Are you a foodie planning your Vietnam travel? Do not forget to explore the amazing Vietnamese beverage scene too! Vietnamese drinks are just as unique and flavorful as its cuisine, with options ranging from the iconic Vietnamese coffee to the lesser-known sugarcane juice. So, get ready to quench your thirst and discover the refreshing and delicious world of Vietnamese drinks.
1. Tea - Among the best Vietnamese drinks to kickstart your day
Vietnamese tea is the perfect morning drink, providing a boost of energy and mental clarity. With its rich and diverse flavors, Vietnamese tea offers a unique experience for tea lovers.
1.1. Vietnamese artichoke tea
Made from the roots of artichoke plants, Vietnamese artichoke tea is known for its earthy and slightly bitter flavor, as well as numerous health benefits. Artichoke tea is rich in antioxidants and is said to aid digestion, lower cholesterol, and boost liver function.
1.2. Vietnamese iced green tea
Vietnamese iced green tea, also known as "tra da," is a drink that can be found anywhere, from trendy cafes to local beer joints. The tea leaves used to make Vietnamese iced green tea come in two varieties: fresh and dried, with the latter the preferred choice for its dry bitterness.
In general, iced tea is served in a glass, not a mug, and not in dainty little cups. Super-cheap and quick to prepare, a glass costs from 3,000 VND - 5,000 VND.
With its floral scent and mellow flavor, iced green tea has become one of the most popular Vietnamese drinks, perfect for hot summer days or as a refreshing pick-me-up.
1.3. Bubble tea
Bubble tea, also known as "boba" or "pearl milk tea," has become a popular drink in Vietnam and all over the world. What sets Vietnamese bubble tea apart is the addition of chewy tapioca pearls, sweet and creamy milk, and a variety of fruity flavors.
1.4. Kumquat tea
Kumquat tea is made by brewing dried kumquat fruit in hot water with honey or sugar added for sweetness. Kumquat tea is known for its tangy and refreshing taste, and is often enjoyed as a hot drink to warm up on chilly days. In addition to its delicious taste, this Vietnamese soft drink is also believed to have several health benefits, including boosting the immune system and aiding digestion.
1.5. Vietnamese lotus tea
Imagine sitting by a serene lotus pond surrounded by the calming fragrance of the blossoms. That is exactly what you will feel when you sip on a cup of Vietnamese lotus tea.
This unique and refreshing Vietnamese drink is made by infusing delicate lotus flower petals into hot water, resulting in a subtly sweet and fragrant tea. It is perfect for those looking for a light and calming drink to unwind after a busy day wandering around.
2. Coffee - The best Vietnamese drink to beat the afternoon energy slump
Whether you like it hot, iced, with coconut milk or condensed milk, Vietnamese coffee drinks will give you the caffeine kick you need and an incredibly strong flavor.
2.1. Vietnamese iced coffee
It is not uncommon to see locals leisurely sipping on iced coffee at cafes or street-side vendors, taking a break from their busy life to savor the rich flavor and indulge in some people-watching. In Vietnam, coffee is more than just a delicious beverage, it is truly a lifestyle.
The secret to Vietnamese iced coffee's unique flavor is the brewing process. The drink is made by slowly dripping hot water through a metal filter filled with coarsely ground coffee, which is then mixed with sweetened condensed milk and poured over ice. The result is a sweet and strong cup of coffee that packs a real punch.
A cup of Vietnamese iced coffee typically costs 20,000 VND - 35,000 VND at a street vendor, and slightly more at a cafe. However, the price may vary depending on the location and the coffee shop's reputation.
2.2. Egg coffee - Among the iconic Vietnamese drinks
Egg coffee, or "ca phe trung" in Vietnamese, is a unique and delicious beverage that has been a well-kept Hanoian family secret for generations.
The story goes that during the 1940s, when Vietnam was still under French colonial rule, milk was scarce and expensive. To make up for this, a clever Hanoian barista named Nguyen Van Giang decided to use egg yolks as a substitute. He whipped them together with sugar and coffee to create a frothy, creamy concoction that was both tasty and affordable.
