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One thing that amazed me in Danang was just how many coffee shops there were. I know that if you have traveled around Vietnam you’ll think now: ‘Can’t you say that about every city in Vietnam?’, – and yes, you absolutely can – but I found that in Danang the density of coffee shops seemed higher than anywhere else I’d been thus far.
There was one street in particular, Nguyen Thai Hoc between Yen Bai and Duong Tran Phu, where I found five coffee shops right next to one another.
If you are a coffee lover, you’ll love Danang. And if you want to try something that’s a little different from your regular black coffee or americano or Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk: Danang’s got you covered.
Here are three coffees that I tried in Danang that were very different from a regular cup of joe:
1 Avocado Espresso
I stumbled upon this new specialty coffee shop because they offer coffee lessons, and then I learned that they also offer a drink I had not seen anywhere else yet (although, supposedly, this is a thing in Vietnam, and of course after seeing this one I saw it on the menu in several other coffee shops!). Apparently avocado coffee is also popular in Indonesia.
Now, I’d like to say that I consider myself as somewhat as a coffee purist – I don’t like my coffee sweetened and I don’t like too much milk (of any kind) in it either. So naturally I was skeptical about this coffee. However, my curiosity won. All I had to lose were VND75,000, or around US$3.23.
The only reasons I thought this drink might actually turn out okay were: a) it was an iced drink, not hot coffee; and b) I have made avocado chocolate desserts in the past that turned out to be delicious. Still: coffee and avocado was a novelty for me. The barista uses about half an avocado, some condensed milk to sweeten it, and blends it with ice cubes. The drink is served with lots of chocolate powder on top, and the double shot of espresso is served in a little measuring cup on the side. It’s more like an avocado coffee smoothie.
The verdict? This drink is surprisingly good! You don’t taste the avocado at all, but I felt like I got some added nutritional value with the avocado (potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 & vitamin C, and healthy fats). It’s smooth, not too sweet, is refreshing and at the same time gives you a nice caffeine buzz.
Not a drink I’d order on a daily basis, but a nice treat on a hot day.
Conkopi is worth a visit for their other espresso-based coffee drinks, too – excellent quality. It’s a tiny coffee shop right by the river, you can combine it with a stroll along the waterfront.
Conkopi Specialty Coffee and Roastery
- Address: 92 Bạch Đằng
- Opening Times: Monday – Saturday from 8am to 7pm, Sundays from 8.30am – 7pm
2 Dirty Coffee
Golem Coffee is known for its “Dirty Coffee” (Cà Phê Bẩn), and when you look at the photo, I think you can see why it’s called “Dirty”. It is made with espresso and a sweet whipped cream that spills over the cup, topped with cocoa powder, creating a messy looking drink. It’s the perfect coffee drink to put on Instagram, but it was a bit too sweet for my liking – I don’t think I’d get it again. If you do like some sweetness in your coffee, you will enjoy this unique coffee creation, which will set you back VND55,000 (~US$2.35).
The cafe itself is also worth mentioning: a leafy, plant-filled courtyard with wooden furniture, just off Tran Quoc Toan Street. It feel like a tranquil oasis away from the noise of the city. They also have food, so bring a book and enjoy a quiet afternoon here.
- Address: 27 Trần Quốc Toản
- Opening Times: Daily from 7.30am – 10pm
3 Deconstructed Coconut Iced Coffee
Tucked away in an alleyway off of Thai Pien Street, I almost couldn’t find this coffee shop, which I had discovered thanks to Instagram. Someone posted a picture of the deconstructed iced coconut coffee and I knew I had to try it, simply because of the way it looked.
The coffee shop itself, Brewman Coffee Concept, could’ve been straight out of Brooklyn or Berlin – a stylish hipster hangout with a cool Scandic minimalist design. The high glass roof gives the cafe an airy and bright feel, and I would say this place is worth checking out for the design alone. Coffee is taken seriously here, and on the long counter you can see a V60 and a Chemex as well as traditional Vietnamese phins: Coffee drinks here range from classic espresso drinks (Australian-inspired with Flat White and Piccolo on the menu) to Vietnamese- style coffee. But the showstopper here is the iced coconut coffee. While this drink isn’t unusual in Vietnam – in fact, you’ll find it at pretty much every coffee shop – what makes this one unusual is the fact that it is served “deconstructed”: the iced coconut frappe (a mix of coconut cream, condensed milk and crushed ice) is served in a big glass and the espresso comes in a small bottle on the side. Which means, you can make the drink as strong or as weak as you desire. This was one of the best coconut iced coffees I had in all of Vietnam (the other one was at the Rest Stop Cafe inside the Pier Resort in Phu Quoc, if you want to mark it in your GoogleMaps).
Brewman Coffee Concept
- Address: k27a/21 Thái Phiên, Phước Ninh
- Opening times: Daily from 7am – 10pm
Interested in learning about other Vietnamese coffee connotations? Check out Lonely Planet’s Guide To Vietnamese Coffee (which also has some great recommendations for Ha Noi, if you’re heading that way).