Vietnamese street side drinks

Beside food, street-side drinks play an important role in Vietnamese culture with a variety of healthy-cheap-delicious kinds for either scorching summer or dreary winter days. Though coffee and tea are among the most popular drinks, it takes time to enjoy and feel their best tastes. In Vietnam, road side drinks and snacks are very popular with limited space, however, amazingly fresh, delicious and as simple and sophisticated as life.  


Vietnamese street drinks


1.      Trà đá – Iced tea

On a pavement in Hanoi, where many things are sold, ice tea is one of the most popular and cheap drink in summer. It helps cool your body and stop your thirst immediately. You can easily buy a glass of iced tea on any pavement, under the shadow of big trees. Sitting on the pavement to drink iced tea and watching people moving are some good ways to relax.

Give me one cup of iced tea
Street corner where I usually pass by
To forget bustling around for a while
To listen to your daily stories
Give me one lemon tea with much ice
Like when hanging out for a chat
Wish today not to be so smoky
Who with me for a cup of pavement iced tea?
Low stacking stools for a sit-down, so luxurious?
Listen to your song of life, feel so lovely
And try to forget how bitter it is for sometimes
Call me and I’ll be right there,  
HÀ NÔI TRÀ ĐÁ VÌA HÈ...





2.      Bia hơi – Fresh beer

In a tropical country like Vietnam where it is constantly hot and humid year round, beer is widely popular for its taste and coolness, which can immediately freeze the heat and thirst. And in fact, Vietnam is heaven for beer lovers. There is always a beer place around the corner. If you want the authentic experience, I recommend the ones where you can sit on tiny plastic stools on the sidewalk and enjoy beer for as cheap as 15 cents per glass. Then join a table of Vietnamese fellows and say “Cheers!” our way. Scream “Một hai ba Dzô!!”  (One two three Dzô!!) at the top of your lungs. Beware, there are always some tables nearby who want to compete and try to scream louder than you. Don’t let them win!

Vietnamese street drinks


In Vietnam, one can jokingly say that the next top visited place of a man, besides his mother's or wife's kitchen, is bia hoi restaurants along the side walk or at every street corner. These places are always crowded in the early evening when people finish their working day. At these street eats, roundly dozens of people enjoy the cool beer on hand, cheering each other and chatting about their day over a plate of roasted or steamed peanut with shell.

Vietnamese street drinks

A visit to Hanoi is not considered complete without a pilgrimage to Bia Hoi Corner (at the junction of Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ta Hien and Dinh Liet) to try bia hơi (fresh beer), a low-alcohol draft beer with a clean, crisp taste.

3.      Fruit juice

Tropical weather also bless Vietnam with a wide range of fruits not only for delicious desert but for fresh juice. Coconut fresh, sugar cane juice are among the most popular street-side drinks in big cities.
 Vietnamese street drinks

 
Coconut has been a popular drink in Vietnam for centuries. You won't see the packaged stuff, though: here, it's drunk straight out of the coconut—and this coconut water is grassier, sweeter, and more full-flavored than anything you'll find in a package—trying it is like drinking raw milk for the first time. Generally, the smaller coconuts are sweeter than the larger ones.

Vietnamese street drinks


Whole coconuts are unwieldy to store, so vendors will chop off the outer green husk and keep the small white inner shell, cut into a shape that won't fall over when put on a flat surface. These white globes are usually kept on ice until you order one, then a giant machete is used to chop a hole in the top.

Vietnamese street drinks


Not as sickly sweet as you'd expect, sugar cane juice is another drink that's considered "cooling". It's usually sold by street vendors, who use electric squashing machines, not unlike an old-fashioned wringer, to squeeze the juice from stalks of sugar cane. It's usually then mixed with juice from the calamansi, a tiny sour citrus fruit that smells like a mandarin. The finished product has a crisp grassy flavor that's very refreshing on a sweltering hot day. Sugar cane vendors advertise their wares openly, with a bucket of sugar cane stalks in front of their stall. They can also be identified by what looks like a ship's wheel on the side of the stall, part of the electric wringer mechanism that juices the cane before your eyes.

Vietnamese street drinks


4.      Black/brown coffee

Vietnam is the world's biggest producer of Robusta coffee, a variety of bean that most coffee experts consider inferior to the Arabica type, thanks to its bitter and acrid tendencies. But the Vietnamese people know how to make the most of what they have. Local coffee beans are roasted with butter and fish sauce to bring out chocolate notes in the final brew. Vietnamese coffee is prepared using a small metal drip filter, and is most commonly served over ice. You can't walk a block of any street in the country and not see someone enjoying a coffee in one form or another.

The two most popular ways to drink local coffee are cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee with condensed milk) or cà phê đá (iced black coffee). Note that unless you specifically request "không đường" (no sugar) or "ít đường" (a little sugar), the black version will come with four or five teaspoons.

You can also get your caffeine fix with a yogurt coffee or the Hanoian specialty, egg coffee, made with whipped egg yolk. Yet the locals will spend an hour or more enjoying a coffee and the free iced tea that's often served alongside it. Having a coffee is an excuse to sit and watch the world go by, either from a small chair at a street-side stall or from the window of a blessedly air-conditioned cafe.

5.      Fruit smoothie

Smoothies are everywhere in Vietnam, and we're not just talking strawberry-banana. You'll find smoothies with fresh dragonfruit, custard apple, mango and jackfruit, along with ice and condensed milk or yogurt. Meanwhile avocado smoothie and soursop smoothie, a refreshing sweet-and-tart treat made from a fruit that's native to South and Central America, are now increasingly preferred by young ladies who wish for a healthy skin.


Vietnamese street drinks


Vietnamese street drinks


6.      Trà sữa chân trâu - Milk tea

Vietnamese street drinks


Trà sữa or bubble tea, pearl milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink, containing a tea base mixed/shaken with fruit or milk, to which chewy tapioca balls or fruit jellies are often added. Milk tea is especially popular among Vietnamese youth thanks to its mixed flavor using jasmine-infused green tea and color pearls with additional flavors in the form of powder, fruit juice, pulp, or syrup. Ding Tea, Feeling Tea, Chatime and Toco are among the most famous brands in Vietnam with limited space but surprising number of customers during the day.

Vietnamese street drinks


7.      Chè đỗ đen - Black bean sweetened porridge

Black bean sweetened porridge has traditionally been a favorite drink of Vietnamese people which is usually for heat relief during scorching summer days. Black bean contain low fat but protein –rịch, which not only provide our body with energy to satisfy the hunger but still help stay in shape.  In summer time, a glass of black bean sweetened porridge served cold with shredded coconut as topping and aromatic banana oil is perfectly made your day.

Vietnamese street drinks

8.      Tào phớ - Tofu

Tofu is associated with countryside image because it is developed and enriched from very mediocre soybean.  From its origin in An Phu village, tofu has now been so popular all around the country with different names, different flavors and how to enjoy.

Vietnamese street drinks


This tofu pudding is as white as ivory, tastes sweet but refreshing, and smells the smell of soybean and jasmine. In the northern region, tofu is served with syrup, and scent with fragrant jasmine . What is interesting the most is that tofu can be added ground ice to relieve heat and thirst as an ideal drink for summer time while in winter, tasters try to wait for early morning stall with fragrant hot bowl of tofu to warm one’s hands.

Vietnamese street drinks








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