Over the past few weeks I have been exploring a lot of different cafés in the city. Some have been nice, and some have been not so nice, but almost all of them have had one or more imperfections: bad music played too loudly; ugly surroundings; uncomfortable seating; too dark to read. When I went to Things Café, however, I hit the crème de la crème of café.
I don't understand the business logic behind the ‘hidden cafés’ of Saigon, but I love them. And they don’t come much more hidden than Things. The café is located in what appears to be a large abandoned building – just being confident to climb the dark staircase from street level is almost a challenge in itself. When you do, however, you discover a treasure trove - 4 floors of unusual retro shops and indie cafés. A vertical Shoreditch in the heart of Saigon.
Things café is the best of lot, and opening its yellow door leads to a calm oasis of intriguing miscellany. But the place manages to avoid looking cluttered, and there is plenty of space to relax. Talking of which, the seats and sofas are the comfiest of any I’ve discovered in Saigon. The staff are friendly, welcoming, and relaxed. Everything in this café is relaxed, and you are free to lie there all day if you so wish. To top it all off, the music is actually good – good music in Saigon – including jazz, blues, folk and acoustic, and played at a perfect volume.
Is this Saigon’s greatest café? It may well be.