in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Café Slow Cultivates a Natural Habitat for Creature Comforts

It's incredibly challenging to set yourself apart in Ho Chi Minh City's overcaffeinated café scene. The city's narrow streets and hẻms are brimming with beans.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Secret Realm of Good Vibes Behind the Doors of Passengers Cafe

Like any person born after the year 1990, I am chronically affected by the condition of dawdling at a coffee shop for a supposed boost in productivity and “the vibes” when the clock strikes close to a due date.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Quán Ba Hí's Comfort Food Is Perfect for Eating Your Feelings Away

I've always found comfort food to be the most authentic passage to experience any type of global cuisine. Yet, when I try to find the word for it in my native tongue Vietnamese, the semantics just seem to fall flat.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: From Nam Định, a Piquant Bánh Đa With Golden Fried Fish

On Quán Thánh Street, a lovely couple enhances their hometown’s specialty, bánh đa cua, with a fishy touch. Adding fried fish to bánh đa cua is a rather uncommon combination, but it helps their restaurant stand out.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: The Peculiarity of a Coffee Sanctuary With No Menu and No Address

"SOLitude" — At first glance, the word conjures a sense of melancholic privateness in my ever-anxious soul. But not in a pessimistic way, fortunately.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Spicy Bún Lòng Cá From Hải Phòng That Takes Guts to Try

Út Hà Quán looks nothing like the kind of traditional Hanoi street food eatery that makes it to glossy magazines and world-famous food channels. There’s no grumpy grandma, no mold on the walls and no trash on the floor.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Indonesia's Ayam Penyet Is a Smashing Celebration of Spices

The most straightforward definition by which to explain ayam penyet to the Vietnamese layperson is perhaps “cơm gà Indo.” It’s technically not wrong: the dish has rice and chicken, and originates from Indonesia. But once you've actually sunk your teeth into this special fried chicken, the translation seems unfairly reductive because ayam penyet is so much better than the sum of its parts.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Cafe Yên, Where the Line Between Coffee Shop and Alley Blurs

Yên (adj): quiet, unmoved.

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in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Café Slow Cultivates a Natural Habitat for Creature Comforts

It's incredibly challenging to set yourself apart in Ho Chi Minh City's overcaffeinated café scene. The city's narrow streets and hẻms are brimming with beans.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Secret Realm of Good Vibes Behind the Doors of Passengers Cafe

Like any person born after the year 1990, I am chronically affected by the condition of dawdling at a coffee shop for a supposed boost in productivity and “the vibes” when the clock strikes close to a...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Quán Ba Hí's Comfort Food Is Perfect for Eating Your Feelings Away

I've always found comfort food to be the most authentic passage to experience any type of global cuisine. Yet, when I try to find the word for it in my native tongue Vietnamese, the semantics just see...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: From Nam Định, a Piquant Bánh Đa With Golden Fried Fish

On Quán Thánh Street, a lovely couple enhances their hometown’s specialty, bánh đa cua, with a fishy touch. Adding fried fish to bánh đa cua is a rather uncommon combination, but it helps their r...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: The Peculiarity of a Coffee Sanctuary With No Menu and No Address

"SOLitude" — At first glance, the word conjures a sense of melancholic privateness in my ever-anxious soul. But not in a pessimistic way, fortunately.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Spicy Bún Lòng Cá From Hải Phòng That Takes Guts to Try

Út Hà Quán looks nothing like the kind of traditional Hanoi street food eatery that makes it to glossy magazines and world-famous food channels. There’s no grumpy grandma, no mold on the walls an...

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Indonesia's Ayam Penyet Is a Smashing Celebration of Spices

The most straightforward definition by which to explain ayam penyet to the Vietnamese layperson is perhaps “cơm gà Indo.” It’s technically not wrong: the dish has rice and chicken, and originates from...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Cafe Yên, Where the Line Between Coffee Shop and Alley Blurs

Yên (adj): quiet, unmoved.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Thai Feast on a Hẻm Pavement, With Vietnamese Fusion Twists

While Thailand and Vietnam have long been perpetual rivals in the football arena, at this streetside Hẻm Gem, the two cultures forge a harmonious relationship.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Classic Thanh Trì-Style Bánh Cuốn That Took a Century to Perfect

Bánh Cuốn Bà Hoành is nearly a century old, and both the eatery’s name and the authenticity of the food they serve stem from the same source: the culinary wisdom of Grandma Hoàng.

in Food Culture

Vietnam Surpasses South Korea as World's No. 1 Consumer of Instant Noodles Per Capita

Vietnam’s penchant for mì gói has propelled us to the top position among the world’s instant noodle consumers.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Hide From the Monsoon Rain at Đặng Thị Nhu's Lost & Found Cafe

Lost & Found Café is a newly opened sister establishment to the popular Lost & Found Bar. Both adopt a pre-1975 Saigon vibe that I, as a Gen-Z Saigoneer who is nostalgic for old Saigon, immediate...

in Ănthology

Charles Phan's Bánh Mì Is Not Here to Take You Down Memory Lane

“Charles Phan had more impact on Vietnamese food than any other chef in the country.” — Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: 60 Years of Guangdong-Style Chinese Food at Chợ Cũ's Chuyên Ký

Besides being the “it” place to obtain imported goods, Saigon’s chợ cũ, or Old Market, is also a treasure trove of hidden eateries.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Eggs? On My Bánh Cuốn? It's More Likely Than You Think.

The simplicity of an egg is an underrated beauty that we often take for granted.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Three Generations of Noodles on the Pavement at Bún Riêu Hồng Phúc

Connecting Hòe Nhai and Hàng Đậu, Hồng Phúc is one of the shortest alleys in Hanoi. However, this small alley is a paradise for people who love bún, especially if one is craving a meticulously prepare...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Just a Short Walk From Bến Thành, a Hearty Bún Chả for Lunch

In his essay collection Hà Nội 36 Phố Phường (The 36 Streets of Hanoi), Thạch Lam famously writes "Ngàn năm bửu vật đất Thăng Long / Bún chả là đây có phải không?" The couplet compares ...

in Food Culture

Saijo, Huế's Sister City in Japan, Adds Bún Bò to School Lunch Program

Another step toward bún bò domination has been taken.

Linh Pham

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: At Ốc Cô Nhung, an Affordable Five-Course Banquet of Snails and Snacks

If there is a restaurant in Hanoi that embodies the proverb “good wine needs no bush,” it’s Ốc cô Nhung. Though in this case, instead of wine, it is snails.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Dream of the 2010s Is Alive at Pacey Cupcakes

Pick your favorite cupcake flavor; perhaps a pitcher of hot fragrant tea too. Ascend the dizzyingly steep flight of stairs. Mind your head. Tread gently on the wooden attic floor. There your friends a...