Bia Hoi!

by aengelson | May 2nd, 2010

The Click here to visit other day I got together with a correspondent who works for AFP here in Hanoi to chat. And where did two writers go to talk? A bia hoi joint, of course.

The people of Hanoi lift a glass of beer at a bia hoi joint.

For those who don’t know, Hanoi is filled with bia hoi–“fresh beer”–places. It’s where men (and some women, accompanied by male friends) go to drink beer on tap and eat an array of snacks. Some places are simply a cold keg, a few tiny plastic chairs and tables and bowls of peanuts. More elaborate places have indoor and outdoor seating and a huge menus of fried goodies, from tofu to chicken to greens and veggies. Dried, salty squid is a popular accompaniment.

Bia hoi is an integral part of Hanoi life. And while beer is served in other parts of Vietnam, the bia hoi phenomenon seems most concentrated in Hanoi. The beer itself is one of the local brands–Bia Hanoi or Halida, usually. It’s served icy cold in small plastic cups, and it’s crisp, hoppy and refreshing. It’s not Redhook ESB or Full Sail IPA, but on a hot day with a plate of fried tofu, some roasted peanuts and a dish of cucumber slices, it sure hits the spot. Beer in Vietnam tends to have less alcohol than the American and European brands, so you can lift a couple cups without getting too tipsy. Although, judging by the flushed faces and loud conversations all around us, folks were drinking than just a couple cups.

In total, the six beers, tofu, cucumber, and peanuts we had came to a whopping site hot asian free videos $3.50.

Did view teen mom porn I mention I love this city?

You can read more about beer in Vietnam in this recent New York Times feature.

2 Responses to “Bia Hoi!”

  1. Patricia says:

    sounds so great, wish we’d done that when we were there. Next trip.

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About This Site

Hi, I'm Andy Engelson, a writer and editor who lived in Hanoi for five years and now lives in Geneva Switzerland. This blog is no longer active, but you can find more of my writing at The Lost Salt Atlas. I'm currently working on a historical novel set in the Northwest United States during World War II. In a former life, I edited Washington Trails magazine. I like to hike, travel, and play with my family.


Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. . . . Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like. — Walter Benjamin, “Unpacking My Library”


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