Vintage cafes, though ubiquitous in Saigon, sometimes stand out with their unique styles. For example, while The Hummingbird Café & Roastery is housed inside a laidback French villa, Pacey Cupcakes is known for its modernist architecture and pre-1975 decors.
For Tôn Cũ Cà Phê, a cafe in uptown Saigon, its special feature is their use of recycled war-time materials to decorate the space, creating a unique vintage ambience that you barely find at other coffeehouses.
An overview of Tôn Cũ Cà Phê from the second floor.
Image credit: Jackie Nguyen
The way this café is decorated is well-reflected in its name, Tôn Cũ, meaning old sheet metal. In fact, here, you will see a lot of old materials such as roof panels, barbed wires, and dotted metal plates used by the US army during the Vietnam War.
You may see many recycled metal sheets used by the US Army during the Vietnam War at the counter.
Image credit: Tôn Cũ Cà Phê
The furniture in this cafe, from lamp heads to chairs and tables, is made using used and eco-friendly materials. Moreover, if you drop by regularly, you may spot some new decorations as the owners of this cafe constantly look for old materials from many sources such as scrapyards and recycle them into eye-catching objects.
Oil lamps are put on some tables of the café.
Image credit: Quỳnh Thư
Apart from the recycled furniture, the vintage atmosphere of this cafe is accented with many household appliances and objects from the past. In one corner, you can catch sight of some oil lamps, a fan, and a landline telephone; while not far from them is an old cabinet with an old-fashioned radio.
Live music performances are available on Saturdays.
Image credit: Quang Bui
In this cosy space, from 8pm to 10pm every Saturday, Tôn Cũ Cà Phê usually has acoustic music shows featuring indie bands performing both old and trending songs. You can also get on the stage and sing your own songs if you want to be part of the fun.
Strawberry kombucha, a much-loved drink at Tôn Cũ Cà Phê.
Image credit: Thái Hưng Hoàng
In addition to the space, the café also offers a diverse menu with options ranging from classic Vietnamese coffee and cà phê sữa đá, to hot tea sets, and juices.
Check out the cafe’s signature Tôn Cũ ice-blended drink, which cleverly combines peaches, yoghurt, and cream to create a refreshing taste. Kombucha is another option that you may try for its fizzy and tart taste, now enhanced with fruits like strawberry and watermelon.
Tea lovers may go for hot tea served in a tea pot. There are about 6 types of tea for you to pick. Among them, the signature one is saffron tea with Chinese dates and chrysanthemums.
Come to Tôn Cũ Cà Phê for tasty drinks in a nostalgic space filled by old appliances and decorations made by recycled materials.
We recommend dropping by on Saturdays to enjoy live acoustic music performances from indie bands, and to sing your own songs if you like.
Tôn Cũ Cà Phê
Address: 1199 Lê Đức Thọ Street, 13 Ward, Gò Vấp District, Hồ Chí Minh City
Opening hours: 6.30am – 9pm, Daily
Telephone:093 218 1199
Tôn Cũ Cà Phê’s Facebook page
Also check out:
Cover image adapted from Tôn Cũ Cà Phê, Thái Hưng Hoàng, and Quang Bui
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