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Hẻm Gems: Bánh Xèo and People-Watching on the Canal

There are certain foods in life that take time to love. Mắm tôm, for instance, or mắm chưng. Any of the mắms, really. Durian, I’m told, is a wonderful fruit on the fourth or fifth try. And while some of us are raised on cháo lòng and phá lấu and chicken feet, for others the journey toward appreciation can span weeks, months, even years.

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A Food Folk Tale: Vietnam’s Unexpected Watermelon Tycoon

If you’ve been around a traditional Vietnamese household during Tet, you have probably noticed the presence of gargantuan, child-sized, dark green watermelons on the altar. These behemoths are both intimidating and delicious; that is, if one remembers to cut them up during the holiday and not leave them out for months like my mom did one year. However, not many know that the origin story behind this juicy berry – yes, watermelons are, indeed, berries – is rooted in a fascinating folk tale that takes place in ancient Vietnam during the days of the Hung Kings.

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Hẻm Gems: A Quick, Delicious, No-Nonsense Lunch at Quan Com Ga Hai Nam

Now that I'm on my fourth chicken-centric Hẻm Gem, I guess I might as well start carrying out these assignments dressed as a chicken.

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Bò Bía: A Piece of Saigon's Hokkien Heritage in a Simple Street Food Roll

Historically Saigon has been a busy trading hub that attracts merchants from all over the region, and the city's culinary repertoire is a smorgasbord of eclectic cultural influences. In the latest installment of our Food History series, Saigoneer takes a closer look at the history of a refreshing street treat that’s both delicious and healthy: bò bía.

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Meet Linh Nguyen, the Fulbright Scholar Spreading Vietnamese Culture Through Food

Linh Nguyen is a Fulbright scholar, blogger and writer whose first book, Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook: Classic Vietnamese Street Food Made at Home, became an Amazon bestseller after selling out on the first day of its release.

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Saigon’s Craft Beer Scene Strikes a Balance Between Foreign Brews and Vietnamese Tastes

“It’s bitter,” says De, a resident of Go Vap District, after taking a sip of a locally brewed India Pale Ale at Quan Ut Ut. “I’m not sure I’m ready for it,” he adds sincerely.

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Saigon’s First Designated Food Street to Open on Monday

Earlier this year, as District 1 People’s Committee Vice Chairman Doan Ngoc Hai ramped up his sidewalk-clearing campaign, Saigoneers wondered about the fate of the city’s street food vendors. Now, just as officials proposed in March, downtown Saigon is set to have its first designated street food zone.

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Hẻm Gems: Sủi Cảo and Handmade Noodles, a Match Made in Food Heaven

Is this the best mì sủi cảo in Saigon? I don’t know, but it’s pretty goddamn delicious.

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Foreign Fast Food Chains Stagnate as Locals Still Prefer Street Food

Most foreign fast food chains in Vietnam have fallen short of their initial projections, as burgers and fries can’t compete with the vibrant culture of local street food.

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Hẻm Gems: Phieu Ky’s Fantastic Phở Sa Tế

While Pho Phieu Ky’s white walls and fluorescent lighting are nothing special, the hideaway shop in District 5 makes up for its bland color scheme by pasting neon characters – Roman and Chinese – across the glossy tiles along with wall calendars, rotating fans and a particularly jovial, glitter-covered cartoon rendition of Ong Tao riding a fish to heaven. The bright whites are certainly harsh, but on a dreary, rain-soaked afternoon this is not necessarily unwelcome. Nor, mind you, is the meal for which we’ve come: phở sa tế.

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[Video] Americans Try Bánh Mì for the First Time, Can't Stop Eating

Don’t watch this video when you’re hungry.

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