Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam, the second most populous city in the country with approximately 6.5 million people. As being the city of a millennium, the culture and history of Vietnam is clearly on display in Hanoi. This makes Hanoi a must-see on any Vietnam Customized Holidays. Despite the recent changes and development, Hanoi has still retained its own traditional identity and timeless grace. Hanoi attracts travelers by the vibrant street life, local structure and French architecture combine to form a unique blend of old and new, and not to mention the wonderful street food and drink. Hanoi street food has gained its own reputation and been listed on many Vietnam Tours, but how about the street drink in Hanoi? The list below will give some insight of the best street drinks in Hanoi that you may want to try during your trip in Vietnam
Egg Coffee – Ca Phe Trung
Egg Coffee is a unique drink of Hanoi Old Quarter that was invented by Mr Nguyen Van Giang in the 1940s while he worked as a bartender at Sofitel Metropole Hotel. The recipe for egg coffee includes whisked egg yolk, condensed milk, sugar, and coffee. Then Mr Giang left the hotel and opened his own café brand “Café Giang” to start selling egg coffee. Though egg coffee has been spread and served around Hanoi, people and many tourist still want to visit “Café Giang” at 39 Nguyen Huu Huan for tasting the original egg coffee.
It is always fun to see the curiosity of travelers when they are introduced about egg coffee, how ‘egg’ and ‘coffee’ in a cup together? A pretty hard image to imagine and the “Wow” experience after trying the egg coffee is truly a revelation. Egg coffee has been so famous that most food tours in Hanoi list the coffee on their itinerary, one of the must-try drinks on a Vietnam Holidays.
Draught Beer – Bia Hoi
Bia Hoi is a kind of draft beer that is brewed daily and is so popular in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi. It is refreshingly light, chilled and straw-colored beer and tapped from metal barrels. Bia Hoi is really cheap, around 6000-8000 VND per glass (less than 50 cents USD) and no surprise it dominates more than 30% of beer market in Vietnam. Places where you come and drink Bia Hoi are normally at street bars where you sit on small plastic stools by the sidewalk, next to the locals, enjoy your beer and watch people in the bustling streets minding their business. The famous Beer Corner at Ta Hien Street is definitely not place that you seek for comfortable space, but is the best way to feel the pulse of local street culture. It is another “must” that should be a part of a Vietnam Customized Tour, if not certainly something to do in your spare time.
Sugar Cane Juice – Nuoc Mia
Nothing beats the heat and humidity of summer days in Hanoi better a glass of Sugar Cane Juice with a squeeze of green kumquat. It is often sold by street vendors who use electric squashing machines to squeeze juice from peeled sugar cane. It is not really sweet like you would expect but with a little sour flavor of green kumquat, it is really a good “cooling” drink for both locals and visitors to Hanoi during the hot summer.
Fruit Smoothie – Sinh To
A fruit smoothie is made with few spoons of condensed milk, crushed ice, some coconut milk and different kinds of fresh fruit such as watermelon, banana, jackfruit, avocado, dragon fruit, passion fruit, custard apple. Smoothies can be found everywhere in Hanoi Old Quarter in a fancy coffee shop or just a small street stall.
Fresh lime tea – Tra Chanh
A trendy street drink for young Hanoians that appeared around 12 years ago and now is still a stylish thing to do on weekend. A few small plastic stools, a dish of roasted sunflower nuts and of course a glass of Tra Chanh for each; those are enough for a funny chatting time with friends and more important, it doesn’t cost much. The most famous places for trying Tra Chanh are the area outside Saint Joseph Cathedral and Dao Duy Tu Street, where you can get an insight of young lifestyle in Hanoi.
Soya Milk – Sua Dau Nanh
A heathy drink and it is everywhere in Hanoi, you can easily find soya milk selling in plastic bag at any tofu stall of traditional wet market or street sidewalk. Soya milk also can be ordered at restaurants or food stalls that serve the famous Banh My sandwich. Vietnamese like to drink soya milk when having stuffed French baguette or simply after breakfast. A Street Food Tour organized by Vietnam Travel Agent may include this great drink for you to try.
Read more: The Geography of Vietnamese Noodle