Chain of coffee shops all over the city. Coffee, milk based coffee drinks, teas, smoothies or juice drinks, sandwiches and sweet deserts. One of the very few places you will find decaf espresso drinks in Saigon. Also sells fresh roasted beans. Prices higher than most.
I originally posted this review in Aug, 2007. Updated on Jan 2010:
I can not recommend this coffee house chain to anyone but the real die hard Starbucks types who are more into the 'scene' than the actual coffee itself. The atmosphere in many of the Highland shops is now pretentious. The Coffee is week and among the highest in the city. There are countless other much better cafes in Saigon. Trung Nguyen for one is far superior coffee.
The food is only so-so. What makes this place special is the atmosphere. Find a table outside on the sidewalk. This way you can watch the traffic along Dong Khoi and you'll have a terrific view of the Notredame Cathedral. It's nicest just an hour or two before sunset. It's reminiscent of the outdoor cafe's depicted in "The Quiet American," a movie based on the novel by Graham Greene.
For those who are not familiar with Tax trading centre may find it difficult to get in the coffee house. Shortest way to go up the coffee house is taking the lift on Nguyen Hue entrance.
Nice view and good seats
Distinguished 3 sections
Various kinds of beverage (certainly the best is coffee)
Some junk food and cakes
Cooling system is not quite good enough.
Sometimes using fan instead of air con
It’s ok with nighttime
Favorite Dish: Brownie
There are no Starbucks Coffee in Vietnam! but there are many coffee shops that abound in Saigon and among the most popular is the Highlands Coffee. Highlands Cafe is a hip chain of cafes modelled after American-style cofee shops, complete with WIFI access, R'n'B soundtrack, vanilla latte shakes and club sandwiches and is very popular among the Saigon Youth.
Highlands Coffee was founded in 1998 by David Thai, a Viet Khieu (Overseas vietnamese) residing in seattle and since seattle is a coffee loving city, he got an idea to found a coffee house in his native country as coffee in vietnam is cheap (it it the second largest coffee exporter after brazil) and his idea hit off and Higlands Coffee Became Popular (some people say this is like starbucks but I would say that their design is Like Seattle's Best Coffee but is now moot since Seattle's best is now owned by Starbucks since 2005!). He founded Viet Thai International,the company behind Highlands coffee and the coffee house spread like mushrooms in vietnam!
Favorite Dish: traditional vietnamese blends: Gourmet Blend: This blend combines the finest Arabica and Robusta beans roasted to their individual peak flavors combine with selected flavors. The resulting taste is distinctive in body with aromatic sweetness. Traditional Blend: This blend of Arabica and Robusta beans perfectly captures the spirit of a traditional Vietnamese roast. By complementing the beans with selected flavors, the coffee delivers a bold taste and irresistible aroma, with hints of a rich buttery body. Heritage Blend: Processed similarly to the Traditional Blend, but using only Robusta beans, the Heritage Blend has a strong and intense flavor with a creamy body.
I like all these blends to make Cafe Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese Cold Coffee) and it costs 26,000 VND here!
they have several branches in and around saigon
We tried this popular coffee-bar shop but my husband and I agreed that there are far better alternatives. We ordered Americano coffee and Iced Apple Green tea and paid VND80000+
The place was teeming with yuppies, expats and prostitutes. Not a place for kids.
Their coffee was not special at all.
I saw a couple of cakes but did not order because I decided not to stay long.
Taking pictures is not allowed within the shops premises.
Favorite Dish: None.
After a quick tour of the downtown and Diamond Plaza Mall, we decided to rest for awhile and have a cup of coffee... the Vietnamese way. =) - no frapuccino, no java... but a cup with aluminum pot on top. At the bottom of the cup is a half inch condensed milk and coffee on top of it. The hot water in the pot lazily seeping into the the cup and through the dark-roasted coffee.
Since it's only a small amount of coffee, you really have to take slow, tiny sips... savouring each one.
Try the authentic Vietnamese Coffee which match perfectly with the cheesecake. Worth to try, worth the price.
And nice view as well.
Favorite Dish: Vietnamese Ice Coffee and the cheesecake.