Nghiem Ngoc Thuy, meanwhile, is still swooping across the worn tiled floors of her cafe, setting down steaming coffees just as fresh customers arrive to order more.
15,000 dong (75 cents) per cup, she said on a recent weekday afternoon, as cigarette smoke curled toward the ceiling. 1,000 extra for condensed milk.
Thuy's family has been in business since the late 1980s, and watched as this leafy neighborhood — called "cafe street" by some locals — has welcomed luxury cars, sushi restaurants and upscale clothing boutiques.
A regular customer, electronics salesman Do Thanh Tung, said he is eager to see if Starbucks coffee really is different from the Vietnamese blends he has been drinking since he was 10 years old.
"Vietnamese young people will welcome Starbucks, once they get used to it," Tung, now 30, said as he hunched over a silver laptop.
But he added that he doesn't expect to become a regular Starbucks patron because he drinks five or six cups of coffee a day, and a latte habit would get expensive.
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