Quietly in front of old Saigon style cafes

Old, quiet, full of nostalgia and especially far away from the virtual world – that is the feeling that old Saigon style cafes bring to the middle of a bustling Saigon.

  I see that in Saigon people often “take each other to escape”. To escape the noise and cramped conditions, sometimes to escape the tiring and fierce reality ahead. The land is crowded with people, it’s hard to find a space to take refuge, it’s hard to find some quiet to listen to your heart.

Like many other people, I am overwhelmed with schoolwork, work, and relationships with many constraints. A trip somewhere, even close, requires a lot of calculations and planning. Therefore, in times of despair, I choose to “hide” right in the heart of Saigon, in old cafes with the warm smell of time. No noise or bustle, no bright colors, no pretty girls, and sometimes no phones or laptops. There are only friends, stories, beautiful memories and a delicious drink for you to sip. Or a little silence, so you can engross yourself in reading a book you bought a long time ago…

If you also like these things, if you want to go to a place that makes you feel like you are coming home, or if you are tired of the “VSCO orange” concept cafes that are flooding Instagram these days, then follow My feet went to old Saigon style cafes..


1. Saigon Ut Lanh CafeAddress: 283/37 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, City. HCM

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 1

In the middle of a bustling and noisy West Street with colorful signs in English and Chinese, Ut Lanh’s sign is so simple and rustic that everyone passing by has to turn around and smile. Smile because it’s so Saigon! Because it’s so Vietnamese, it’s unmistakable. And true to the first impression, this is a very Vietnamese cafe! Wooden tables covered with colorful nylon tablecloths, with floral tiles, wooden counters, plastic baskets and black-bottomed pans, and a black-and-white TV on a wooden cabinet all evoke a unique atmosphere. Old, familiar Saigon space.

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 2  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 3

It seems that in Ut Lanh, people talk more diligently to each other, because the shop doesn’t have wifi, and because in this space, it’s suitable to catch up on old stories. The shop is so cute that there is a rule that anyone who doesn’t use their phone will get a 5k discount.

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 4  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 5

Banana ice cream from the past with minced peanuts and some shredded coconut sprinkled on fatty coconut milk… 

  No matter how many times I come to Ut Lanh, my stories and yours all start with “Once upon a time…”‘. Because there are children’s noodles, the type of noodles that we used to share in front of the school gate in the past; There’s banana ice cream with peanuts and coconut that my mother used to make in the past, there’s yogurt bags, there’s yeast cakes, there’s my childhood there. So those warm childhood stories with parents and at school are told to make our hearts happy and calmer…


2. Cafe 81 – Address: 216B Nguyen Van Nguyen, District 1, City. HCM

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 6  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 7

  Right on the busy and crowded Tran Quang Khai street, you have to pay a little attention to see Nguyen Van Nguyen street, which is small and hidden like an alley. Cafe 81 is here, but when entering, everyone has to say: “I can’t believe there is a place like this in Saigon”. Cafe 81 resembles a small house in memories that someone absent-mindedly left in a corner of Saigon. So much so that as soon as I stepped into the shop, I immediately remembered my mother sewing clothes in this corner, my father watching the news in the living room and me, a little girl, running around…

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 8  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 9

  And indeed, every corner of the shop is very friendly and gentle with old thermoses, typewriters, scales, and walls that have faded over time. I like to go to “Coffee Shop 81” on a hot evening, sit quietly listening to the gentle sound of the fan, sit quietly in the flickering light of oil lamps that haven’t been seen in Saigon for a long time or whisper softly. softly to the person next to you.

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 10  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 11

  The restaurant’s drink menu is also very simple but completely suitable for the restaurant’s space. Especially, if you are not satisfied with the drink, you can ask the staff to mix it again. The shop’s staff wrote a commitment sheet!


3. Year fifteen cafe – Address: 29 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, Ward 6, District 3, City. HCM

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 12

  Just hearing the name of the restaurant makes everyone laugh and say to themselves: “The owner probably likes to play hide and seek.” I don’t know if the owner likes to play or not, but the shop is definitely like a childhood garden that every child can play around without getting bored. The upper floor of the restaurant is filled with the wind from the bamboo groves next door, the scent of a green rice field, a very suitable place for you to read a book by Nguyen Nhat Anh to review your memories. You can also see a piece of childhood in the shop in nursery rhymes, paper boats, fountain pens, purple ink…


Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 13  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 14

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 15  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 16

  Another thing I really like about “Year ten and fifteen” is that the lunch is exactly like what people advertise, “as delicious as mom’s cooking”. Familiar dishes such as braised pork, braised fish, pennywort soup, boiled water spinach are cooked very richly and deliciously, the rice is cooked with sticky and fragrant rice. Not only that, the food is also presented in adorable small ceramic cups and plates. If you come to the restaurant and don’t try lunch, it’s truly a pity!


4. Old Hac Quan -Address: 212/158/54 Nguyen Van Nguyen, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1,City. HCM

Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 17  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 18

Hidden behind trees and with a rather small space, Lao Hac restaurant gives


Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 19  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 20

On tired days, I often climb up there, order a bottle of beer, look at Thi Nghe canal and imagine I am in Hoi An looking at the Hoai River. The comparison may seem lame, but the old, sad and quiet space of Lao Hac Quan easily reminds me of the atmosphere of the old town. Most of the guests who come here are like me, absent-mindedly ordering a bottle of beer, sipping it with something and then idly listening to the old music playing.


Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 21  Quán cafe phong cách Sài Gòn xưa. Ảnh 22

At Lao Hac, you will also find some “good” dishes such as pho pho, water tapioca…don’t be afraid to try a new flavor for the old days!


CALL NOW – 0909.555.948


Address: 16/6C Street No. 9, Binh Hung Hoa Ward, Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City


Viết bởi : T.H