Even if you have never been to Vietnam, you have most probably heard of their fabled ‘beer hoi’ bars: home brewed drinking dens where grandmas pump out jugs of pale, watery lager for as little as $0.15 US, but usually around 50 cents per glass in Ho Chi Minh. The culture of sitting on plastic chairs that spill out of a local bar onto the pavement, drinking, chatting and eating local barbecued snacks, has been a popular experience for tourists in Hanoi for several years but there are also several beer hoi bars in Ho Chi Minh so foreigners can experience this unique nightlife activity without venturing to Vietnam’s capital. At around 3%, this beer is low in strength, and far more watery than a typical beer, and it is brewed fresh every morning. Beer hoi bars are some of the friendliest establishments and on any one night you could speak to backpackers, businessmen, con artists, army veterans and plenty of inquisitive locals. Here are the places to find beer hoi bars in Ho Chi Minh City:
Bia Sai Gon 73
This bia hoi bar is located smack bang in the middle of the backpacker area of Ho Chi Minh on Bui Vien Street. The plastic chairs are lined up along the pavement on both sides and even spill onto the road at peak times. They’re packed so close it’s great for making new friends. You can’t walk down this street without seeing it. The clientele is a fairly even split between foreigners and locals, and there’s a carefree atmosphere in this bar, much like the rest of this backpacker ghetto in Ho Chi Minh. A jug of beer costs 10,000 VND ($0.50) and hawkers stroll around selling nuts, barbeque pork and other more exotic items wrapped in banana leaves. There are a couple of dilapidated fans, but the sweat on your back is all part of the experience at this beer hoi bar. It’s certainly not classy, but it is most entertaining.
- Location: 73 Bui Vien St, District 1
Bia Hoi Ha Noi
This beer hoi bar is definitely catering more for Vietnamese, although foreigners are of course always welcome. It is located on the far calmer street of Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, just one block north of the Reunification Palace and is built on the second floor of an open air but undercover beer hall. Bia Hoi Ha Noi in Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to come if you want to see how Vietnamese let loose after a hard week at work, and if you stay long enough you will no doubt be asked to toast with an inebriated soul who wants to show you Vietnamese hospitality. There are plenty of fans to keep things breezy and a limited menu of meat based snacks to accompany your beer. There are many nice restaurants on this street so even if you’re just curious, you could pop in for a beer before having dinner nearby.
- Location: 175 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa Street, District 3
- Tel: +84 (0) 822419872