The contrast of the sweetened egg foam and the bitter, strong coffee creates a heavenly blend of flavors and textures that is truly unforgettable. Although now you can find egg coffee throughout the country, Hanoi is still the place to go for the best egg coffee.
2.3. Vietnamese coconut coffee
Vietnamese coconut coffee is a delightful twist on traditional coffee that has become a beloved drink in Vietnam. Coconut milk adds natural sweetness and a unique flavor profile that complement the bold and rich taste of the coffee.
Vietnamese coconut coffee is a perfect drink to enjoy on a hot day, and it is especially popular in beach destinations such as Nha Trang or Phu Quoc. It is also a healthier alternative to egg coffee for those who are keeping tabs on their cholesterol levels.
2.4. Yogurt coffee
The perfect blend of creamy yogurt and rich coffee is exactly what you get with Vietnamese yogurt coffee! This unique and delicious beverage is a true delight for your taste buds, and is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. With its smooth texture and tangy taste, yogurt coffee is both refreshing and healthy - rich in probiotics and antioxidants.
2.5. Bac xiu
“Bac xiu” or Vietnamese white coffee is a milder and lighter version of the usual strong and robust Vietnamese coffee.
This refreshing drink is made by adding a generous amount of milk and condensed milk to Vietnamese robusta coffee beans, creating a perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess. Imagine it as Vietnam's version of an iced latte, with a unique twist and flavor that will leave you wanting more.
Bac xiu is best served hot. It is the perfect way to enjoy the blend of diluted condensed milk and coffee.
3. What to drink in Vietnam? TOP 3 best Vietnamese juices
3.1. Fresh coconut
Fresh coconut juice is one of the most beloved Vietnamese drinks. Just imagine the feeling of sipping on the cool, fresh coconut juice while lounging on a sandy beach in Da Nang or enjoying the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
Served in a coconut shell with a straw, this drink is a great way to stay hydrated and cool down in Vietnam's humid climate.
3.2. Sugarcane juice
Made from freshly pressed sugarcane stalks, sugarcane juice is a staple on the streets of Vietnam, especially in hot and humid weather. You will often see vendors using a small machine to extract the juice right in front of you, adding a slice of lime or kumquat for an extra tangy twist.
With its fresh and simple ingredients, Vietnamese sugarcane juice is a healthy and delicious choice that you will not regret trying.
3.3. Pennywort juice
Pennywort juice is among the most popular Vietnamese drinks during hot summer days. This refreshing green juice is made from pennywort leaves, which are known for their health benefits such as improving blood circulation and digestion. The taste of pennywort juice is slightly bitter and earthy, but it can be sweetened with sugar for a more enjoyable flavor.
4. Smoothie - The best Vietnamese drink for health-conscious people
Vietnamese fruit smoothies are a must-try when you explore the vibrant street food scene in Vietnam. Made with fresh, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables, they are the perfect refreshing drink on a hot day.
A notable smoothie that should definitely make it to your must-try list is the creamy and indulgent avocado smoothie. Made with ripe avocados, sweetened condensed milk, and ice, this smoothie has a rich and creamy texture that is hard to resist. The combination of the creamy avocado and condensed milk creates a perfectly balanced flavor that everyone will love.
5. Vietnamese dessert drinks - TOP 3 Vietnamese drinks for a light afternoon meal
Vietnamese sweet soup, also known as "che," is among the most beloved Vietnamese drinks. Vietnamese sweet soup can be made with a variety of ingredients, including beans, grains, fruits, and jelly. Each variation of sweet soup has its own unique flavor and texture, catering to different tastes and preferences.
5.1. Che Sam Bo Luong
One of the most refreshing che variations is "Che Sam Bo Luong." This sweet soup is made by combining jelly cubes, longans, lotus seeds, and other ingredients with a sweet syrup made from sugar and pandan leaves. The combination creates a deliciously fragrant and mildly sweet dessert that is perfect for hot summer days. It is often served with crushed ice for an extra cooling effect.
