The Best Coffee Shops In Hoi An
A lot of people who come to Vietnam don’t know that this, mountainous country is actually a global heavyweight when it comes to coffee production. Last year, Vietnam produced 1,650,000 metric tons of brown beans, second only to Brazil in terms of sheer volume. Coffee is everywhere in Vietnam; from big, bustling coffee shops, to tiny mom ‘n pop operations. You can’t go far without seeing a coffee place of some kind and some of the best coffee shops in Vietnam reside here in Hoi An.
The weird thing is that as well as grabbing a steaming cup of coffee to help them fire up first thing in the morning. In Vietnam, many also drink coffee at night. The coffee shops in Hoi An do a pretty good trade in the morning. But when the sun goes down, they really start to buzz. Just when all the western tourists start heading for their favourite bars and pubs. The local cool kids are hanging out in coffee shops, along with just about everyone else in town.
It’s not only coffee, though. Avocado banana coffee smoothies (sinh tố cà phê), sapodilla coffee shakes (sinh tố cà phê sapoche), mango lassi and, of course, iced tea can also be seen gracing the tables of Hoi An’s hip shops. And the way they do their coffee… Well, it’s a whole other experience. The espresso culture in Australia and Europe and the filter coffee culture of North America are a far cry from what’s going on here.
Mixed coffee beans ready for sorting and roasting. Photo: Hidden Hoi An
- Hoi An Coffee Scene
- How to order Vietnamese coffee the way you like it
- Where to Find the Best Coffee in Hoi An? Uy Viet Coffee Bean – Best Local Coffee
- Faifo Coffee – Best View
- The Espresso Station – Best Unique Coffee
- GAM – Best Unique Coffee Shop
- Sound of Silence Coffee Shop – Best Beach Coffee
- Reaching Out Teahouse – Best For Giving Back
- U Café – Best Eco-Friendly Coffee
- Phin Coffee – Best Coffee
- Mia Coffee – Best Expat Choice
- Cavalry Coffee – Best Unknown Coffee Shop
- Hoi An Roastery – Best Coffee Chain
- Le Fe Cafeteria – Best Atmosphere
- Dingo Deli – Best All Rounder
- Hidden Hoi An’s Thoughts:
Hoi An Coffee Scene
Most western coffee is made from Arabica beans, which have a more delicate and refined flavour. But here, Vietnamese robusta beans are roasted dark, usually with a medium to coarse grind. Then the ground coffee is lightly tamped into a kind of cup/drip filter. This filter cup or phin ca phe, is placed directly on top of the cup and boiling water poured in on top of the coffee grounds. It then slowly drips into the cup until the water has all drained through, and you have your shot of coffee.
Coffee shops in Hoi An serve some seriously powerful stuff. The lower temperatures and the lower pressures used to extract the coffee makes for a stronger, more robust, less bitter, and less acidic shot of coffee than you would get from an espresso machine. A lot of the Vietnamese coffees have a kind of smoked vanilla flavour that can be quite strong sometimes. In the cheaper coffee blends, it can be a little overpowering. But in the nicer ones, it provides a lovely complexity and long flavour.
Every local coffee shop in Hoi An serves its own particular blend so don’t be put off if you find one cafe that isn’t to your liking. Sugar and sweetened milk products are often used to balance out the intensity and powerful flavours of Vietnamese coffee. Mostly coffee is served iced, but you can get it served hot as well. As well as the Vietnamese types, most places will also serve Americano. Which means hot water is added to make a kind of long black, much less intense than the straight ca phe đen.
How to order Vietnamese coffee the way you like it
Cà phê sữa đá: This means milk coffee with ice. This is the most famous of the Vietnamese coffees. It is a large shot of black coffee over ice with a layer of sweetened condensed milk on the bottom of the glass. If there’s too much condensed milk, it will turn into a kind of super sweet syrupy concoction. If the balance is right, though, it has a satisfying body and a kind of nutty flavour that balances out the brutal nature of the dark roasted robusta bean extraction.
