Apart from the variety of diversified cuisines in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, the scrummy Vietnamese drinks are something you should try; these beverages will refresh and cool your thirst during a scooter or walking tour around the city. Here are ten delicious must-try Vietnamese drinks in Ho Chi Minh City that would delight you when traveling to Vietnam.
1. Vietnamese coffee (Ca phe) in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam is one of the leading coffee exporters. It would be incomplete not to try Vietnamese coffee once you have visited the country exporting it. Drink this Vietnamese favorite beverage and you will understand its worldwide popularity. Coffee beans are harvested in Vietnam’s highlands and then processed for usage. Not only famous for its high-quality coffee beans but Vietnamese coffee is also known for its unique brewing style, using a small metal drip filter called Phin.
Besides, the excellent and perfect combination of coffee, ice, and condensed milk named “ca phe sua da” has contributed significantly to bringing Vietnam cuisines to the world. You can also have iced black coffee or a hot one if you prefer a stronger taste. Sitting, chatting, even doing business, and having coffee at streetside vendors or air-conditioned cafes have become a habit for many people and formed a drinking culture in the busy city. In Ho Chi Minh City, you can easily find a cup of coffee for variable prices from VND 20,000+.
2. Sugarcane juice (Nuoc mia) in Ho Chi Minh City
Another must-try drink in Vietnam that we highly suggest you sample is sugarcane juice. If you wander around a local market, it is easy to come across some stalls selling this delicious beverage. The sellers often use a particular machine to extract the juice from sugarcane (which is a machine with two rollers that presses and squeezes the sugarcane) along with some kumquat to add a little sourness, balancing the sweetness.
It typically would not cost you much to enjoy the refreshing drink; a glass of sugarcane juice is only about VND 20,000.
It is also the freshness of the drink that made it the favorite drink of Vietnamese. Besides, the health benefit of sugarcane juice is more than you expect; with a cup of sugarcane juice, you could have an energy boost for a day.
3. Fresh coconut juice (Nuoc dua) in Ho Chi Minh City
Easy to find in many tropical countries around Southeast Asia, coconut is frequently used as a refresher on hot summer days. In Vietnam, not only do people love drinking this yummy beverage but they also use fresh coconut juice as the main ingredient in many savory recipes. Besides, coconut juice supplies you with plenty of vitamins and minerals that benefit your skin. It just costs you VND 10,000 – 15,000 to slake your thirst with a fresh coconut that you can find in any Vietnamese market, but prices are higher at restaurants.
4. Fruit smoothies (Sinh to) in Ho Chi Minh City
A healthy and nutritious drink can be easily found in every corner of Vietnam, especially in street food vendors. There is a variety of options when the locals choose a type of fruit to make a smoothie. While strawberries, bananas, and avocados are more common around the world, Vietnamese fruits such as the soursop, sapodilla, and even jackfruit or dragonfruit also make unbelievably great smoothies. The fruits are freshly picked from gardens around the country, and blended with ice and condensed milk creating such a fantastic combination. The price is usually from VND 15,000 to VND 20,00 for street stalls and VND 30,000+ in café and restaurants.
5. Beer (Bia) in Ho Chi Minh City
Since the introduction of beer to Vietnam in the 1900s, drinking this alcoholic beverage has become a culture. Besides coffee shops, it is a common courtesy to invite each other to beer restaurants when evening comes for social gatherings and even business discussions. It is not rare to see people with cold beers in their hands, cheering, chatting, and talking about their daily lives on vendors along the streets, especially those near the canals.
In Ho Chi Minh City, with VND 16,000, you can have a can of delicious beer. The local beers range from Saigon Red, and Saigon Special to 333, which are said to be a bit sweeter compared to beers from other parts of the country. Craft beers such as Platinum, Pasteur Street Brewing, East West Brewing, or Heart of Darkness have also been widely favored by many consumers. Traveling to Vietnam would not be fulfilled if you miss out on trying this one of the most famous Vietnamese drinks!
Read more on Vietnamese Beer
6. Artichoke tea (Tra Atiso) in Ho Chi Minh City
Artichokes are mostly found in Vietnam’s central highland, Da Lat in particular, where the conditions are perfect for growing the plants to their best quality. The artichoke tea packets are now available in almost any market and store in Vietnam, with a price up to VND 60,000+ per 200-gram tea packet. The tea has light sweet flavors and various benefits such as stimulating fat/cholesterol burning and liver cleansing, which makes this Vietnamese drink a delicious and healthy refreshment. You can use it hot or add some ice to maintain its original flavor.
Read more on Tea houses in Ho Chi Minh City
7. Grass jelly (Suong sao) in Ho Chi Minh City
The main ingredient of this popular drink is grass jelly made from a herb in mountainous areas, named Suong Sao. Originally, grass jelly was a traditional dessert in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong; it is the Chinese in Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City that has made it more widely consumed. If you visit some markets in District 5, you can find local stalls to enjoy a cup of grass jelly. Traditionally, people often add some sticky sugary syrup to decrease the slightly bitter taste. It also goes well with coconut milk, diced fruit, and condensed milk.
8. Herbal tea (Nuoc sam) in Ho Chi Minh City
Herbal tea is an affordable drink that would cool your thirst as well as have detoxifying effects. There are many ways herbal tea is made, but the most common one is the mixture of sugarcane, pandan leaf, and corn silk with other herbs and roots. While you are walking around discovering the city, do not hesitate to treat yourself to a 10,000-dong bottle of herbal tea which can easily be found on the sidewalk of any corner in Ho Chi Minh City.
9. Pennywort juice in Ho Chi Minh City
Wandering around the city under hot weather, a glass of pennywort juice would immediately save you from thirst, keep you hydrated, and revive your adventurous spirit! The drink used to be a simple blend of pennywort juice and sugar water. It was not until recently that the locals got a little more creative, adding green beans and a bit of condensed milk instead of sugar. Pennywort juice is also commonly used across the country and served in many street stalls and restaurants. Stallholders usually gather around parks, in front of schools, universities, and markets, and sell at a reasonable price of around VND 15,000.
10. Soybean milk in Ho Chi Minh City
Unlike regular bottled or canned soybean milk, Vietnamese soybean milk contains one special ingredient: pandan leaf extract which does an amazing job in adding a light, yet fragrant sweetness to this drink. Along with its delightful flavor, soybean milk has been widely known for its marvelous benefits to human health and has been shown to reduce the cholesterol in the blood, which is good for your heart. You can have a bottle of homemade soybean milk at the price of VND 15,000.
Summary of 10 must-try Vietnamese drinks in Ho Chi Minh City
Above are the typical Vietnamese drinks that we think would make your love for Vietnamese cuisine even bigger. We hope you get a fully local experience in Vietnam together with our guidelines.