Thank you for tuning with us for the second part of the “Summer Milkshake” series. After spending time getting to know how the weather’s like here in July and August, this week we will search for Hanoi summer refreshers such as drinks, beverages or light street food that could calm down a hot summer day.
1. Sweet soup (Chè)
As first thing on the list, this dish is by no means distant to Vietnamese people (in particular) and to Asian countries (in general). In other countries, “Chè” is referred to by different names and could be served for dessert but in Vietnam, we can have it any time of the day. The taste of all kinds of beans (black beans, greean beans, mung beans,…) combined with sugar, ice and the elegance of coconut cream makes “Chè” most definitely irresistable in those hot and humid days.
Price: ranging from 20.000 to 40.000 VND
Where to find:
- Chè Đào Duy Từ
- Chè 16 Ngô Thì Nhậm
- Chè (Sữa Chua Mít – Jack Fruit) 24 Bà Triệu
- Chè Xoài (Mango) 2 Nguyễn Trường Tộ
- Chè 14 Hàng Cân
2. Lime tea (Trà chanh)
It’s impossible to imagine Hanoi without this signature drink. For a few years now, Lemon tea has claimed its position as one of the youth’s most favorite drink. Yet the ingredients which make up Lemon tea cannot be easier to find (at least in Việt Nam): fresh green tea, lime juice, sliced pieces of lime, sugar and ice. Mix them all up and you have a fresh, juicy drink. Because of its simplicity, lime tea is available everywhere in Hanoi and can be found on any street.
Price: ranging from 10.000 to 15.000 VND
Where to find: Anywhere
3. Sugarcane Juice (Nước mía)
Vietnam is one of the leading producers of sugar cane in the world and because of that sugarcane juice or “nước mía” in Vietnamese is quite a popular drink in Hanoi, especially during harsh summers. No exaggeration to say just a sip of this natural refresher will leave you glowing from the inside out and cool you down in seconds. One big plus is its ingredients cannot be more simple including crushing peeled sugarcane and kumquat. Why kumquat? Because its sour center and citrus fragrance help boost the sweet flavour of sugarcane and bring the juice to a whole new level. Conveniently, sugarcane juice can be found mostly anywhere, from vendors along the side of the road to fancy coffee shops. And if you want to try something more special than traditional version, go to Thanh Nien street in Tay Ho district where they serve the juice with chewy tapioca pearls and artificial fruit syrup (optional).
Price: ranging from 10.000 to 18.000 VND
Where to find: Anywhere
4. Trang Tien Ice Cream (Kem Tràng Tiền)
How can a small ice cream shop in Hanoi draws hundreds of locals and visitors every day in summer (and even winter)? The answer lies in their icy treats and the shopping experience. The shop was first opened in 1958 and has been gaining more popularity since it has upgraded from two flavors of ice cream stick to various delicious ingredients including chocolate, green bean, green rice and types of ice cream cones, ice cream served in cups, popsicle ice-creams etc. What makes this Hanoi summer refresher stand out from other brands is “its soft and chewy texture, with tiny grains of green beans or green rice sprinkled through the ice cream”. But the shopping experience here may bring you a mixture of feelings since there are no chairs or tables; customers have to stand or sit on their scooters while enjoying their treats.
Price: ranging from 8000 to 12000 VND per unit
Where to find: 35 Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm
5. Fresh mixed fruit (Hoa quả dầm)
Taking advantage of the food products of a tropical country, Hanoians have selected a wide range of Vietnam’s tropical fruits and created a rich and delectable refresher known as fresh mixed fruit. As the name says it all, fresh mixed fruit here refers to a mix of different fruits, cut into small pieces, usually soaked in condensed milk and/or sugar syrup. The fruits may vary depending on the recipe requirement and season but usually contain some as follows watermelon, jackfruit, strawberry, avocado, mango, dragon fruit, plum… Mixed fruit can be served with home-made ice cream or yogurt as topping for a more refreshing taste. The secret to a well-balanced mix fruit portion is the well-calculated proportion of condensed milk and the fruits themselves. The best known place for this mixture is based in To Tich street.
Price: ranging from 22.000 to 30.000 VND
Where to find: To Tich street
Up to this point, we have already come through and reviewed on refreshing drinks and what to eat in the hope of surviving the humidity and tropical heat. After each choice are our recommendations so hurry up and enjoy them while summer is still around or feel free to add your own experience in the comment section below! Enjoy your summer.