Bia Hoi, Hanoi
Bia hoi is the draft version of Vietnam’s beer and is thus the freshest example of the style you will find. Not only is it generally tastier but it is also much cheaper. In fact, it is only 3,5000 dong per glass (less than a quarter!) but that is not the best part of these bia hoi joints. What you really get is to experience the local hanging out scene. It is much like the coffee houses where mostly a male clientele sit around and share their daily experiences over a beer. You can get cheap snacks like peanuts too. It is great fun cheap entertainment and something not to be missed.
Dress Code: These places are very casual but if you are a woman, even with a male, I would recommend dressing down quite a bit as to not attract too much attention.
Not sure what to do at night?
take a seat on those low plastic stools and have a cheap and good bia hoi for only 1,500VND.
You can have a people watching session or talk to others sitting near you.
Order some crackers or peanuts to go with your bia hoi. You can throw the peanut shells on the floor .
CHEERS, Bottom Ups, Gan Bei or Yum Seng!
Bia Hoi is the Vietnamese term for draught beer. It can be found nearly everywhere and is supposed to be quite good. I'm not too much of a beer drinker, so I can't tell you for sure. Anyway, all of my friends liked it! Bia Hoi costs nearly nothing (usually 3,000 VND or a little bit more). Be careful that no ice cubes are added to your drink - they are often made from untreated water and may cause health problems! I remember suffering terribly for 24 hours after an ice-cube had found its way into my lemon juice.
Dress Code: none
At the cross roads on Ta Hien and Ma May just next to the Classic Hotel are three small holes in the wall places selling Bia Hoi at 1500 Dong per glass (thats 10 glasses for USD1). You sit on tiny stools on the streets outside a doorway on the corner of the road and get you beer and watch the world go by. You can even get snack food served at your stool by one of the passing street vendors.
Beer Hoi is brewed all over Hanoi and is basically from micro/mocro breweries - or almost moonshine - and is delivered to the shops by moterbike.
It is only 3000 dong per glass of diluted beer. Don't bother converting to any currency now. I have never found anything cheaper than this. Trust me... Found in a few places in the Old Quarters but there is a concentration of them between intersection of Ta Hien St. and Luong Ngoc Quyen St.
Throughout Vietnam, bia hois were our standard haunts after dark, and frequently before dark as well. In Saigon we usually had bottled beer such as 333 or Tiger. In Hanoi, our standard beers were bottled Hanoi and Tiger, but at a few bia hois, we ended up with draft local rotgut in a sandy mug. At least it was cold.
Recommend bottled beer.