Cà phê sữa is milk coffee served hot ,while Cà phê đen is black coffee. Cà phê đen da is iced black coffee. Cà phê sữa tươi is a Vietnamese latte (rare in very local coffee shops)
Yoghurt coffee is Cà phê sữa chua. The light acidity of the yoghurt brings out a whole different flavour in the coffee. Even if you think it’s not your thing, give it a go! At the very least, it will be an interesting experience.
Cà phê trứng is egg coffee. It is more like a heavily caffeinated egg custard than a light beverage. Egg yolks are whipped through the black coffee, sometimes in a hot water bath, until a smooth, crème anglaise texture is achieved.
Adjusting to your taste
If you want a milder, less punchy coffee more similar to what you drink at home, order cà phê bạc xỉu (pronounced “Ca Fe Bac Siu,” the “X” is pronounced as an “S”). That means coffee with lots of extra milk. Or ask for an Americano, hot or iced. A watered-down version of the strong coffee shot. A bit less confronting first thing in the morning.
Now, the other thing you need to be aware of when ordering coffee is that the milk is not what you’re used to back home. Due to the general scarcity of refrigerated transport here, it is highly unlikely that you will be served fresh cow’s milk. Most likely, it will be UHT or condensed milk. Sure, these are both milk products. But they really don’t look or taste anything like actual milk. However, soy milk is widely available, and sometimes bean milk, nut milk, and even lotus seed milk can be found without too much difficulty. Ask your friendly coffee baristas if they have any of these available. Or you can buy them from most of the mini-marts in Hoi An and take them to the coffee shop yourself.
Where to Find the Best Coffee in Hoi An? Uy Viet Coffee Bean – Best Local Coffee
The high density of coffee shops in Hoi An can make it difficult to select which shop to go to for coffee. It’s not hard to find a good cup but to make things easier we at Hidden have compiled a list of the best in the city for you.
Some of our personal favourite Hoi An cafes would be Uy Viet Coffee Bean. Here you can get great coffee and amazing service (they also have freshly ground beans to take home, if you are interested in making your own brew), and the coffee bars on Ly Thuong Kiet. This street is lined with top-notch coffee bars for half a kilometre, with all the different types available. You will probably be the only tourist or ex-pat in the whole place. But the staff mostly will be able to steer you through the ordering process without much confusion.
Faifo Coffee – Best View
Positioned in the heart of Old Town, Faifo offers great house-roasted coffee and a fantastic rooftop on top of the shop in which to enjoy it. After placing your order on the first floor, navigate your way up the narrow dark wooden stairs, past the retro motorbike and up once more to the roof. With lanterns swinging overhead, are two tables and a number of stools well shaded from the harsh sun. This level offers a unique view of Old Town, with tiled rooftops all around. Faifo also has a middle floor well cooled and equipped with more comfortable seating.
Hidden Hint: Go early or later in the day as it can get quite hot on the rooftop during midday—and the light will be better for your photos.
The Espresso Station – Best Unique Coffee
Address: 28/2 Tran Hung Dao – Hours: Daily 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Most coffee shops in Hoi An like to hone and serve traditional coffee. Be it Vietnamese, Italian or Australian, but many of the menus reflect much of the same. However, just off of the busy Tran Hung Dao Street and up a narrow alley lies an innovative gem called The Espresso Station. The terrace small and inviting, with a number of picnic style benches and stools to settle on. Mustard walls with cobalt blue accents decorate the space, and tables made from salvaged wood provide seating.
Although they do have traditional coffees on their menu (which are damn good), their house specials really set them apart. Ice cube coffee topped with cocoa powder and served with steamed milk on the side, or the dark soul latte that has the addition of activated charcoal, truly shine at Espresso Station. If caffeine isn’t your thing they even have a beetroot latte.
