I found a great article not too long ago about the best cafes to do work and drink coffee. I decided I'd check to see how accurate they were. The first two were the workshop and Acafe. However, I didn't stick to just one article. I also found great places on rusty compass and some other hungry man site.
Let's start with Acafe located at 27 Ngo Duc Ke, District 1. This place is tucked down a side street next to a Vietnamese school. Warning: do not go here around 5 pm. The road wasn't wide enough for this many bikes and the curb wasn't big enough to park . It was a cool place to chill if I worked nearby, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get there again. I did try a really cool method of making coffee called the "syphon." See the photos above. Not bad prices either. Coffee for 2 boiled in a "crystal ball" 125k ($7)
Next was Workers Cafe located on 15 Huynh Khuong Ninh, District 1. It's next to a Phuc long coffee in case you get lost. The doorway, if you can call it that, had some young kids in security uniforms instructing you where to put your bike. Hike up 3 flights of rickety stairs and you'll find the entrance. The staircase and walls could really use some maintenance and a paint job. One of the beauties of Vietnam is that they don't feel a touch up is necessary on old buildings. They just keep them the way they are. You'll see this a lot with the rust stained yellow buildings around the city.
Open up the doors to Workers Cafe and you'll find yourself at a cross between a bar and a science lab. The servers were in large black aprons that slightly resembled lab coats. This place was awesome. There were electrical outlets for all my devices( a rarity). Though pricey at 75-125k ($4-7)a cup of coffee, I got my WiFi worth.
More recently I checked out a trendy She Cafe. This was by far the sexiest cafe I've been too. I'll return with a greater or equally sexy date in the future. Coffee was delicious and ran about 65k ($3). The thing about this place is that it is packed at night because tourists and locals will try to escape the madness of Nguyen Hue walking street. The downside is they don't have any 3 prong outlets, so I lost my entry and had to retype this (I should have been using google docs).
You don't need a guide or a list of cafes to visit in this city. You can just drive around (don't take your eyes off the road) stop at any corner and you'll find a hidden gem. It never really breaks the bank either because even the pricier places are still less than a Starbucks venti Frappuccino back home. Experience of more cafes are soon to come.