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Hue

Lam

Lam Café is the perfect place for working with a laptop, meetings, and catch-ups with small groups.

The Café isn’t eye-catching as you drive by, but it might turn out to be more than expected if you stop for a drink. It feels like walking into a grand old house with elegant decorations of blue windows and white curtains to the right. Opposing these, the bar where your drinks are made will drag you back to the modern life.

Although a new café appears in Hue every month, it isn’t easy to find a café where you are able to work with a laptop. Lam Café greatly offers you this. Many desks are set up next to wide opening windows and the most important thing – sockets. With a big space, the desks are not close to each other, so you won’t need to worry about any distractions.
Besides, there are comfortable wooden sofas littered with colored cushions for chilling-out with friends. If you don’t want to miss the fun of watching the traffic, many lovely tables and chairs are available in the front yard.

Surprisingly, the price doesn’t hurt your wallet, Saigon milk coffee is 17,000 dong. The menu offers coffees, teas, juices and smoothies all with reasonable prices.

Address: 100 Nguyen Hue.

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Hẻm Living

Hẻm Living is hidden down a peaceful alleyway. Like its name, “Hẻm” in English means “an alley”. It is a café of rainbow colors, beautiful wall paintings, cute plants and paper flowers made by the owner.

Hẻm Living is located on Tran Thuc Nhan Street. It is still in the city center, but away from the hustle and bustle. Thus, you don’t need to drive far, and can still enjoy the tranquility of Hue’s typical lifestyle.

Especially, Hẻm owner is an artisan who makes paper flowers and decorates events in Hue City. He often organizes workshops on how to make paper flowers, embroidery and other hand-made products at the cafe. Like any artist, he keeps changing the café’s theme. This café was just opened a few months ago, but the theme has been changed a number of times. You will definitely find something new each time you go to Hẻm.

Besides juices and coffee, their menu offers a variety of snacks.

Address: 18/09 Tran Thuc Nhan.

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Then

Tuan, one of the amazing artists of Hue, opened “Then Café” at his house and uses it as a setting for many art activities such as live music nights, experimental art performances, movie nights, painting exhibitions as well as many other events. They all are free of charge, but unfortunately space is limited. Tuan has hosted many events at Then Café for both Vietnamese and foreign artists. Together with his artist friends, they set up very thoughtful and rustic stages depending on the themes of the different activities.

Along with the art activities, Then Café changes slightly every time I come to an event or just for a drink, which brings me feelings of freshness. Thankfully, it is located away from the hustle and bustle of the city and faces the canal on Le Trung Dinh Street.

For drinks, we would recommend fruit juices, which are seasonally made and not sugary. You should definitely try their star fruit juice when its season comes around.

For price, it can’t be cheaper. We drank 3 milk coffees and were surprised that it was only 37,000 dong (~1.6$) in total. Nhien, Then’s co-owner, revealed that they would give a discount to anyone bicycling to the Cafe on a weekend to promote environmental friendliness and encourage people to exercise.

In summary, Then Café is a perfect place for whoever wants to relax in a gracious space with beautiful light music or focus on their work with a tranquil canal view.

Address: 63 Le Trung Dinh.

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Nghĩa

Nghia, the owner, turned his own flat into a café. The flat is on the second floor of an apartment building on Nguyen Truong To Street which was built decades ago but is still in good shape. Walking up to the second floor reminds you of the good old days, then you turn left and go straight until the end to enter Nghia café.

The place isn’t big with a petite balcony and a mezzanine inside, however, the owner has made use of every available corner. All sets of tables and chairs are different and well arranged. It is decorated with plants, antiques, books and paintings, which creates a vintage and homie theme. This café isn’t suitable for going with a big group, but is a perfect place for people to enjoy a small and tranquil chat.

We tried the hot chocolate, vanilla macchiato, and cappuccino to drink and we are happy to give them 10 points out of 10. Additionally, you can find Japanese potteries and plant pots for your desk to bring home here.

