Hello Em is the newest addition to Seattle. They are serving up traditional Vietnamese coffee and eats in a modern shop. The vision of this shop is to bring community and coffee together and create a space that honors the culture and traditions of Vietnam. Due to Covid it is currently takeout only, but we can all look forward to when it is safe to gather again and chat over a cup of coffee at this spot! Once you have ordered, as you continue walking further in the shop they have a large wall that shows the history of Little Saigon in Seattle, a map of coffee from Vietnam, and local art. They are really creating a sense of community in their shop and I absolutely love it! While I enjoy Vietnamese coffee, I will admit that I do not know much about the history or really anything other than I know it tastes delicious. The history of Little Saigon in Seattle tells such a incredible story that encompasses the past, present and future of the neighborhood and people who have been a part of it. If you slide over to the right a few steps, you will see a giant map of Vietnam. If you did not already know, you will learn that Vietnam is the 2nd largest coffee producer in the world.
Hello Em has some delicious offerings. We ordered a traditional Ca Phe Trung ($6), Ca Phe Cot Dua (12oz $5), Sua Dac Banh Mi ($4), An Sang Banh Mi ($6.50), and Xuc Xich Banh Mi ($6.50). So what exactly are these items and what do they taste like? The Ca Phe Trung is traditionally served hot. It is an espresso topped with egg creme. The egg creme has a marshmallow fluff like texture and sweetness. For me the flavor reminds me of the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. The egg creme on its own is pretty sweet, but when that bitter, strong espresso comes through they blend together perfectly. If you want something unique that you are not going to find at many other coffee shops I definitely recommend ordering it! It was delightful. The Ca Phe Cot Dua is a rich coconut cream latte. It has a subtle coconut flavor that is slightly sweet but not overpowering. If you’re looking for a great drink that is not overly sweet, I would recommend this one, but only if you love coconut because the coconut flavors definitely come through. Now to the banh mi sandwiches. The Sua Dac is the most simple – it is filled with condensed milk, butter, and fleur de sel. It is pretty basic, but still tasty. I am told that you are meant to dunk it in the egg creme coffee for the ultimate combination – I did not learn this until after the fact, so will definitely be trying this again! The An Sang is their breakfast banh mi filled with fried shallot eggs, cha lua (vietnamese ham), maggi pate, viet mayo, and pickled veggies. It had a wonderful flavor with a salty kick that is offset by the vinegary vegetables. I loved pickled vegetables, so any dish with them is usually a winner for me! This is a great option for breakfast or a snack that will keep you full for a few hours. Lastly, the Xuc Xich is filled with viet dog, laughing cow cheese, viet mayo, and pickled vegetables. This one was my favorite – you’ve got the creamy cheese with the salty dog and the pickled vegetables, definitely a winning combination! My husband and I were torn though because we loved everything we ordered.
This place is doing such great things for the community so make sure to check them out! I am looking forward to spending more time there and continuing to learn about the culture and history. The staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming as well. Let them know if it is your first time visiting and they will help guide you through the menu and make recommendations! I can’t wait to try out the entire menu.