Saigon is a dense urban jungle. Playing “I Spy” and coyly saying “something gray” is a surefire way to win.
So where did I get all of these green pictures, huh?
One of the most popular styles of cafe in Vietnam is the garden or country-style cafe. Just like the name suggests, garden cafes are private little oases hiding all over the city. The only problem is that these gems are often tucked away in some of the most dense areas of the city. It’s easy to pass by the entrance thinking it’s just another cafe.
But once you walk past the threshold, you’ll think you’ve left the city entirely. The street noise melts away and you’re surrounded by plants, flowing water and (usually) laid-back music.
Today I’ve got three garden cafes to share with you, all of which I’ve visited recently. I stumble upon new ones seemingly every week, so stay tuned if you need an escape from the heat and noise of the city streets for an afternoon.
Address: 6A Ngô Thời Nhiệm Street, District 3 • Show me!
Cost: 25,000 VND Hours: Call Contact: 09 03 834 707 • Website
Cam Xuc is actually located right on the street, but I like this cafe because the dense foliage makes it seem like you’re in another world just steps away from the city. Strong WiFi, close to District 1 and not too smoky.
Address: 48/17M Hồ Biểu Chánh, Phú Nhuận District • Show me!
Cost: 39,000 VND Hours: 7 am to 10 pm Contact: 08 38 443 984
I found S Cafe while wandering lost through an alley, and was almost shocked to find it full of dozens of office workers on their lunch break. It seems so out of the way—like the owner doesn’t WANT people to find it, yet it does very, very well. Sprawling premises despite being wedged in an alley. Large interior with AC in addition to the garden area. Got sick on many rum coffees last time I worked here.
Address: 221 Nguyễn Đình Chính, Phú Nhuận District • Show me!
Cost: 32,000 VND Hours: 7 am to 10 pm Contact: 08 39 911 711
Near S Cafe; it’s also tucked into a small alley, yet offers a sprawling, multi-tiered seating area. One street away from the train tracks but you’d hardly notice. Great place to grab a drink and watch the rain; or, if you’re boring, watch your phone.