The cafe is one of many cornerstones of Vietnamese society. A place for business meetings, somewhere to hang out with your friends or get your caffeine fix at any given part of the day. Coffee shops can get a bit repetitive so we’re going to give you five coffee shops that are worth a visit in Hue…and a few more.
Salt Coffee: Caffeine Beverage with a Twist
The egg coffee in Hanoi has been all the rage over the past few years on the tourist trail, why not get ahead of the game and try Hue’s signature salt coffee? Admittedly, it sounds just as unappealing but at Cà Phê Muối (salt coffee in Vietnamese) they get the balance between sweet and salty just right. Salt coffee tastes something akin to a chocolate brownie and works well as a post-meal digestif or between meals. The caffeine is strong with this one so avoid late at night.
This is the father of salt coffee and while the copycats have popped up around the city, this one remains the best. Their range of indoor and outdoor seating as well budget pricing makes for good value. It is located on the north side of the imperial city so makes for a perfect conclusion to your citadel visit.
Cà Phê Muối
142 Đặng Thái Thân
Phuong Lan Coffee: Rooftop with a View
Hue is make use of its empty rooftops and it is safe to say there are some bars and coffee shops with great views. It’s hard to get barroom conditions right with central Vietnam’s blistering summer and clammy rainy season. When the temperatures are right, you’re good to go.
Phuong Lan Coffee just opened as of early 2019 and its unique location by the Phu Cam church provides a great rooftop view. Owner Suong Lan has put some effort in giving her rooftop a bit of charm with comfortable sofas.
Aside from the rooftop view, Phuong Lan is also a great jumping off point for numerous places of cultural importance in Hue such as the array of pagodas and street eats on Dien Bien Phu, the Nam Giao park and the Phan Boi Chau house. Since the coffee shop is best at sunset, why not visit them first and head to Phuong Lan after.
Phong Lan Coffee Store
14 Đoàn Hữu Trưng
Another Hue café with a great view is Time Coffee that sits in the middle of Le Loi. Time coffee always has a large clientele and getting a seat at sunset can be difficult at times but includes a children’s play area for those travelling as a family to Hue.
Cafe Gac Trinh: Musical Heritage Coffee
Trinh Cong Son, dubbed the Bob Dylan of Vietnam, wrote lyrics like poetry about love, loss and the state of humanity through the American-Vietnam war. To this day, people still shed tears upon hearing his songs and Son remains one the nation’s most treasured artists. It was at this apartment-cum-cafe that he lived through most of the war and witnessed many things from this balcony that inspired a large proportion of his catalogue.
Beatlemaniacs will visit Liverpool’s cavern club for worship. Elvis fanatics will make a pilgrimage to Graceland for a music-inspired vacation. It is of surprise to me that the former residence of Trinh Cong Son, doesn’t receive a similar amount of attention. Café Gac Trinh doesn’t serve the best coffee in town but remains a living memory of one man that inspired a nation. You can read more about Trinh Cong Son and the café in our article here.
19 room 203, 2nd floor Nguyễn Trường Tộ
If you want your coffee to dig a little deeper in history, head to the royal pavilion north in the Hue citadel. Tứ Phương Vô Sự Lâu (Edit: currently closed) sits atop of the inner imperial city wall which traditionally acted as a function hall for the royal family. The view and the garden make for a special location.
Pavilion coffee has been closed during infrequent times of the year. If this is the case, head down the street to coffee shop Bình An Đường. (Edit: Currently closed as well!) During the Nguyen Dynasty, this building was a hospital specifically for the emperor’s eunuchs who would be banished from the imperial city out of fear of contagion until their health improved.
Riverside Coffee in Hue: Minimalist Coffee, Moments of Peace.
I really wanted to write about roadside coffee but I struggle to hold down a regular spot. I turn my attention towards the river and various locations come straight to mind.
The river Hương is the lifestream of Hue. It was claimed even local beer Huda was made out of the Huong River (before the factory relocated). The river brings harmony to the city and moments of contemplation for its guests.
My go-to spot is the Café with no name behind the Ho Chi Minh museum on Tran Thuc Nhan Street. Although the café has been shut down more than once, the owners keep popping up. Amenities are minimal for guests, the view looks onto a wide section of the Huong river and its backdrop is the flag mast that looms over the city’s northside. just beside the café, A small fleet of dragon boats shore up here throughout the day. The trees that grow here provide some protection from the heat as well as intermittent gusts of breeze that come off the river. It has continued to be my favourite spot since I moved to Hue.
The Cafe With No Name
Behind the Ho Chi Minh Museum
No idea on opening or closing times!
There are plenty of coffee shops hidden around the city like the Cafe with No Name. Some other spots I also enjoy are Quán Cà Phê Sông Xanh and Cafe Bến Xưa which both overlook the Như Y river on Nguyen Cong Tru Street.
Best Cafe for Work in Hue: Pleasure for the Powersuits
Meetings, reading, writing or social media updating. All serious business. Trying to find a place to concentrate can be a tough cookie, right? There’s no out and out coffee shop winner in Hue. Irritating background music is next to unavoidable. Nevertheless two places that are popular for a working coffee are Windows Coffee and the aforementioned Aroma Coffee. Both have indoor and outdoor seating as well as variety of furniture that is suitable for all work-related matters. While these aren’t the quietest of coffee shops, people here are like-minded and came here for serious work, most of the time.
5 Bến Nghé
20 Lê Lợi
If the music is too irritating, we recommend Lucy Kafe which offers similar amenities to Windows and Aroma. If the music irritates you, you will probably have more power likely being the only customer in the coffee shop.
But hey! Don’t spend all your time pondering and working in coffee shops around Hue, take a tour with us and experience the best of Vietnam on one of our city tours!
Found a coffee shop in Hue that you like? Have you been to any of the cafes mentioned above? Do you have any better recommendations? Leave your thoughts in the comments