Starbucks (Saigon, Vietnam)

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When I went to Vietnam in February, Starbucks had just opened its first location in Ho Chi Minh city.  The store is gigantic, larger than any US store I've been to, and the location in the busy intersection junction of the bustling Nga Sau Phu Dong.

Vietnam is the one Asian country where coffee is a huge part of their culture.  Cafe sua da is one of my favorite Vietnamese drinks and I drank quite a bit of them when I was in Vietnam.  I was surprised to see a huge line inside that snaked around the bottom floor and took over thirty minutes to get to the front.  As with every Starbucks outside of the US, the coffee here is pricey, almost $5 USD for a cup versus less than a dollar for a cafe sua da on the street.  Another surprising fact is that most of the customers are actually locals and the frappaccinos seem to be the most popular drink of choice, which is even more pricey than a regular cup of coffee.

Every Starbucks has their own type of sandwiches and pastries, even throughout the United States the snack counter can be quite different.  The most unique thing was the roast duck wrap.  Duck is quite popular in Saigon river areas, but my short trip didn't allow for time to venture to that area.  For the roast duck wrap, I was expecting something like a Chinese style roast duck, but the meat was flavorless and skimpy.

Scanning the menu, most of the drinks are similar to that found in the States.  The only unique one I found was the Asian Dolce Latte, which was heavily marketed throughout the store.  Its a double shot of dark-roasted Starbucks® French Roast and a "dolce sauce" (sweet syrup) and then mixed with milk.  I prefer my coffee black (unless its cafe sua da) so its not surprise I found the drink too sweet.  The special mixture is possibly to adhere to the regional tastes of cafe sua da, but I think I prefer cafe sua da. 

Address:                 Starbucks
                                76 Lê Lai, Bến Thành, Ho Chi Minh City, 
                                Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Type:                       coffee

Popular chomps:     frappaccinos
                                 Asian dolce late

Chomp worthy:       nothing     

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