Cafe hunting in Danang, exploring Vietnamese coffee and desserts
Vietnam is known for one of the major exporters of coffee beans, and with the reminder that I must bring some beans back home, I ventured out to some more well-known coffee joints in the city for the coffee experience. As the saying goes, may your coffee be strong and your monday be short! Links and address down the page.
Left: Matcha Latte at Hoi An Roastery.
Right: Chocolate smoothie at Cong Caphe.
My first impression of Vietnamese coffee is their addition of condensed milk (something I would not even touch in Hong Kong) and the very-bitter aftertaste. Little did I know the coffee joints I have been to offered such a wide range of varieties of coffee I have never dreamed of.
Left: Hot black coffee
Right: Iced coffee
at Dong Souvenir and Coffee; Hey what's the difference? Trust me it tasted very differently.
Location 1: Dong Souvenir and Coffee
Trần Phú, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
Let's take Rafew Cafe for example. They are one of the most popular cafes that young people who go to. Luckily *or unluckily? we went on a rainy day, there were less people.
Cafe Refew, Crème brûlée at Rafew Cafe
Location 2: Cafe Rafew, Danang
58 Hoàng Văn Thụ, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
We ordered their signature Cafe Refew and a crème brûlée. The ice cold coffee smoothie was served with whipped cream and each sip was velvety. The thing I like most about Vietnamese coffees is the mysterious balance between bitter and sweet: on one side the coffee if tasted alone, has a almost-pungent flavour that not everyone can withstand; on the other hand, the condensed milk toned the bitterness down, enhanced the mouth-feel but never took away the coffee taste. Compared to Italian milk-based coffees, Vietnamese coffee may have taken a liking to ice, sugar, and the transformation into smoothies. They also love to blend coconut with coffee- which we have tried at Cong Caphe, it brushed away all our winter s̶u̶m̶m̶e̶r̶ heat and was refreshing indeed.
The clever combination got me hooked, that I drank one beverage almost every day. At first we expected cafes to serve breakfast or pastries just like those in Australia; to our disappointment (which is none of their fault) their cafes seem to serve Vietnamese canapes, such as melon seeds, dried fruits etc.
Scrambled eggs with Asparagus, Flat White at Six On Six
Location 3: Six On Six, Danang
6/6 Dương Chế Lan Viên, Mỹ An, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Đà Nẵng
I discovered the cafe when googling for the next caffeine spot, and was surprised that this particular cafe popped up at first with its Google Ads. Since, when is the last time you have seen a Vietnamese restaurateur actively using marketing tactics? (Zero offense, I love how they channel their efforts to serving customers instead of spending excessive time on campaigns) We have also noticed that cafes in town are quite influenced by the Taiwanese and Korean preferences of decor and choice of cuisine.
The scrambled eggs with sautéed asparagus on toasted grain bread with light cream cheese was very satisfying. The bread reminded me of the sourdough I adored back in Australia. Their take on raisin bagel with jam paid tribute to one of the most popular fruits in the country- passion fruit! It is a refreshing twist to see passion fruit seeds on a bagel you thought would have paired with blueberry jam. The coffee was good- not screaming Vietnamese but slightly different in taste compared to what we are familiar with in our hometowns.
Six On Six sits quietly in an alley next to a kindergarten, we would have had a tiny difficulty getting there if I had not written down the address in Tiếng Việt and read the instructions before we came. We were greeted with a tranquil outdoor seating area, and a pool with fish. The cafe is right below the B&B which the owner operates. We seem to have stumbled into a suburb with more English-speaking foreigners.
Left: Thai Milk Tea Toast.
Right: Den Da Coffee and Thai Milk Tea.
Location 4 Den Da Coffee, Danang (also: Black Ice Coffee)
6 Trần Quốc Toản, Hải Châu 1, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
We b̶a̶r̶g̶e̶d̶ walked into the cafe attracted by the hanging lights and the rustic bookshelves. Little did we know the desserts are so good that our friends return for a second helping!
The Den Da coffee is like how the shop name describes: black and ice(y), which I believe should be the favourite item on the menu. The Thai Milk Tea toast was served with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream, topped with chocolate and nut sprinkles. The drizzling of the Thai milk tea on the toast was more than an eye feast: as you may imagine, the sweetness of Thai milk tea soaked into the layers of the bread- cannot go wrong, aye?
You could probably tell by now how much I adored (and missed) the experience I had at these cafes in Danang. Unlike the pricey coffees and crowded "space" in Hong Kong, the cafes are building communities of coffee enthusiasts who love chitchats. Tell me in the comments if you have any recommendations for cafes in Hong Kong or overseas!
Other Danang adventures: