11 October, 2017
60/4 Nguyễn Văn Đậu, Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh
Hours: 24 hrs/day
Wifi password: 23456789
Café Cội is a bit deeper into Phú Nhuận district than I’ve usually gone in the past. It’s certainly off the beaten path as far as tourist destinations. In fact, its location isn’t within Google maps’ purview either – if you follow Google’s turn-by-turn directions you’ll end up on the wrong alley off Hoàng Hoa Thám. Stick to Nguyễn Văn Đậu street until you see the address number “60” and you’ve found the right alley. Café Cội is at the end of the alley at the T-intersection.
The entrance is a fish pond with elegant stepping-stones up to the door. You can choose from a couple seats out by the pond, a number of outdoor seats in the rear of the shop and upper floor, or the air-conditioned room inside. Outdoor seats are solid but the ones indoors are padded and comfy, elegantly built from rough timbers. The entire indoor room features a distinct scent of wood, which may be pleasing to some and unwelcome to others. The music was light, Vietnamese fare. About half the patrons appeared to be sleeping while I was there.
Cội’s menu is heat-etched on a wooden plaque, and is only in Vietnamese. A plain black coffee is a very reasonable 20,000đ. Oddly, I realized after I ordered that they also list a Cà phê đá phin (Iced coffee from a phin filter) for an extra 3,000đ. I’ve never seen those as separate options before. The cheaper coffee did seem to be done right, though, and had a great aroma. Also on the menu were teas, sodas, juice, yogurt, ice cream, and beer. They have some alcoholic mixers, so I’m sure some of the offerings I couldn’t interpret include them. No Western style coffees, though, sorry.
Verdict: I definitely like this place. Come have a relaxing sit out by the pond on a cool day or a quiet drink inside on a hot one.