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With two levels available, the bottom floor features long, flat tables with upright chairs while you get a more lounge-like experience upstairs with comfortable seats and a chilled-out atmosphere.

This is where you get a slow-drip coffee and get a seat and then let your creative juices flow. If you’re feeling hungry, there’s a limited food menu but there is a banh mi stall just a short walk away that offers a pretty neat banh mi bay ho every afternoon.

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Although there is some music that fills the cafe, it’s mostly classical music at a moderate volume that’s loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to distract you.

Location: 15 Huynh Khuong Ninh, D1
Pricing: VND15,000-VND50,000
Ambience: Classical, and the top floor feels like a lounge.
Variety of Coffee: There’s a diverse menu of ‘special’ brews such as Kenyan, Laotian, Red and Yellow Bourbon, Sidamo and others.
Food Options: Cakes, cookies and tiramisu.

Hoang Thi Cafe

This entry might be a little debatable for some. Unlike the other establishments, it doesn’t have air-conditioning and its open-door concept means you get quite a bit of noise from the road. However, this is an ideal spot if you’re a writer, musician or artist.

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Perfect for those who have just moved to Saigon and are working or looking for opportunities in Saigon’s burgeoning arts scene, this cafe was opened by an artist and is frequented by artists. Featuring a very local clientele, on a typical day you would see someone writing tunes with an acoustic guitar, and another person engrossed in writing an article on her laptop. It’s colourful, inspiring and addictive so you might keep coming back.

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The woody interior and vintage decorations give the whole place a very artistic yet cosy vibe, but the biggest selling point would be that this is a decent place to work, but a great place to find a collaborator or maybe even a creative partner.

Location: 33/73 Nguyen Trung Truc, D1
Pricing: VND50,000-VND100,000
Ambience: Cosy and bohemian
Variety of Coffee: Lattes to Americanos, featuring local and foreign beans.
Food Options: The cafe doesn’t really serve food although it’s surrounded by really good street food stalls.

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