Four cafes that make you feel yesterday is still around the corner - Travel Viet Nam Open element in lightbox

Four cafes that make you feel yesterday is still around the corner

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Already fed up with all the watery takeaway coffee packed in plastic cups or feel rushed by the fast-fashion serving style at the likes of Starbucks? Take a day off and let us take you on a nostalgic journey to the timeless cafes of Saigon.

Mostly dating back to the 1980s and 90s, when there was more to be missed than meets the eye, the cafes you’re about to note on your bucket list still operate under their original Vietname


e names, maintain their run-down appearances and offer the same menus as they did years ago. Some even offer customers discounts if they can refrain from using electronic devices. Now buckle up and prepare to relive the good old days of Saigon.

Ut Lanh

Ut Lanh in Vietnam translates into the youngest daughter named Lanh, with Lanh itself meaning benign. With all the furniture inspired by the 1990s and the name board designed in a way that was all the rage in the 1970s, the vibe at Ut Lanh is always a taste of yesterday.

Address: 283/37 Pham Ngu Lao street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo by Quooschufn (Instagram)

Photo by Quooschufn (Instagram)

Photo by jeank189

Photo by jeank189 (Instagram)

Photo: IG Saigon Retro.

Photo by IG Saigon Retro (instagram)

Cua Hang Cafe 81

Easily distinguishable from afar, the cafe releases a sense of nostalgia through its old walls and now-extinct ventilation outlets. While the sense of nostalgia in the exterior is intrinsic, the feeling that lingers inside is achieved through the deliberate choice of furniture.

The cafe is now officially the hottest one for the Instagram generation, thanks mostly to the exotic antiquities and partly to the lack of air-conditioning.

Address: 216B Nguyen Van Nguyen, Tan Dinh ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo by Huyvespa (Instagram)

Photo by Huyvespa (Instagram)

Photo by Anges Selene (Instagram)

Photo by Anges Selene (Instagram)

Photo by Kellankhuu

Photo by Kellankhuu

Saigon Retro

Though not as run-down as the other two, Saigon Retro must be the most ambitious among all in terms of bringing the good old days back, going so far as to put the word ‘retro’ in its name.

Not unlike other alley cafes in Saigon, it takes a little patience to park up in a different block and enter the narrow alley leading to the cafe. If these difficulties don't deter you, gear up and gather your gang.

Address: First floor, 55 Tran Quoc Toan street, ward 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo by pinkytran174 (Instagram)

Photo by pinkytran174 (Instagram)

Photo by emcamap (Instagram)

Photo by emcamap (Instagram)

Photo by VnExpress

Photo by VnExpress

Lao Hac

Named after an uber poor character whose life is known by almost every Vietnamese, Lao Hac offers a tranquil, somewhat nostalgic and sombre vibe. One can find here mostly groups of no more than three people. Lone customers are not rare too.

Listed on the menu are some of the drinks you can’t find anywhere else like nuoc voi (herbal water) and tao pho (tofu dessert). Surprisingly, Lao Hac lies right next to 81 Cafe.

Address: 212 Nguyen Van Nguyen, Tan Dinh ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo by VnExpress

Photo by VnExpress

Photo by VnExpress

Photo by VnExpress

Photo by VnExpress

Photo by VnExpress