Saigon has hundreds of large and small alleys. There are crisscrossing and zigzagging alleys that can reveal lots of interesting stories and surprises if you have the opportunity to explore.
Guests are seen at Saigon Alley Café in HCMC’s District 1
My home is in an alley not far from the busy main road Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in District 1. The peaceful alley now suenly becomes lively when a restaurant and coffee shop named Café Saigon Hem (Saigon Alley Café) springs up.
Saigon Alley Café is the secondary business of a group of six members who are in their twenties. The small shop has a cool yet peaceful atmosphere like a cozy home. It serves coffee in the old style, with VND18,000 a cup of black coffee and VND20,000 a cup of coffee with milk.
“We would like to make Saigon Alley Café become a place for friends to meet. The aim is for fun and business as well. So, we’ve decided to rent a place in an alley. Our customers are mainly photographers in Saigon and from other provinces. We try to make a familiar place, where they can exchange information and then support our business. After one month in business, we have been able to get back capital and earn a small profit,” says Cuong Tran, the oldest member. Cuong is sales manager of Singapore-based Capella IT Solutions Limited, which has an office in HCMC.
In aition, the small space is a convenient venue for creating a cozy atmosphere that everyone feels like home. “We want to build a common home where friends feel relaxing and share their feelings,” Cuong said.
There are many beautiful photos on the walls taken by many photographers and the photos’ topics are changing every month.
“What a peaceful little corner of Saigon! I love how simple everything here is!” a customer of Saigon Alley Café said.
Café Saigon Hem (Saigon Alley Café) is located 15/29 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1, HCMC.