Top 10 Must-try Vietnamese Drinks

Vietnamese culinary is famous throughout the world over the years due to its rich cultural diversity and extensive history. That Vietnamese drinks are not only create its popularity among local people but also captivating international tourists by specific flavors for each beverage. Tailored to suit personal preferences and influenced by varying weather conditions, each individual will choose their favorite drinks served for their needs. There are hundreds of beverages consumed everyday in Vietnam. However, some certain Vietnamese drinks that foreign visitors should not miss experiencing when traveling in Vietnam. Thus, here is the list of “Top 10 must-try Vietnamese drinks” for drink lovers:

Draft beer

Beer can be seen as one of the most popular and consumed Vietnamese drinks for a long time. Alongside lager beer, draft beer (Bia hơi) is also common, originating from the Northern Vietnam. The beer-drinking culture is a specialty for the Vietnamese in various events or parties such as birthdays, year-end parties, and more. A beer hall is probably an ideal place where most Vietnamese men meet after work or on the weekends. During the year 2022 up to now, the policy of drinking alcohol while driving has been prohibited and penalized according to the government regulations. Hence, leading to a significant decrease in beer sales compared to previous years.

Vietnamese drinks - Bia tươi

Quán bia tươi

Rice wine/Corn wine

Vietnamese adults do not only love drinking beer, but wine is also their favorite option when mentioning alcoholic beverages. Rice wine and corn wine (Rượu gạo và rượu ngô) are absolutely popular throughout Vietnam. However, the consumption of these two Vietnamese drinks mostly are men, because of its alcohol content (20-40 degrees). Both rice wine and corn wine are commonly served for men in gatherings, whether large parties, intimate gatherings or sometimes family dinners. Corn wine’s popularity is more prevalent among the North, whereas Southern Vietnamese tend to prefer drinking rice wine.

Vietnamese iced tea

Vietnamese iced tea (Trà đá) plays an integral part of Vietnamese culinary culture that it can be observed in every meal, because of its affordability and simple preparation process (made by black tea, green tea or jasmine tea,..). People can find Vietnamese iced tea in every street corner from local vendors to restaurants at anytime, while reading newspapers, chatting with friends,.. which is served as ‘a complimentary side drink’ (usually free serving) alongside other beverages (coffee, soft drink, milk tea…). In addition, Vietnamese iced tea is cherished for its refreshing and satisfying feeling which slakes our thirst after having savory or sweet meals.

Vietnamese drinks - Trà đá vỉa hè

Vietnamese drinks – Trà đá vỉa hè

Vietnamese coffee

In terms of food and beverage, Vietnamese coffee (Cà phê) is not just a drink, it nearly shapes a lifestyle of Vietnamese people. The drink appears everywhere in different making styles such as black coffee, coffee with condensed milk, egg coffee, coconut coffee,… It serves not only as a morning pick-me-up for those early birds, but also as a preferred beverage for Vietnamese drink lovers enjoying in every time of the day.

Particularly, friends and colleagues often have a leisurely meetings or conversations with each other in the afternoon or evening at a coffee shop or a coffee vendor, where a social pastime for story telling or gossiping happens, others choose to study or work online at the coffee shop according to cafeteria shop’s design and atmosphere.

Vietnamese drinks - Cà phê

Cửa hàng cà phê

Milk tea

Among thousand kinds of Vietnamese drinks, milk tea (Trà sữa) has still maintained its fame since the early 2000s and become indispensable beverage for millions of Vietnamese . That the pictures of young generation bring this drink along with them is definitely normal. Not only the young, but adults or elderly people sometimes prefer milk tea because of the variety of types, toppings and flavors, which is served depending on each individual preferences.

Vietnamese people consume milk tea every time of the day, from drinking it before attending class or working to meeting and gossiping with friends at milk tea vendors. Specially in this modern era, they would go for ordering online via online shopping apps such as Foody, ShopeeFood, Grab Food,…

Vietnamese drinks - Trà sữa

Trà sữa Koi Thé

Vietnamese herbal tea

During scorching hot days in summer, Vietnamese herbal tea (Nước sâm) is seemed as a special drink for everyone to release the feeling of discomfort or tiredness in a day. Furthermore, this Vietnamese drink offers lots of healthy advantages from numerous herbs. Quite different from other Vietnamese drinks, this thirst-slaking drink is typically served in a take-away method since the size of a shop is quite small. Usually, buyers ride vehicles and stop temporally in front of the shop, calling a glass of Vietnamese herbal tea and using it on the spot, or they opt for a bottle for take away.

Nước sâm

Nước sâm


Beside milk tea and Vietnamese coffee, young people seem to opt for fruit smoothies (Sinh tố) also, due to its smooth texture and flavour varieties. The vendors always display all types of fruit and vegetables on a shelf by which  make it more easier for purchasers to choose, whether taking away or drink at shop. Especially, the local rarely consume this Vietnamese drink early in the morning, it mostly a preferred option for Vietnamese people in the afternoon or evening.

Vietnamese drinks - Sinh tố nước ép

Sinh tố nước ép

Sugarcane juice

This favored beverage, sugarcane juice (Nước mía), is cherished by all Vietnamese of all ages for its satisfying flavour and healthy benefits. In addition, sugarcane juice sometimes are mixed with other fruits like durian, orange, kumquat,.. to make it more delightful and flavorful, based on buyers’ options. In daily life, local people usually enjoy pairing sugarcane juice when eating with Vietnamese snacks or street foods such as fried fish ball, grilled meat skewers, or rice paper salad.. This easy-making and affordable Vietnamese drink can be found at every street corner which served for all walks of life in Vietnam.

Vietnamese drinks - Nước mía sầu riêng

Nước mía sầu riêng

Fresh coconut water

Coconut water (Nước dừa) has spread its popularity over the country for centuries by which helps Vietnamese people release their tiredness over the sun heat. Not only drinking in a traditional way, local people also prefer combining this Vietnamese drink with kumquat or smashed pineapple to make it more delightful. Mostly, buyers would opt for buying at noon, which is the hottest time of the day, due to its refreshing and slaking taste. It is advised that coconut water should not be used after 5 p.m if you wish to have a tight sleep.

Vietnamese drinks - Nước dừa tươi

Nước dừa tươi

Nut milk

While not the top choice for many locals when it comes to beverages, nuts milk (Sữa đậu) offers a perfect solution for those seeking vitamins and other nutrients for their health. Unlike coffee or milk tea, the owner do not operate a shop; instead, they sell their wares on street pavements or in local markets, offering with various nut-based milk such as soy milk, black sesame milk, peanut milk,… In hot regions like Ho Chi Minh city, it is commonly enjoyed with ice whereas in cold places like Sapa or Da Lat, people here opt for hot nuts milk and sometimes accompanied by homemade bread.

Vitenamese drinks - Sữa đậu nành

Sữa đậu nành

Our last words

With an abundance of beverage options available, this “Top 10 must-try Vietnamese drinks” absolutely is a incredible list for international travelers unsure of which Vietnamese drinks fit for their interests to explore. Additionally, it is totally a fascinating experience for tourists to sample these drinks in the local manner, immersing themselves in the authentic culture of Vietnam.

Phuong Hong Ngoc NGUYEN