Where to drink rice wine in Hanoi? Good question and one we will get to! But first let’s talk rice wine.
Fun fact! The biggest selling liquor brand in the world in Ginro Soju, but soju and indeed sake are not exactly rice wines. Rice Wine/liquor is actually the biggest selling form of liquor in the world (if you have been to China you will understand this).
Calling it rice wine though is a bit of a misnomer, it is not wine it is super strength liquor that I have to say is pretty damned disgusting. I famously like a drink, but would go sober rather than drink Chinese “bai jiu”.
Vietnamese Rice Wine
I once went to a wedding with a Vietnamese friend in Cao Bang and as is wedding etiquette was forced to drink copious amounts of rice wine. What I found though is that Vietnamese rice wine vs Chinese rice wine is much more mellow and dare say tasty!
Buying rice wine in Vietnam
Much like China rice wine can be purchased and drank with BBQ, or got (very cheaply from convenience stores. Of course like any commodity you can also buy expensive stuff, although I have yet to try and “good” Vietnamese rice wine.
Drinking rice wine in Hanoi
One of the things you realize in Hanoi is how different foods and drinks are compared to the south and indeed how much more similar north Vietnam is to southern China. Rice wine is one of those things.
So, where to drink rice wine in Hanoi?
Hanoi street food – You can buy rice wine anywhere that serves street food, even the trendy places. Try rice wine instead of the cheap Vietnamese vodka. Oh and did I mention the street food of Hanoi is the best in the world? It really is.
Convenience stores – Most convenience stores in Hanoi will sell you a small bottle of rice wine for pennies. Sitting on the street with a banh mi and a cheap bottle of Vietnamese rice wine is pretty legit.
Train spotting and rice wine – Ray Quan is the famous set of bars literally ON the railway tracks. More famous for its cocktails and hippie fruit drinks, but you can also buy rice wine here. This is one of the best places you can drink in general, so adding the rice wine merely makes it better.
Do you have any rice wine dives in Hanoi you can suggest? Let the Street Food Guy know!