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Hẻm Gems: In Praise of D1's Cheap, Dependable Sidewalk Cơm Trưa

In these trying times, the comfort of familiarity goes a long way.

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Hẻm Gems: Handmade Noodles Hidden Amid the Mayhem of Hang Xanh

The traffic-choked wastelands of Hang Xanh are one of the last places you'd expect to find an incredible meal of noodles.

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Hẻm Gems: The Refreshing Simplicity of Veggies, Roots and Mushrooms

Explaining the food at Rau Củ Nấm Vegan Restaurant is simple; it’s all in the name: vegetables, tubers, and mushrooms.

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Hẻm Gems: Piquant Thai Noodles in D7 for the Age of Takeout

It's the simple things in life that sometimes bring the greatest pleasure.

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Hẻm Gems: At Sadec Quan, a Celebration of Mekong Delta Noodles

While bánh tằm is more often regarded as a popular street food dish in the Mekong Delta, my entrance to the world of this dish was family gatherings in Saigon.

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Hẻm Gems: Pho Chay Nhu and 35 Years of Serving Tasty Vegetarian Meals

A bowl full of noodles is one of the things that make me feel lucky to be alive, and alive in Saigon in particular.

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Hẻm Gems: A Japanese Bánh Mì to Win Over Fusion Food Skeptics

When it comes to discussions of cuisine, I'd argue that "authentic" is the most overused word in writing and marketing, followed closely by "fusion."

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Hẻm Gems: In D7, Home-Cooked Korean Comfort Food for the World-Weary

Growing up in South Korea's extremely competitive and high-stress education system, combined with strict Asian parenting, my relationship with my parents has never been easy.

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Hẻm Gems: At a Corner of Nguyen Van Linh, Saigon's Best Korean Cold Noodles

Much like a stereotypical meet-cute in a romantic comedy, the majority of my most memorable food experiences often involve a faux pas of varying degrees of humiliation.

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Hẻm Gems: The Porcine Pleasure of a D2 Cơm Tấm Outpost

What comes to mind when you hear the words 'District 2'?

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Hẻm Gem: Bún Cá Sứa With a Stock That Tastes Like the Ocean

A friend once told me that Saigon is a place that makes you feel like you can travel anywhere.

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Year in Review: Saigoneer's Picks for Best Hẻm Gems of 2019

In 2019, Saigoneer reviewed a total of 38 Hẻm Gems, including 10 bars or cafes, 15 Vietnamese eateries and 13 places serving delicious non-Vietnamese cuisines.

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Hẻm Gems: A Secret Back-Alley Bún Ngan, Hidden in Plain Sight

Several months ago, the Saigoneer team went to 89 Nguyen Du for a Hẻm Gem on Ngo 89’s Hanoian snacks. Little did I know, we’d be going to the same location for an entirely different eatery later on.

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Hẻm Gems: Home-Cooked Taiwanese Comfort Food for a Cold Saigon Day

District 5, Saigon’s Chinatown, is full of delicious eateries serving Cantonese food. For something new, try Va Thanh, an unassuming restaurant with top-notch Taiwanese home-style cooking.

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Hẻm Gems: A Thai Raw Seafood Salad That Consolidates the Merits of Sauce

The first role I ever took in my home kitchen was to prepare sweet fish sauce with chili and garlic to pour over rice and noodles. As simple as this may sound, I still can’t master the art after years...

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Hẻm Gems: Bánh Đập Dập, an Indelible Reminder of Vietnam's Austere Eras

Although stories, photographs and artifacts may allow a child to visualize their parents’ childhood, these couriers of memory distinctively belong to the former generation and remain locked in the pas...

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Hẻm Gems: The 'Stink' of Bún Mắm Nêm Is My Childhood Aroma

Every time I depart from Vietnam to study abroad or travel, on the way to Tan Son Nhat International Airport I stop by the Bau Cat area in Tan Binh to stuff myself with at least two bowls of bún mắm n...

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Hẻm Gems: The Best Cao Lầu Outside of Hoi An Is in Tan Binh

Years ago, the first time I ate cao lầu, I committed a cardinal sin. As I gazed upon my freshly assembled bowl of noodles, without much thought, I asked the waitress for more sauce.

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Hẻm Gems: At D5's Sủi Cảo Đại Nương, a Song of Chives and Fire

One night after my meal at Sui Cao Dai Nuong, I find myself in a mystifying dream about chives.

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Hẻm Gems: The Crispy Duck Noodles for When You're Feeling Fancy

Right in the middle of frenetic hospital crowds, imposing pharmacies and peak-hour traffic, Hue Ky Mi Gia stands out, its indoor dining area seemingly unaffected by the commotion that’s going on just ...