Traveling to places less popular among tourists and backpackers has its benefits. Can Tho, the largest city in the south of the Mekong Delta, is not a stop on the Saigon day tour route. This means low prices and a more realistic glimpse of everyday life. A city of over a million people, it is an agricultural mecca, the natural waterways and lush soil providing the perfect recipe for produce.
We've had the chance to try Vietnam's fresh fruit and vegetables along our journey, including many types of juice (everything from carrot to dragon fruit to passion fruit) and "fruit shakes" (aka smoothies, think mango and papaya, as well as adventurous options like avocado and tomato). We've sampled nearly every flavor. Most are very good, but many still miss the mark. Then, just as we're about to leave Vietnam, on our last stop, we find the perfect smoothie.
Cafe XAY is a non-descript, blink-and-you'll-miss-it cafe offering a couple local dishes, coffee drinks, and Vietnam's best smoothies. Small potted plants hang in the entrance and white bistro tables with "Ristorante" written in red cursive make up the open-air seating. Blended scoops of papaya and ice create a smoothie of the perfect consistency. The strawberry smoothie includes ice, yogurt and strawberries, complete with flecks of green (proof of a fresh strawberry base). And the best part? Each smoothie is about 75 cents. Daily mid morning Can Tho snack... check.
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