Drinks · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Cua Hang Cafe81 – Retro Style Coffee Shop

Going to a coffee shop is actually not my thing. Not because I don’t like coffee but more to the ability of my stomach to cope with coffee! Yup, I have a weak stomach… So then why did I go to this coffee shop?! It was actually a coincidence. I was looking for a place with traditional looking and some grit for a photoshoot. I’ve been in Saigon for 3 years but I rarely walking around the city. Now that I’m leaving Saigon soon, I feel like I need to know the city better. This is what they called to take it for granted. I’ve had all my time in this city but I always thought I could do it later (or more like procrastinating I guess?).

When I researched for something I could go on and on until it’s just too much, including this one. I found an article / blog about the unique coffee shop in Saigon. I noted down the places and decided to visit them. My plan was to invite my coffee drinker friends, but my impulsive side couldn’t wait any longer so I went to one of them by myself.

Cua Hang Cafe 81 Coffee Shop Saigon

I checked the list and picked one nearest to my place, which is Cua Hang Cafe81 in District 1. It was around 13 minutes by car. I have their address but when I entered on google map, it didn’t show up the correct location. Hence we got lost until the end of the road. Apparently, it listed as 81cafe on google map, and it is very near from the intersection. At first, I just want to take photos from my car without hopping off, but when I arrived there I couldn’t hold the urge to enter the place!

They have a very classic, retro interior. I love it. Inside has 2 rooms filled with tables. The room where I sat was a bit dark, while the next room was brighter. The waiter can’t speak English but he was friendly. I looked at the menu and they are mostly Vietnamese drinks, from coffee, chanh muoi to beer. No snack or food available. No smoothies. Their price is still reasonable for a cafe. Coffee was 30k – 35k vnd. Chanh Muoi 40k vnd (this one is a bit expensive for chanh muoi but maybe they are good (?). I’ll try it next time.

cua hang cafe 81 coffee shop interior
A table opposite of mine

I placed an order of ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Ice Coffee with Milk) and waited. The guy brought water to my table. Nice! A proper coffee shop. I took out my camera and started taking photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have a suitable lens for this. My shortest focal length is the 35mm prime lens, and it was too tight to take a photo there. I need a wide lens. In the end, I used my phone to take some photos. Good enough 😀

When the coffee came, I was hesitating to drink since I just recovered from upset stomach. I questioned myself whether this was a good idea or not… After contemplating for a while, I took a sip to try the coffee. It was delicious. Not too sweet. I took my time on drinking that coffee. One sip at a time while editing photos on my phone.

I showed the photos to my friends, in Indonesia and in Saigon (Japanese and European ladies). Funny though that they have different opinions. My Indonesia friends said something like “That looks scary”, “Looks like my grandma’s house”, “Wow, now I know my house can be a cafe as well if it gets a little messier”, “That looks like my old house”. While my friends in Saigon said “That is cute! Are you there now? Where is it?”, “That looks lovely! I want to go there too”, “Nice, retro looking cafe”.

For me, this cafe is cute and very classic. It is quiet enough (aside from some students who keep talking while doing their homework). I think next time I will go there if I want to work in different atmosphere.

cua hang cafe 81 coffee shop interior


cua hang cafe 81 coffee shop interior

What do you think? Would you go there as well after looking at the pictures? The place is good for an Instagram post. Let me know in the comment below.


PS : My stomach was okay after drinking the coffee, so I guess I can go back there! Yay.


Place : 81Cafe, 216 B Nguyen van Nguyen, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.


Experience · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Buying Coffee in Benh Thanh Market

Three days ago I heard someone just bought coffee in Benh Thanh Market, and it was a good quality and cheap as well. So when I visitted that market yesterday I looked around to see all the coffee sellers. There are lots of them! Various kind of coffee and tea with various price between store as well.

I was looking for weasel coffee, wanted to try one. At 1 store, the price was 65k vnd per 100 grams. They have the one in pack already, bean or powdered coffee. Each pack is 200 grams, so the price was 130k vnd per pack. Then they lowered the price to 100k vnd per pack. And they said if I buy many, they will lower the price more and give me free coffee filter (pin). As I was only checking the price, I didn’t bargain at all at that store.

At other stores, the price for weasel coffee was 65k vnd to 100k vnd per grams. I’m not a coffee expert so I don’t know which one has the real good weasel coffee. After contemplating for a while, I decided not to buy coffee and leave Benh Thanh Market.

But on the way to exit, there was 1 store that sell weasel coffee as well. I was still curious lol. I asked the seller if I can smell the weasel coffee, and it smelled really nice, better than the first store. So I interested to try. I should’ve checked the price first before coming -.- In that store, the price for weasel coffee was 90k vnd per 100 grams. And for packs (200 grams each) the price was 180k vnd! Even more expensive! She told me to buy 5 packs and get a discount. It should be 180k times 5, 900k vnd, then she discounted it to 850k vnd. Too expensive, I know it can go lower. After bargaining process, I bought 5 packs for 300k vnd.

Weasel Coffee

5 packs for 300k vnd, so it’s 60k vnd each pack, 30k vnd per 100 grams. Not bad. . . That’s what I thought before I reached home.

At home I unpacked one of them and put them on weight scale. It was 100 grams! Each pack is 100 grams, not 200 grams as she claimed. So it was 60k vnd per 100 grams. I haven’t tried it, but I will update as soon as I made the coffee.

Do you have any experience on shopping in Benh Thanh Market? Have you tried weasel coffee? Please tell me on comment below 😉