The Complete Guide To Cafes In Dalat
Before moving to Vietnam, I had never heard of the city of Dalat. However, once I learned that it was the coffee growing capital of the country, I knew I had to go check it out! In addition, Dalat is a backpacker’s paradise nestled in the mountains of Central Vietnam, so I was excited to breathe some cool, fresh air and spend most of my trip outdoors.
Unfortunately, it rained the entire time I was there. And I mean literally the entire time. It didn’t let up even for one hour, and as far as I could tell, it even rained through the night. So instead of exploring outdoors on foot like I normally do, I ended up checking out the city’s impressive cafe scene.
Since coffee is grown on farms surrounding the city, many cafes have their own local sources, resulting in unique blends you can’t get anywhere else. Many of them are also beautifully decorated, making them the ideal spot to spend a few hours especially on a rainy day. Here’s a list of the ones I visited; click any link below to skip to that specific cafe!
- Tiệm Cà-phê CÔ BÔNG
- Cafe Thiên Thanh
- An Cafe
- V Cafe
- Bicycle Up Cafe
- Artist Alley
- La Viet Coffee
- DOHA Café Đà Lạt
- Miền Du Lam
- Two Additional Restaurants & A Bar
1. Tiệm Cà-phê CÔ BÔNG
This cafe on two stories is most notable for its vintage-inspired decor. Order on the first floor and check out all the different rooms before deciding where to sit to enjoy your beverage.
The second floor also has a nice covered balcony where you can sit outdoors, rain or shine.
2. Cafe Thiên Thanh
This restaurant and cafe is housed in what looks like a converted villa. Surrounding the main building is a lush, green patio and garden.
I stopped in for lunch and enjoyed the steak and baguette I ordered.
The interior of the main dining area has a unique color scheme featuring pastels and intricate paintings. If the weather is good, they also have a large outdoor seating area as well.
3. An Cafe
This cafe built on a steep hill had plenty of seating on multiple levels. I sat on the lower level, which had a wide view of the street below. The rustic decor and plants on each tabletop gave An Cafe a very interesting vibe. It somehow felt both modern and “well-worn.” As you can see, it had a very bright and cheery dining area as well, which was the perfect place to stay dry from the rain.
I tried a chocolate mint smoothie and eggplant parmesan here, both of which were delicious. If I had more time, I probably would’ve come back to try more items on their fairly extensive menu.
4. V Cafe
I tried V Cafe for breakfast, although it definitely felt more like a bar than a breakfast or brunch joint. When I went, there was only one other person there. In all honesty, the interior seemed pretty dated, but that arguably gave the place a bit of charm.
Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the chicken phở, fruit plate, and coffee I got here.
5. Bicycle Up Cafe
This was probably my favorite cafe in Dalat. Presumably named for the bicycle perched on top of the antique piano pictured below, Bicycle Up had an impressive menu of fancy choices for lovers of all things caffeinated.
Every inch of the cafe was quirky, which was great! Many of the decorations look like antiques, but overall the place has a refreshing yet very cozy atmosphere. Props to whoever designed this space and acquired everything on display.
Bicycle Up was also the smallest of all the cafes I visited. However, it never got crowded during the two-plus hours I spent there. Perhaps that was because of the rain, but it was nice to not have to share this small space with a crowd of people.
6. Artist Alley
Like Bicycle Up, this restaurant was also quirky in an endearing way. Perhaps because the main theme seemed to just be “there are paintings on the walls,” or maybe because I was literally the only person here (although I did go for a late lunch around 3:00 p.m.), Artist Alley just felt a tiny bit odd. Nonetheless, the food and service were good, so don’t hesitate to pop in for lunch or dinner.
I ordered a curry with pumpkin soup as an appetizer, and both were perfect for the rainy weather.
7. La Viet Coffee
If Bicycle Up was my favorite place on the list, then La Viet was a close second. However, the two are so different that it’s hard to compare them. While Bicycle Up was small and quirky, La Viet is housed in a massive industrial warehouse. It’s by far the biggest cafe I visited in Dalat, and has an almost American vibe. They were even playing country music when I was there!
For dinner, I tried a lavender Vietnamese coffee and an order of fish and chips. Both were good; the menu here has some other western meal choices as well.
La Viet is a little out of the way. However, if you’re willing to walk or hire a Grab, it’s definitely worth checking out. You’re also basically guaranteed to get a seat because there are so many tables inside.
8. DOHA Café Đà Lạt
Located on the southern shore of Xuân Hương Lake (Hồ Xuân Hương), DOHA Cafe is hard to miss. It’s a large glass building shaped like a flower bud. If you grew up in the 90s, it might remind you of the Pokemon Bulbasaur! It’s located next to a few other pieces of interesting modern architecture as part of a large public square with scenic lake views.
While the coffee here wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, it’s worth ordering something inside so you can check out the glass panes up close. There are multiple levels of seating, so it’s also a great place to take a rest if you’ve been walking around the city for a while.
9. Miền Du Lam
This cafe (which seems to be run by a family who live on the same property) is located on a residential street away from the hustle and bustle of the town center. Not only is their outdoor seating area beautiful, but they serve their coffee on a cute little platter, complete with a cup of tea and some crackers and candy. The atmosphere simply couldn’t be better!
Miền Du Lam is proof that even the most random coffee shops in Dalat are full of character regardless of location. In fact, I only found Miền Du Lam because it was a short walk away from the Airbnb I stayed in. If there are any cafes near your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, give them a try! One could end up being your favorite, even if it’s not mentioned on this list.
Two Restaurants and a Bar
Along with cafes number 8 and 9 in the list above, the following three places were added to this post after I made it to Dalat a second time in November of 2019. They’re not technically cafes, but they are great options to get a meal or a drink if you’ve had your daily fill of coffee!
10. Biang Bistro
Biang Bistro was the perfect blend of a beautiful outdoor-centric dining area and a modern take on Vietnamese cuisine. If ever a restaurant had the vibe of a spa, this would be it. If you’d like to try something a little different in terms of flavor that isn’t a complete departure from local cuisine, Biang Bistro is exactly what you’re looking for.
11. Le Chalet Dalat
Le Chalet Dalat was another interesting restaurant we tried. Located a short distance from Cafe Thiên Thanh, Le Chalet combines an interesting vintage vibe with satisfying meals. I have to admit that I liked Biang Bistro a tiny bit more, but Le Chalet was another good option for a nice dinner.
12. Heyla Cocktail Bar
Dalat may not have the reputation for nightlife that Ho Chi Minh City does, but there’s one bar I recommend if you’re looking for a couple of drinks after dinner. Heyla Cocktail Bar is a stylish place that draws both locals and foreigners. While the vibe is good, their selling point is their massive menu of creative cocktails. We tried a number of unique drinks there, including some legitimately spicy (yet still delicious) ones, pictured below with the chili pepper devil horns on the glass!
My favorite beverage there was definitely the blue flaming cocktail shown in the video below. I don’t remember what it was called, but I’m sure if you showed the bartender the video, he or she would recognize it and be able to set one up for you!
Dalat: I'll Be Back For More
Although I was stuck indoors the entire time I was there, Dalat clearly had much more to offer than its impressive selection of coffee shops. I’m planning on heading back soon with fingers crossed for better weather. Keep an eye out for when I do; I’ll write another post and update this one with any new cafes I discover. Thanks for reading, and stay caffeinated!
UPDATE DECEMBER 2019: I did go back to Dalat and got some amazing weather! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my comprehensive guide to Dalat [coming very soon], including what to do when it isn’t raining for days on end!