Dalat Markets and Food and Wine Shops – Where to Buy Delicious Dalat Souvenirs
Dalat markets and food and wine shops are brimming with delicious Dalat souvenirs of the edible and liquid kind. As you’d expect from the largest city in Vietnam’s southern Central Highlands, an agriculturally rich area famed for its coffee, fruit and vegetables, flowers, and wine, Dalat offers some mouthwatering shopping.
Dalat markets and specialty food shops and wine showrooms are crammed with Dalat specialties, scrumptious edible souvenirs and liquid take-homes made from fresh local fruit and vegetables, coffee, tea, and flowers grown around Dalat, a foodie paradise in Vietnam’s southern Central Highlands.
Delicious Dalat buys include perfumed loose-leaf teas produced from flowers, herbs, and fruit and vegetables to aromatic coffees, local honey, fruit preserves and confectionary, and so much more.
Dalat shopping time can easily be squeezed into the tightest of schedules; see our One Day in Dalat itinerary for tips. Here’s what you need to buy and the Dalat markets and food and wine shops where you can buy your mouthwatering Dalat souvenirs.
Dalat Markets and Food and Wine Shops
Dalat is the place to shop for edible souvenirs in Vietnam and a good place to start is Dalat markets for its wonderful local specialties There are two Dalat markets of interest to food lovers visiting Dalat, the main Dalat Market or Cho Dalat, which operates during the day in an enormous building overlooking the main square and the Dalat Night Markets, which kicks off once the former closes, setting up after dark outside in the traffic circle, on the stairs, and on the square, and adjoining side streets.
Dalat Market – Cho Dalat
The best of Dalat markets is Dalat Market (Chợ Đà Lạt) itself. Rebuilt, burnt down, remodelled, and redeveloped over many decades, Dalat Market is a massive market, with over 1,000 businesses across ten floors, including around 100 specialty food and wine shops on the ground floor and first floor alone. First stop should be the two dozen or so flower shops at the front of the market, because who doesn’t want to start some shopping by stopping to inhale the lovely aromas from fresh cut roses?
The ground floor and first floor stalls of most interest to you, selling all sorts of delectable local products, including fruit juices, fruit wines, traditional rice wine (also called ‘tube wine’), honeys, nuts, biscuits, sweet potato chips, fruit jam, dried fruit, candied or glazed fruits, and fruit pastels. The variety of fruit products, especially dried fruits, is just mindboggling, from the European fruits for which Dalat is famous, such as strawberries and apricots, to the dried tropical fruits you see everywhere in Southeast Asia, such as mango and papaya.
If you’re here in winter or just came unprepared for the cool evenings, head to the middle level floors where there are countless stalls selling woollen jumpers (sweaters), coats, cardigans, scarves, gloves, hats, and socks. The machine made woollen clothes – typically made in China – are cheaper but look for the handmade woollies, which are lovelier and feel so much softer. You’ll find these when you see a lady busily knitting. You’ll also spot some locally made handicrafts, woven textiles, embroidered costumes, and souvenirs. You’ll note that many of the stalls sell the same sort of thing, so take a stroll around and compare quality and price before buying. Bargaining is expected and you’ll get a better price the more you buy, so try to purchase as much as possible from the one stall.
If you’re hungry, cooks on the upper floors dish up everything from wok-fried noodles to hearty bo ko, a warming stew-like soup, into which you dunk buttered baguettes. While fresh food is obviously difficult for many travellers to take home, you can’t miss gawking at the abundance of gorgeous fresh local produce being sold at the stalls inside and outside Dalat markets. Food lovers will appreciate the quality and notice how fresh everything is: it’s not unusual to see just-picked carrots still covered in dirt.
Dalat Market, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dalat; daily 6am-5pm
Dalat Night Market
Dalat Night Market is primarily about the street food and while our local guide Binh, who took us on a hike up and down the city’s hilly streets on his Dalat street food tour believes much of the Dalat Night Market food sold at the stalls on the square and stairs is of poor quality and overpriced, it’s still worth a peek for the sights, smells and colour. Expect to spot all sorts of barbecued seafood, grilled skewered meats and offal, Dalat ‘pizza’, barbecued corn, grilled eggs, and baked sweet potatoes.
While the street food dominates the stalls on the massive staircase and main part of the square (in fact, it’s a traffic circle), stalls in the side streets of Le Dai Hanh and Tang Bat Ho offer a selection of what you find in Dalat Market during the day. Expect stalls selling edible souvenirs, such as dried fruits, preserves, nuts, and biscuits, as well as stalls piled high with woollen clothes and racks of coats and winter jackets. Note that not all of the food products are locally made (boxes of peanut toffees I spotted were from China) which is why you’re better off making a beeline for one of the specialty food shops, below.
