Vietnamese Coffee and Tea – Hatvala
Editors Note: Everything changes in Saigon on what seems like a daily basis. One of our favourite cafes has moved and changed. Hatvala no longer serves food but still has a cafe and showroom area where you can buy drinks. They primarily focus on a variety of Vietnamese teas and conduct tea tastings for small groups. Occasionally they have an open house tea tasting sessions. Check out their site for details.
You can now find them at:
52 Le Thanh Ton, District 1, HCMC
Conveniently located at 44 Nguyen Hue, a popular eating and shopping street in District 1, Hatvala Tea and Coffee not only specialises in Vietnamese coffee and tea but serves great meals as well.
Based on the advice of a friend who’s lived here for years, we dropped in on one of our exploratory tours around town. It’s always good to take the advice of people who’ve been here for a while as they’ve usually scouted out the best places to go. Once again the advice proved sound.
Hatvala has two areas for seating. Both are fantastic for taking a break from the chaos outside or socializing where you want to be able to hear each other. They have a range of Vietnamese specialty teas on offer, served in funky little bodoms. For the nontea drinkers, you can choose from fantastic Vietnamese coffee served western style, fabulous fruit iced teas, fresh juices, and smoothies. There’s also free wifi if you want to spend a while and connect with the outside world
Downstairs has a more casual feel. As well as eating and drinking, here you can also browse their range of coffee and tea on offer for sale or sign up for one of their fabulous Vietnamese tea tasting experiences.
Upstairs is more formal and very peaceful. It has a calming colour scheme, unassuming art, comfortable air conditioning and window tables where you can sit and watch the world go by removed from the hustle and bustle.
If you’re up for more than just a quick break, the menu is extensive, and they have daily specials. The choice is wide, and it’s very reasonably priced for the quality you get. You can choose from 2 courses for 145 000 VND ($7) or 3 for 165 000 VND ($8) or order al-la-carte. Let’s just say it took me quite a while to make a choice. Soups, salads, steak, seafood, rice and noodles, there’s something for everyone. I think the most expensive thing on the menu was salmon in green peppercorn sauce for ~13 which was tempting, and even a 300g steak is only ~$12. If you think that’s too much, there are also many choices for less than $5. Click Here for their current menu.
Tim and I decided to split our efforts with the two-course option. He had the starter and main, I had a main and dessert. We ordered grilled sesame chicken skewers for starters, crispy pork in lemon butter sauce for mains and then fresh fruit for desert. We ordered the same main unknowingly which is something we wouldn’t normally do. We usually like to taste as wide a variety as possible, but I think I went to the bathroom as the orders were taken. It was a good choice, however, so all ended well.
The staff are well trained and attentive but unobtrusive. I ordered one of their specialty teas and they were always quick to fill the pot as soon as I’d finished. The food was fresh, well presented and very tasty. The different courses were served with an approrpiate time in between so we didn’t feel rushed OR left wondering where our food was.
I’m heading out on another day around town tomorrow and I’m going to drop in and have some yummy Vietnamese coffee and teas on my way through. After dealing with the morning hustle and bustle it will be bliss to sit down and have a dose of caffeine in a bit of peace and quiet. I’ll be sure to update with a post script if I discover any more delectable treats at Hatvala Tea and Coffee.
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[…] original plan was to leave much earlier than I had and stop off at one of my favourite cafes, Hatvala Tea and Coffee, on Nguyen Hue St for morning tea. Seeing as I’d left it so late and just eaten lunch, I diverted […]