7 August, 2017
42 Trần Cao Vân, District 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Wifi password: 01234567
Surrounding the oddly named “Turtle Pond,” (known not for its turtles but rather its gigantic concrete art fixture) are many assorted coffee shops frequented by students, businesspeople, and tourists alike. Many sport familiar corporate names, but others, like “42 Café” are a bit more local in nature. 42 has a good reputation around town, so it’s rather surprising I had not paid it a visit until today.
The shop is multi-level and is mostly indoors, though there’s a patio on the ground floor. It’s decorated with gorgeous murals of the city sights as well as a tiny koi pond courtyard (it’s just for looks through the window, though – there’s no access to it). Music was some folksy something-or-other, and the chairs are comfortable for long-term sitting, so it’s a nice place to spend some time. There is one caveat to that, however – smoking is permitted inside, so it always smells a bit of cigarettes.
The menu is extensive, featuring the normal Vietnamese coffees, alcoholic coffees, teas, yogurts, sodas, cocktails, and a huge selection of ice cream treats. You can also get a meal here, though the menu appeared to me, as so many coffee shop food options do, to be mostly of the “instant” variety. The shop’s prime location does come at a price, naturally, placing a plain iced coffee at 38,000đ. The coffee is good and strong, though, and fresh-brewed in a phin unless you request otherwise.
Verdict: As long as you can take a bit of cigarette smell, this is a great place to hang out. It’s on the expensive side, but give it a look – the coffee’s great.