After a less than delicious meal at a Com Binh Dan, it was off to the Bia Hoi for a soothing lager to strip the grease from the back of our throats. Bia Hoi is a northern institution in Vietnam, and we now know that they are hard, even impossible, to find in Saigon (thanks nostarwhere). Not only is this outrageous, but it's hard for us to fathom in this Bia Hoi capital of Vietnam as they are ubiquitous on the streets round here. Bia Hoi beer is beer you buy by the glass, pulled from a keg and cheap as chips, from about 1500VND - 4000VND. In our enthusiasm for the Bia Hoi, we once did the sums and discovered that you could drink 66 beers for $10 Australian!
These places also serve food, but tonight we are here for the beer and snacks. Boiled peanuts in their shells are accompanied by delicious rice crackers, VN style. These are big rice pancakes that are then fried till they're crispy and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Just the thing to go alongside the beer. This place is always busy. It even has an upstairs verandah area. There's also real size furniture, which is always a hit after crouching on the kindy stools that most Vietnamese restaurants seem to have a penchant for. Downstairs is more action packed, with the hardcore beer swilling crowd kicking back and drinking till the buffalos come home. Bia Hoi is a true Viet experience. Fantastic and cheap, a beer lover's paradise.
Bia Hoi Bonanza
6 Beers, 2 rice crackers, boiled peanuts- 21,000VND (USD$1.32, AUD$1.71)
cnr Hoa Ma and Le Ngoc Han