Egg coffee—Cà phê trứng. You imagine hardboiled eggs being smashed through a French press, but in reality egg coffee is much simpler.
Coffee. Condensed milk. Egg yolk. And a proprietary blend of 37 herbs and spices (usually just cinnamon).
I first heard about egg coffee on Jodi Ettenberg’s blog, Legal Nomads. Thanks for giving me a convenient way to cancel out a day at the gym in just one cup! Usually I have to try really hard to gain weight here, but those dark days are over.
Cà phê trứng is mainly a Northern treat, but a few in-the-know places in Saigon serve this dessert masquerading as a beverage. I’ve been to all 3 of these places before, but I decided to hit them all up on the same day in order to give an unbiased report on their coffee.
Driving home after my third mega-jolt of caffeine in 6 hours without eating was like driving drunk, only the opposite. Blurred vision, swerving in and out of my lane, all that good stuff. But it was for a good cause, no?
Address: 8 Hoa Cúc, Ward 7, Phú Nhuận District • Show me!
Cost: 20,000 VND Hours: 7 am to 10 pm Contact: 934 162 508 • Web
When you type in “egg coffee” and “Saigon” in Google, Luu Gia is going to be on the first page. Besides having a really modern website and renting out motorbikes to tourists, Luu Gia is pretty famous for their egg coffee. Not only that, but their egg matcha and egg cocoa, too.
The actual cafe is similar to the other hundreds/thousands/millions of Saigon’s roadside cafes. Also called coffee takeaway, these establishments are always open to (or on) the roadside, have tiny stools for seating, and are decidedly pro-smoking. They’re also pretty damn cheap and about as local as you can get.
Luu Gia’s egg coffee is good. I’d rate it about the same as the third cafe on this list, which is also very good. Honestly though, I’d come here simply because of the egg matcha and chocolate–while egg coffee is uncommon in Saigon, these are veritable unicorns.
Address: 145 Đường D3, Ward 25, Bình Thạnh District • Show me!
Cost: 20,000 VND Hours: 8 am to 10 pm Contact: 97 690 29 79 • Web
Another roadside coffee, Gucafe is mustier, dingier, and more out of the way. The egg coffee is also amazing. The picture at the top of this page is from Gucafe—and it doesn’t just look good, it tastes good. While all of the ca phe trung I’ve tried were delicious, the ones made here are a tiny step ahead of the rest.
I wouldn’t hang out here all day, but it’s worth the drive from District 1 if you want to grab a quick cavity or two.
Address: Intersection of Trần Quý Khoách and Hoàng Sa, Tân Định Ward, District 1 • Show me!
Cost: 30,000 VND Hours: 6 am to 11 pm Contact: 8 3526 5731
No, that picture up there isn’t egg coffee. That’s Chieu coffee, the namesake and secret weapon of Chieu Cafe Sach. Chieu serves egg coffee that can compete with Luu Gia’s, but the main reason for its inclusion on today’s post is that Chieu Cafe is putting up a fierce battle with The Morning Cafe that is yet undecided.
The battle for what? For my top Saigon cafe (so far).
Chieu is actually 2 separate buildings cut in half by an alley, which wins it points already. Second, it’s really cozy. This isn’t a work cafe for me. It’s the place where I go on my off days and play video games for 9 hours. Plus, that drink up there is actually a blend of coffee and hot cocoa. It’s hands-down the best coffee I’ve had in the past year.
Sometimes it gets a little smoky here, but you can always sit outside. Seriously, come here and try the Chieu coffee. You won’t regret it. Or the egg coffee, since that’s what this post is about.
Just get both, I’m sure you have $4 in your pocket.