GAM – Best Unique Coffee Shop
The Gemstone Art Museum in the Old Town showcases an extensive collection of minerals and rare gems from around Vietnam. Tucked in the back, a gem not as well known in Hoi An is their lounge and coffee shop. A laid-back and refined space, complete with mustard walls and a unique fountain with water trickling down marble formations with spinel deposits. Thoughtfully filling the area are thin roots hanging from a canopy of vines overhead. The longest roots reach all the way down to the water in their deep well. The atmosphere makes this a great spot for a coffee break and to also appreciate the beauty of the stones on display. They also have a good number of cocktails, wine, and fruit juice on the menu, making it a versatile stop.
Hidden Hint: You have to pay to go upstairs to the museum, but with the purchase of an alcoholic drink you’re allowed free entry.
Sound of Silence Coffee Shop – Best Beach Coffee
Sound of Silence is a surprisingly quiet Hoi An coffee shop considering its location and view. When you drive past, it’s hard to tell that hidden behind the building is a wonderful seating area overlooking the tranquil ocean. With palm trees overhead and grass underfoot, this pleasant space allows you to enjoy your coffee and view in peace. It never feels too hot with the cool breeze blowing in off the sea. They even have a couple of huts with power outlets, making it a serene workplace too. Sound of Silence is by far the best beachside coffee in Hoi An.
Reaching Out Teahouse – Best For Giving Back
Reaching Out originally started as a craft shop in 2000, but have since expanded into a beautiful tea and coffee shop in Hoi An. Known for empowering people with disabilities and finding them a place within their business based on their skills. The team consists of speech and hearing impaired staff that provide a welcoming and high-end service. While here try to whisper, as they promote the concept of enjoying a drink in silence. Blocks of wood labelled with helpful words are on the table to communicate with the staff.
Choose from the front room to watch Old Town go by, the raised seating platform with cushions, or the small courtyard with a peaceful lily pond. It’s a warm and inviting spot to pick if you’re looking for a fantastic drink while giving back.
U Café – Best Eco-Friendly Coffee
Address: 120 Huyen Tran Cong Chua – Hours: Daily 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Closed on Tuesdays)
Set overlooking the Thus Bon-Hoai riverside, is U Café a fantastic eco-friendly coffee shop in Hoi An, run by a humanitarian named Reiko Usuda. The homey four-story building constructed to face south to allow ample use of daylight. There are wide doors and windows to take advantage of the breeze. All designed to reduce electrical usage. The water used in the cafe goes through an eco-biological sewer system. Then filtered before entering the many lily ponds in the building and flowing into the river system. They also work with many social help groups providing books for students, along with community cleanups. Thoughtful work involvement on many fronts here.
Equally busy at U Café are the interesting fusions between Japanese and Vietnamese cuisines on the menu. The desserts were the highlight. As for drinks, the fair-trade organic robusta from Dak Lak is outstanding. They also offer a variety of teas and cold-pressed juices to choose from.
Phin Coffee – Best Coffee
Down a set of meandering alleys in the Old Town and nestled around a bend at the end lies Phin Coffee. It is an open courtyard space with small wooden benches and plants encompassing much of the area. The menu may offer a similar selection compared to other places in the city. But what you’re really getting is a high-end knowledgeable barista that is able to create some of the best coffee in Hoi An. Through a large window looking towards the barista, you can see them chasing perfection within every cup they brew. From roasting the beans to the final product. If you’re curious about any step in the method to create your coffee, the staff at Phin are more than happy to educate you.
Mia Coffee – Best Expat Choice
Just east of Hoi An’s Old Town, Mia Coffee is an ever-popular coffee shop with expats. You may not think much of it at first glance, but don’t let the generic facade fool you. Set on a corner in a traditional house covered in flowering plants. It’s a great place to get away from the crowds and enjoy a coffee on the shaded terrace. Order at the counter on the main floor and choose from the many seating options available. There are a couple of tables inside on the first floor and a terrace surrounding the house. A portion of the upper level of the house is air-conditioned, so you can escape the relentless heat and get some work done. This floor also has a second terrace, with free filtered water provided, along with buzzers on each table for quick service.