Check this place out and share with us your thoughts!

Address: 206/19 Nguyen Truong To.

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Bún bò – O Hạnh

Bún bò is literally translated as beef noodles, however, it is served with more than just beef, but a variety of pork, meat balls, and huyết (beef/pork blood cube). Your bowl will be presented with a small plate full of lettuce, spicy basil, mint and bean sprouts for you to add in as you choose.

I have been having Bun bo – Hanh for the last 8 years, and she has never disappointed me even once. Her secret weapon is the broth. It is a combination of beef and pork bones with aromatics. I always enjoy it until the last spoon.

Bun bo – Hanh opens every morning, except the 2 vegetarian days per month according to the lunar calendar. Usually, when I come after 9.30 am, there isn’t much left, so get in early. Her place is located in the beginning of Alley 56, Nguyen Thai Hoc street.

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Teahouse – Tinh Truc Gia

As I’ve been told many times, Hue is known for having many different coffee shops; some are small, some are big, some are loud, and some are quiet. Let’s just say if you’re looking for a coffee you’ll find it. But there’s one place where you can get coffee that you might have to search for a little bit harder. It’s off an unbeaten path that unbeknownst to many is a beautiful place to relax. It’s known as the Teahouse in Tinh Truc Gia.

In order to get to the Teahouse you’ll need to drive up Dien Bien Phu road and then take a right onto a side street, Thich Tinh Khiet. Once you get onto Thich Tinh Khiet you’ll follow the dirt paths and winding streets until you pass Tuong Van Pagoda. After that, follow the blue signs with the red arrows and you’ll find yourself at the Teahouse.

When you get there you enter a beautiful space that enchants you. The wind from the mountains brushes against your body and gently cools you off. The calming and peaceful ambiance takes you away from all the hustle and bustle from the city setting. A sign that hangs over the entrance into simply states, “Breathe, smile.”

The workers are comforting, making sure you feel at home right when you walk into the Teahouse. The people who work at the Teahouse take pride in the care they provide and are pleasant to talk to. For example, they’ll put out candles just to scare away mosquitos for you. The Teahouse offers a selection of drinks ranging from coffee, tea, smoothies and juices. They also make homemade jams and baked good as well. Most of their ingredients come from their own garden that they care for. We tried a mixture of drinks and not one of them disappointed. A specialty drink that is a favorite of visitors from all over the world is their hibiscus syrup. I was able to talk to a lovely lady from Switzerland whom has visits the Teahouse frequently and she said that she loves the place because it is absolutely beautiful with the most charming people.

However, there is more to the Teahouse than just drink. If you ask, you might be allowed back to see their beautiful garden where they grow an abundant amount of fruits and vegetables. It’s a quaint garden that represents the care and tenderness the staff at the Teahouse put into their work.

The Teahouse in Tinh Truc Gia offers an escape for the coffee shops in the city. It will offer you a space where you sit can peacefully, enjoy a nice drink, and breathe in the mountain air. It is definitely must go-to local spot in Hue.

Michael Dao

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Muối cà phê (Salt coffee)

Entering a family’s property through a long greenish alley, there are three lovely white houses, next to each other. The third house is café Muối. The private and tranquil space makes you feel like you are visiting your friend’s house. Going to this cafe at around 2pm while Hue folks prefer to enjoy their naps, you will immerse yourself in a Hue-ish feeling: “calm, enjoying doing nothing, and getting yourself away from a life of trying to achieve things”.

Studied architecture, the owner’s wife designed and decorated the café by herself. The indoor space creates a feeling of coziness with a fake fireplace and chairs with soft purple cushions. Except when it rains, we always love to sit outside in the garden while enjoying our drinks. Muoi café offers a lot of chairs and tables in their garden where they haven’t done too much decorating. There are simply some lanterns and plant pots scattered around.

