21 August, 2017
Hornbill Saigon – Snackbar & Cafe
29-58 Trần Quốc Thảo, District 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Hours: 10:00am – 12:00 midnight
Wifi password: cocacola
This might be a slight cheat: The Hornbill is more pub than coffee shop. Only their smallest menu features coffee-shop fare. The others are a large food menu (mostly bar food) and an enormous beer selection on a scale very rare for Saigon. Décor is a pleasant assortment of vintage (and faux-vintage) electronics, devices, and random paraphernalia. Most of the tables are little deli-style things which work just fine for the laptop-warrior. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the fact that it’s open air – they do have an A/C unit and the back half of the shop can be closed off, but it wasn’t when I got there.
The coffee is not the cheapest; if you’re just a basic black coffee drinker like me, you have the option of a “single” for 40,000đ or “double” for 45,000đ. Note that this isn’t quite the same as single versus double shots of espresso – there’s no espresso machine on site (and thus no fancy Western coffees) – but is just an indication of how much grounds go into the phin. I opted for the double and can tell you it does indeed fit the bill. Don’t order a double if you’ve already had some caffeine recently. Also on the drinks menu were a few yogurts, juices, and teas, to include a little English tea.
Verdict: The coffee is good, but I’m not sure I’ll be back for it due to the price. However, I will certainly be back for craft beer and burgers. It looks like it’d be a nice bar to hang out at in the evenings as well.