There’s a type of coffee shop that we don’t typically cover in this space, because they don’t usually have good Italian coffee, or any Italian coffee at all.

Don’t be fooled by the cute vintage signboard in front that says “CAFÉ LATTÉ”, there’s no espresso machine in sight. While flipping through the wood grain pages of the menu, the young RMIT student taking our order recommends the yoghurt drinks. But we persist in getting Vietnamese coffees (VND30,000 for a ca phe da, VND5,000 more for sua).


The coffee isn’t bad, but there isn’t much to recommend it. But that’s kind of missing the point of this café experience.


‘A Romantic Place’




There are several different wall textures: brick, white tile, wood, concrete, brick painted with owl mascot by architect-owner Ngoc. Birds chirp in the lane between the two halves of the café. Ceramic owls peer down from nooks in the two-storey wall. Tungsten bulbs dangle from uneven cords suspended from the ceiling at romantic intervals. As our waitress tells us, it’s “a romantic place”.


Poppy music echoes through the space, then in our heads for hours later. The hits they play are part of the experience. It’s an experience you can get at many of the cute, Vietnamese-orientated coffee shops around the city, but Bazaar does it well. In fact, well enough to charge Sunday afternoon photographers for shooting in its space. Places that succeed in what they’re trying are never redundant additions to our café options. — Ed Weinberg


Bazaar Coffee & Studio is at 175 Vo Thi Sau, Q3, HCMC, or at

Ed Weinberg

Ed Weinberg is a writer with passing interest in psychedelic realism, indie comics, jaunty coming-of-age tales and those crazy Russian writers. After graduating from McGill University in 2004, he's worked in magazine editing, freelance writing and odd jobs. He is currently living in Ho Chi Minh City and working on a longer thing about two months spent looking for the largest, oldest (fake) pyramid in the world in small-town Bosnia. Follow his whimsicalities at @presidentninja


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