5.2. Che Ba mau
Another popular che variation is "Che Ba mau," or three-colored sweet soup, made with three layers of jelly, coconut milk, and sweet red bean paste. The layers are not only visually appealing but also create a unique texture when mixed together. It is the perfect choice for those who love a balance of sweetness and creamines.
5.3. Vietnamese Fruit Cocktail
For those who love fruit, Vietnamese fruit cocktail is a must-try. Made with a variety of tropical fruits like mango, lychee, longan, and jackfruit, this dessert drink is a refreshing and healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Served over ice and drizzled with sweet coconut milk, it is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
6. Vietnamese draught beer - Among the most popular drinks in Vietnam
Vietnam is a country that loves beer. The tropical climate makes it the perfect thirst quencher, especially after a long day of exploring. Vietnamese draught beer, in particular, is among the most favored Vietnamese drinks.
It is no secret that Vietnamese people love their beer fresh and cold, and there is nothing like sipping on a cold glass of beer while watching the world go by. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, you can find beer halls, street-side stalls, and local bars serving up cold and refreshing glasses of beer.
7. Vietnamese rice wine - A must-try traditional Vietnamese drink
7.1. Plain rice wine
Plain rice wine is among the most favorite Vietnamese alcoholic drinks that comes in two main types: sticky rice wine and ordinary rice wine.
Sticky rice wine is made from glutinous rice, fermented using yeast and water. This traditional Vietnamese drink is typically consumed during special occasions, such as weddings and Lunar New Year celebrations.
On the other hand, ordinary rice wine is made from regular rice and has a lower alcohol content compared to sticky rice wine. It is often enjoyed as a casual drink with friends or as a way to unwind after a long day.
7.2. Herbal wine
Vietnamese herbal wine is a type of traditional Vietnamese drink that is made from a combination of medicinal herbs and rice wine. This wine has been used for centuries in Vietnamese culture as a natural remedy for various ailments and is believed to have numerous health benefits.
The herbs used in the wine vary depending on the region and the desired medicinal properties. Some common ingredients include ginseng, goji berries, and lotus seeds.
7.3. What to drink in Vietnam? Ruou can (Tube wine)
Tube wine is made by placing a long bamboo tube filled with rice wine in a pot of hot water. The wine is then sipped directly from the tube through a small reed straw. The wine is fermented with a mixture of herbs, giving it a distinct and flavorful taste.
This communal drinking experience is often enjoyed at social gatherings and celebrations, where friends and family gather around a table filled with delicious food and tube wine. Thus, trying tube wine is a must for any tourist interested in exploring Vietnam’s rich traditions and customs.
8. Vietnamese Pho cocktail - The most exotic cocktail in Vietnam
Pho cocktail is a delightful concoction that takes the traditional flavors of Vietnam's pho and turns them into a refreshing and unique cocktail. The cocktail is made using a blend of vodka, pho broth, lime juice, fish sauce, and other aromatic herbs and spices.
It may sound like an unusual combination, but the bold and savory flavors of this cocktail will surely make you impressed. Ne Cocktail Bar, The Unicorn Pub, Mad Botanist, and The Hanoi Social Club are some of the best bars in Hanoi that serve this one-of-a-kind cocktail.
Visiting Vietnam, it is not just the drinks you should indulge in, but also the delicious Vietnamese food. Additionally, Vietnam boasts some of the most picturesque tourist hubs in Southeast Asia, such as the stunning island of Phu Quoc, the charming ancient town of Hoi An, the vibrant city of Da Nang, the pristine beaches of Nha Trang, and the magnificent Ha Long Bay.
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Vietnamese drinks are an essential part of the country's culture and cuisine. The diversity of Vietnamese drinks caters to various preferences and occasions, whether you are looking for a caffeine boost or a sweet treat to cool off in the tropical heat. On your trip to Vietnam, make sure to explore the wide range of delicious and refreshing drinks that the country has to offer. It is an experience that will leave you wanting more and will undoubtedly quench your thirst for adventure and discovery.