Mar 04 2013
Saigon is no stranger to coffee, you can find someone selling Vietnamese coffee on nearly every street, but that hasn’t stopped the encroachment of a certain international coffee chain, which just recently opened their first shop in District 1. Strangely, people in HCMC were able to find quality coffee before any major chain houses arrived at one of the many cafes around town. One such spot is Kita Coffee House.
Set in a colonial-era building on the major downtown street of Nguyen Hue, just a couple of short blocks from the Bitexco Financial Tower, Kita Cafe is tucked into a quiter part of District 1. Spread over three floors, the cafe boasts elegant, modern design and classically styled, dark wooden furniture.
The first floor is more of a coffee house, with just a handful of seats available, and you can order your drink and a selection of cakes and sandwiches from the counter. Upstairs you’ll find more of a restaurant layout with dozens of table-clothed tables in a room accented by old pictures of Saigon.
Although it’s a beautiful, relaxing spot to escape the Saigon heat, the best reason to come to Kita is for their coffee and food. The menu consists mainly of high-quality Western foods and drinks starting with their Lavazza coffee. Bonus: your cappuccino should come with foam art up top, usually a drawing of a heart or leaf. If you’re not a coffee person, Kita has plenty of other beverages, the most popular being their fresh fruit juices and smoothies. Food-wise there’s a fairly impressive menu of sandwiches, salads and pastas with a few other hearty dishes thrown into the mix. My recommendation would be their paninis, which are grilled until the meat is warm and the cheese melts but is not boiling lava hot. Their salads are also worth a try, especially the crisp Caesar.
You’d expect prices at Kita to be high but they are quite reasonable, with most drinks starting around 50,000 VND and most food items around 100,000 VND. Kita manages to draw large crowds, especially during lunch. If you’re unable to get a seat, or you like this spot and would like to try something similar in Saigon, L’Usine is similarly styled and priced with equally tasty food. Or, if you happen to be in the mood for something more unique, you could try Le Creperie Cafe, which, of course, specialises in crepes.
Kita Coffee House
39-41 Nguyen Hue, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 3821 6799
Open daily 7:30–22:00
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