Tropical Vietnam is the world's second biggest coffee manufacturer, which not only means they really know their beans, but they also have perfected the art of consuming coffee in the stifling heat. As Sydney swelters through summer, dip your toes into a fresh experience and try a Vietnamese iced coffee.
Drip-filtered onto a generous serving of sweetened condensed milk and served with ice, Vietnamese coffee is like a liquid defibrillator. Initially it’s the sugar that hits you, just before the caffeine kicks in. Even if you are a true espresso aficionado, lay down your allegiance and try one of these exotic brews.
In order to get your hands on a genuine Vietnamese coffee you’ll need to go searching, but maybe not as far as you think. Here are five Vietnamese coffee experiences that you can enjoy without needing your passport.
Great Aunty Three
Frequented by locals and food appreciators from all over Sydney, Great Aunty Three produces an easily accessible Vietnamese iced coffee. Smooth and velvety, this sweet coffee balances perfectly with the Great Aunty Three's modern interpretation of the roast pork roll, and comes in a $10 combo for a great lunch option.
115 Enmore Road, Enmore
Though espresso martinis are spotted in the hands of many after hours, Red Lily’s (Red Lantern’s smaller Darlinghurst offshoot of the Crown Street original) coffee martini offers an Asian twist on the classic, featuring Vietnamese coffee blended vigorously with a honey- and clove-infused tequila from SX liquors. Team it with sticky red rice in banana leaf topped with homemade coconut ice cream or banana fritters, as a nightcap.
60 Crown Lane, Darlinghurst
For an authentic experience, try Café 86 in Cabramatta. Situated just off John Street, this alley cafe is anything but subtle. From the pumping music, to the traditional Vietnamese décor, including plastic flowers, this is Vietnam without the visa hassle. The Vietnamese iced coffee at Café 86 is, in our opinion, one of the only brews in Sydney that matches the punch of the cafes in Vietnam.
4/29 John Street, Cabramatta
Situated on Illawarra Road, this is a favourite hangout for young students from the Marrickville region. Take Coffee pushes the boundaries of the traditional Vietnamese iced coffee with great success. The standout is the creamy coconut iced coffee, while the unique salt coffee is also a must try. Team the brew with their speciality rice paper salad for a great mid-afternoon snack.
286 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville
This is the most popular Vietnamese coffee place in Bankstown, thanks to their dedication to providing the smoothest coffee in the area. There is no food on offer but the Vietnamese hot coffee, served with a free jasmine iced tea, is a great experience on its own.
64 Bankstown City Plaza, Bankstown