Cheers to Bia Hoi in Saigon
One of the best local Vietnamese beers is Bia Hoi, a very light beer made with no preservatives. (It is perhaps similar to Bud Light beer if you want to have a comparison.)
Breweries that prepare the beer are quite secretive about the recipe, but asking around a little on the street informs us that it’s normal lager made from hops and barley malt. Additionally, the drink contains around 50% rice wine, making it a light and clear drink. If rice beer sounds a bit odd, you might find it interesting to learn that Budweiser also contains around 30% rice. Personal research tells us that the alcohol level is usually between 3% and 4% when Bia Hoi is in its pure form.
Because there are no preservatives added, Bia Hoi is drunk directly after producing, when it’s cold and fresh. The beer is widely available throughout Vietnam. It’s best sampled with some snacks such as peanuts or local finger food. Generally the local pubs selling this beer are open until late. Bia Hoi places start to get crowded after working hours, when local people relax.
Travelers to Vietnam might pop into Khiri Travel Vietnam staff at one of the following Bia Hoi places in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City):
Villa Restaurant, which has an airy and large outdoor space. Besides being suitable for families, the restaurant also serves good Bia Hoi. The food is delicious and cheap. The staff are well trained, polite and hospitable.
2 Nguyễn Cửu Vân, Ward17, Bình Thạnh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Open: 9 am – 11 pm
The Bia Hoi in Bui Vien Street is famous for being the cheapest beer in Saigon — VNĐ 7000 (less than US50 cents). The place opens in the evening and attracts many young Vietnamese and foreign guests enjoying a beer or two together. Quite uncommon, the bar only serves beer or soft drinks — no food. This means that guests can bring their own snacks or buy some from the nearby street vendors.
Bùi Viện, Phạm Ngũ Lão area, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
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