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4 Cafes in Saigon with Childhood Style

On the busy days in Saigon, why not escape together to a café with the shadow of childhood with old pretty cute stuff?

Recently, new cafes are mushrooming. There are cafes with different style: from Europe to Asia, from modern to vintage style. How about the old Vietnames style? Old and familiar things that anyone ever stick during childhood like old bowls, window frames painted in blue or dried fruit and popcorn … still remain lovely when being put into suitable places like the quiet, pretty and old cafes. It’s like a warm shelter between busy life.

Let’s ignore the bustling crowded cafes and visit the old and quiet ones below.

Cafe 81 (216B Nguyen Van Nguyen, District 1)

Who said retro-style cafes are all old-fashioned are wrong! The evidence is that, in just a short time in Saigon, countless café of 90s style have been mushroomed and all are very attractive to guests. Café 81 is one of the most iconic names.

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Entering the bar, you’ll feel like you just are boarded a time machine to go back to childhood. Here is an old wooden table, that is the posters, the book that we ever read when we were young, and inside there are familiar snack that everyone once saved some money to buy even being scolded by their parents.

The facade of the café is also lovely with notice boards written in chalk, a small coffee bar and a familiar wooden door of the old time. Here is the great place to take photo – who are not emotional when coming back their childhood!

Ut Lanh (283/37 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1)

The name Ut Lanh – meaning the gentle girl – partly reflectes the content and appearance of the place: small but extremely cute. Ut Lanh is not just a place very attractive to the young, but also specifically the parents, the older because it is so lovely. It seems to remind everyone about the memories of the past!

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Unlike other retro cafes which are simulated or rebuilt the old beauty, the Ut Lanh is located in an old house with real age which has exceeded a hundred year old. From the familiar mezzanine, inimitable color walls or flooring tiles … all are telling us something about time. Unique decorative items like cassette machines, electric fans, tapes, books … surely will make many people surprised, jumped up and tell other people like “Hey, we had item like this in our house!”.

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Saigon80s Nha Minh (9/8 Truong Quyen Street, District 3)

If Ut Lanh or Café 81’s color is quite dark, the SaiGon80s Nha Minh (or Nha Minh – My House) brings a retro image of Saigon but more lively and cheerful. You can easily see this through the façade which is painted in remarkable yellow, green plants and signposts written in the old font.

The dear name “Nha Minh – My House” means that this place is not merely an ordinary cafe but also a second home, where everyone can come to “stay” when they don’t know where to go among the large Saigon. Let’s try to visit the café at the weekend if not knowing where to go. It should be revealed that the space here is very beautiful, promising to offer beautiful photos for your virtual life!

Nam Muoi Muoi Lam – Five Ten Fifteen (29 Ngo Thoi Nham, District 3)

The first impression of this place is the cute and familiar name! It reminds everyone of us about a game when we were young – almost used to play the game “hide and seek”. It is a very familiar game of Vietnamese children. After counting “five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty …” , the game starts.

Nam Muoi Muoi Lam café owns an open space filled with natural light and green plants around the place, creating a comfortable feeling.

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The ones who live and grow in the city might find it a bit strange, however for those with a childhood in the countryside and attached to the field, with the fish basket, with whispering bamboo trees and yellow rice fields, the space in the café would be very familiar with countryside atmosphere. “Rustic” and “familiar” are the most suitable words to describe the café.

Besides the excellent space, food and drink of the café is the highlight. The dishes which seemed to be awfully familiar like pennywort soup, braised pork, boiled spinach … suddenly become strangely exotic and delicious.

If the three above places are the right to go alone or meet friends, the Nam Muoi Muoi Lam is a suggestion that you should go with your family.

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