The Salt coffee recipe was developed by Phong, the owner. It has become well-known in Hue. If you are a coffee drinker, you would probably love to try this new café style. Salt coffee is lightly salty and creamy. We think it tastes a bit like caramel (but if you don’t like caramel, you might not like it either). They put some ice in a cup with cream and salt; then coffee will drip down through a filter. You can add more ice later to make it cooler. This drink tastes best on rainy days. Enjoy, cafe goers!

Address: 142 Dang Thai Than.

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1976 vs Doi 6

Hue’s coffee culture is currently blooming. In order to create unique and charming café spaces, it requires creativity, effort, investment, and bravery. Both 1976 and Doi 6 cafes belongs to very young owners (9x generation). Coincidently they both adapted the concept of Cộng café, which have been very famous in Vietnam; and opened at the same time. Cộng has franchises in Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. Talking with us, Bách, the owner of Doi 6 shared that they would like to be Cộng’s franchisee in Hue, but it is too expensive and they can’t afford it. If they were part of the Cong franchise, prices of drinks would be as expensive as the ones in Hanoi; then Hue people couldn’t afford it. Therefore, they decided to learn some things from Cong’s concept and customize the café space with their own ideas.

The two cafes looks quite similar to each other (of course, as they adapted the same concept), however, you will easily see differences when you visit them.

1976 café is located on Hai Trieu street, facing the An Cuu river. The café’s two narrow floors were well-designed to make the best space they have. Just like Cộng, they want to bring you back to Vietnam of the good old days. Since the space is narrow, it might make you feel cramped when you enter. We like tables next to a window on the first floor, facing the street. The balcony seats on the second floor offers you a river view. The menu  has many different drinks and snacks. They still need to improve their drinks, especially café, we think. Chanh tuyết (“snow” lemon smoothie) was lemony, milky and pleasing.

Address: 12 Hai Trieu.

 

Doi 6 café renovated the first floor of a house on Le Quy Don street. They painted the whole front of that house dark green, so it caught our attention when we happened to drive by. Unlike 1976 café, Doi 6 has way more space, they even have the house’s front yard and the street pavement. If you like seats outside with a view to a busy street, they have comfortable wooden chairs and cool tables made from old doors. Their menu is also diverse with drinks and snacks, trà chanh vải (lychee lemon tea) was fresh and fruity. We didn’t order coffee, so there is no review on their coffee.

Address: 6 Le Quy Don.

 

Since these cafés are very new and the young owners with learning attitude love to receive comments for them to improve. We like them both.

Panni

Located on Nguyen Huu Tho street, in Truong Chinh area (that’s what I call it) where houses, cafes, clothes shops, restaurants etc. are popping up continuously. Panni cafe was opened last month. Of course, any new cafe opened in this tiny city will catch local folks’ attention immediately. From the outside, Panni doesn’t look attractive, it is just a huge house opposite a pond. Also, the name board on the gate looks normal. I know about this cafe through my friend’s photos on facebook.

Panni offers a very green space with a garden covered by artificial grass. I like this investment. Tall trees, a waterfall, wall plants and flowers are combined to create a very fresh atmosphere. I’m impressed how well the owner has invested in this cafe. You have several options for just visiting one cafe. If you like to sit in a big garden, they have it. If you feel like soft, comfortable and lovely sofas indoor, Panni provides them too. If you want to have a higher view looking down to a greenish garden or to the road and the pond out the front, there is a pretty corner on the second floor. When I was there, builders were still working on some parts of the house, so the cafe hasn’t been finished yet, I think. This makes me even more excited when I come back for my second time.

About the menu, the price is equal to other cafes in Hue. There are many choices to have, however, it isn’t much special. I’m a fan of cafe sua Saigon (Saigon styled milk coffee), so I often go for this original choice. Honestly, it is just ok.

Although the drinks aren’t that exciting, I didn’t expect more. The quality isn’t lower than other cafes. So far, this is the first cafe in Hue which offers me that much.

Panni-café

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