With coffee franchises and blue-stool sidewalk cafes a dime-a-dozen, it’s always refreshing to see a newcomer throw their hat into the ring and offer something a bit different.
The Coffee Inn, located on Phan Chu Trinh, opened its doors last year. Its runaway success enabled it to recently expand its premises and its menu, which now includes a range of affordable pasta dishes.
The new areas include a funky art deco dining area that opens onto an industrial-inspired outdoor space next to the café’s pasta kitchen.
Inside, black and white tiled floors and polished wooden furniture create a trendy, modern feel, which has proven popular with the well-heeled young and professional crowds. They’ve also opened a second upstairs area with a balcony overlooking Phan Chu Trinh, in addition to the existing attic-style lounge in the original building.
The spaces have been a surefire hit with the clientele. A quick scan of the downstairs area shows just how versatile the space is: business lunches, coffee dates, lunch dates, group meetings, the lone guy working on his laptop (me), the couple in the corner booth taking selfies — they’re all here.
But the chic design and Facebook check-ins aren’t the only factors behind why Hanoians are lapping up this new space. In fact, there are a couple of other reasons the café has been such a hit with the lunchtime and after-work crowds.
One of these is the café’s new lunchtime special, which allows you to get a decent sized spaghetti dish and passion fruit soda for VND55,000 with upsizes for only VND20,000 extra.
The other reason is the coffee. It’s consistent, strong and made by highly trained, friendly baristas. The coffee is so good that it has even secured a place on my list of latte refueling stations around the city.
Banking clerk Trang Pham agrees the café has become a favourite with young professionals: “It’s stylish, it’s very comfortable and the prices are really good for what they offer. This place has more personality than the franchise places and that’s what makes it different.”
I say cheers to that. — David Mann
The Coffee Inn has three Hanoi branches: 3 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem; 33 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem; and 19 Thai Phien, Hai Ba Trung