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Hẻm Gems: On the Road to Ruin, From Budapest to Binh Thanh

The southern edge of Binh Thanh is one of Saigon’s most fascinating areas. More cosmopolitan than the district would have you believe, its maze-like streets hold a heady mix of different influences. W...

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Hẻm Gems: Cam Cam Kafe and the Fujian Pagoda That Inspired Its Name

I wish I could claim that I discovered Cam Cam Kafe by myself. Tucked away in a corner unit up the second floor of a nondescript apartment in District 5, the coffee shop seems mostly undetectable from...

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Hẻm Gems: A Canal Cafe and Bar as Rustic as Its Name Promises

Driving leisurely along Hoang Sa Street, I stopped in front of a small coffee shop called Lao Hac — a retro-style cafe that's hidden behind the perennial flowering vines within sight of Nhieu Loc...

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Hẻm Gems: At Ngọt Cafe, a Treasure Trove of Saigon's Childhood Snacks and Knick-Knacks

To me, Saigon is not just a city, it is the people, the lifestyle and the cafés.

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Hẻm Gems: Pandan and Durian Gelato for a Sizzling Summer Day in Saigon

My earliest memory of ice cream in Saigon involves savoring Kem Bach Dang’s renowned kem trái dừa: scoops of coconut ice cream in a coconut husk topped with an assortment of fresh and jammed fruits.

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Move Over Fish Pedicures, Coffee With Koi Is the New Fishy Trend in Saigon

Do you love ornamental fish? Do you wish to be closer to these majestic marine creatures but the murky pond water and hawk-eyed security guards always get in your way?

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Hẻm Gems: In Tan Binh, VND4,000 Is All You Need for Good Bia Hơi

Bia hơi for the people.

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Hẻm Gems: Cozy Autumn Flavors at Tokyo Moon, Japan Town's Korean Cafe

Tokyo Moon's presence is an odd-but-welcoming representation of South Korean hospitality in the heart of Le Thanh Ton's "Japan Town" with its mysterious herbal tonic, sweet potato pastry and pumpkin c...

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Hẻm Gems: At Things Café, Humans, Cats and Nat King Cole Coexist in a Harmonious Ecosystem

I admit that it’s taken me great pains to write this week’s Hẻm Gem.

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[Video] 80 Years of Cà Phê Vợt in Saigon's Oldest Cafe

Is there anything as iconically Saigon as having a cup of joe in a hẻm while watching traffic roll by?

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Hẻm Gems: Refreshing Đá Me and a Touch of Pre-1975 Tunes at 81 Cafe

Given the city’s hot weather, cold drinks are Saigon's very own specialty. While cà phê sữa đá and trà đá are timeless staples, in recent years we have also witnessed the rise of milk tea shops in alm...

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Hẻm Gems: Cocktails and Conversation at Saigon’s Classiest Sidewalk Spot

Editor's note: This review from 2017 was of City Beer Station's first location on Pham Ngoc Thach Street, which has since closed. Over the past years, the cocktail bar has moved numerous times. Recent...

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Hẻm Gems: Refreshing Chè at a 60-Year-Old Retro Hangout

Relishing a bowl of assorted chè at Thach Che Hien Khanh is more than just an afternoon spent shooting the breeze with friends, it’s also a trip down memory lane and an exploration into Saigon’s herit...

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Hẻm Gems: Nguyen Thuong Hien's Quaint Corner Juice Heaven

In Saigon, when life gives you grapefruits, you create a thriving business to sell its juice to health-conscious locals.

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Hẻm Gems: A Cuppa in Saigon's Oldest Cafe

One of the first things Co Suong does when we sit down in the back of her tiny District 3 cafe is bring out the newspaper clippings.

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Maison Marou: The House That Chocolate Built

Across from Ben Thanh Market sits a massive, open pit that will eventually serve as the base for a set of gleaming, modern towers housing the likes of a six-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel. But just beyond th...

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Hẻm Gems: An Old-School Saigon Cafe, Hiding in Plain Sight

With an abundance of coffee shop chains and upscale, modern cafes in Saigon, there are very few left whose atmosphere and taste still manage to bring you back to the city's golden era. In fact, discov...

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Hẻm Gems: District 1's Delightfully Decrepit Bia Hơi

UPDATE: It is with heavy hearts that we inform our readers that the Thi Sach bia hơi has permanently closed. We will miss its regular crowd and grimy, beer-stained walls. In a city that pretty much r...

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Hẻm Gems: Chocolate Coconut Smoothies @ Le Thi Rieng Smoothies

On a hot night of street food hunting, it was time for a pit stop, one that would not only satisfy our thirst, but also our sweet tooth.

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Hẻm Gems: Legendary Coconut Milk @ Sữa Dừa 8 Tin

After a visit to Sữa Dừa 8 Tin, you’ll quickly find that not all coconut milk is created equal.

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