If you ask a Ha Noi teenager about where the best place to drink coffee is, you will probably get a long list of coffee shops with strange names and outlandish interiors, a novetly in the capital city.
“Going to strange coffee shops is now a new trend. Normal coffee shops are not attractive anymore. We like shops that make us feel strange,” said Pham Thu Trang, a student at the Ha Noi University of Mining and Geology.
Shops like Am Phu Coffee (Hell Coffee), Meo Coffee (Cat Coffee) and Rock Coffee are now the trendiest places in the capital to enjoy a drink.
Located in Hang Bong Street, Hell Coffee has become a popular destination for many younger people that enjoy a racy environment.
“The shop is so attractive to young people. Many students decided to come here to improve their courage,” said Trang.
It is covered in dark shadows and decorated with many strange statues. The atmosphere becomes more mysterious when the shop owner plays audio ghost stories.
“Customers that come to our shops are mostly young people. They like an exciting atmosphere so they are not scared,” said a waitress from Hell Coffee.
She said that her shop is more crowded at night.
While many come to Hell Coffee to prove that they’re courageous, others choose Cat Coffee where they can enjoy the company of adorable felines.
Cat Coffee is on Thuy Khue Street, where you can play with cats while drinking coffee.
The shop’s owner, Tran Huyen Huong, cares for 20 cats in her shop. She named each cat and designed and built small cages for them.
Initially, the customers that came into the shop were members of a forum for cat lovers.
“In the past, members of the forum and I often took our pets to a hotel for cats and dogs in Hoang Mai District. After the coffee shop opened, we started coming here instead,” Huong said.
She added that many people give their cats to her when they can no longer feed them.
For teenagers that are not so into cats but maybe like to hear a little transgressive, guitar driven music, they can visit Rock Coffee.
In Ha Noi, there are a few rock coffee shops. They are the destination for students who love rock music. They come here to play music, listen to rock and drink coffee.
“I love this atmosphere. Prices in this shop are suitable for students,” said Ngoc Vu, a student at the Ha Noi University of Technologies.
As I looked over a list of coffee shops, I chose to visit a cafe near the Catholic church in the Old Quarter.
At this cafe, patrons can sit on plastic stools on the pavement, while taking in the historic atmosphere and listening to the chiming of the church bells.
As I sat and sipped on my coffee, I felt younger in the presence of so many students.
Going to strange coffee shops in the capital is so interesting. The cafes help students relax after class and allow them to express themselves in these warm environments.
The prices at these shops are suitable with students’ budgets, as well. With VND10,000, a student can enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or fruit juice.
“Many of these strange coffee shops are opened and managed by students. They are the best places for us to avoid social evils,” said my sister.
At a time when young people are easily attracted to social evils, strange coffee shops are a good choice. — VNS by Thu Ngan.