While they do have Vietnamese coffee on their menu, what keeps people coming back is the consistency of their Italian varieties and their selection of cakes.
Cavalry Coffee – Best Unknown Coffee Shop
With slow-growing popularity within Hoi An, Cavalry aims not only to brew amazing coffee for a reasonable price but to also be retailers for coffee appliances and equipment.
Currently, the company has two locations in the city. East of Hoi An’s Old Town is their small and humble coffee shop. It showcases their products and a few smaller pieces of brewing equipment. It’s a great no-frills spot to sit down and appreciate the coffee. Cavalry’s main location is much further away, just over Cua Dai Bridge. Larger and more industrial than it’s Hoi An Old Town younger sibling, this coffee shop is mostly frequented by locals due to the location. Staff speak limited English but that doesn’t stop the staff from delivering fantastic service. In the back of the shop is a covered courtyard with additional seating. This is also where all the coffee production takes place.
Hoi An Roastery – Best Coffee Chain
While Highland Coffee has been the most visible coffee shop chain in Vietnam over the last 15 years, the new kid on the block Hoi An Roastery has been making an impact within Hoi An at a blistering speed. It now has 7 coffee shops within Hoi An. Each cafe has its own vibe but consistent throughout are great coffee’s that have been individually sourced from Da Lat. The locations lie mainly within the Old Town in some of the most beautiful converted houses in town. Great places to soak up the atmosphere in these majestic wooden houses.
Le Fe Cafeteria – Best Atmosphere
Tucked away in Hoi An’s Old Town is a cosy coffee shop that speaks of older times. Located in an old Hoi An house and designed with a vintage theme. Le Fe offers a quiet oasis in the middle of the city. Retro televisions and typewriters, along with black and white photographs from around the world decorate the space. Misters and fans help keep the heat of the city at bay. While the Vietnamese ballads overhead slowly grind you to a relaxed state. A dimly lit indoor seating area with low dark wooden chairs providing the perfect spot for a drink in the evening. However, the bright and airy back section with a peaceful carp pond was the real winner for us.
Le Fe Cafeteria primarily serves Vietnamese coffee varieties, but they also have alcoholic drinks, smoothies, and a small food section. Their whole menu very reasonably priced, especially due to its central location in the Old Town.
Dingo Deli – Best All Rounder
This one-of-a-kind delicatessen in the heart of Hoi An is popular for its unhurried atmosphere, polite service and great food. They also take their caffeine very seriously. Dingo was the first to serve Lavazza coffee in Hoi An, back in 2011, and have been making terrific coffee ever since. From textbook espresso based brews to local cà phê sua da. Outstanding baked goods, imaginative sandwiches and mouth-watering delicacies add to the all-around appeal of this popular spot.
Hidden Hint: If you would like to have top notch coffee and/or breakfast, but don’t feel like leaving your room, Dingo Deli offers free delivery for orders over 150,000. Just message their Facebook page.
Once you enter Dingo Deli you will find yourself in a pampering, crispy AC oasis. One of their 38 staff members will offer you an ice cold towel to cool off from the heat and show you how to place your order. Whether you are looking for a comfortable air-conditioned lounge, a quiet working space or a family friendly place with a play area to enjoying your morning coffee, Dingo Deli has you covered. Quality is always exceptional and portions are very generous.
Hidden Hoi An’s Thoughts:
Now you have an in-depth and expert knowledge on everything coffee. As well as some of the best and most interesting coffee shops to find it in Hoi An. Whether you’re looking for an excellent Italian coffee, a traditional phin coffee with condensed milk, or something a bit more unique—Hoi An’s coffee shops have it all.