Egg Coffee (cà phê trúng) is a specialty of Northern Vietnam and is one of our must-try Vietnamese dishes in Hanoi. These days Vietnamese Egg Coffee has achieved international fame and you can even find coffee shops serving egg coffee in New York.
While egg coffee is much more prevalent in Northern Vietnam, there are plenty of excellent coffee shops serving up this frothy delicacy in the south as well. Now that’s we’re living in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) we have been on the hunt for the perfect cup of egg coffee and we have found some real local gems.
Check out our 7 favorite cafes for cà phê trúng in Saigon!
A Brief History of Egg Coffee
Egg coffee was first invented by Nguyen Van Giang in 1946 at the onset of the First Indochina War (known in Vietnam as the French War). He was working at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel and there was a shortage of milk in Hanoi. Looking for a substitute to add to the coffee for the hotel’s guests he decided to whip up some egg yolks.
Mr. Van Giang’s first experiment was a bit, well, eggy. But over time he continued to adjust and perfect the recipe adding sugar, condensed milk, and even Laughing Cow cheese (according to some sources). He finally opened his own coffee shop in Hanoi which remains a required-stop for any egg coffee aficionados visiting Northern Vietnam.
These days, the recipe for egg coffee has been copied, tweaked, and modified by cafes all over Vietnam in both the North and the South. Every coffee shop that serves cà phê trúng has its own secret recipe and elaborate method of preparation.
Finding “the best cup of egg coffee” is a matter of your own personal taste, but we have selected the ones below based on recommendations of expats we have spoken to in Saigon and our own experience living here.
What Does Egg Coffee Taste Like?
Regardless, of where you try egg coffee you can expect it to be layered. The top layer is the thick frothy egg mixture which floats on top of the second layer, a strong shot of espresso. The combination is quite decadent and closer to a dessert than a morning beverage. Most people equate the flavor to liquid tiramisu.
You should begin by sampling the rich egg layer by itself and then mix the two together to get the full experience. Egg coffee is best consumed hot so don’t let your drink cool off too much while you’re sipping it. Some cafes will even serve your cà phê trúng over a candle or in a bowl of hot water to keep it warm so you’ll have more time to enjoy your beverage.
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