Dalat Night Market, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Dalat; daily 5-10pm
Dalat Specialty Food Shops
There are providores and food shops all over Dalat selling local products of a similar standard to those you’ll see at Dalat markets but the finest quality and greatest range of delicious Dalat specialties are to be found at the dozen or so fabulous L’angfarm shops. Terence bought me loads of delectable Dalat specialties from L’angfarm on his last trip and I stocked up again on my last. L’angfarm have been expanding across Vietnam, but there’s something special about buying from the source.
Terrific buys include teas (everything from artichoke to noni), jams and fruit concentrates (strawberry, mulberry, raspberry), dried fruit and vegetables (from permission to jackfruit), crunchy fruits (I recommend the jackfruit and the sweet purple potato), fruit confectionery (I love the sugar-coated mulberry candies, but there are also passionfruit jellies and so much more), nuts and flavoured peanuts, dried snacks (try the dried spicy pork), honey, fermented rice wine, Dalat wine, and, of course Dalat coffee, both Arabica and Robusta. The shop at the top of the staircase and start of the Dalat Night Market is the best although if you’d like to try before you buy, the L’angfarm café has a daily fixed price buffet of fresh Dalat produce and specialties. You can sample everything from hot steamed corn to fruit jam on freshly baked bread and creamy fruit gelato.
L’angfarm Shops, 48 Duong Khu Hoa Binh, Dalat; daily 7.30am-10.30pm
The Vietnamese have traditionally preferred drinking calming teas to energising coffees, despite the proliferation in recent years of hip new cafés in Vietnamese cities and the ongoing popularity of decades-old coffee houses and stalls. Dalat 1893 is a specialty tea shop, named after the year that Dalat was forever transformed. Dalat had been home to indigenous peoples when it was ‘discovered’ by Dr Alexandre Yersin who persuaded the French governor to establish the cool high altitude area of picturesque mountains, valleys and lakes as a retreat from the heat and centre for growing European flowers, vegetables and flowers.
With a ceiling dripping with dried flowers and shelves lined with beautifully packaged jars of products and colourful teapots and painted kettles, Dalat 1893 is a delight to browse. The specialty is aromatic loose-leaf teas concocted from local fruits, flowers and herbs, so you can expect anything from strawberry to rose tea. But there are also boxes of tea bags, fruit and floral preserves, face masks, foot baths, essential oils, and naturally perfumed pot pourri. The store gets packed with local tourists during Vietnamese holidays, but at other times it’s a lovely spot to sit and sip some tea and dip your feet into a fragrant hot foot bath.
Dalat 1893, 34 Truong Cong Dinh, Dalat; daily 8am-10.30pm
La Viet Coffee
Vietnam is the world’s second largest coffee producer and most of that coffee (largely Robusta, but also Arabica) is grown in around Dalat. You will spot plenty of Dalat coffee at the Dalat markets, however, the lovely light-filled retail space at La Viet (Là Việt) Coffee is your best bet for buying quality Dalat coffee. You’ll find La Viet’s own home grown, single origin beans, roasted on site, and freshly ground coffee here, as well as coffee makers and accessories. You’ll also discover fine quality Dalat teas, honey, jams, Marou Chocolate, and more, and it’s all amazing value. Should also try their coffee of course, and do a coffee tour if you have time. See our post on Dalat Coffee Tours for more details.
La Viet Coffee, 200 Nguyen Cong Tru, Dalat; daily 7.30am-10pm
Dalat Wine Shops
The French introduced wine to Vietnam and while some grapes are still grown in and around Dalat, most vineyards are 100kms away near the coast at Phan Rang in Ninh Thuan province, which has a Mediterranean climate. Although it’s not possible to visit Dalat’s wineries, you’ll find plenty of wine sold at Dalat markets, as well as several specialised wine shops or ‘showrooms’ that sell Dalat wine (Vang Đà Lạt), the most quaffable of which are Ladora Winery’s Chateau Dalat Reserve (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot) and Signature (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz) ranges. You’ll also spot mildly alcoholic grape juice, mulberry wine, and lemon, strawberry, plum and coffee liqueurs in wine shops and at Dalat Market. Visit the showrooms below for grape wine and for fermented rice wine (really a distilled spirit made from fermented rice), try Cao Nguyen Can Wine at 28 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dalat.
Vang Đà Lạt, 3 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Dalat
Vinh Tien Wine, 1 Le Hong Phong, Dalat
Beco Wine, 1 Hoa Binh Square, Dalat
Have you shopped at Dalat markets or any of the food and wine shops in Dalat? We welcome your feedback and tips on Dalat markets and specialty food shops in the comments below.
We be including Dalat on our next Vietnam Culinary Tour. We’re setting new dates very soon so do let us know if you’d like to join us.