All photos by Chrisitan Berg
A cup of coffee, Vietnamese style, is bound to get you up and running. Vietnam’s robusta beans make a powerful brew, with an intense and heady flavour that quickly becomes addictive. Cà phê sữa đá mixes drip-filter coffee with a glug of condensed milk and lots of ice to mellow the taste.
A sugary beverage that’s also healthy? Nước mía or sugarcane juice is a pleasant surprise for most travellers. Vendors slowly push sugarcane stalks through a press to extract the sweet liquid. Squeeze some calamansi and enjoy over ice for a natural re-energiser.
After sightseeing in the sunshine, take a break at a cafe with a cup of trà quất. A simple ice tea flavoured with calamansi and honey, this flavourful drink will revive you in a flash. You can even find it in cafe chains such as Cong Ca Phe and The Coffee House.
Vietnamese are experts at transforming fresh ingredients into special culinary treats. The sinh tố is an example of this: A hearty blend of tropical fruits -- dragon fruit, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, avocados and others -- blended with ice and a swirl of condensed milk.
A frosty glass stacked as high as possible with sweet and sour ‘lime snow’ is what makes a chanh tuyết a divine delicacy. Made with ice, lime juice, zest and a touch of sugar, it’s served with a straw and a spoon to help you dig in. Find it at cafes nation-wide.
Wherever you are, a trà đá stall is just around the corner. If you see a small assembly of plastic stools and glasses in Vietnam, you can be sure they serve this iced green tea. To really enjoy it like a local, order a glass with your street food at lunch or dinner.
Pull up a chair at any beer hall in Northern Vietnam and you’ll be handed a heavy cup of foamy, golden bia hơi. This fresh, unpasteurised beer, is perfect paired with peanuts, fried snacks or big family-style dinners. Best of all, a frothy glass will only set you back 8,000VND. Cheers!