Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon

In Food Tripping, Videos, Vietnam, Wine and Beverage by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch4 Comments

Saigon may be famous for pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (baguette sandwiches), but that’s just the tip of the city’s food scene. Join us as we check out artisan chocolate and beer in Saigon.

Saigon may be famous for pho and banh mi, but that's just the tip of the city's food scene. Join us as we check out artisan chocolate and beer in Saigon.

Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

Anybody who knows us knows that we love all levels of food from simple street food to sophisticated gastronomy. Each type of food has its merits, and we love to find the best in class and eat as much of it as we can wherever we travel. While we were in France earlier this year, we ate our weight in cheese, seconded only by wine during that those months, plus we dined at four Michelin starred restaurants as well. Our two months in Vietnam was a different experience. As we embraced the local food scenes, we ate a lot of street food. Some of our best meals were served on sticks and cost under a dollar, and many involved sitting in teeny tiny plastic chairs while surrounded by napkins on the floor. As much as we loved this ultra-casual style of dining, we couldn’t help but miss the western dining experience with its more formal service and stylized platings.

It’s an exciting time to visit Saigon. Click here to find the best rates for a Saigon hotel.

Spending two weeks in Saigon allowed us to explore the food scene beyond the city’s vast street food network. Though we had some road blocks (i.e. a broken camera and nasty head colds), we dove deep and found local, artisan food specialists that are taking the Saigon food scene to the next level.

Artisan Chocolate and Beer … and Coffee

Marou Chocolate

Maison Marou Saigon is an oasis right in the heart of busy Saigon. Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

Maison Marou Saigon is an oasis right in the heart of busy Saigon.

Chocolate has been a guilty pleasure during our Southeast Asia travels. Though we like the range of chocolate available at local markets and convenience stores, this chocolate is all imported through companies like Cadbury, M&M Mars and Ritter. We weren’t completely satisfied by our Southeast Asia chocolate experience until we stumbled upon Maison Marou Saigon, an upscale cafe serving Marou Chocolate in solid, liquid and pastry forms.

We tried a few pastries during our three visits at Maison Marou Saigon, and this creative cheesecake was our favorite. Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

We tried a few pastries during our three visits at Maison Marou Saigon, and this creative cheesecake was our favorite.

To call Marou Chocolate local is an understatement. The artisan chocolate producer sources all of its beans from vetted Vietnamese farmers in a cooperative arrangement and then transforms the beans into delectable chocolate in its Saigon factory. Owners Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou have clearly embraced the bean to bar concept and are taking it to the highest level.

Indulging at Maison Marou Saigon is not inexpensive. But why should it be? Quality costs money, and this chocolate is some of the best in the world.

Watch our video to learn more about eating Marou Chocolate at Maison Marou Saigon.

Maison Marou Saigon is located at 167 Calmette Street, P. Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam.

Pasteur Street Brewing Company

We’ve also enjoyed a fair bit of beer in Southeast Asia, mostly mass-produced lagers like Leo, Singha, Bia Hanoi, Huda and Saigon Special. Since we mostly drink craft beer when we’re at home in Philadelphia, imagine our reaction at finding a craft brewery in Saigon. If you’re imagining us to be happy, then you are correct.

Beer Flight at Pasteur Street Brewing Company in Saigon. Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

Beer Flight at Pasteur Street Brewing Company in Saigon

Pasteur Street Brewing Company, a pioneer in Vietnam’s craft beer scene, is brewing a wide selection of typical craft beers but with atypical flavors and quality. We don’t usually like fruit in our beer, but we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked Pasteur Street’s brews flavored with Vietnamese fruit and other local ingredients. Perhaps this is because the Pasteur Street brewers import the malt from countries like Germany and Belgium before brewing their inventively flavored and well-balanced ales.

We liked the beer so much that we visited the brewery to check out the operations. Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

We liked the beer so much that we visited the brewery to check out the operations.

After a chance encounter with Pasteur Street’s General Manager, John Reid, at the Saigon tap room during our first of two visits, we had the opportunity to learn even more about Pasteur Street beer when we visited the artisan brewer’s Long An facility with junior brewer Ryan Lemish. Lemish gave us the grand tour highlighted by Daryl helping with the passionfruit mash and both of us tasting a few brews straight out of the tanks.

This little glass combines Saigon's best beer and Saigon's best chocolate. Cheers! Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

This little glass combines Saigon’s best beer and Saigon’s best chocolate. Cheers!

For us, the brewery’s standout beer is the Cyclo Imperial Chocolate Stout brewed with our new favorite chocolate – Marou Chocolate. Bold and strong, this drink is the ultimate combination of chocolate and beer. If you don’t believe us, then hop on a plane to Saigon so you can taste this worthy winner of the World Beer Cup for best chocolate beer in the world. You may be a bit jet lagged, but you won’t be sorry.

Watch our video and see us taste lots of Pasteur Street beer.

Pasteur Street Brewing Company’s tap room is located at 144 Pasteur, Hồ Chí Minh, Bến Nghé Quận 1 Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.

Bonus: Coffee at The Workshop

The Workshop is an ideal spot for working and excellent coffee. Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

The Workshop is an ideal spot for working and excellent coffee. Note the Marou Chocolate for sale at the counter.

Don’t get us started about the coffee in Saigon. It’s good, it’s cheap and it’s everywhere. The block with our Airbnb apartment has about a half-dozen coffee shops including one right in our building, plus more right around the corner. Let’s just say we drank a lot of coffee during our two-week visit.

Iced Latte of Our Dreams at The Workshop. Artisan Chocolate and Beer in Saigon Vietnam

Iced Latte of Our Dreams at The Workshop

The Workshop is a coffee shop that stands out as one of our favorites in Saigon, perhaps because the shop takes an artisanal approach. After procuring 70% of the beans locally in Vietnam, The Workshop team roasts them on-site to coffee perfection. The artisan approach doesn’t end with the roasting. Baristas offer several coffee extraction pourover choices including Chemex, Hario V60, Kalita and AeroPress. We visited The Workshop three times and can also vouch for their fizzy coffee and iced latte drinks.

The Workshop is located at 3/F p. q. 1, 27 Ngô Đức Kế, Bến Nghé, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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Comments

    1. Author

      We were sad to leave Vietnam after two months but are excited for the upcoming adventures!

  1. For me it was quite a surprise to learn that you can find excellent artisan products in Vietnam, that I thought were not typical for the region!

    1. Author

      There’s a lot of good things happening in Vietnam these days!

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